A beautiful bright day today and consequently the park seemed somewhat fuller of dog-walkers than normal – I mean we could see about six people in total rather than two. I was thinking aloud whether if we were spotted sitting on a park bench, we would be moved on by an officious community police person or a park attendant. Mind you, this is an entirely artificial concept, as in twelve and a half years of living in Bromsgrove, I have never seen a uniformed police offer patrolling the streets of Bromsgrove. Occasionally ( once or twice a week), you might see a Police Community Support Officer and I suspect that park attendants were least seen in the pages of ‘The Beano‘ because I do not recall ever having seen once since. When they did disappear? Parking wardens first appeared in 1960 so perhaps one was transformed into the other. On the way home, we spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so chatting with one of our friends from church. We made her appear by the simple expedient of standing in front of her house and waving at a window until we were spotted – these chats help us all to stop having cabin fever.
In the afternoon, I carried on with the organisation of press-cuttings and articles which I had allowed to accumulate over the years. I now have them organised into folders comprising a variety of health conditions (which I won’t detail now), exercise, dietary issues, the ageing process and finally a category I call ‘newsworthy’. These are now housed in a couple of box-files and I am resolved both to keep them accessible and also to constantly file away new material as I find it. In this respect, The Times Health section often contains interesting material and is generally very reliable. In the late afternoon, we FaceTimed some of our Waitrose friends and exchanged news about current supermarket access and the state of the world in general. It’s great to be able to talk over a video-link like this and I wish I had started it sooner with many of my friends and acquaintances. I am resolved to also get to grips with Skype which is a bit of a closed book to me at the moment.
If I were a member of the NHS front-line staff, I think I would feel incredibly frustrated at the government’s response to the absence of sufficient testing for the COVID-19 virus. When faced with direct and sometimes penetrating questions, they resort to evasion, aspiration (‘We hope very much that soon we will…etc’)and occasionally, a direct misrepresentation, for example saying that the shortage of a suitable reagent in the testing process is the source of the problem. It is evident that there has been a massive lack of preparedness over the years and is now manifest by a deficit in the testing facilities, the staff to do the tests and the analysis, not to mention the kits themselves. I am finding that the daily briefing at 5.00 pm is particularly irksome as the journalists can pose quite pointed questions over their video- links but after an evasive reply not answering the question at all directly, the journalist is not given the opportunity to have any come-back and hence this plays straight into the politician’s hands. There will be a lot more of this in the next two weeks, I am sure.