28 March 2020

Coronavirus #5: It takes as long as it takes

5 days into what is currently a three-week "lockdown" and it feels like longer already. We've had over 28,000 deaths from this worldwide so far and that number is likely to increase yet further. As testing becomes more widely available, the number of confirmed cases will skyrocket, but that figure is going to become increasingly meaningless as time goes on.

Going out for daily exercise and shopping, there's still a reasonable number of people around, but they're of course keeping a distance and it's not like there is that many shops available. Most foodstuffs can now be acquired, but you have to be a bit less choosy than normal.

As to how long this lasts, your guess is as good as mine. We cannot operate on artificial timetables - any decisions have to be data-driven.

We're just going to have to be patient. At some point, this will be over and we can file it as a bad memory. For most of us at any rate.

21 March 2020

Coronavirus #4: We need a lockdown - and it probably still won't be enough

Judging by the number of people I saw out and about during a walk today where I got some food items as well, it's clear that the social distancing calls from the government are not getting through to many people. Especially in Havering.

To slow the spread of this disease and release the pressure on the NHS, we need to close more non-essential shops (estate agents, furniture stores, hardware stores), as well as forcibly break up mass outdoor gatherings.

Even then, that might not do it. We don't have the police capacity - we arguably never had - to enforce a nationwide lockdown. Many will happily run the risk of a fine and a jail sentence because "it's just the flu".

It's probably a matter of time before we get scenes like in Lombardy in London.

14 March 2020

Coronavirus #3

It's now very likely that we're going to have disruption from this for weeks, if not months. With bans on big events likely for at least March and probably April, it's probably not a very good time to be planning anything major because it will likely be closed or called off.

The question is ultimately how quickly we can develop an effective treatment that isn't reliant on the body fighting this off - not always possible, especially if you've got other conditions - or a vaccine. 'Herd immunity' through the bulk of the population getting the regular version of the disease is going to result in a lot of deaths and take a long time indeed.

I think we're going to be dealing with this for a good year or two and will to adjust our behaviour to adapt.

08 March 2020

Coronavirus #2: Northern Italy on lockdown

With the announcement of movement restrictions for large parts of Northern Italy and other prohibitions that will heavily restrict social life in the country for nearly a month, the impact of Covid-19 is having some real effects on this people. It appears that the quarantines imposed in Wuhan worked in slowing down the disease; which is buying us time to develop treatments and ultimately vaccines.

However, it's likely to be a pretty unpleasant next few months in any event; a lot of people are going to get this disease and a noticeable percentage of them will die of it. There are about 3,500 new cases a day and around a hundred deaths. We've not yet reached the peak and it might not be done this month.

Also, I suspect that No Time To Die will not be the only film put back because of all of this - however, with Black Widow not out until May, Marvel will likely hold off on a decision until April.

01 March 2020


With over 20 cases of Covid-19 in the UK and over 85,000 known cases worldwide with nearly 3,000 known deaths, we're dealing with a particularly nasty new disease. However, not one to panic about.

Sensible precautions seem to be the way to go; for example, washing your hands, being careful how you sneeze and knowing when you're badly unwell. For many people who don't get sick pay, going into work with a minor cold is something we have no choice but to do - but if things get more major, it's probably best to stay at home. Face masks are needed for health workers - don't buy one unless you genuinely need it. A lot of people will likely get very mild Covid-19 and recover without even knowing they have it.

The impact from this is far likely to be economic for those not directly affected due to global supply chain disruption and major event cancellations; remember that a lot of small businesses around a football stadium will lose out if a game is called off.

Hopefully this will be contained and run its course within the next couple of months.