still powering down

Red alert, day 13. There are 28 confirmed cases in Suffolk, 70 in Tower Hamlets as of 24 March. There are 24 confirmed cases in the Grampian region of Scotland. One is Charles PAG Mountbatten-Windsor, 71, on public support but also has entrepreneurial food businesses, isolating at home.

There are 9,529 confirmed cases in the UK tonight. 463 people have died. Fewer than 100,000 people have been tested.

I think we might be done with daily briefings in the UK for the time being, at least from the PM. Things are still shutting down one at a time. Construction sites may be next. The lockdown will be enforced, as in with force. Other countries already apply criminal punishments. The US response remains uncoordinated. There are hot spots in New York and Louisiana, for two.

All UK jury trials are closed down and doing any actions by teleconference. Lead story in the Ipswich Star today was a man who broke into Boots and, oddly, stole perfume (did he think it was hand sanitizer?). He was sentenced to a spell in prison by magistrates court a few days later. Sends a message about public order as we regress to early modern standards.

Johnson Press is shutting down free weeklies leaving more communities without a paper. The EAT healthy fast food chain, now owned by Pret, won’t reopen. Off licenses (liquor stores) can remain open as essential businesses. Priorities.

New Zealand WorldCon will be virtual. Wiscon will be virtual. The REF is postponed.

The New York Times says shelters are running out of dogs to adopt.

Half a million people have applied to help the NHS in nine days, as volunteers I think. Fruit picking and supermarkets are hiring.

There is rising anger over the shredding of the social safety net, the callous “herd immunity” plan, and the reluctance of some to comply with lockdown. A meme went round about someone who tells a genie never mind about people they don’t know, they just need to get to work and the genie says, “OK, but I have granted that wish to a thousand other people and they don’t know you.” The Rawlsian hot takes in the little magazines are no doubt on their way.

I marked some more and now have to prepare tomorrow’s lecture.

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Posted on by Diana ben-Aaron
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