Red alert, day 21. Lockdown, day eleven. As of yesterday, Suffolk has 157 confirmed cases and Tower Hamlets has 259 confirmed cases. The UK has 33,718 confirmed cases, and as of yesterday 2921 patients have died. Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the New Orleans jazz family, has died, and the city cannot hold a traditional jazz funeral procession for him.
The government still has no credible plan. Johnston Media (JPM) has furloughed 350 staff on its newspapers.
National Express will stop running coaches at the end of the week. This fills me with despair. I would like to go down once or twice more and clean out my office before the handover. I also need to download my paystubs for tax returns from the only-on-site HR system. It would be foolhardy though. I will just have to ask HR to send me the paystubs. US transit systems are running at 31% of capacity.
I stepped out to the smaller supermarket. There was milk, there was toilet paper, there was canned vegetables, there were even some packets of pasta. (I needed only the milk but also got a few cans.) People are starting to talk about how frightening it is to leave the house and go shopping.
This week’s entries are only being posted on Friday as I was in a lockdown within the lockdown to finish reading, marking, logging and returning 130,000 words of first-year student work submitted in March. This is why I haven’t replied to your e-mail, participated in your survey, watched your Zoom broadcast, checked into your writing group.
Z first-read half of the papers and did a first cut of grids and grades, which helped enormously, but I still commented extensively as usual. Now bracing for the next batch, between Zoom lectures. Contract ends in a week. Welcome to UK higher education 2020.