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The Situation

I’ve been wanting to write a longer entry here for weeks, rather than just post Covid-19 links and the like, but the situation has conspired against me. Like millions of other parents, including my wife, I’m attempting to juggle working from home with home-schooling and entertaining two kids, and have had little time or energy to write anything for myself; but it hasn’t just been that. It’s that what I’d be writing about is both too personal, unsettling, and momentous, and, at a time when millions are sharing the same experience, too generic, ordinary, and obvious.

But one day I’ll want to look back over this blog to remind myself what we were all going through and what I thought of it all, assuming I’m still here. So I’ll try to capture some of it.

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5 April 2020 · Comment

Coronaverse

More COVID-19 limericks to pass the idle springtime hours.

The symptoms of Covid are vague: / It may or may not bring an ague, / And your shortness of breath / Could mean imminent death. / It's a 21st-century plague.

My girlfriend, as long as I've known 'er, / Has been happiest being a loner. / Now the whole of the nation / Is in self-isolation, / She's desolate: my, my, Corona.

The uncommon girl’s name Corona is set to become even less common because of SARS-CoV-2. In recent weeks I’ve seen or heard the coronavirus being called Corona, the Corona, the Rona, and Covid, with or without the capitals.

28 March 2020 · Comment

Two Metres Apart

Queue at Sainsbury's
Sainsbury’s Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Friday 27 March 2020

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28 March 2020 · Comment

Remain Indoors

Some coronavirus links from the last week, for anyone who’s been living in a cave (and if that’s you, well done on being a model of self-isolation).

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23 March 2020 · Comment

Empty Shelves

Empty Shelves
Tesco Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh, Monday 16 March 2020

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17 March 2020

Looking for the Remote

A rare digression into talking here about the day job.

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17 March 2020 · 1 Comment

A Murder of Poesy

Okay, so perhaps the impulse to make light of COVID-19 hasn’t left me yet…

Nearly twenty young crows could be seen / Gathered tightly en masse on the green. / Out of breath, and in shock, / An old crow told the flock, / 'Keep your distance, you corvid nineteen!'

(It’s not actually a murder of crows.)

13 March 2020

All Shook Up

There are reports today that Tom Hanks and his wife have contracted coronavirus on the Gold Coast in Australia, where he was filming a movie about Elvis Presley. How distressing for them both, and what a rotten break for a fine actor. But an Elvis movie… well, it’s hard not to enjoy a moment of black humour before the shutters come down, because it turns out there’s an Elvis song for every COVID-19 mood.

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12 March 2020

Large, Friendly Letters

In January and February I linked to advice from Laurie Garrett and Ian Mackay on preparing for the coronavirus now known as COVID-19†. After bubbling under the surface of the main news headlines in the UK for weeks, last week it leapt to the forefront; it was pretty hard to downplay the shutdown of northern Italy and now the whole of it. I’d not posted about it here (apart from those links) because I’m no more an expert than anyone else, but as of this week J. is part of UK efforts to test for the disease—on the coordination side rather than in the lab—and not much seems more important than that. We’re so proud of her.

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11 March 2020