The start of a week’s annual leave on Friday evening coincides with finishing three time-consuming but rewarding back-to-back projects. I’m a bit worn out. I get despondent at what I’m seeing on the news. Normally, I would be demob happy and I’d have a bottle of vino and a pizza but I’m dazed and have no desire to drink. I have a vegan pasta tea instead. The enormity of what’s coming dawns and I’m scared. It gets me down.
I’ve been watching things closely – peering between the cracks as well as watching the mainstream news. The most chilling of all, are the first-hand accounts from intensive care doctors in Italy. They are giving impartial matter-of-fact descriptions of what is actually happening and it is truly apocalyptic. Healthcare-wise, Italy is at least as well-equipped and advanced as the UK.
Four days on, and it seems highly likely that we will have a similar situation here, with the associated economic collapse. The curves are readily available. We are 13.5 days behind Italy and the projection is identical. It will affect us all. Europe and the rest of the world will have their own food shortages and will have no interest in exporting to the UK. The NHS isn’t coping with its existing demands, so the added strain of coronavirus will have a knock-on affect on the rest of healthcare. People have been panic buying for weeks – now it’s on the news, it will just increase. Supermarkets are rationing and there will be fewer top-ups to the food chain.
The house of cards that is the stock exchange and banking system is collapsing – reducing interest rates is irrelevant. Wartime-like conditions look like being around the corner and people just don’t see it. We have a moron denial buffoon in charge (despite being in contact with a +ve case!) and an even bigger idiot in charge in America. I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong. I want to be denounced as a paranoid idiot. I’m not a doom and gloomer. It’s nothing to do with panicking – I’m just observing the facts under our noses. The GMC’s Duties of a doctor are all geared towards protecting patients, and they deserve to know the truth.
The evidence so far shows that early draconian measures give the best chance of slowing the spread of the disease, meaning that use of resources can be spread more effectively over a slightly longer time-frame. China built brand new hospitals from scratch in days. The pinnacle of the UK’s ineptitude in preparing was the appearance of moron-prick Farage on Newsnight giving his worthless irrelevant opinion on the subject, plus moron-prick Johnson suggesting that we ‘take it on the chin’ implying that we let the virus spread unchecked (congratulations mate, it’s about to strafe your government). How serendipitous that I have a week off – I’m trying to plan things and I’m a bit dazed.
As junior doctors, on our weeks of nights, it simply wasn’t conceivable for us to take more responsibility – we were at full stretch – it’s just what we did. There were no consultants and the registrars went to bed. If the contempt felt for the ex health secretary by ‘junior’ doctors was a gas, he would asphyxiate. Not a single one of them has forgotten how he treated them and now he’s suggested that they and medical students take more responsibility. Cunt.
It’s hard to enjoy stuff with all this happening – I have 8 gigs booked but public events look like like they might go out of the window if there’s a lock down – I’m not giving up yet. We can always record an album if things go tits up.
The ranch, more than ever before becomes a physical and psychological haven. I’ve always believed that transcending capitalism at grass-roots level is the way forward and now it’s come true. Full absorption in the farmlet is soothing. I’m gearing up to try and sort more infrastructure. I have to be realistic and plan for it being a pragmatic place for quarantine.
The third 1000 litre tank is now in place on its newly finished concrete plinth, under the unfinished greenhouse, complete with guttering and an extra upright support for the roof. My initial doubts about the whole design have disappeared. The raised top storey gets uninterrupted light all day and the lower storey can be heated (via chickens and compost if need be). Having somewhere above 10 degrees to germinate seeds is crucial from mid-Feb in order to get a good early start. I’ve already missed out on that one.
I’ve been carefully studying plant-based diet for a long time, but chickens, and their important contribution to organic farming are now a no-brainer. Eggs are a good protein source, and the chickens fertilise the ground. I’m planning to build a chicken tractor and buy an electric fence to surround it. The whole thing will be moved round, fertilising different bits of ground.
Now that all the beds are mulched and ready for planting, I need to make more for food growing and the first candidate is the big native wild flower bed in the main allotment – I’ll move the plants out into the field and plant it all with beans.
I want to make a new bed in the field and in order to do so, I’ll have to hitch up the tipping trailer to the tractor and get round to Jimmy’s to get some of his horse muck mountain. I’ll have to concrete over the mud bath at the bottom of the beds in the field because that’s the main route out of the field for the tractor.
I bought a road trailer from Jimmy a couple of years ago for £120 – it needs a bit of work on the brakes – once that’s fixed up, I can start buying sand and cement in tonne bags instead of small bags. Regular seed planting continues including a full row of peas in the field, protected with fleece.
I’ve had my van for over 10 years. It’s a 1965 VW split-screen. The notion was to have a lifelong vehicle that I could repair myself. I’ve painstakingly replaced all the running gear and now it will keep up with modern traffic no problem. It’s stonkingly versatile – it will negotiate the track to the ranch and carry all kinds of timber and building materials and you can live in it if need be. I gave up on it over a year ago and it’s just been sitting there. Now it becomes more pragmatic to repair and maintain it than to sell it. Once again, doubt in certain things that I’ve believed in for a long time has disappeared.
Ditto with the 1954 Ferguson TEF20 tractor. It will do everything that I need and the quality of its design and engineering is superlative.
I’ve been up there all day. It’s been raining heavily again. It’s a bit bleak and lonely tbh.