Day 408 – That Turkey travel ban

Wel, not so much a travel “ban” as it being placed on the UK’s red list, along with a the Maldives and Nepal. I have a bit of a personal interest in the decision, so I was looking for answers as to why Turkey might have been added to the list, the effect of which is that travellers from there will have to isolate at a hotel in the UK for 10 days at their own cost.

To the untrained eye, it might just seem that their open borders and large spike in cases might be the reason, but that’s just to the untrained eye, so I went searching for a trained eye, on which might be able to give some better insight.

It didn’t take me long to find Nico00503.

Despite what it says there, a quick look shows us that Nico00503 has actually been shouting into the void on twitter for a few months now, but no-one is listening, because that’s what voids do best. Or don’t do worst, at least.
Well, it’s time to change all that, because he has incisive comment to offer on everything. And that includes that Turkey red-list decision announced yesterday. And the untrained eyes were all wrong: it’s all about the [checks notes] UEFA Champions League Final. Man City v Chelsea, right? Right.

Of course it is.

Of course UK WANT CHAM LEAGUE FINAL PLAY IN UK. It makes complete sense. Think of all the money they’ll make with all the fans not allowed to attend. And all that extra cash from airport taxes by preventing fans travelling to Istanbul (“UK GOV ALSO DONE PRESSURE ASKING OWN CITIZEN DONT GO ISTANBUL”) to not attend the game they aren’t allowed to attend. And if you think differently, then just remember IT IS BIG LIE. PRESSURE NOT FOR COZ CORONA. Yeah. Infamously, British teams have a terrible record in CHAM LEAGUE FINAL PLAY IN Istanbul.

Although, late last year (when there were ten time fewer cases each day in Turkey), Nico00503 had other ideas:

It takes a big man to look at a different situation and be willing to publicly change his mind on the big issues. And no-one wants CORONA KEEP GROWN UP COUNTRY. And clearly, the only plan to prevent CORONA KEEP GROWN UP COUNTRY is NO ENTRY ISTANBUL AND NO OUT FROM ISTANBUL,COMPLETELY NEED IT LOCKDOWN IN ISTANBUL.

Well, then, at least. Not now. Now it’s all about MAKING PRESSURE TO UEFA.

Amazed by the clarity of Nico00503’s argument on this, I went looking on his timeline for answers to questions I didn’t even know I needed to ask. And there were plenty to be had. Like how to make money in the UK.

Wow. Such straightforward stuff when you think about it. IN UK DOG ARE HOLY DOG. So yes, IF I SALE 2 OR 3 DOGS EWERY WEEK, there’s quite literally millions to be made. Could there be a South African spin-off? MAYBE I START DOING DOG BUSINESSS.

Medical note: If you start doing dog business, maybe consult your GP.

Nico00503 also has advice for the new mayors in the UK:

Wow. That’s bad news for JUNKEYS,CRIMINAL SHIT PEOPLE ARUND THE MANY CITY. These live televised executions might seem a little harsh at first glance (and probably for quite some time thereafter as well, to be honest) but we all need to remember that THEY ARE NOT SWEETHEART.

And then some vital information as to the origins of Coronavirus. Scientists have been trying to pinpoint this for a while now. They should have just talked to Nico00503.

And again, that thing about DOGGY BUSINES. And why? JUST COZ ABOUT MONEY,TAKE CONTROL,TO OWN SOMETHINK.

Exactly, Nico00503. SOMETHINK, but most people never even apply their minds at all. I can see that we are both thinkers. Kindred spirits, if you will.
I thought that some sort of hugely successful vaccine programme might be the reason for decrease in Covid-19 cases in the UK. You think differently. Of course you do:

To be honest, I never even considered that UK GOV,JOHNSON DONE, HOCUS POKUS AGAINST THE CORONA. But it does appear to have had a magical effect. Or maybe that’s not what it was at all. Maybe the way forward was just to get around to ASKING CORONA MAKE PAUSE FOR THE SUMMER. Other nations should try this approach. Of course, given our precarious geographical position right at the bottom of the Southern hemisphere, our government would have to consider ASKING CORONA MAKE PAUSE FOR THE WINTER. If only we’d realised that ending the global pandemic was a simple as a quick magic trick and a gentle request to the virus’ better side.

Look, this might be my blog, but this is very much Nico00503’s blog post. Consequently, it would be wrong of me to leave you with my thoughts here. And how could I even compete with the mind-blowingly obvious, but so clearly understated, genius like this kind of thing? No. If there’s one thing you take away from today’s post and maybe even from 2021, let it be this thought from our erstwhile protagonist:

Have a great day.

Word.

Day 404, part 2 – Ugh, ANC Government

Because I was obviously just joking about part 1.

Comedian Dara O’Briain tweeted about the gradual relaxation of lockdown rules today. And it’s worth remembering that while the UK lockdown has been much stricter than our local version of late, there have still been some benefits to everyone not being out and about.

Indeed. But while the UK is slowly emerging (sacrifices made, communities strengthened, disease beaten back etc etc), the signs here are still not very positive. No pun intended, cos it’s all just dire.
It’s still another 2 weeks before the scheduled start of “Phase 2” of our vaccine rollout.
I say “Phase 2” in those sarcastic quotes, because “Phase 1” was for (some of) the healthcare workers here and so we have now vaccinated 0.5% of our population. With one dose. It’s really not great.

And while things should start to pick up in a fortnight or so, we’re still staring at these sort of ridiculous stats at the moment:

Ouch.

17 days short of a quarter of a century. 25 (twenty-five) years. Utterly depressing and wholly representative of the absolute state of the government here. Meanwhile, we’re still happily accepting flights from India with no restrictions (despite stuff like this and this). Compare our stance with other cricketing nations (which is obviously the goto metric for this sort of thing):

It’s almost like they’re trying to sabotage the country. Why aren’t we taking any precautions at all while India is recording a million new cases every three days (and we all know that that figure is massively under-represented)? We’re in a weird limbo period in South Africa at the moment, with experts puzzled and delighted in equal measure at the non-appearance of the much-forecast third wave. But while we should rightly be making hay while the sun shines, it seems pretty foolish to fling ourselves into the flailing blades of the combine harvester.

Much like the understated benefits of the lockdown (see Dara’s tweet above), the downside of the lack of Covid in SA (although there are currently over 21,00 active cases) is that people are getting really lackadaisical about the safety measures they need to take. Masks are being worn around chins and wrists more and more frequently (this approach doesn’t stop the spread of a respiratory virus) and you can walk into shops, pubs or restaurants without a hint of a temperature check, a spray of sanitiser or a record of your name and number.

It’s not good, but there are no repercussions because there is very little Covid around. However, when there is Covid around, this behaviour will really help to amplify it before we’ve even realised it’s returned.

*sigh*

That’s all for today. Day 405 tomorrow, which brings back memories of that horrid 1980s Peugeot car…

The Peugeot 405 is a large family car released by the French automaker Peugeot in July 1987, and which continues to be manufactured under licence outside France, having been discontinued in Europe in 1997. It was voted European Car of the Year for 1988 by the largest number of votes in the history of the contest.

Wow. Now we know.

Day 402 – I’m not a fan of bagpipes

I mean, who is?

Dreadful things.

I’m not wanting to seem xenophobic or anything, because as we all know, bagpipes are very much associated with one particular nation. The nation is fine. It’s the bagpipes I don’t like.

This guy has definitely got the right idea. And that this cartoon even exists proves that I’m not alone in my views on this horrific racket.

I’d pay him. Loads. Just like everyone else clearly has. Great minds…

Safety first.

Day 400 – Marking milestones

It’s 400 days since SA embarked on its Coronavirus lockdown. Back then, we weren’t even allowed out of our property.
Since that day, we’ve been through two fairly horrendous waves of Covid-19, several alcohol and smoking bans, beach restrictions, economic disaster, and a stuttering, non-starting vaccination programme. Currently, our R number – marking the progress and pace (or not) of viral infections in the country – is sitting at 1.03, meaning that we’re ever so very slightly on the wrong side of where we’d like to be, but equally, that things aren’t nearly as terrible as they have been or could be. And that R number is currently being fuelled by minor outbreaks in the Northern Cape and the Free State. Touch wood, with the major centres doing ok at the moment, we’re still not seeing any sign of the expected Third Wave. Long may it continue.

Which does make one wonder why there’s still a midnight to 4am curfew.
Not that I had any plans for that particular period.
Other than sleeping.
Which is allowed.

Another milestone today: our wedding anniversary. The day each year when I sit back and reflect upon just why Mrs 6000, very much of Champions League standard, is still happily existing in my Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League¬†Second Division company. I’ve no idea either, but I’m very happy that she still seems content with my muddy, clod-hopping, somewhat makeshift agricultural style. Not much skill, but a whole lot of effort. As the actress said to the Bishop.
We’re going out to celebrate at a very good restaurant this evening.
But we’ll be back before midnight, Cyril. I promise.

I have spent much of the day painting. Not in any artistic sense, more in the “I’m not old enough for this Antique Cream to seem anywhere near acceptable in my house” sense.
I’m obliterating it all with brilliant white. Or rather, I was, until I ran out of paint. Very frustrating.

Soundtrack to my endeavours was provided by The Streets. I went for their Spotify catalogue, which has loads of live stuff, remixes and collaborations. Really nice trip (no pun intended) down memory lane, and one which culminated in me singing Fit But You Know It to the somewhat bewildered beagle.

A proper highlight of a milestone day for all concerned.