Lewisham deserted today - almost no traffic, very few people apart from at the supermarket and pharmacies.
Queuing for entry at Sainsbury's for the first time, but only twenty in the queue when we arrived - and when we left. Stocks good, apart from pasta, we even managed to buy toilet roll, some tinned goods and long life milk today. Strict enforcement of social distancing at the checkouts by two women wearing riot-police type visors. Cashier enclosed by plastic screens, which was new.
Bus home practically empty - which is unheard of on a Sunday morning. That's it for us until Thursday.
a very successful morning, retail-wise. Reborn Towers now has a pretty full larder, all things considered. Praise be unto Borough Market....
Lockdown is now biting here. Lewisham was dead this morning, traffic levels being at about 1% of what is normal. London Bridge the same. Very few people knocking about ; supermarket supplies better. Fresh fruit and vegetables pretty plentiful, but pasta, tinned goods, long-life milk and toilet roll still scarce. We are up to 97 cases in this Borough as of yesterday, which makes us the 11th worst in the country. I expected worse, to be honest.
All Governments have a Pandemic Plan chekks. When I was at GOL we had a number of emergency plans, of which that was one.
The problem with such plans is that none of them ever cater for quite the scenario you end up facing, and the way in which information and evidence presents itself is rarely optimal. I suspect that is the case both ways here.
So far, the Government response has been high on impact (financial, social) but quite low on visibility (by which I mean the Army aren't on the streets in huge numbers). That may change if the crisis lasts appreciably longer than is being estimated.
One thing no-one has talked about much is how this is displacing normal types of criminality and how they will evolve. Put another way, there is a sub-class, often drug-dependent, who live on the back of shoplifting, begging and opportunistic crime. They won't have gone away, but that doesn't mean that they aren't around or that their need to offend isn't still acute. Just perhaps more difficult to do.
"It's no good saving 400,000 from the virus if it costs 500,000 lives and makes 60 million people utterly miserable in the process."
Put as baldly as that, you seem to have a point. However :
1) I'd argue that "defence of the realm" isn't just about armed aggression - it applies to this too
2) I think that there is a moral obligation to try to help the 400,000, regardless of any long-term economic imperatives ; which you can address later anyway
3) as for making 60 million miserable ; well, morale is important. But so is educating people on the real costs of the technology, products and infrastructure needed to maintain a fully functioning health service. We've worshipped at the altar of low taxation for so long that we have completely lost sight of the risk inherent in it.
And in case anyone thinks this is just about you, I'm also looking into the matter of Lala's Baps. There is a worrying tendency towards social recklessness and general criminality on this forum and I have been asked to make some recommendations as to the appropriate response. I can't say more at the moment.