Geneva, Sunday 22 March 2020
Meet the lady against whom I marshall my putting skills on our balcony every day.
This was on our honeymoon in 2013 at Jack’s Point Golf Club in New Zealand’s South Island (one of the all-time great courses!) Happy memories! Sadly, we have had to cancel our flights for Australia and New Zealand; we were due to depart this week. “Oh, well” we said yesterday “We’ll go in December.” Will we? I’d like to think everything would be “back to normal” by then but I’m not so sure. I’m not a pessimist by nature but someone wiser than me once said that a pessimist is simply an optimist with considerable experience.
The news gets worse still. Rocketing infection and death rates. More countries affected (160+.) More lockdowns. Optimism is, like toilet paper in a supermarket, difficult to keep in regular supply. Furthermore, two camps seem to be forming on social media. One says “Prevent spread. Self isolate. Do social distancing. Wash hands. Flatten the curve. Protect health care services from overload. The social and economic costs simply have be borne.” The other camp says “We should just carry on with our daily business. Measures to prevent spread are not effective. Spread is inevitable and anyway the mortality is very low. The social and economic costs for enforcing the lockdown are simply too high.” This second camp is readily joined by those in denial and those who simply don’t give a damn. Both camps claim the evidence or lack thereof supports their views. I rarely feel sorry for politicians, but whether or not we take measures and how they are or are not enforced are ultimately political decisions and very difficult political decisions at that. Where do I stand? In the first camp obviously. This is epidemiology. (And after all, what else would I blog about?) However, I wouldn’t be surprised if, after a couple of weeks, the political forces align themselves with the opinions of the second camp whilst assuring us all of stringent measures to isolate those most vulnerable to serious infection. We’ll see.
Thanks to the hundreds who have taken time to read the Lockdown Diary this last week. I’m really encouraged by people’s response. I’ve had news from many old friends. Whatever your situation, I hope the lockdown is bearable. Let us know your thoughts. Big man-hug to you all.
Today’s putting match: a hard-won victory in a cold north wind. All square after 18 holes. I win on the first play-off hole. Stats: me 18/19 (95%); my other half 17/19 (89%).