• Running to work!

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    To say that we are living in strange times is an understatement. The following link to the BBC website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-52155029) is a graphic example of the unprecedented (not an overstated use of the term) times in which we live. It was posted by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, Mrs Richard Winter, and is a description with accompanying photographs of her journey to work. The pictures of deserted London streets and thoroughfares are both remarkable and historic. They are a public record and we thank Mrs Winter for her efforts for taking such an opportunity is the very essence of good journalism.

    It is of course times like these when good journalism is most important. In some ways the journalist’s job is made easier by technology. But in others it is made much more challenging with reports that 5G masts are being attacked by members of the public due to an erroneous belief that the spread of coronavirus and 5G communications is somehow linked. Such nonsense of course is rapidly promulgated across the internet.

    The basic problem a journalist has is that they find themselves falling between two stools. One stool is circulation, or in Mrs Winter’s case, viewing numbers. The other stool is detail. Circulation and viewing numbers has to be maximised for revenue and in the case of the BBC, justification of the TV tax aka the Licence Fee.
    A thorough going and thoroughly researched report along the lines of Doctor North’s blog-post today (http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87568) will fail to achieve the necessary numbers. This because the vast majority of readers/viewers will have put down/switched channels before they have read or Mrs Winter has spoken the 1,454 words to camera.

    The problem is that the BBC engage in “biff/bam” and sound-bites because they find that this is what the vast majority of viewers wish to consume.

    Of course, when the crisis is over (and it will end) the political “biff/bam” will start and the blame game will start in earnest, with such as Mrs Winter reporting it.

    The FACT will be of course that all political parties will be to some extent to blame because the public finances have always been stretched to the limit because of the fundamental conflict of competing wishes of the electorate in this democracy. This being that people want tip top public services – in particular when it comes to the NHS – but at the same time they want low taxes (for themselves, not others).

    This fundamentally self defeating and hypocritical attitude of letting the other person make the sacrifice could well be brought home to the population in the near future should Mr Hancock and his colleagues decide that exercise in public can no longer be allowed (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52172035).
    This was brought home to me yesterday. I like Mrs Winter like to take regular exercise. Unlike the super fit, marathon running Mrs Winter however, my regular exercise consists of a gentle amble along the Cornish coast paths. I was ambling along when I suddenly became aware of a noise behind me. It was of a young woman walking very briskly. She was almost upon me and I quickly jumped to one side and ran down a side path in a partially successful attempt to maintain the two metre distance rule. This young woman made no attempt to signal her presence and if I had not have moved she would undoubtedly have squeezed her way past me to continue her walk at it’s brisk pace.

    The reason why Mr Hancock insists of proper social distancing is both logical and obvious; the coronavirus is highly contagious and infectious. There are no drugs with which to treat it. The ONLY way of stopping it is to deny it an opportunity of infecting another host. In the absence of viable hosts – human beings – the coronavirus cannot survive for more than 3 or 4 days at which point it will die.

    À propos of these extraordinary times, we will leave the last comment to Mrs Winter: “My children will tell their children about these weeks, maybe months, when our city stopped. London’s life will return, the noise and crowds will be back.”

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