now we are bored

Yesterday’s list of vulnerable people* included 1.5 Million people. Whilst all of us follow our natural herd instinct and join all queues we see, just to be part of something, we should stop letting our desire to belong rule our heads.

Of course we are raised in a state of emotional dependance.

First in the womb, then growing up as a baby, toddler, child and so on, always depending on the family or people around us.

But now as adults, we need to stop that urge to join crowds just to belong to something.

Last week’s queue outside of Iceland wasn’t inviting. People shouted, shoved and pushed. I didn’t want to be part of it. I don’t desperately need anything right now.

Going shopping to entertain myself is really not what I want to spend my time with.

This is now the third time that I am getting into the hamster mode.

First we had the bad weather shopping-spree, then the Brexit, get prepared shopping spree and now we have the Corona Virus hoarding spree. The latter is of course by far the worst.

There is not one online food retailer still accepting orders from new customers.

My first two hoarding phases led to me having to throw out, the out-of-date tins I got from deliveries. My cupboard was invaded my micro-sized beetles, the last time I hoarded flour and dry goods in my kitchen cupboards. I threw the lot away and sprayed all my surfaces to get rid of the pests.

I certainly won’t hoard cooking oil as this will increase substantially my fire risk. Incidentally so does hoarding lots of papers of any sort.

Just snap out of it, relax and dont’ go shopping because you are bored. Play online games instead. There are Scrabble games, all types of gaming solutions sold by providers like Microsoft, Playstation and the like.

And if you really want to and can help join the groups of volunteers organised by local councils to help vulnerable neighbours.

*The latest in a string of initiatives from the government has seen letters sent out to the 1.5 million people in England considered to be most at risk, advising them not to leave their homes for at least 12 weeks from Monday.

Those being urged to stay at home include people who have received organ transplants, those severe with respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis, and with some cancers such as those of the blood or bone marrow.

panic buying bad for mental health

Went to a local Poundland this morning and walked around shelves. A woman started getting excited about some tins of fruit in the bottom of a shelve and shoved them all in her basket. I then walked on and she turned around and asked me whether I wanted one, she is getting the tins for her uncle.

I declined the offer. I do not know whether she wanted to try and charge me more for the tin or not.

Then afterwards, the local Iceland had a long queue in front and they had just opened. I made a big loop around it as the scenery was shouty and unpleasant.

bowl being poured with yellow liquid

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people post pictures with a house full of 5l bottles of vegetable oil or garages full of wipes.

Obviously that is an increased fire risk for people to live with.

Having the hording mentality is not healthy either.

A couple of years back I fell into that buy extra for provisions slogans and ordered extra tins. They also had use-by dates and I ended up throwing a few of them away. Stocks of flour I accumulated were all spoiled by micro-sized beetles, they also ended up in the bin.

We are all better off, if we just buy what we need for no longer than 2 weeks.

face masks

pexels-photo-3571628Interesting that in Wuhan, the Chinese city with the latest deadly Corona virus outbreak has ordered all its citizens to wear face masks or they can’t enter public buildings.

Here in the western world we are in the process of out-lawing face coverings for security reasons. Obviously veils have a similar effect to face masks, as they filter the air that passes between the wearer and the air being breathed.

Of course those masks must mess up security camera detecdtion of facial recognition.

Boris makes a stand

I must say I rather admire Boris’ attitude towards opposition that does not use quality questions and arguments to dismantle his plans. That is what I would have expected in a quality argument and political debate. Boris called them scientific names, oooh.

Much more important for us all, is the fact that Boris came out with information that he is following advice from senior London Fire Brigade leaders that recommended cutting down on fire stations and reducing the number of fire fighters in London.

Now that is something interesting. I just wonder where this information is, who are the senior officers that gave the advice? That is a basis to have discussions but not fast moving amendments that are based on the lack of or late attendance of a County Hall board member to move a vote.

I am rather disappointed with the general press reporting from the BBC. I have not had any decent tables, statistics from them but the usual lukewarm reporting that stimulates political adventurous argument with little substance.

Since yesterday it was also more difficult to find the actual article on the BBC website that explains why the Mayor rejects the budget change move.Of course Boris is under a clear duty to follow the advice of senior Fire chiefs, who recommend cuts in services. I want to know the details of those recommendations Boris, who said what and when. Perhaps it is to find on the LFB website where the policy papers are displayed. I have not read them yet, as I only have so much time to read and browse, I am already kept busy with BBC articles, from which I expect a certain depth and content.

Boris argues quite correctly that if he has recommendation from Senior Fire chiefs to cut services, that it would be a fruitless exercise to ask rate payers to pay even a penny more to keep services that are not needed. It would have been much better to bring quality questions to the Mayor to publicly demand those services stay with quality statistical arguments rather than move a fast motion. That doesn’t raise my confidence in the opposition at all.

PS: I am a little confused about the original article I read this morning because now an article appears, saying that Boris’ plans had been pushed back and there is now consultation.

A burning issue

The Mayor will have to take legal action against the Fire Brigade because the LFB refuses to comply to a requirement, set by the Mayor Boris Johnson, to carry out a consultation with the aim of closing fire stations in various London boroughs. The thought behind this is to cut 7p of council tax and also statistics show that the LFB attended less fires recently. LFB argues that a freezing of council tax will pay for the stations to stay open.

Yet it is quite clear that the fires they attend are often in multi-storey buildings, especially in London. Fires nowadays often need more than one engine because of our density of buildings and the high-rise nature of them. There is nowadays better fire prevention in wiring and most appliances and fittings are safer, but once something does happen, it tends to be enormous rather than little.

It is in a way good that the whole problem will come before a judge because both sides are heavily biased. The Mayor is obsessed with cutting council tax and the Fire Brigade of course doesn’t want to close stations or loose fire fighters. A court will put a very objective viewing on the problem.

Where were the good guys?

In the meantime, the National Rifle Association of the USA better known as NRA, held a press conference about the Newtown shooting, with Wayne LaPierre, NRA saying: “Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns”.

That statement followed the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, that saw 20, 6-year old’s killed by a lone gunman who suffered from a personality disorder.

Of course in principle it is correct, that good guys stop bad guys, that’s why we have armed police and the army. But where were the good guys with guns?

Even I have called for more armed police officers in Britain to stop rogue shooters after a lone taxi driver went on a killing spree and for lack of armed officers he could not be stopped for a considerable amount of time. Here in the UK we already have strict gun laws, which practically forbid gun ownership for most of us.

Lets be practical to have good guys stop the bad guys, we would need a good guy with a gun, meaning an army soldier stationed at every street corner. Only army soldiers have he mentality to even recognise danger when it comes and are ready to respond in good time to stop those bad guys.

Even if you put armed guards in every school, then the bad guys are likely to just pick on some other soft target that hasn’t gotten an armed guard. But to properly protect all equally well we would need armed guards everywhere.

We would need an army run country without democracy and end up with a Military state. We are using our own army to dismantle other military states by stating that they are not democratic enough but in our own quarters the NRA practically calls for the setting up of one. At least that is my very own interpretation of their words.

Indeed in this very particular case Adam Lanza’s mother was the good guy with the guns that would have stopped the bad guy if the bad guy would not have taken her weapons to shoot her with them first. Showing that only specially trained good guys are able to prevent being killed with their own guns, leading further into the discussion of widespread military deployment to stop those bad guys everywhere.

Risky communications

It’s very concerning that communicating becomes more and more monitored and there are plans to check on electronic communications. In a way letters are fairly free, only the postal workers see where it comes from or goes to and with increasing bulk, probably nobody has got the time to see who sends what to whom.

But all types of electronic communications can be measured, checked and monitored. Plans to enable security services to monitor who writes to whom put us all into a black hole of potential condemnation and probably most likely paranoia.

You may get or send e-mails to people with criminal records as long as your arm without even knowing that they are criminals because most communications these days are distant. We write with people we never met. We may get together in voluntary groups with other locals, we do know nothing about.

Yet the security services do know the details of people’s past and they can then determine and say aha, individual A regularly writes to individual X and individual X is a known criminal and under observation for criminal activity. Whilst individual A knows nothing about crime, individual A automatically becomes suspicious.

That will cause an immense increase in security services activity because more people will have to checked out.

People will become reluctant to communicate distantly and via electronic means. Already many people are very reluctant to accept e-mails from people they do not know very well.

But mail has become too expensive for many. We are generally coached into using the Internet, computers, phones, all those communications can be monitored centrally.

We are constantly encouraged to take part in voluntary activity, yet the status of the volunteers is hidden from each other. It is not fair that people do not get to know about each other but only security services know individual histories. It is therefore high risk to get involved with anything other than paid employment.  Yet there are less and less jobs about.

60% correct is not a lot

A new system that is like a pictorial lie-detector has been developed but it only get about 60% of all assignments correct. That allows over-hyper-sensitive security services to belief  or not to belief what they want to belief and I think that is not good enough.

This system can proof quite a time-waster. A lot of people do  not relax their face muscles for a number of reasons for a start and then might flinch for completely unconspicuous reasons. I think that method can be discounted for the moment as viable investigation method as it leaves too many loops in a knot.

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