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Writing our way through these very weird times - how are you approaching it?

Hi everyone,

Ordinarily, I feel strongly that this community should be a creative haven away from the demands of real life. A space for us to put our creative selves first, to support each other's writing and encourage each other along the journey from idea to (hopefully) publication. 

But right now, real life is just so very real. 

To pretend otherwise is fast becoming impossible. 

I want you to know that:

You're all very welcome to talk about your experiences of writing while social distancing, or isolating etc. 

You're welcome to talk about how the uncertainty we're experiencing is affecting your ability to write, or what you are writing. 

You're welcome too to talk about how you're writing more than ever, because it's your outlet, your safety. 

You're welcome to ask for help, inspiration, a rallying cheer. 

You're welcome to offer help, inspiration and a rallying cheer!

You're welcome to avoid any and all talk of real life, and ignore all of those posts. 

This week, my personal focus is split between making sure that I do everything I can to help the Jericho Writers community, and trying to navigate working from home with my husband also here working, and all four children in lock down with us. In Holland, almost everything is closed. It's eerie and frightening, but I'm trying to see the positives. My family is healthy and we're together. And this community is the nicest place to work that I could hope for. As for writing, I don't know. I don't know if I will find the headspace or the time. But I hope so. 

What about you?


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Replies (64)
  • Hi Holly Seddon keep safe. I work form home, am in the UK and, so far, only social distancing. My problem with this outbreak is the novel I am writing with the ULWC is about a pandemic, but a pandemic with a twist. A lot of the things I imagined and wrote about, as pure fantasy in my head, are now happening before my eyes - it is all very surreal and it did stop me in my tracks for a bit but I am up to concluding my story, so the worse is over, and I need to get it finished. I tend to work during the day and write in the evenings - having Amanda as my mentor is a big help :-)

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    • Yes, of course, but mine isn't caused by a virus! It has a twist :-)

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      • Oh Jaqs, how surreal! Hopefully it means you're less spooked by it all as you've already 'run the scenarios' in your head!

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        • Yes, I think so. I’ve been following it with interest but it did put me off writing for a few days when it started getting so bad in Italy and everywhere else in Europe. So far, in UK we are doing ok but it will get worse, a lot, lot worse. I’m not spooked or worried and work from home anyway so not much will change - just all the fun going out things. I studied microbiology, years ago, as part of my degree, so have a bit of an understanding. The whole scenario has given me an idea for next book - I’m parking that for now though and someone will probably beat me to it :-) Keep safe everyone.

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        • I decided to amend my original post which focused on the negative effects of panic and hysteria, deciding it is just way too complicated to address this in a way that will not be misread--the idea that hysteria can be a runaway train and causes problems of its own. I can't figure out how to say it right now.  Maybe this is this not the right time.  But I will just use this edit: Otherwise, it just gets too complicated.

          EDIT:  I think we should do all we can to address the health threat, and take care of people, of course. But I also believe we should do our best to stay calm in a world where there is a daily proliferation of panic-inducing news overload. Hysteria is not healthy and people need to be careful with information. I realize it is almost impossible to address this as problem in the world today in and of itself without sounding like a total jerk. So I am stumped. But I want to do what I can to help my fellow man, as I can. That's about it.

          Hope everyone stays well and productive--as much as possible.

          Back to work.

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          • Just a thought and not a way into a debate, but I'm fascinated by the fact that my reaction to all of this is the opposite. A vast amount of media attention focused on the pandemic is a good thing. And professional media underplays much of what is happening socially in order not to induce panic. It amazes me how humans can use the same organ (brain) and same visual/audio biology and see the world 180 degrees from each other. Fascinating.

            I'm writing as usual. Immersed in a world I've created, where I determine the outcomes. But I stay tuned in...

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            • I agree with you. Hysteria and panic are not helpful to anyone. I went to the local supermarket today, I needed fresh veg, soya milk and veggie chicken pieces... the shelves were empty of almost everything and people were getting very angry about not getting what they wanted. Trolley loads of stuff that they will likely never use and a lot of which will sadly go to waste. For example... who is buying the soya milk, are all vegans suddenly terrified about the pandemic? - If you aren't used to it and suddenly put that in your tea its going to be a real shock! Did make me chuckle a little though as how English are we here... The Supermarket had sold out of Tea (all types) but not coffee! 

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              • Hi Lainey, I've been vegan for five years and the food I usually buy is always there, until now. I'd get strange looks five years ago getting plant milk, stocking up on basic things to cook, ie oats themselves, not porridge pots, but now I guess most of the UK population are going to try something new. Five years have given me time to try everything out - in my area there is still tea and coffee of all kinds. Unfortunately those who have emptied the shelves have not cared about everyone else. Vegan food is trendy now, which is good and bad for supplies, in equal measure. 

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              • I always plan a book of mine called God of War, a colony on Mars undergoes pandemic of cannibalism, and the government and emos blame each other, but it was caused by a flower’s toxin. I also wonder if it is triggered by emotion, and I think it is one of those things, nobody knows where it comes from, but science fiction has become reality, it seems.

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                • Against all good judgement, I’m losing the battle against anxiety and haven’t been able to write a word. Partly, it’s because my imagination is fully utilised conjuring ghastly scenarios, most involving my own death and what would happen to my son. (I have some of what they’re calling ‘underlying health conditions.) Partly, it’s because my stories seem pointless in the face of so much fear and pain. (And - I know this is not sensible or reasonable - I don't have a chance of finishing my wip and trudging the long, long road to publication before I, you know, die.) Finally, it’s because I am obsessively scrolling social media and news sites dredging up information, speculation and human interaction. (Hello, this is me interacting from a place of self-isolation.) This is not sustainable. I need to get back to writing, as a place of both hope and escape. However, for now I am breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, slow and steady, and waiting to hear when they’re going to close schools in the UK

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                  • Hi Holly. Thank you. The absence of silence. I was thinking that just this weekend as the noise of plants vs zombies warfare echoed through the house. It really is hard to go into the stories in your head without peace, inner or outer. My son is still in school but I expect him to be out soon. I wish they’d just do it now. I’m bouncing between a zen ‘this too shall pass’ feeling and slightly less zen ‘we’re all doomed’. It’s tempting to try to keep the latter inside but I think sometimes it has to be let out - kind of like letting the kids run amok with the hose pipe to ‘get it out of their system’. Stay well, Lynn 

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                    • Accepting and returning virtual hugs with thanks. My son is in secondary school and has ‘autistic tendencies‘. Change makes him anxious and taking him out of school against protocol and when his peers remain, will make him very anxious. i don’t think it will be long before they close schools. His school is making plans and checking that kids have access to computers and the internet. Although I want them to shut down for us, I do worry for the more vulnerable children for whom school is a safe place. It was for me when I was young. I know I’m lucky to have a safe home to bring him back to, with food in the cupboards and plenty of books and computer games to see him though - no pasta, though, obviously! Take care, Lynn

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                      • Totally understand your fear. My parents are the same as my Dad was in the process of getting checked for a heart problem which they said was urgent but now are saying its not urgent enough!!

                        How about writing a diary for the moment - write down exactly how you are feeling, each of those fears and what it is making you do. It might not help your current story but it will keep the writing muscle exercised, help you to focus on the real and not real and in the future might be useful fodder for other things.  Just a thought.

                        Sending you virtual hugs 

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                      • Science fiction has become reality!  Ha ha. So true!!

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                        • Elsewhere in here, I mentioned I'm staying socially tuned in, and I'm immersing myself into a world I created. I do this daily with a WIP novel. It's a place where I determine the outcomes. (My characters determine outcomes too, but they are just me from deep-unconscious coming through them.

                          As for the coronavirus and the havoc it's wreaking, I look at the epidemics in countries that are weeks ahead of the beginning of the problem in the U.S. Each nation is unique in their response to it. But professionals measure the infections and deaths over time and provide a graph of the statistics showing exponential growth weeks (depending) to a ceiling and then the epidemic wanes. I get comfort from seeing it come and go. But I'm saddened by the knowledge of the growing number of serious illnesses and deaths. 

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                          • I'm in the same the same camp as David and Dennis. I'm retired, live on  a hillside overlooking an estuary and with views out to sea and to distant mountains, so don't feel contained within four walls. I still meet up with friends for coffee and work once a fortnight in the local volunteer library. Life for me will not be put on hold, albeit with modifications. At my age time is running out, so I want to make the most of it. I'm a fatalist I suppose. If the virus catches me I'll fight it with all I've got, if it gets me, it gets me and a lot of of fine stories will go unpublished (tongue in cheek). 

                            I like Dennis's last paragraph - that's me too.

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                            • Your home sounds idyllic Eric, I always feel so much better when I'm near water! 

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                              • I believe we are allowed out to walk and get fresh air but should avoid contact - in confined space - maybe take a flask of coffee, or tea, with you and meet up outside where you can still have a chat but keep your distance :-)

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                              • I am writing from Vermont in the United States. We thought we would be fine up here on the boarder of Canada. Then piles of cars from the big cities began to arrive. They were trying to escape Coronavirus by bringing their families up to our little town. My husband and son own the grocery store in town so they are an essential business. They forbid me to go though as the cases mount up. My friends and I are meeting in pairs to go on long walks but we stay six feet apart. I am having a hard time writing. The news changes so fast it takes my breath away. And, being American and all, I'll just be blunt. I am afraid.

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                                • You stay safe too. We have divided our house into two zones and I stick to mine. There's nothing else to be done. How many cases do you have in England? How many deaths?

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                                  • Well done, you’re doing the right things. We have just over 1500 tested case with many more untested and 55 deaths - we are about three weeks behind Italy and trying to slow the curve/peak. I’m confident we will - I work and live alone so quite safe :-)

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                                    • Sorry to hear you're so concerned, Mary Kathleen. Obviously, the sudden and unexpected arrival of extra people in your home town has had an impact. Jaqs has given you very sound advice. You sound like you are taking all the right precautions. I wouldn't worry about the writing - it will get done in the end and perhaps a break from it will be beneficial. Take great care of yourself. Speak soon.

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                                    • By way of precursor, I’ve never been good at making friends. I’ve always been good at telling brutal truth. These may be related…

                                      The worst (best?) case scenario from the coronavirus pandemic is that 60-80% of the world’s population gets infected over the next few months. Based on Korean data, a bit under 1% will die because their systems can’t cope. The question: how few? If it is only three or four, the mortality rate will be much higher, say around 6%, because social care and medical systems won’t be able to cope with the demand, and many who could recover with adequate care won’t receive it.

                                      Yes, that’s 450m people. In context, less than five times the number of people who pass away each year anyway simply from population turnover.

                                      But… there are two variations on this theme. And here, things get speculative.

                                      Option A

                                      The world goes into lockdown. The virus’ spread is slowed, that health care systems might cope. The death rate is kept sub-1% (the same as annual turnover). The pandemic takes years to play out. There may be an effective vaccine before it’s over. The cost is that everything grinds to a halt. We are already seeing that a significant portion of the world’s economy revolves around “non-essential” activity, whether entertainment, leisure, travel, convenience-eating, socialising, wellness… And there is a double knock-on effect from all these industries: their suppliers will suffer the shortfall, and their workers will not be in a position to contribute economically. (Dig deep enough, very little passes the essentiality test.)

                                      But… the point of the measures in place is to slow the spread; the aim to make the pain tolerable by extending it. The resultant socio-economic collapse will not be tolerable. There will be bigger issues to deal with than the increased death rates. This is an invitation to the end of society as we know it, the emergence of the dystopian future many stories are built on. If we escape with an eventual death rate below 20% – with any form of government other than despotic fiefdoms – I will be surprised.

                                      Option B

                                      The world reverses course; we encourage life to continue. We accept the inevitability of the situation. Yes, it will mean a massive spike in cases, and five years’ worth of deaths in months. It will be a culling of humanity an order of magnitude greater than the Spanish Flu a century ago. But, because the infection rate will be so high, we will quickly reach saturation; there will be no one left to infect. Without question, the economy will take a knock; probably not enough to dislodge the growth-is-good mentality, but maybe enough to buy us another five years to save the planet from the destruction we seem so intent on inflicting.

                                      Of course, to accept this scenario, humanity will need to embrace a lesson that will be key to its future survival: even if we consider the very concept of life to be sacred, that doesn't mean that human life is. It certainly doesn't mean that every individual’s life is sacrosanct.

                                      (To anyone claiming that the sanctity of human life devolves from divine edict, I remind you that those narratives include a duty of stewardship, which you have patently failed to uphold.)

                                      We are at this point in human history not because a virus jumped from one species to another. We are at this point because of the mindset embraced by society. Tribalism, religion, and their ilk have promoted the need to protect every individual life, in order to have more of “us” than of “them”, without thought for the consequences; this has led to an excess of population. We have reached a point where we serve little purpose other than to feed a system of indulgent consumption and procreation. We have become fertile ground for the next alpha predator, however small, however self-defeating.

                                      It is the cycle of life.

                                      We can either face this existential threat under the influence of the same amygdalaic drivers that got us into this mess in the first place or with pragmatic rationality. (Hint: as Einstein said, We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.) Fear and panic serve only to generate more of the same, to abdicate responsibility for the future and for our complicity in creating the situation that so stresses us.

                                      Let’s get on with living our lives – what’s left of them, anyway.

                                      Now, to anyone who would say that I might be one of those to die: so what? If is live, I live; I would prefer it not to be in a dystopian world. If I die, I won't be around to give a damn, those (few) who might care will get over it soon enough, and the only lasting impact will be the millions who won't get to read the stories I would otherwise write… a loss about which they will be none the wiser.

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                                      • Rick,

                                        I'll be your friend man.  I have tons of friends who are exactly like you.

                                        The stuff you say makes me laugh out loud sometimes. Blunt yes, but funny as hell. Not necessarily now, because this is a dark subject, but other times, for sure.

                                        And I am going to use everything you just said as valuable research for my WIP.

                                        Keep it coming man. Keep it coming.


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                                        • Me too, Rick. I may not be long winded, but I can make a crack.

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                                          • Exactly like me… I doubt it.

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                                          • I agree with Rick in that we humans have become so overly focused on our ever-expanding needs at the expense of all other life on this beautiful planet. This may be one of Nature's balancing acts. We are ravaging the land, oceans and skies for more suburban homes and factories and warehouses, for supermarkets that have 20 varieties of creams and lotions, and a hundred types of yogurt, all nicely packaged in teeny plastic tubes and containers that will end up in the oceans like the tonnes already there. Do we really need all this? 

                                            I wish instead of panic and fear, we reflected on what kind of waste we can cut out of our lives so that our minds think at a higher level, a truly more inclusive level - where we care about leaving the earth better off than when we first came here. For the other myriad plant and animal species, we have proved to be very destructive and self-obsessed.

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                                            • Anjali Arora too true unfortunately - we were supposed to be guardians of the Earth but instead we are devastating it and all that depends on it - including ourselves :-(

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                                              • Funny things have been happening, like schools and sport being shut down, no toilet paper in the shops, and isolation. We have stocked up on cigarettes and ramen.

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                                                • This morning I put my headphones in, didn't look at social media or the news and did some writing before the kids were all up. I honestly feel so much better. 

                                                  These last couple of weeks I've found it impossible to focus on writing creatively once I've let the current affairs in at all. So I highly recommend trying to carve our an hour of total denial before the day starts! 

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                                                  • Big media does not give these great stories enough air time but the planet is breathing now that restless and ever-hungry-for-more humans have been forced to retreat into their homes:



                                                    I am sure there is much more heartening news like this as Nature does her balancing act. 

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                                                    • This is great. It all ties in to my WIP, as well. It is the big picture that is always so hard to see in these kinds of scenarios. Thanks for sharing this.

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                                                      • Anjali, we need all the good news we can get. If and when we beat this terrible virus, I hope there might be lasting improvements in people's disrespectful attitudes towards the environment, improved awareness that we are part of a bigger picture, and a moving away from excess waste, ever-increasing consumerism and the exploitation of nature. I have to hope so, anyway.

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                                                      • Hi Holly. it's certainly strange times. Not sure what is going on in the rest of the world as difficult to know what to believe on the news at the moment. I was pretty sceptical before (after Brexit) but even more so now. Hope you and your kids are doing okay and that you have enough things to get through. 

                                                        I am still working (in a hospital as a secretary) so very busy but in a way comforting as I have experts to advise me on infection control etc, and the nurses I look after are the most down to earth you could wish for. I am used to surviving to be honest, lived most of my life on my own so not afraid of my own company. When I get this thing (and we are all going to get it, we have to in order to wipe it out and create immunity) I hope I'm well enough to write. 

                                                        I have just got the password and course details for the self edit course which I have looked forward to for ages so that's keeping me positive. All I can say at the moment is I feel bad for not being on here more, things are so hectic and some of the public and their panic buy-ing etc baffles me. So hopefully at some point I'll have time to read everyone's posts on all sorts of subjects. Hope everyone is well and able to function when it seems like everything is shut.  

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                                                        • Dear Jane, please don't feel bad! We're here for whenever you need us, not the other way round! 

                                                          Thank you for working so hard in the hospital, I'm in awe of all the medical and support staff through this period. In the Netherlands we had a one minute round of applause for hospital staff the other night, everyone opened their windows and stood inside their houses and apartments clapping. You could hear it across the neighbourhood, it was incredibly moving. 

                                                          I too hope that I am able to write if and when I catch it, my main worry is my parents (in their 70s and Dad is diabetic) and my daughter who has severe asthma. I have mild asthma but I think that will be fine. 

                                                          I'm so glad you have the self edit course to look forward to, it's a fantastic course and hopefully a real distraction. 

                                                          Take care,


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                                                          • Hope you are all okay Holly, looking after our loved ones is so difficult at the best of times, and now with idiots displaying all kinds of selfishness in shops etc, I hope good sense prevails and things calm down. 

                                                            I love this gesture re your health workers. That sounds wonderful, must have been really moving being part of it. 

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                                                            • The same thing is planned for Thurs 26th March in the UK:

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                                                            •  Hi all, Joining the discussion. I'm also in a stunning location with views out to sea and the mountains. Big blue skies overhead. It's surreal what is happening, and for the first time ever, I'm finding it hard to focus on my writing. I come from Christchurch which was largely destroyed by a series of devastating earthquakes and is only now becoming a new normal. 

                                                              The big difference between that situation and the pandemic is not feeling so alone. Everyone is going through this, not just the people of Christchurch. In our crumbling and ever-shaking city, people came together in unprecedented ways. Social barriers broke down and people set up soup stalls. We gave away fruit from our trees and produce from our gardens. We shared food from our defrosting freezers (no power). A year ago, our city was shaken again by a lone gunman killing and wounding 51 people praying in mosques. But that time it wasn't just Christchurch who rallied -it was the whole country. 

                                                              Sorry for the rave. My message is that we are so much stronger together. So, support each other, check on your neighbours and anybody living alone. Maybe they are too scared to get essential supplies. Maybe they don't know how to get help. But remember, all experiences, good and bad, make for great writing material. One day.

                                                              Xx Trudi

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                                                              • Thanks Jane. I hope you and your family stay well. 

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                                                                • Holly, you are so busy caring about everybody on this site I just want to remind you to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others. Gaze at a tree for 5 whole minutes. Is it in bud? Are there fresh, new leaves? Birds busy with bossy Spring babies? Step away from your computer and check out the sky. It’s all still there, and it’s beautiful. 

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                                                                  • You're so kind Trudi! This is good advice for all of us with others to look after too. x

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                                                                  • The statistics are, 200,000 infected, and 8000 fatalities, but still wouldn't want to catch it.

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                                                                    • Why is that, Rick? Romanced by the WHO?

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                                                                      • Catching it is all but inevitable. Better to get it over with (and develop immunity).

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                                                                        • Still not sure if I've had it or not.  The lack of testing in the UK is criminally short sighted.  Company making the tests, based in the uk, has had no orders from the NHS despite the health secretary saying he apparantly can't get hold of any. He's bullshitting us.
                                                                          My son is asthmatic, so I'm extremely angry about this.

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                                                                        • It seems attracted to the sick and the elderly, but if you feel like biting the dust, then hopefully you remember that it is the dirt which from we were born, with the breath of life, from lifeless clay golems.

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                                                                          • First of all let me say my wife is an inhaler controlled asthmatic and my sister is recovering from cancer with a reduced immune system so both sit firmly in the 'at risk' groups. I am acutely aware that this virus is a big issue and will cause deaths also among those who are young and fit. I had the flu - the real flu on my 30th birthday. This was not the kind of man flu that puts a bloke in bed for a day or two, this was 3 weeks of being unable to move and I ended up with mild pneumonia and it took me a month to get back to normal.

                                                                            A friend of mine in London was one of the early CV19 victims and luckily was in bed for two days and recovered quickly. This will be the reality of CV19 for about 80-85% of the population. This needs to be borne in mind when all this is being considered. In addition currently around the world each DAY: 46000 die of heart disease, 32000 of various cancers, 21000 die of heart disease, 3000 die of TB, 2500 of Hepatitis B, 2300 of pneumonia (not connected to CV19), 2000 of malaria, 2000 from Shiggelosis (diarrhea in children), Rotavirus kills1200, seasonal flu (not CV19) 1056, whooping cough 490, Typhoid 396 and on and on.

                                                                            With the exception of the first two, cancer and heart disease most of the other deaths occur in the third world so don't make headlines. Imagine if 3000 people a day were dying from TB in the UK or the USA? How much money would be thrown at innoculation? But becasue it happens to mainly black people in sub-sahara Africa nobody gives a monkey's!

                                                                            The worst case scenario with CV19 in terms of death is 1.7m people, though it is likely to be much less than this. Nearly 17m die of heart disease and 12m people die of cancer each year.

                                                                            We do not shut down the economy due to these diseases. We do not risk the economic future of our children because of these deaths. I'm not playing down the seriousness of CV19 - i said at the beginning that I have 2 people close to me at risk plus elderly relatives and have young children but I do feel the media have taken what is a threat and blown it up into something huge, fueled fears and induced panic among the population and brought out some of our worst herd tendencies and individual greed.

                                                                            Most people that catch it will not be seriously ill. Most people that catch it will recover and recover well. 

                                                                            BUT when it's all over our economy will be in tatters, millions will be unemployed we will be facing the worst recession since 1929. Our children and sections of our society will now suffer ill health and early deaths due to not having the economic means to provide themselves with a decent life. More will die from the indirect result of poverty than CV19 or even CV20 & CV21!

                                                                            The mental health of millions of adults and children will now also suffer both due to the crisis and beyond at the economic and post traumatic stress of dealing with this situation. Millions of people who had been clinging on by their fingertips to homes that are mortgaged to the hilt will now lose them and be forced into paying greedy private landlords exorbitant rents for sub-standard housing or be left homeless. Cases of despair and depression will multiply exponentially and the NHS, is not particularly good at dealing with this as it is.

                                                                            Personally, the firm I work for can afford to pay everyone's salary for two months then around 800 staff will be laid off. They have been very upfront about this. They have, like many other firms, large fixed costs that can't be deferred. The company will be dissolved and will not re-start once this is all over. Thousands of companies will NOT come back from this, millions will be out of work - I can't state this enough - the government cannot cover the costs of all the firms that need help, the money box is not bottomless. There will be very little money left to pay be benefits. 

                                                                            I'm sorry this is a bleak post but the media are not dealing with the reality of the situation, we are lurching from one panic to another. The government I think are doing their best but we should not have shut down society. The long term ramifications are going to be very hard on everyone.


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                                                                            • Danny,

                                                                              This is extremely well articulated.  One of the best synopses I have read on this. The Wall Street Journal has basically said the same thing, for whatever it is worth.

                                                                              As in: "What the hell are you people thinking?"

                                                                              Of course there are threatening folks on social media saying: "Don't you dare be on the wrong side of history on this one!"

                                                                              I suppose they will soon be screaming that from a cardbox box, yelling into a paper cup with a string when Mad Max shows up on his motorbike.

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                                                                              • Absolutely, Danny.

                                                                                I agree with you on the big picture front, the consequences of the high road governments around the world are taking are an invitation to a dystopian future, to a complete breakdown of society, with the consequences playing out over generations as a significant (double-digit percentage) of the population succumbs slowly and painfully to the starvation, deprivation, depression, or plain anarchy. (If someone is going to steal the title "High Road to Dystopia," please at least credit me.)

                                                                                Of course, there is one detail you left out in your initial comparison: there is a major cause of death which you omitted, which heavily impacts the developed world. (The figures probably double-count to a large degree with your heart disease and cancer ones.)

                                                                                There are 20,000 deaths per day within this category, of which 2,000 are out-and-out murder. And absolutely nothing is being done about it.. These are deaths from tobbaco - and yes, 10% of those are non-smokers, hence murder.

                                                                                Interestingly, smokers all fall into the CV19 high-risk category of COPD-sufferers; I could be cynical and suggest that this desperate attempt to keep everyone alive in the short term is a conspiricy to keep the tobbaco industry's target market around…

                                                                                So, while I appreciate there are consideration for those in high-risk categories, the rest of us should be isolating ourselves from them and doing our best to get infected, to roll the dice on this, so we can come out the other side naturally immunised.

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                                                                                • Thank you for these excellent points, Danny and Rick. I'd like to add another big figure to the conversation: Nearly 2 million people have already died of hunger in 2020. 

                                                                                  (see https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/people-and-poverty/hunger-and-obesity/how-many-people-die-from-hunger-each-year)

                                                                                  This «Covid Crisis» and all the frantic measures taken to "protect everyone" ...  at least it provides plenty of food for thought...

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                                                                                • Just getting to the end of the first week of lockdown in Spain. Most people have taken it very calmly and pragmatically. No panic-buying, no shortage of anything. I'm really not sure how sustainable living like this is though. I'm all for stepping back and reflecting, but banning people from exercising seems counter-productive to me. We've now been told we can't even go up on our rooftop except for to hang washing (could become everyone's favourite pastime).

                                                                                  I've been trying to see the positives, but it's hard when you're shut in with an adult and two teens and you feel watched instead of supported by the state. It does feel a bit like a punishment. Sorry, nature, can we at least come out once a day to appreciate you and realise how valuable you are and how mean to you we've been? Please?

                                                                                  So I'm lucky my book is in a pause period (having finished the first draft) because finding a creative headspace to write or reflect on writing technique is quite difficult. I might try your suggestion, Holly.

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                                                                                  • If you are suffering from anxiety I recommend limiting exposure to pandemic news to once a day, and a 15 minute time limit as well. Otherwise, the bad news media will suck you into the vortex and strangle you. Let it go. Stay home, do your bit. We can beat this together. 

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                                                                                    • Very wise words! That’s how I need to be, or it pulls me in. Just need to know what I need to know....

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                                                                                    • While my husband is at home, he has hours he HAS to be working. 9.30-11.30 and 14-16.00. How else he makes up his 8 hours a day is up to him. So, we've set a rule that during those times, the kids do their homework or school work or read. I can do my housework or writing or reading. And the house is quiet. So far, 2.5 weeks in, it's working. My husband gets his peace and quiet. The kids haven't forgotten what 'school' is or the idea of an education, and I'm here, on townhouse, not writing... hmmm. I'll just put this down to networking then and move on.

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