As a country we are about to collectively hold our breath for the next four weeks; on an individual scale it is definitely time I return to some meditation techniques. Meditation or yoga is in that category of things that I think I will do when I have a bit of time, though when I have a bit of time it doesn’t seem nearly as necessary. Strange, that. However, there’s no time like the present, or any time other than the present, for that matter. Therefore, before starting writing today I managed 10 repeats of, breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts. I will aspire to increasing my numbers of meditative breaths day by day, aspiration being good for both breathing and for self-improvement.
It strikes me that meditation and Level 4 ‘bubble-isolation’ are likely to have a few things in common:
- we know they are necessary but we don’t whole heartedly want to engage in them;
- they aren’t nearly as bad to do in practice as they seem in prospect;
- the end results are likely to be worth the self discipline – the evidence from China (see the our-world-in-data graph) is that strict isolation measures in Wuhan for 7 weeks has stemmed the spread of COVID-19 in China. There seems to be reasonable grounds to believe these numbers. I was hoping to include Italy in this statement. Italy put movement and gathering restrictions in place 2 weeks ago and, on 23 and 24 March, the numbers of deaths dropped. However, today death numbers rose again, though not above the highest level seen so far. Italy therefore remains a watching game.
It is very hard to believe how far and fast we have come, isn’t it. Seven weeks ago Chris and I were wondering if COVID-19 (I don’t think it had even been named then) would affect our trip to the USA at all. We got put in a weird queue in San Francisco airport with a number of Asian people and were happy to get out of it – we were still thinking of the illness as related only to China. By the time we left the USA in mid February, it was clear that COVID-19 was spreading and our proposed cycle tour in Mongolia in June-July might not be such a good idea. By early March, we were thinking that other destinations would be the only travel choice, and wondering about Georgia, though the infections in Italy were coming onto the radar. While cycling the Old Ghost Road 10 days ago it became clear that we wouldn’t be going anywhere overseas, as New Zealand moved to requiring people to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival from Monday 16 March, but tourists were still coming into the country and those already in the country were happily travelling. Now, here we are, with 6 hours to Level 4 bubble behaviour.
I view with sadness that, on the internet (and elsewhere, I am sure), people are already hypothesising that the Government has ulterior motives for the country’s lock down beyond saving lives. Personally, I have always found conspiracy theories largely far-fetched, as the majority of people, groups and countries seem way too disorganised to achieve wide-scale conspiracy around anything. They are constantly, and publicly, bumbling the things that they need to do, so how on earth would they enact a covert plot successfully and secretly? Such hypotheses, together with all other unchecked information, need to be consigned to the annals of ignorance! In other words, these shouldn’t be ‘liked’, commented on, shared, or in any other way promoted.
Really, I think the best thing to spread right now are jokes. If you have any good jokes you have seen, please send them to me! Here’s my favourite one from yesterday, you have to excuse me, I’m (originally and permanently) a geologist.
And, to close, did you hear the joke about COVID-19? Never mind, I don’t want to spread it around.