Pondering Covid-19 at MMXX-03-18

Hello, my dear Blogophiles!

I have decided to share my thoughts on the Covid-19 situation. I should perhaps add that these thoughts will be highly subjective, coming from the bowels of my slightly dodgy cortex! My family have requested to be left out of the picture.  You may therefore consider them airbrushed (as if with the image editing software one might use on a photograph or video representation, in order to make them vanish).

In terms of my demographics, I am a white male living in England and I am 75 years old. I am, generally speaking, healthy. Indeed I take no medication whatsoever on a daily basis. However, my age defines me as belonging to the At Risk category for purposes of this Covid-19 chat.

Probability of Death

Let me start by talking about death. The annual UK Caucasian death risk, throughout the age range, is greater for a man than for a woman. When I was around 30 my risk would have been about 1 in 1200; had I been a woman it would have been around 1 in 2500. I have now joined the 75 – 85 bracket and my risk is 1 in 15; were I a woman it would be in the region of  1 in 20.

Of course, we all die some time and the risk that each and every one of us will die at some point in the future is 1 in 1 (certainty). Looking back to when I was 30 I took various steps to improve my longevity. I quit cigarette/pipe smoking and I took up regular thrice-weekly jogging (to an easy-going half-marathon distance) in order to push the likely end-date further into the future. I also swam regularly, although never more than  20 lengths in any one session. I did not want to become one of those obsessive mile-a-day thrashers.

I had it in the back of my mind that my father had died when he was 40-ish. I was part of the post-W.W.2 baby boom and he died when I was a baby. So, I grew up thinking I should probably die in my 40s, irrational as this might seem. Even though I never knew my father, his death had a huge impact on my life, since I was shipped off to a rather severe boarding school from the age of 8 (to 18); it was a charitable orphanage, run along the lines of a minor public school.

The current pandemic has re-kindled many thoughts about the flames of death in my head as I am sure it must be doing for other folk at this time, too. I need to put this in perspective. Given that there is a 1 in 15 chance that I shall die of natural causes next week, anyway, I’m not sure that Covid-19 is going to shorten these odds by much for me, at least if I behave prudently and more or less follow the prevailing health guidelines. So you may be forgiven for thinking that I should resolve to stop obsessing about it!

Worst Case Scenario

This morning, as a cognitive exercise, I sat with pencil and doodled out a list-wise sketch of what things might look like if the worst were to happen. I tried  to imagine the scope of the disaster on a scale that might be bracketed in terms of its magnitude with nuclear war, or unlimited climate change. Here goes…

Let us assume that the virus incapacitates the basic foundations of society. Admittedly, this might require the virus to show sufficient aggression to re-infect cured individuals in devastating ways but, hey, I am thinking worst case here.

  • Transport will be reduced to an irregular, unpredictable, sporadic flow.
  • Energy (electricity, gas, motor fuel) supplies will slow to a dribble.
  • Water will cease to come through the taps; if it does it will be impure.
  • Sewage will back up and, due to lack of water, will not be flushed away.
  • Government departments and local city councils will become depopulated and will no longer function effectively.
  • Communications will gradually die out: Internet, TV, Radio, Smartphone, Telephone. How many people, setting aside the Canadian Mounties, know semaphore?
  • Food supplies will dry up.
  • The Police and the Armed Forces will be decimated.
  • Crematoriums and funeral directors will no longer be in operation.
  • Corpses will be left to rot where they expire.
  • Angry and desperate mobs will roam the streets aggressively seeking food and water.
  • Society will gradually rescind into anarchic chaos.

So, what am I to do?

  • Keep half an eye on the currently evolving situation
  • Fix what is fixable on a daily or weekly basis but don’t fret what is out of my control
  • Make prudent plans, as necessary but don’t overthink it all (which, of course, is probably what I am doing right now!)
  • Go forward on the assumption that I shall probably die, anyway, BEFORE the worst case scenario (see above) arrives. Hopefully this will be of natural causes. If I die from Corvid-19, unattended on a trolley in a hospital corridor, then so be it. There is a very strong element of Que sera, sera in this situation.

 

Out of the Ashes of Despair Arise Small Flickers of Joy.

  • I am content to eat a reduced, plain diet of basic food rations. No problem.
  • In Voluntary (or Compulsory) Self-Isolation, I shall have a lot of time to do stuff.
  • Assuming most facilities still operate a roughly OK service (electricity, Internet, phone etc) I can put some time into:

Music

  • Piano & guitar practice (N.B. a concept of future is implied in the notion of practice)
  • Composition of original songs
  • Streaming my music shows to Second Life virtual community on the Internet

 

Art

  • Continuing with my pencil sketches
  • Getting back into pen & India ink work
  • Returning to watercolour painting

 

My Website

Updating and expanding the www.lewismusic.co.uk site

Reading

Self-Isolation precludes using the local libraries. However, I have many books on my shelves at home (light novels and more serious tomes) that I can read/re-read. More than enough to keep me happy

Writing

I am in the process of writing a novel called ‘The Alien Biographer’. This book has been in hiatus for a month or so. I think I should be able to bring it back on stream. Interestingly, it is a fictional biography of someone who shares my cohort exactly!

Gardening

I am fortunate to have a small garden and there is no reason why I should not work on that in the coming months. Self-Isolation may prevent me from going to the local garden centre, but I may be able to order plants to be delivered (I have done this Pre-Corvid-19 ~ would that be Pre-Corvid-XIX ?). Planting for next season is inherently optimistic!

In Conclusion 

I thought I would like to share my current musings on the dreadful situation in which we find ourselves. If you wish to comment on this post, could you entitle your comment in a meaningful way, such that I can separate it from the SPAM that tends to clog up blogs of this nature. Finally, may I wish you and yours the best of luck in all this.

Goodbye for now,

John (a.k.a. Fyrm Fouroux)

 

 

 

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