Fewer updates

Fewer because the NICD is stopping its daily Covid reporting, and moving to a weekly report instead:

And with that, Ridhwan Suliman’s daily reporting of the NICD’s daily reporting also comes to an end. Well done on a sterling effort throughout the last two (plus) years.

Why these things? Well, because Covid isn’t a big thing in SA at the moment. It has been a big thing in 5 very separate waves:

But it’s not anymore/at the moment.

There are some thick people out there asking where the next wave is now that the mask mandate has been removed in SA, but the fact is that the mandate was removed because there was virtually no Covid around. And while I don’t think there’s any question that we are in a low Covid moment right now, it’s worth noting that there’s likely still a great deal of under-reporting, given that the public don’t have access to Covid tests, and have to pay a few hundred Rands to get one.

No-one has any money and there’s very limited value in doing a test when you aren’t going to act on the results. If you are sick, you’re going to stay in bed anyway. If you aren’t sick, why are you getting tested (aside from the tiny, tiny number who require it for travel)? To spend hundreds on a test, when the result doesn’t matter… well, it’s no wonder that the case numbers are so low.

What next? Who knows… If this virus is going to become seasonal like we’re all being told, then I’d like to know when, exactly. At the moment, it’s still circulating, mutating, and working according to viral timeframes, rather than seasonal ones. And “we” are seemingly happy for that to happen, while it knocks off a 9/11 number each and every week in the USA with virtually no news coverage. Have “we” decided that that’s an ok situation? Are “we” content with that?

I’m not, because there is clearly more to this virus than just that week/fortnight long acute nastiness. We’re learning about more and more complications and long-term effects of Covid every day, and we don’t have anything in place to handle them or mitigate for them.

That’s not good.
And very possibly not sustainable, either.

Out and about

Morning all.

You join me at one of the local Traffic Departments, because my driving licence needs renewing. This process is slow, laborious, irritating and archaic, but it does make the government plenty of money, given that everyone has to do it every five years. Nice.

So it’s not going away any time soon.

It’s a filthy Cape Town morning: grey, wet, blustery and dark, and no-one wants to be here. The clients, the staff, the security – no-one. And thus, it is a picture of misery which surrounds me.

I wanted to postpone my visit and come next week, but the inclement weather and the fact that it’s Friday and I’m in a predominantly Muslim area tempted me into heading out today to avoid the queues.

I have no idea if it worked, because I don’t have a control day for comparison, but I’m in 11th place, having arrived a half hour before the place opened, and I’m waiting outside, but UNDER COVER, as the rain batters down on those beyond 15th.
Sorry for you. Maybe arrive earlier next time: don’t you know that the system is hopelessly dysfunctional and overloaded?

Tomorrow’s post may be on a completely different subject, or I may still be here, depending on how things go, given that the place was supposed to open 10 minutes ago now, but… hasn’t.

Pray for me.

Sunburn

We’re back to normal summer temperatures, with even a bit of rain tomorrow, back in Blighty. That’s more like the summers of my youth. And so I fear that this warning might be too late for many of my British readers.

But still… stay out of the sun, because, you know, it’s dangerous. Not because it’s the sun, but rather because it’s… er… not the sun:

It is – as you will already have read – not the sun that we knew as children.

(presumably, that’s this one?)

And that would surely strike fear into anyone were they to see its giggling face, 1,392 million kilometres across, looking down upon them. So this new sun (which isn’t actually the sun) must be doubly terrifying.

And that terror is down to it actually being an “LED prism”, “emitting a blue/white light”. And why would it be doing that? Well, to “excerbate [sic] graphene growth”, obviously.

Thankfully, I’m here to drop a few truth bombs so you don’t have to worry to much about that message above. The facts you require are:

1. Prisms don’t emit light.
2. The sun is the sun.
3. Graphene growth is unaffected by light.
4. “Excerbates” isn’t a word, and
5. TETC is clearly a nutter.

In fact the only sane part of the message is that last part:

Please PLEASE understand quickly where the REAL dangers are coming from and avoid those things.

Yes, like these sort of messages from people like TETC.

Back to it (and it’s hot back home)

After a couple of really awful days, today has been… less awful. I still have no voice, and am subject to painful coughing fits, but things are slowly improving. I have more hope for tomorrow.

Back in the UK, all the news (apart from all the other news) has been about the record-breaking temperatures. It looked like Sheffield – SHEFFIELD! – might even get up towards 40C today. That’s quite literally unheard of. Clearly, something is up. And yet, the climate change deniers (you may recognise them from being anti-vax/pro-Trump/pro-Russian invasion of Ukraine on any given day of any week) have stuck their oar in again with the old:

Lol. So this is “climate change”, is it?
We used to call it “summer”.

Oh yes. I remember the summers of my youth in Sheffield, where it regularly got up to 40C and the trams had to stop running because the overhead lines were being damaged by the heat. That happened every summer. And you couldn’t escape it, because – just like Brize Norton and Luton yesterday – the runways at the airports had all melted. That’s a typical UK summer, alright! Just what we’re known for. When someone says “English summer”, it’s always melty runways and over-stretched power lines that spring immediately to mind, amirite?

Even Ireland joined the party, recording it’s hottest day in over 100 years yesterday, and then it’s hottest day in 24 hours, today.

Temperature records have been kept in Sheffield since 1882, and while a couple of hot days as a standalone can’t be used as evidence that things are heating up generally, it’s interesting to note that the record temperature has been broken today (39.4C still TBC), yesterday (36.1C) and then in 2019 (35.1C). Before that day (25th July) in 2019, the previous highest temperature was 34.3C (1990).

Now, I recognise that these records can obviously only go up, but it’s more the speed at which they are going up which is the interesting/scary part.

Here’s a graph from 2019 which shows the gradual increase in mean temperatures in Sheffield:

…together with the maximum and minimums for each year. And those are all trending upwards.
We’ve now just seen that maximum increase by more than 5 degrees in less than 3 years. I’ve added today’s new record in as a red dot, so you can see just how much of an increase it really is. Incredible.

The climate deniers – being experts, like they are in Eurasian geopolitics (last month), vaccine development (last year) and supporting the fat orange man (since 2016) – will tell you that these things aren’t significant, but there’s actually only so many times you can dismiss these increasingly occurring events as “not significant”, before you have to come to see that in sheer numbers alone, they actually are very significant.

But this is just another wake-up call to ignore.

A note: I still don’t think that the media helps the understanding and gravitas of the situation by publishing “scare stories” and hyperbole about climate change. It belittles the situation and provides plenty of ammunition to those who want us to ignore what’s going on. So please stop doing that. [laughs]

Still here

Still here watching the Dodgeball, and while the U21s haven’t got their first win yet, they are getting better with every game. There are clear signs that there is a lot of promise for the future for this young, inexperienced team.

It’s good stuff, and I’m so happy that my boy is part of it.

Off court, there are a lot of smiles and camaraderie between the nations, and the junior and U21 games have been played in great spirit.

Sadly, the same can’t be said of the senior games. There’s been a lot of chat about respect and good sportsmanship after some seriously heated moments yesterday.

Really nasty.

The differing attitudes to coaching are interesting to watch. Of course, everyone’s in it to win it, but the SA guys are also there to play fair. There are smiles, encouragement, support. The Egyptian players and coaches are the same until they don’t like something, then – without exception – it’s full on Jeykell and Hyde stuff. Kloppesque whine mode engaged: at the refs, the players, sometimes the fans, often some deity or other. It’s regularly been genuinely unpleasant.

Nah then, Mardybum.

And disappointingly, you can see it running off on some of the younger players already. A hint of arrogance, a bit of sarcasm, disputing decisions, chirping at the ref.

But then, what do you expect?

There’s a lot more to playing sport than winning. If there wasn’t, no-one would bother doing it. But there are so many life lessons you can learn from this sort of thing and it’s just really sad to see which ones seem to be getting through.