Geneva, Saturday 9 May 2020
I thought I would tackle a more intricate subject than some fruit on a plate. I found myself thinking of my home town in England; Norwich, a fine city. And the jewel in the crown of that fine city is its cathedral. Here it is, viewed via the Erpingham Gate. I know, I know… the best bit’s the letter box.
So, that pandemic business. There’s one thing screaming at me. We are moving towards relaxing lockdown measures when, globally speaking, the stats are many times worse than when it was deemed necessary to go into lockdown. It’s quite some paradox. It’s only explicable by some countries feeling more or less safe with the measures they have imposed and the resulting stats. Heads of some governments who appear to be winning against the COVID-19 pandemic met by conference call yesterday to discuss what they’re doing right and how they plan to reboot their economies. The group includes Israel, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Greece, Singapore and Australia and New Zealand. Austria is chairing the meetings. They call themselves the “First Movers” club. I would imagine this will become the “Movers” club as others join up. All well and good. But there’s only one way this can go.
The “Movers” will be the countries that have a public health infrastructure, resources and the political will to undertake widespread testing and to impose social distancing measures as necessary. The other countries – let’s call them the “Shakers” – like Brazil, possibly also Russia and pretty much all the developing world will suffer a badly recorded public health catastrophe. What this means is that as the Movers get moving again, they will not want all their hard work undone and so will want total isolation from the Shakers. I hate to be gloomy about it all, but international air travel, as we knew it, will be shut down for many, many months unless by agreement between specific Mover countries. Even if Shakers are flying, they will not be welcomed by the Movers.
Let’s move on. Bread. My wife is now regularly producing the most delicious sourdough loaves. I do pancakes. As you will have discovered if you have gone down Sourdough Road with us, there is a price to pay. It is a messy. If sourdough was bright red, our kitchen would look like a scene from some chop ’em up horror movie!
After my drubbing on the bread front, I have salvaged a smidgin of self-respect by winning today’s putting competition 2 and 1. That makes me up by 21 games to 11.
But will we here, stuck in the UK, be Movers or Shakers? As usual, we’ll think the former but I suspect many from the outside will see us, on current performance, as the latter.
Robin, really enjoyed you Diary: I think you wrote you intend bringing it to a natural close with your first trip out of lockdown to the golf course but you surely owe it to your reading public to report whether or not all that putting practice paid off on the real stuff!
Keep well, Donald.