Red alert, day 47. Lockdown, day 37. County figures were not updated today. The BBC checker still gives figures for April 27.

The UK has recorded 161,145 cases on 763,387 tests (+43,563 , some on the same people). A total of 21,678 (+586) deaths in hospital have been recorded. From the yo-yoing of the daily figures, it is clear we have no idea where we are in the curve. From the data on overall deaths reported with ONS figures, it is clear that we are still nowhere near complete figures.

US Vice President Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic without a face covering, NBC and CNN reported.

Maria Nikolajeva has the best piece so far on the sense of time. She acknowledges her privilege as already having retired modestly but comfortably in Sweden, and, based on her work in children’s literature, discusses the difference she found as between kairos – circular, liquid time – and chronos – secular, progressive time:

I feel leaving chronos behind is a relief. I still need to keep track of days to know when my groceries delivery is coming, and I need to know when the live-streamed concert starts, but apart from that days are determined by sunrise and sunset, meal time is when I am hungry and bedtime is when I am tired. In between there are so many exciting things to fill my days, and every day is Sunday, and it is always summer. Unlike childhood, there is nothing I must learn because it will be useful later in life. I can gather totally useless knowledge and acquire totally useless skills. I can “waste time” because I have unlimited supply of it. I have the peace of mind to feel joy about everything I do, everything I see, hear, touch, smell. I do not look back with nostalgia or regrets at my past. I do not look with hope into the future. I do not feel anxious about the future either. I am not longing for anything, least of all any return to my previous lifestyle. I enjoy being away from civilisation and close to nature. And of course remoteness and isolation are the very tokens of kairos.

Also very good is her essay on shortages in the Soviet Union.

Posted on by Diana ben-Aaron
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