#COVID19Chronicles-272: January 5, 2021-England and Scotland lock down again

New lockdowns were announced by PM Boris Johnson, yesterday; schools will be closed till mid-February and the restrictions will last at least 7 weeks:

The basic rule is to stay at home:

It’s almost back to the future for England:

Major professional sports can go on behind closed doors; ‘grassroots’ sports are banned:

The Opposition Labour Party responded, critically:

Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, also announced a series of lockdowns till end-January, with the legal requirement for everyone in Scotland to stay at home except for essential purposes:

Both countries are now back to restrictions of March 2020, as COVID cases spiral.

#COVID19Chronicles-271: January 4, 2021: He said what? Washington Post publishes recording of Trump pressing Georgia officials to overturn election

Washington Post has shared an hour long phone call of President Trump talking to Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, on Saturday, and pressing him to overturn the election results: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.” It sounds like something that’s impeachable as an abuse of power and more. To his credit, Raffensperger held his ground and responded calmly and politely, rebutting the president, as did his State General Counsel, ending with the words “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.” These two quotations may be the political citations of the century.

The media has few doubts about the serious legal and constitutional problems the president might have created for himself:

#COVID19Chronicles-270: January 3, 2021-New COVID strain in Jamaica

The new strain of COVID-19, identified recently in the UK (and now in some 30 countries), is now in Jamaica, found in samples from recent arrivals from the UK, before travel from there was halted—4 cases were identified among the 20 who had tested positive. This was announced in a press conference called by Minister of health and wellness, Dr. Chris Tufton, last night (which can be viewed below):

More broadly, the latest test results were also reported, including an update on completing field hospitals in Kingston and western Jamaica; no decision has yet been made about the resumption of schools:

The current medical view is the new strain is faster spreading/more contagious, but not more deadly:

#COVID19Chronicles-269: January 2, 2021-I’m coming to eat you! A Trumpian feeding frenzy gets bloody.

It’s worse than the worst shaggy dog story. Donald Trump lost the election but insists on trying to make it seem he won in a series of demented legal assaults and textual missiles that appeared shot by a blind man who doesn’t care where they land. The man craves attention; he’s a narcissist. Duh! His worst nightmare is to be forced to leave the stage on someone else’s terms.

His strategy has a number of inevitable twists and the latest is acting like those animals that eat their own kind–there are a mere 7 listed, without adding the snakiness of electoral or sporting banter:

All manner of Republican Party/GOP children are now being eaten by Papa bear as he growls and scratches at anyone who comes too close; he’s now called the November vote in Georgia “illegal” and “invalid”:

So, here’s the glaring problem with this latest match thrown into the barn of drying hay. I know consistently reasoned arguments are not POTUS45’s strong suit. So, while he’s clearly sabotaging the Republican Senate runoff election candidates, he’s ignoring the obvious point that had he won Georgia would have made the same argument and be ready to ditch those results that were in his favour? Also, if this glaring problem is sticking in his craw, why did it not jam in the gullet in the Spring? Could it be that he assumed losing was not an option?

The self-feeding and more are now turning out all sorts of nutty scenarios. One that was around before, but means more a few days away from the Georgia run of is the idea of Donald Trump being elected as a senator if people write him in on the ballot:

But, in for a penny, in for pound and ‘nutty buddies’ are having their day. Serial maniac attorney, Lin Wood, just issued a series of vile threats to Vice President Mike Pence, who could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason”.

To round off the feeding frenzy, various Trumpites on the president’s legal team are finding this kind of trumpeting too much, even for them, and distancing themselves. Jenna Ellis went public on this:

If you feel that things are carrying out of control in the crazed efforts to suborn US democracy, you’re not wrong. A few more week of this and 2021 could get off to the kind of flying start that could help it knock 2020 into a hat for being bad.

#COVID19Chronicles-268: January 1, 2021-Glad to see the back of 2020?

Most people look forward to the new year, as it represents the chance for a new beginning, a reset. But, this has been a time when people couldn’t wait to see the back of a year; ironically, it was the year of forward-looking–2020. For many, this may be the one year that people wanted to have nothing to do with. We’ll have to check in over time with children born in 2020. It was truly a year of drama, much natural and much political.

Remember, wildfires in Australia, from autumn of 2019, were still raging at start of 2020:

Fittingly, ‘climate change’ was high on the agenda at the start of 2020, and Greta Thunburg was schooling ‘leaders’ at Davos, when they weren’t chilling on the slopes:

President Trump’s impeachment had begun in late-2019 and he was acquitted in February 2020, with Senate voting on party lines.

The UK was getting a head of steam up to leave the European Union, and the Brexit transition period began after January 31, 2020, and was due to last 11 months:

The Royal family, not free from controversy for many years, had more plates spinning and head turning when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they’d be stepping back as senior members of the Royal family..aka ‘Megxit’:

In China, word spread of a viral infection in Wuhan province. It started with early denials, then clarity about the threat, then announcment of global pandemic, the early panic buying, and the start of lockdowns world-wide. A year on, and the fight is engaged to determine the real origin of what we now know as COVID-19:

In the UK, PM Boris Johnson stressed washing hands, then immediately confused all by claiming to have shaken every hand of COVID patients at a hospital. He then tested positive, himself, and had to be hospitalised. It was the first of many missteps in the UK’s handling (no pun) of the pandemic, and buffoonery just doesn’t work well when dealing with crises:

In the USA, President Trump–often mistaken for Johnson’s older brother–similarly, downplayed the risks from COVID, saying “It’s going to disappear”, and repeating it at least 38 times during the year.

Trump later suggested using disinfectant inside the body. Absurd?

Spoofed by Sarah Cooper, whose interpretation removed the need to ask if it was absurd:

After months of downplaying the need for masks and real ‘social distancing’, President Trump contracted COVID in October, and was also hospitalised and given a special cocktail of experimental drugs to help his recovery.

The actions of these two national leaders and their personal consequences say everything about how poorly they have done the job the so desperately wanted. Their countries are now spinning out of control regarding management of the pandemic–England escalating its restrictions, and the USA seeing record numbers of deaths, active cases, and hospitalization. The vaccine may be here, but it’s going to be hard for it to turn around the runway truck of health mis-handling in the UK and USA.

I’ll bypass the US presidential elections, holding my breath that the normally mundane transition will occur as scheduled, despite many seemingly crazy attempt to overturn the democratic results.

So, we passed through 2020.

Celebrations to welcome 2021 were muted around the world:

In Scotland, a drone was used to help the celebrations–New Year is usually a major festivity, there.

In Jamaica, Christmas and New Year have been marked by almost no major public celebrations, though I heard fireworks last night. Curfews were tightened for Christmas Day/Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (to 7pm-5am, not 10pm-5pm). The government extending its ban on travel from the UK till end-January; though Jamaicans who’ve been in the UK, recently, and travel to Jamaica via another country will be tested on arrival and quarantined in State facilities, pending results, and if negative, will be allowed to leave and the complete the subsequent 14-day quarantine.

Welcome, 2021! 🙂