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Corona quarantine diary
论题张贴者: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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No news is good news Jan 20

Not that we've had no news, though. It's just that none of the news is good news. Oh no, there is some good news. I forgot. The good news is that we've probably reached the peak on the third wave of Covid, and so things can only get better. Which is pretty crappy good news, but at least it's not bad news. Although I seem to remember they were saying much the same thing around May/June last year, and now look.

The big bad news, although we already knew it was coming, is that Bilbao i
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Not that we've had no news, though. It's just that none of the news is good news. Oh no, there is some good news. I forgot. The good news is that we've probably reached the peak on the third wave of Covid, and so things can only get better. Which is pretty crappy good news, but at least it's not bad news. Although I seem to remember they were saying much the same thing around May/June last year, and now look.

The big bad news, although we already knew it was coming, is that Bilbao is now in what they call a "red zone" of contagion, and that means more restrictions, probably meaning, among other measures, that the 10 pm curfew will be sliced back to 8 pm (sorry, I ought to have used the official euphemistic term "nocturnal movement restrictions", although these days the press and TV openly use "toque de queda" or curfew). Lately I've been going to the cinema at 7 pm instead of the usual 8 or 8.30, but it looks like it's matinée showings only for the duration. Social gatherings are likely to be reduced from 6 people to 4 as well.

Again, I forgot. There really is some other good news, which I was reminded of in the local rag, containing a free poster of the Athletic Bilbao football team, the recent winners of the Supercopa in the final against Barcelona. A "free poster"? Now, why would I or anyone else pay for a poster of the local football team that nobody asked for? And I didn't even know there was a Supercopa, I'm afraid, but there you are. The other day people returned to the balconies to scream and shout and whistle and toot to celebrate the monumental victory. So, chin up, Bilbao and everywhere else - at least we still have smug overpaid footballers to give us good news amid all the bad news. Plus the good news that's really bad news in disguise.



[Edited at 2021-01-20 07:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-20 07:17 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
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Cinema? Jan 20

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
Lately I've been going to the cinema at 7 pm instead of the usual 8 or 8.30, but it looks like it's matinée showings only for the duration.

You still get to sit in a room with other people in it? For a couple of hours straight?

I vaguely remember doing that a long time ago...

Actually I went to give blood yesterday in a sports hall with about 15 masked and gowned people milling around and I felt decidedly agoraphobic. I think my days of making monkey noises and scrapping on the terraces might be over.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Yes, the flicks Jan 20

Well, O'Leary's closes at 8, so we might as well get some culture in. And it'll probably be closing at 6 soon, if it opens at all.

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
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Nocturnal movement restrictions Jan 20

I'm relieved to hear that they aren't restricting when you can go to the bathroom or how many times you're allowed to turn in bed overnight, Mervyn.

One of my aunts died of a massive intracranial haemorrhage a couple of days ago, aged 89 (no condolences or anything like that, please; she was a nice person, but it was just her time to go, sad as it is). She didn't have Covid, so at least her death won't be abused in official statistics to show us how this disease is threatening to wi
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I'm relieved to hear that they aren't restricting when you can go to the bathroom or how many times you're allowed to turn in bed overnight, Mervyn.

One of my aunts died of a massive intracranial haemorrhage a couple of days ago, aged 89 (no condolences or anything like that, please; she was a nice person, but it was just her time to go, sad as it is). She didn't have Covid, so at least her death won't be abused in official statistics to show us how this disease is threatening to wipe us all out to such an extent that we need to destroy our economies, businesses, jobs and other livelihoods and keep people locked up in virtual prisons, making a significant part of the population feel depressed in despair and making much of Europe look like GDR V2.

I thankfully don't feel like that and my livelihood is not threatened, but I'm as fed up as many others with the endless scaremongering and exaggeration from the media and politicians, not to mention the doctored statistics, which include anyone who recently tested positive for Covid as a Covid death even if the cause of death has no relation to Covid whatsoever. A population that is frightened out of their wits is easier to control, of course, and our current incarnation of politicians in Europe are demonstrating way too many Gestapo tendencies for my liking. It’s not Covid that frightens me but the ease with which basic Constitutional freedoms are being cancelled and police used against their own populations, just like it was behind the Iron Curtain.

If it’s so dangerous, why have politicians in the EU and the EU itself made such a dog’s breakfast out of the vaccination programmes, neglecting to order enough vaccines, botching the initial roll-out and dragging vaccine approvals out in a typical EU celebration of red tape? The US, the UK and Israel are way ahead of the EU, where everything is always tied up in inept bureaucracy just for the sake of it.

Vaccination dashboard:
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

Covid is dangerous, of course, about six times as dangerous as the common flu, but the vast majority of the serious cases are amongst the very old, many of whom would have passed away soon anyway, and other risk groups.

PS: And what good did all the Covid hysteria do my aunt, who spent her last year and last Christmas isolated from her nearest and dearest?

[Edited at 2021-01-20 08:56 GMT]
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@Thomas Jan 20

Very insightful, Thomas. The powers-that-be haven't done us proud almost anywhere. Except, of course, North Korea, where the Glorious Leader strides on from victory to victory. I read in the Pyongyang Bugle that it's a shining example of non-Covid, and non-just about everything too. They know a thing or two about nocturnal movement restrictions over there. And diurnal, too.

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State of emergency or a prison-like state? Jan 20

Stricter lockdown rules were imposed here...
Sales at stores are banned, as are gatherings of any number of people in public areas.
More police will be deployed outside schools, which remain open, to prevent students forming groups.
Traveling between districts will be prohibited at weekends, while stores and supermarkets will have shorter opening/closing times.
During weekends we can't go out after 1 pm or move between districts.
Hospitals are to the limit of their
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Stricter lockdown rules were imposed here...
Sales at stores are banned, as are gatherings of any number of people in public areas.
More police will be deployed outside schools, which remain open, to prevent students forming groups.
Traveling between districts will be prohibited at weekends, while stores and supermarkets will have shorter opening/closing times.
During weekends we can't go out after 1 pm or move between districts.
Hospitals are to the limit of their capacity, and Lisbon is already sending patients to Porto and Algarve.
Yesterday, the country registered the highest number of deaths since March last year.
Yes, it really feels like to be in jail...
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Portugal Jan 20

You had that 1 pm curfew already, I remember, Sandra, but the new measures sound awful. Mind you, I'll probably be listing much the same thing in a couple of days from here.

Could this be the moment for us, the people, to rise up against a regime of oppression and injustice and take power? Storm the Winter Palace, that kind of thing. We don't have a Winter Palace here, but those are just details. Keeping the power for ourselves, of course. It's been done before, so why not do it all
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You had that 1 pm curfew already, I remember, Sandra, but the new measures sound awful. Mind you, I'll probably be listing much the same thing in a couple of days from here.

Could this be the moment for us, the people, to rise up against a regime of oppression and injustice and take power? Storm the Winter Palace, that kind of thing. We don't have a Winter Palace here, but those are just details. Keeping the power for ourselves, of course. It's been done before, so why not do it all over again.

Are you with me? Of course you are. Yes, yes, yes to a new regime, a fresh regime, an alternative regime, a regime of oppression and injustice. But a less oppressive and less injust regime of oppression and injustice. Maybe. We'll see how it goes. See how oppressive and injust it would need to be.
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Doctor, it's my vaccine Jan 22

Shameful news from Bilbao's Basurto and Santa Marina hospitals these days, where the people in charge, not on any high-priority list, were caught pinching vaccine doses for themselves and for others, including one man who had already retired from the healthcare service. They've all resigned now, though, so apparently things are fine again and that makes it all right (whaaat?).

Not the only case in the Realm, though - there have been quite a few instances of big cheeses swiping vial
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Shameful news from Bilbao's Basurto and Santa Marina hospitals these days, where the people in charge, not on any high-priority list, were caught pinching vaccine doses for themselves and for others, including one man who had already retired from the healthcare service. They've all resigned now, though, so apparently things are fine again and that makes it all right (whaaat?).

Not the only case in the Realm, though - there have been quite a few instances of big cheeses swiping vials and phials at hospitals and senior citizens' homes. It must be tempting. Especially if you're a doctor, and don't need any instructions to give yourself the jab properly, and can just do it yourself in the privacy of a broom cupboard at work, or your own toilet or something. Jabs, actually, in the Bilbao case at least. The blokes and blokesses (not sure ...?) in Bilbao had even managed to get as far as the mandatory second jab, starting in the first week of January.

Thankfully our attention is diverted from provincial sleaze by a round of hoorahs for Iñaki Urdangarín, ex-handball star, ex-Duke of Palma, ex-favourite royal son-in-law, and almost, almost ex-con. The lad has now completed approximately half of his 5-year sentence for misappropriation of public funds (which means stealing to you and me), and will only have to sleep in prison from here on in. He's even been given his own big key to open up if he arrives back a little late, and to slip out again in the mornings when he goes off to do his community work at a centre for disadvantaged persons.

OK, so that's a lie about the key, but I don't see why they need a key anyway for a prison with only one inmate who's not a pyschopath or flight risk. Iñaki can't flee anywhere. He can hardly flee to the Royal Palace in Madrid, where he's persona non grata now, he can't go back to his family in Basque capital Vitoria-Gasteiz down the road here, because, well, Vitoria is a pretty small place, and people would notice, and he certainly can't flee to his wife and kids in Geneva, where - amazingly - he was allowed to reside before sentence was finally passed in Spain in 2018.

Technically speaking, there are many more inmates in his prison (or is it "inmatesses" or "inmatettes" in a women's prison?), but Iñaki has a section all to himself, in one of five cells not currently being used, just him and his exercise bike. He isn't allowed to mix with the women, which is just as well, because he had a bit of a reputation that way too, when he was on the outside. Although he might not have found quite the same category of female for a quick knee-trembler in the showers after lights-out at Brieva prison.

[Edited at 2021-01-22 06:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-22 06:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-22 06:39 GMT]
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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
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My neighbours... Jan 22

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Could this be the moment for us, the people, to rise up against a regime of oppression and injustice and take power? Storm the Winter Palace, that kind of thing. We don't have a Winter Palace here, but those are just details. Keeping the power for ourselves, of course. It's been done before, so why not do it all over again.

Are you with me? Of course you are. Yes, yes, yes to a new regime, a fresh regime, an alternative regime, a regime of oppression and injustice. But a less oppressive and less injust regime of oppression and injustice. Maybe. We'll see how it goes. See how oppressive and injust it would need to be.


... just rang at the door and they are very pleased with your above post and they claimed, they didn't know with what kind of people I hang around with in the internet and they offered me full protection when it comes to the kind of revolution here in Kiel too as in Washington on the 6th of January, which, so they say, unfortunately, ended too early.


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@Matthias Jan 22

I'm overjoyed to hear this. Please thank your neighbours on my behalf, and also tell them that I'm about to move to Kiel ahead of the revolution, simply because I've heard so many wonderful stories about grants and benefits, German-national passports and state-funded social security contributions there.

Could you ask them if they can give me any useful pointers about a free flat for myself, my family, my brother, his wife, their three children, and a few in-laws? Obviously it would
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I'm overjoyed to hear this. Please thank your neighbours on my behalf, and also tell them that I'm about to move to Kiel ahead of the revolution, simply because I've heard so many wonderful stories about grants and benefits, German-national passports and state-funded social security contributions there.

Could you ask them if they can give me any useful pointers about a free flat for myself, my family, my brother, his wife, their three children, and a few in-laws? Obviously it would need to be rather large. Five hundred square metres ought to cover it. With a large garden, if possible. For the swings and trampoline, you know. Perhaps they could ring me on my mobile ...
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I've just checked with the future Kiel National Revolutionary Committee in spare ... Jan 22

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

I'm overjoyed to hear this. Please thank your neighbours on my behalf, and also tell them that I'm about to move to Kiel ahead of the revolution, simply because I've heard so many wonderful stories about grants and benefits, German-national passports and state-funded social security contributions there.

Could you ask them if they can give me any useful pointers about a free flat for myself, my family, my brother, his wife, their three children, and a few in-laws? Obviously it would need to be rather large. Five hundred square metres ought to cover it. With a large garden, if possible. For the swings and trampoline, you know. Perhaps they could ring me on my mobile ...


... and they told me no, because you are not blond and blue-eyed. Sorry, Mervyn.


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New words emergening? Jan 22

Sorry if it was already noted (I have not read the whole thread), but did you notice the new words that are coming into everyday language because of Corona? Here, in Germany, we have "system-relevant" professions and "FFP2-masks". What else? "Maskenpflicht" ("obligation to wear masks"), "Lockdown", "Homeoffice", and "Homeschooling" are already common words. What are the new words emerging in connection with Covid in your countries?

[Edited at 2021-01-23 06:42 GMT]


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Aber was sagst du? Jan 22

Really? Do you know, your neighbours are beginning to sound like out-and-out racists to me, Matthias. I think it's time you moved house.

Blond? Why, a simple hair dye will fix that. Blue eyes? Well, no, brown, actually, which might even match their shirts, but haven't they heard of tinted lenses, Gott im Himmel?

That's another thing, by the way - language would be no problem at all. They can put me down for Turkish, Arabic, Farsi, anything at all, and German too, of co
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Really? Do you know, your neighbours are beginning to sound like out-and-out racists to me, Matthias. I think it's time you moved house.

Blond? Why, a simple hair dye will fix that. Blue eyes? Well, no, brown, actually, which might even match their shirts, but haven't they heard of tinted lenses, Gott im Himmel?

That's another thing, by the way - language would be no problem at all. They can put me down for Turkish, Arabic, Farsi, anything at all, and German too, of course. And I'd be willing to do one of those culture exams - the history of the 1000-Year Reich and all that. Well, the abridged version, natürlich. I've heard there's a range of free courses available.

[Edited at 2021-01-22 11:46 GMT]
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The language of Covid Jan 22

Oksana Weiss wrote:

Sorry if it was already noted (I have not read the whole thread), but did you notice the new words that are coming into everyday language because of Corona? Here, in Germany, we have "system-relevant" professions and "FFP2-masks". What else? "Maskepnfplicht" ("obligation to wear masks"), "Lockdown", "Homeoffice", and "Homeschooling" are already common words. What are the new words emerging in connection with Covid in your countries?


There are probably dozens of doctoral theses already being planned on the language of Covid and variations from country to country.

While Germany has "systemrelevante Berufe", we have "key workers".

"Homeschooling", well, yes that American abomination is coming in here too even though it's supposed to be called "home educating".

"Maskenpflicht" - we don't have a word for that. But we have invented "face coverings" to make masks feel more cuddly.

We haven't had any curfews or other nocturnal movement restrictions. But we do have "essential journeys" which seem to include driving to the nearest beauty spot to walk the dog.

"Lockdown" has to be the biggie though. Although the term is used quite loosely these days. In England, people can still go to garden centres. In January. Wtf?


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Garden centres in January Jan 22

Chris S wrote:

In England, people can still go to garden centres. In January. Wtf?


All sorts of work to be done in the garden in January (pruning, sowing, seed buying, etc.)! And they sell bird and pet food very often too, so they need to be open!


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