In An Instant: Smiling Coco

The UK took a big step on Saturday. Most businesses were allowed to open up again, albeit with strict social distancing measures. Pubs reopening was undoubtedly a big thing for many people, although I’m sure half the people there were tabloid reporters waiting to take photos of the anticipated carnage. Whilst there were issues, it does seem like most people behaved sensibly and followed the rules. For myself, I’m not eager to rush back. I’m watching to see if infections rise again in the coming weeks. Besides, since lockdown, I’ve discovered you can drink at home ’til you fall over, for a fraction of the cost and without waking up next morning with a half-eaten kebab on your pillow. Why didn’t someone tell me this years ago?

Popping out for a sandwich today, I was surprised to find myself quite emotional at the sight of people in the cafes again. But for me, as the restrictions slowly loosen, the big thing is that I get to spend a lot more time with the dogs again. And Jane, of course. And I’m not just saying that because she sometimes reads this. Really.

Coco The Spaniel / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Black & White Film

polaroid spaniel

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Charles James Fox

This is Charles James Fox ( 1749 to 1806), former resident of Chertsey and the first ever British Foreign Secretary. Just like our current Prime Minister who also once held that office, he was an Old Etonian with a reputation for laziness, womanising, and ridiculous hair. Fox, however, was a passionate campaigner for abolishing the slave trade, whereas Boris Johnson’s time in the role is infamous for his incompetent scuppering of plans to get British Citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from an Iranian jail.

Charles James Fox sculpture, Chertsey / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Color Film

Charles James Fox


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • Restaurants and churches reopen in Italy
  • Loss of taste / smell added to official list of Covid-19 symptoms
  • Donald Trump wins this week’s WTF Award (again) by saying he’s taking Hydroxychloroquine (‘at best ineffective, at worst deadly’) to own the Libs
  • Number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the UK surged in April by about 856,000
  • Huge row ensues over Government plan to reopen schools on 01 June for some pupils
  • Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs
  • Global death toll accelerating
  • NHS chiefs warn ‘time is running out’ to launch track-and-trace system to avoid a second deadly wave
  • Major study shows less than half of 19 to 30 year-olds ‘strictly’ abiding by Britain’s lockdown rules
  • 25% of Americans have little or no interest in taking a coronavirus vaccine, according to Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 36% less willing to take vaccine if Donald Trump said it was safe
  • All people arriving in UK from 8 June must quarantine for 14 days
  • Tests now available to anyone with symptoms
  • South Korean football team fined for placing sex dolls in its stands to add atmosphere during closed match.
  • Chief Government advisor and architect of UK lockdown policy Dominic Cummings under fire for breaking lockdown policy whilst having Covid-19 symptoms *sigh*
  • Poll shows more Brits would prefer pubs to reopen rather than schools


Worldwide cases: 5,407,378 (previous week 4,722,233)
Worldwide deaths: 344,019(previous week 313,266 )
UK cases: 257,154 (previous week 240,161)
UK deaths: 36,675 (previous week 34,466)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Botleys Mansion

This week the Government urged those unable to work from home to go back to work. Meanwhile, the rest of us can continue to ping off a few emails in the morning, have the occasional video call in our underpants, and spend the afternoon watching Netflix. Or is that just me? Anyway, during this difficult period our Prime minister has certainly lived up to his reputation. Unfortunately, that reputation is for laziness, incompetence, and pathological dishonesty. Yes, as Britain stands on the edge of a precipice, nobody is better equipped than Boris Johnson to take us forward.

From this week, we’re also no longer officially restricted to exercising once a day. To be honest, I’ve been doing more than that anyway. The streets have been practically empty, and when I do come across someone we smile and politely do the now-familiar social distance dance. Exercise is one of the things keeping me sane, although part of me thinks that the only rational thing to do in these circumstances is to go mad.

Some non-essential shops are now allowed to open, provided they take the proper precautions. The Subway near me has a sign saying four people only, but every time I walk by they seem unable to even muster that many victims customers. It almost as if people think a chipotle ‘chicken’ foot-long sub is not worth risking death for. Who’d have thought?

When Bertie was here we took our walks down by the Thames, and through the meadows and woods. Now he’s gone I’m back to walking along the pavement and through the parks. My morning walk now takes me through Homewood Park and past Botelys Mansion. Botleys is a Palladian house built in the 1760s. It’s changed hands many times during its lifetime, but for much of the 20th Century it was variously a war hospital, a psychiatric hospital, and a nurses’ home. These days it’s owned by a private company that hires it out for weddings.

Botleys Mansion, Chertsey / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Color Film

Botleys Mansion


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • In a devastating blow to the virus, the Government changes its slogan from ‘Stay Home’ to ‘Stay Alert’
  • PM announces three-step approach to ease country back to normality, but forgets to include his resignation
  • Some non-essential shops allowed to re-open, provided they take necessary precautions
  • Avianca, the world’s second-oldest airline, folds
  • Furlough scheme to continue until October
  • Football restarts behind closed doors in the German Bundesliga
  • Goverment recommends homemade face coverings in enclosed places
  • People who can’t work from home should go back to work, provided they can social distance
  • Trump declares victory over “invisible enemy” as US deaths surpass 80,000
  • Covid-19 breaches supposedly one of the most secure facilities in the world: The White House
  • Public Health England approves use of ‘100% accurate’ antibody test
  • Large areas of London are to be closed to vans and cars, allowing people to walk and cycle safely and thus avoid public transport
  • UK trial begins to see if dogs can ‘sniff out’ virus
  • Anti-lockdown protests take place in Hyde Park and Britain takes back the Covidiot Crown. Donald Trump demands a recount


Worldwide cases: 4,722,233 (previous week 3,484,558)
Worldwide deaths: 313,266 (previous week 244,786)
UK cases: 240,161 (previous week 182,260)
UK deaths: 34,466 (previous week 28,131)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Yashica Electro 35 CC

You know you’re at the chewing your own arm off stage of the Apocalypse when you have to resort to taking pictures of your own cameras.

This is the Yashica Electro 35CC, smaller sibling (and all the better for it) of Yaschica’s Electro series of 60/70’s rangefinders. Aperture priority auto-exposure, 35mm focal length, f/2.8 lens. Nice.

Yashica Electro 35 CC / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Black & White Film

Yashica 35 CC polaroid


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • ‘UK likely to be the worst affected country in Europe’ – Government advisor
  • PM Boris Johnson leaves hospital & releases video praising immigrant NHS nurses who saved his life. The same ones who now wouldn’t meet the criteria under the Government’s new immigration policy
  • Queen gives Easter message of hope
  • Malaysian scientists create robot on wheels to make hospital rounds to check on coronavirus patients
  • Italy records lowest number of new infections for a month
  • Trump suspends WHO funding
  • UK economy could shrink by 35% with 2m job losses, warns OBR
  • EU’s medicine regulator estimates it could take one year before coronavirus vaccine available for widespread use
  • 107th Tour de France postponed until August
  • 99-year-old war veteran, Captain Tom Moore, raises £1000, £1M, £10M, £15M, £21M £25M for NHS staff after reaching goal of walking 100 laps of his garden
  • Romanians fly in to help pick British fruit
  • UK Lockdown extended by a least another three weeks
  • Some European countries begin to ease lockdown restrictions
  • Iran announces invention of device that can detect coronavirus at a distance of 100 metres, using a magnetic field and “bipolar virus”.
  • Egged on by Tweeting Trump, 1000’s of protesters armed with MAGA flags and …er… actual arms, defy social distancing and swarm the steps of Michigan’s state capitol to demand end to stay at home orders


Worldwide cases: 2,332,471 (previous week 1,784,331)
Worldwide deaths: 160,784 (previous week 108,962 )
UK cases: 114,217 (previous week 78,991)
UK deaths: 15,464 (previous week 9,875)

source

This Week In The Coronapocalypse | In An Instant: Why The Long Face?

I came across this beautiful and friendly chap on one of my recent expeditions to that dark and mysterious territory known as The Outside.

Chertsey / Polaroid SX-70 Sonar / Polaroid Originals SX-70 Black & White Film

polaroid horse


Prior to this pandemic, thanks to Brexit and the ensuing culture war, Britain has been engulfed in political turmoil for three years. Each day seemed to bring a new political calamity, which was then promptly forgotten when the next one happened 24 hours later. Weeks felt like months, months felt like years. I really regret not keeping a simple note of events as they happened, just so I could look back and try and make some sense of it all.

So during this period I’ve decided to sum up the weekly events that have struck me the most, from the deadly serious to the absurdly ridiculous. If my tone seems flippant at times…well, we all have our own way of getting through this horror.

See all previous updates here

This week in The Coronapocalypse:

  • Scottish Chief Medical Officer resigns for breaching her own social distancing rules after holiday home visits
  • PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital ‘as a precaution’, having suffered prolonged Covid-19 symptoms
  • Queen gives rousing special address to the nation for only the fifth time in her 68 year reign. Nation heartened
  • Boris Johnson admitted to intensive care as health worsens. Nation deflated
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab apparently now running Government
  • Nobody is really sure who is running Government
  • NHS Nightingale recieves first patients
  • Daily deaths in Italy gradually decreasing
  • Daily deaths in UK significantly increasing
  • No new deaths recorded in China
  • NHS workers put at risk due to lack of PPE. Some use plastic bags
  • Airbnb halts bookings in UK following complaints that hosts have been advertising properties as Covid-19 retreats
  • Chocolate giant Mondelēz (Cadbury and Oreo) repurposes 3D printing technology used for chocolate sculptures to make medical visiors for NHS staff
  • Some NHS workers send children to live with relatives in bid to protect them from Covid-19. It’s the Blitz all over again
  • PM transferred from intensive care to low dependency ward as health improves
  • Massive advertising campaign launched to discourage Brits from going out during the long and sunny Easter weekend
  • US becomes first country to record more than 2000 deaths in one day
  • Images emerge of coffins being buried in mass grave in New York City
  • Daily deaths in Spain gradually decreasing
  • EU agrees €500bn rescue package
  • PM improving and sitting up in bed


Worldwide cases: 1,784,331 (previous week 1,203,109)
Worldwide deaths: 108,962 (previous week 64,743)
UK cases: 78,991 (previous week 41,903)
UK deaths: 9,875 (previous week 4,313 )

source