Food for thought!
#1
Hi All,

Food for thought.

In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh
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#2
Estimated US 2020 gun deaths: 14,000. Covid deaths: 85,000. Traffic deaths 12,000. Accordion deaths ?? More wtf.
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#3
(16-05-2020, 01:08 AM)Tom Wrote: Estimated US 2020 gun deaths: 14,000.  Covid deaths:  85,000.  Traffic deaths 12,000.  Accordion deaths ??  More wtf.

My left shoulder is nearly dead from playing so much accordion.  That'd be like 1/8th of a death I guess.
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#4
Byudzai,

Please take it easy: you don't want bursitis of the shoulder or inflammation of the rotor cuff!  Undecided
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#5
(16-05-2020, 12:56 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: Hi All,

Food for thought.

In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh

Hi Dingo,

Don't know how many have died here in the West Midlands in the UK. I think it's between 3000 - 4000. Probably a few more by the time I finish typing this. If we had as many cases as the US our death toll would be over 180,000 by now. I've mentioned it before, but our population density in this part of the UK is the same as Hong Kong. The UK now has the most fatalities in Europe, but not the most recorded cases. Russia seems set to win the league on that one, presumably to prove that it coped better than anybody else. Their current death toll is only a fraction of ours.

Don't have road death figures for 2020, but we generally only average about 5 a month. A lot of our car travel is at a crawl on roads that were struggling to cope with horse traffic. They are due to start a system that will ban all cars from Birmingham city centre. If that works, the buses, trams, and trucks might be next!  Several of the busier pedestrianised streets in the city centre are in the process of having markings applied to the pavements (sidewalks) indicating which direction people are to walk!

Like most of us who live on the outskirts of the city, we scarcely ever go to the city centre at all, and head out into what serves as the "sticks" to try and catch a breath of air that doesn't taste of petrol (gas), diesel, or tyre rubber. 

William Shakespeare country is just south of here, and people often ask what he would have made of all the present day congestion. I've phoned his house several times but never got an answer! Hope he's OK, and not another victim! Nobody has seen him for a long time. 

We moved here in December 2019, hoping to have been freshly decorated by now, but all the local tradespeople have been confined to barracks for the duration. We've had to resort to decorating ourselves, and send away for the paint online. Our local DIY stores are open, but it can take over 30 minutes to get in, due to the social distancing situation, only to discover the items you are looking for have sold out. 

We can now drive anywhere in England, providing we can get back on the same day, as no overnight stops are allowed. We can't drive to Wales or Scotland, as they are still in a more severe state of lockdown, and driving to Ireland isn't recommended, as any time I've tried it the car has sunk after only a few yards into the sea. 

Most of the UK and Irish airlines are about to go bust, and have already typically reduced their fleet sizes by up to a third. 

If we were younger that might be an issue, but we're now at an age where air travel is no big deal. My heart goes out to those who live thousands of miles away from relatives, and rely on air travel. As an individual, this latest situation has taught me that you can't rely on anything. 

Many of us have had what appeared to be flu symptoms earlier this year, at a time when the coronavirus was supposed to be confined to China. We oldies in the UK get free flu jabs in October each year, so what we had shouldn't have been any known strain of flu virus. In recent weeks it has been revealed that there were in fact cases in December 2019 in Northern Ireland and France. Swabs taken from patients at that time have subsequently been confirmed as coronavirus, and the Irish patient had never been off the island of Ireland for months. Latest media horror story is the virus has already mutated from a relatively mild version into a more aggressive and deadly variant. 

If this is how the modern world feels it is obliged to react to a pandemic, then it doesn't bear thinking about for future generations. The virus is scary enough in itself, without all the "WW3" inspired hype and media scaremongering. Wonder if they've got my house ready on planet Zorg yet? 

WTF? = "World Trembling with Fear".
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#6
"Don't know how many have died here in the West Midlands in the UK. I think it's between 3000 - 4000. Probably a few more by the time I finish typing this."

John,
4,000 fatalities is a very big deal indeed! Sad

We here, with our small population ( about 1.5 million) and huge open spaces (hence the road toll - the distances are so great, drivers literally fall asleep driving A to B) , we have indeed been very lucky, so far  Smile

So lucky, that the State Government is talking in terms of eliminating the virus from the State ( virtually), and plans have been announced for the gradual easing of restrictions.

Of course, like everywhere, the  economy is shot and will take ages to recover  Undecided.

Thanks for your interesting post! Smile
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#7
(16-05-2020, 10:33 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: "Don't know how many have died here in the West Midlands in the UK. I think it's between 3000 - 4000. Probably a few more by the time I finish typing this."

John,
4,000 fatalities is a very big deal indeed! Sad

We here, with our small population ( about 1.5 million) and huge open spaces (hence the road toll - the distances are so great, drivers literally fall asleep driving A to B) , we have indeed been very lucky, so far  Smile

So lucky, that the State Government is talking in terms of eliminating the virus from the State ( virtually), and plans have been announced for the gradual easing of restrictions.

Of course, like everywhere, the  economy is shot and will take ages to recover  Undecided.

Thanks for your interesting post! Smile

Dingo,

The only huge open space here is the sky, and it certainly is open at the moment, except for the helicopters keeping an eye out for crowds congregating at beauty spots. We do have a few of those within walking distance of here, but trying to keep 2 metres away from the hordes can be an issue. 

It's difficult to get precise figures for regional fatalities in the UK. The current UK death toll is around 34,000 (reported), and the West Midlands area comprises various health boards. With about 10% of the total UK population, I do believe our death toll per capita is slightly greater than London, but depending on whose statistics you go by it would be impossible to put it down on paper at any given time. A week or two back somebody decided to add another 8000 to the toll, to include some people who died in care homes, as opposed to hospitals. There are maybe still more additions to follow, so nobody really knows what the situation is. We don't seem able to show how many people have recovered, but each country has its own way of recording such things, so comparisons are unreliable.

In the game of what seems to have turned into Economy vs Lives, Sweden took a different approach, and even kept its bars and restaurants open. The scientists involved in their strategy of herd immunity say a lockdown would probably have saved some lives in the short term, but in the longer term everybody is bound to be exposed, as lockdown cannot continue indefinitely, unless we can all learn to live without food and other vital commodities. They have come under criticism from other nations, but they are entitled to play their own hand. Herd immunity could ultimately prove to have worked better for them, rather than the "sheep" indoctrination imposed on countries who are bound by the wishes of their big game player neighbours. 

France put considerable pressure on the UK to go into lockdown, as they had done, at a time when we were still undecided, and carried out the usual "threats" of sanctions if we failed to comply. We folded in a matter of days before the wolves got us, but I suppose only time will tell whether anybody put the correct procedures in place. 

All I can say is that in the current climate, I wish I was living in Sweden. When it's time for your candle to go out, no amount of shelter from the wind will stop it. 

During WW1 a brave young soldier was in the front line. His mother had given him a lucky gold watch and chain that she told him he must wear over his left breast at all times, in case a bullet pierced his heart. On his first time going "over the top", he checked that the watch was in place, and it was as well that he did. A bullet tore through his battledress tunic, and would certainly have entered his heart, but for the lucky gold watch his mother had given him. 
The bullet bounced off the watch, shot up his left nostril, and blew the top of his head off! 

With the best intentions in the world, human life cannot be protected in the manner that many of our well intentioned politicians are inclined to believe.
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#8
Can’t talk about this without talking about politics, but I’ll just say that I believe the less you pay attention to politicians, the better you’ll be. Trust your instincts. Listen to medical wisdom. Take care of yourselves and be kind to each other.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed), Hohner 1974 Melodica (Piano 36)
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#9
Hi Eddy, et al,

The UK Government has eased restrictions in England slightly, but I remain unconvinced about the reasoning behind the decision. Having been in lock-down for so long, I consider it too risky to allow schools to reopen in early June. It would be painful to have endured all this separation, only to create a second spike and further deaths and illness by jumping the gun.

Brenda & I have decided that we will continue our self imposed lock-down until we are convinced by the evidence that it is safe to venture out into the World. We go out every day, but only to places we know to be quiet and fairly isolated.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#10
(16-05-2020, 12:56 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh

Not sure what you point is here. Is it that, since no one makes a big deal out of the 42 road fatalities, we shouldn't make a big deal (or perhaps make even less of a deal) out of the 4 COVID19 deaths?

Or is it that, since 4 COVID19 deaths are viewed by many as a tragedy that merits societal changes so that future deaths may be prevented, the same should be said about the traffic deaths?

If the latter, I agree totally. I love my car, but I think normalization of car-related injuries and deaths is a shame. I applaud communities that are making serious efforts to implement projects such as Vision Zero, including (very recently) my own:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/New...ville.aspx
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#11
Jeff,

That's interesting. I hadn't heard of it.

That table showing the annual road fatalities by country is shocking! Undecided

Thanks!
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#12
(17-05-2020, 03:02 PM)JeffJetton Wrote:
(16-05-2020, 12:56 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh

Not sure what you point is here. Is it that, since no one makes a big deal out of the 42 road fatalities, we shouldn't make a big deal (or perhaps make even less of a deal) out of the 4 COVID19 deaths?

Or is it that, since 4 COVID19 deaths are viewed by many as a tragedy that merits societal changes so that future deaths may be prevented, the same should be said about the traffic deaths?

If the latter, I agree totally. I love my car, but I think normalization of car-related injuries and deaths is a shame. I applaud communities that are making serious efforts to implement projects such as Vision Zero, including (very recently) my own:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/New...ville.aspx

Jeff,

I think Dingo was attempting to convey the fact that although Covid19 is a global catastrophe, the situation in his part of the world possibly does not require it to be prioritised over road deaths. 

I had a look at Wiki and was surprised to learn that the US had the highest road deaths per million population in 2013, by quite a margin. Only South Korea comes anywhere close. The UK total was about a third of the US number, and only Sweden had a lower total than the UK.  

Traffic conditions here in the UK on all major roads is usually very heavy, and we get used to the fact that any lack of concentration, even for a split second, could have dire consequences. We are probably no better drivers than those of most other nations, but our traffic conditions are pretty unforgiving. We do have the usual hard core of headcases that will do anything to pass a slow car in front, but by and large the sheer volume of traffic on the roads tends to hamper the mavericks of the road. It would appear that the reduction in the number of road deaths over the years in the UK is mainly down to safer vehicle construction methods, as well as what we call "traffic calming measures" aka speed humps/bumps, and chicanes in fast urban roads where priority is afforded to vehicles travelling in the direction of less visibility. 

Most of our city centres have 20mph speed limits and in some cities cars are actually banned from parts of the city centres. 

I hope Vision Zero has the desired effect in your area. I was a bus driver for the last 12 years of my working life, and we had to undergo compulsory practical and theory tests to keep the bus entitlement on our licences. One of the keys to accident prevention is continued driver education and awareness, but that is only compulsory in the UK for what we call "vocational drivers". If all drivers had to undergo the same sort of training there is no doubt in my mind that the accident fatality rate would be even lower.

It is a sad fact that many of our fatalities are due to young tearaways turning our road systems into racetracks in the dead of night when there is little traffic, and if they trash the car, it doesn't matter, as there is a good chance it will have been stolen or "carjacked.".

Our roads might be safer, but our car crime rates are pretty horrific.

(17-05-2020, 03:02 PM)JeffJetton Wrote:
(16-05-2020, 12:56 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh

Not sure what you point is here. Is it that, since no one makes a big deal out of the 42 road fatalities, we shouldn't make a big deal (or perhaps make even less of a deal) out of the 4 COVID19 deaths?

Or is it that, since 4 COVID19 deaths are viewed by many as a tragedy that merits societal changes so that future deaths may be prevented, the same should be said about the traffic deaths?

If the latter, I agree totally. I love my car, but I think normalization of car-related injuries and deaths is a shame. I applaud communities that are making serious efforts to implement projects such as Vision Zero, including (very recently) my own:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/New...ville.aspx

Jeff,

I think Dingo was attempting to convey the fact that although Covid19 is a global catastrophe, the situation in his part of the world possibly does not require it to be prioritised over road deaths. 

I had a look at Wiki and was surprised to learn that the US had the highest road deaths per million population in 2013, by quite a margin. Only South Korea comes anywhere close. The UK total was about a third of the US number, and only Sweden had a lower total than the UK.  

Traffic conditions here in the UK on all major roads is usually very heavy, and we get used to the fact that any lack of concentration, even for a split second, could have dire consequences. We are probably no better drivers than those of most other nations, but our traffic conditions are pretty unforgiving. We do have the usual hard core of headcases that will do anything to pass a slow car in front, but by and large the sheer volume of traffic tends to hamper the mavericks of the road. It would appear that the reduction in the number of road deaths over the years in the UK is mainly down to safer vehicle construction methods, as well as what we call "traffic calming measures" aka speed humps/bumps, and chicanes in fast urban roads where priority is afforded to vehicles travelling in the direction of less visibility. 

Most of our city centres have 20mph speed limits and in some cities cars are actually banned from parts of the city centres. 

I hope Vision Zero has the desired effect in your area. I was a bus driver for the last 12 years of my working life, and we had to undergo compulsory practical and theory tests to keep the bus entitlement on our licences. One of the keys to accident prevention is continued driver education and awareness, but that is only compulsory in the UK for what we call "vocational drivers". If all drivers had to undergo the same sort of training there is no doubt in my mind that the accident fatality rate would be even lower.

It is a sad fact that many of our fatalities are due to young tearaways turning our road systems into racetracks in the dead of night when there is little traffic, and if they trash the car, it doesn't matter, as there is a good chance it will have been stolen or "carjacked.".

Our roads might be safer, but our car crime rates are pretty horrific.
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#13
(17-05-2020, 03:02 PM)JeffJetton Wrote:
(16-05-2020, 12:56 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: In my community  ( South Australia), so far this year ( four and a half months):

Number dying of COVID19 related issues : 4. A big deal!

Number dying on our roads ( in the same period): 42. No deal at all, just par for the course!

( same time last year: 45)

WTF??? Huh

Not sure what you point is here. Is it that, since no one makes a big deal out of the 42 road fatalities, we shouldn't make a big deal (or perhaps make even less of a deal) out of the 4 COVID19 deaths?

Or is it that, since 4 COVID19 deaths are viewed by many as a tragedy that merits societal changes so that future deaths may be prevented, the same should be said about the traffic deaths?

If the latter, I agree totally. I love my car, but I think normalization of car-related injuries and deaths is a shame. I applaud communities that are making serious efforts to implement projects such as Vision Zero, including (very recently) my own:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/New...ville.aspx

There are 480,000 deaths each year in USA from tobacco products. Similar to what Jeff said, I think the normalization of tobacco deaths is a shame. It also is expensive, adding about $170 billion in annual medical costs.
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#14
(17-05-2020, 11:09 AM)Stephen Hawkins Wrote: Hi Eddy, et al,

The UK Government has eased restrictions in England slightly, but I remain unconvinced about the reasoning behind the decision.  Having been in lock-down for so long, I consider it too risky to allow schools to reopen in early June.  It would be painful to have endured all this separation, only to create a second spike and further deaths and illness by jumping the gun.

Brenda & I have decided that we will continue our self imposed lock-down until we are convinced by the evidence that it is safe to venture out into the World.  We go out every day, but only to places we know to be quiet and fairly isolated.  

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
Evidence. Exactly, Stephen.
My hair is approaching the same length as in my rock n roll days, and I miss laughing with my friends, but just as I wouldn’t drive on the wrong side of the road while drunk, I won’t endanger my own life and the lives of others by ignorantly invoking “freedom” and violating common sense distancing precautions.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed), Hohner 1974 Melodica (Piano 36)
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#15
"There are 480,000 deaths each year in USA from tobacco products. Similar to what Jeff said, I think the normalization of tobacco deaths is a shame. It also is expensive, adding about $170 billion in annual medical costs."

Jim,

Vow! Undecided

Well, I suppose the big deal about COVID19 is the randomness and unpredictability of it all: you may be doing everything "just right ", leading a blameless existence, be a young person or a child , even a British PM, and still be struck down by it.  Sad

There's also the menace of its potential to spread exponentially, if unchecked!

On the other hand, as a smoker or motorist, you could be seen as having contributed in some way to your own untimely demise ( although there are also many innocent victims, such as "passive smokers " and innocent motorists who become victims). Undecided
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#16
(17-05-2020, 09:22 PM)Dingo40 Wrote: "There are 480,000 deaths each year in USA from tobacco products. Similar to what Jeff said, I think the normalization of tobacco deaths is a shame. It also is expensive, adding about $170 billion in annual medical costs."

Jim,

Vow! Undecided

Well, I suppose the big deal about COVID19 is the randomness and unpredictability of it all: you may be doing everything "just right ", leading a blameless existence, be a young person or a child , even a British PM, and still be struck down by it.  Sad

There's also the menace of its potential to spread exponentially, if unchecked!

On the other hand, as a smoker or motorist, you could be seen as having contributed in some way to your own untimely demise ( although there are also many innocent victims, such as "passive smokers " and innocent motorists who become victims). Undecided

Dingo,

I joined the UK Royal Navy at the age of 20 in 1973, and was a non-smoker at the time. 

When I enlisted I was asked if I was a smoker, and I replied in the negative. The Chief Petty Officer witnessing my signature advised me "Well, you're a smoker now. This is the Royal Navy." 

Part of our pay was duty free tobacco stamps, which we exchanged for cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, or pipe tobacco. That is we bought the tobacco products, minus the duty, but the government still got some tax back on our purchases. When we were at sea the daily rum ration had ceased by that time, but we were obliged to buy three tins of duty free beer every single day, all to be consumed before 10pm. 

The UK government made a fortune out of tobacco and alcohol tax (they still do) yet moan at the cost to the National Health Service of all the treatments necessary to cope with the effects of tobacco and alcohol. 

I was a pipe smoker, alcohol drinker, and driver, all foisted on me by the UK government, as driving was a requirement in one of my government occupations. 

These days they are telling me I should give up all three things. I do miss the pipe, but gave up some years ago when they banned smoking in public. I still have a drink, and am obliged to run a car, as the UK government insists that our public transport is provided by private companies whose only concern is to their shareholders, and service levels to the public are secondary to that. 

People keep talking about what life will be like when "all this is over". Indications are that we're just going to have to go out there and take our chances, whenever the clever people decide that's the only way. As I've said before, I believe that my wife and I, and some of our friends and associates, have already had the virus. It isn't pleasant and symptoms vary among individuals. I was flattened for four days with a very sore throat, high temperature, and lost my sense of taste and smell. I couldn't eat or drink anything but sips of water and lost 10 lbs in weight. My wife had the cough, temperature, and couldn't breathe lying down. She had to sleep in a sitting position until it shifted. Her symptoms lasted 3 weeks, and she lost 20lbs in weight.   

We are both 67 years of age. I have cardio vascular issues, and she has COPD, and had a stroke four years ago.

Maybe we were both lucky, and some will question whether we had the virus at all. We'll know when the antibodies test becomes available for everybody (unless we die before that happens).
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#17
John,
Thanks again for sharing your experiences: always interesting! Smile

I too am a reformed smoker (up to 20/30 cigarettes/day for about 20 years). One day, I just thought, " Why am I doing this?", and gave it up "cold turkey ".
Just lucky, I guess. Several friends determinately continued, against all well meant advice, only to die of lung cancer. Sad

I am not a teetotaller, but the Government isn't making much from me  Tongue, even less as the years go by. Smile

Thinking back, one does wonder if the various recent respiratory symptoms one's experienced may have had something to do with COVID19, however we've been lucky not to have had anything at all as serious as you've described.

In the absence of an anti-COVID19 shot, my wife and I have had the current Flu shot and had the available course of anti-pneumonia shots.

Thanks and keep well! Smile
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#18
(18-05-2020, 12:44 AM)Dingo40 Wrote: John,
Thanks again for sharing your experiences: always interesting! Smile

I too am a reformed smoker (up to 20/30 cigarettes/day for about 20 years). One day, I just thought, " Why am I doing this?", and gave it up "cold turkey ".
Just lucky, I guess. Several friends determinately continued, against all well meant advice, only to die of lung cancer. Sad

I am not a teetotaller, but the Government isn't making much from me  Tongue, even less as the years go by. Smile

Thinking back, one does wonder if the various recent respiratory symptoms one's experienced may have had something to do with COVID19, however we've been lucky not to have had anything at all as serious as you've described.

In the absence of an anti-COVID19 shot, my wife and I have had the current Flu shot and had the available course of anti-pneumonia shots.

Thanks and keep well! Smile

Hi Dingo,

We both had the annual flu vaccine in October, and that's pointed us towards the belief that we probably had the virus. 

Nine or ten other people we know well have had symptoms to varying degrees, and one of them, a diabetic male in his 50s, was terrified to go to hospital because of all the media hype. He soldiered on at home for several weeks, and was unable to work during that time. He is one of those who is able to work from home, and has apparently now recovered.

All of us had been in each others' company at various times before lockdown, and most of us had the flu shot in October.  

I've stopped reading all the media stories, as they are full of useless statistics and estimations. 

At least I'm still alive and taking the 23,340 estimated breaths a day that (some) scientists reckon we need. Mind you that's only at rest. Young fit athletic types might need another 7387.14159 breaths, depending on whose science you believe.

Only science subject I got any qualifications in was physics, and from my experience in that field I got to learn that if it doesn't work, just hit it with a bigger hammer (3.487 times usually does the trick!)

I need to go to the shops this morning, and it's a job and a half remembering which ones are open, and which are not, or who is selling what. 

Last week I went out to get bread and milk and came back with tins of paint from a DIY store, as the queue there was smaller. Then I remembered that painting sure makes you hungry!  

Stay safe. Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.
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#19
"Stay safe. Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you 

Good advice, John,

Thanks! Smile
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#20
(18-05-2020, 08:59 AM)maugein96 Wrote: Stay safe. Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.

Basically, that's it.

I am re-reading Albert Camus' "La Peste" (written in 1947 I think) and it is unbelievable how little the world has changed in these 70+ years. Of course, today, the reading is different than when I was a young man, some 50 years ago. The circumstances are very very different, and with age added, the reading and perception are quite different also. ymmv.
Carpe diem, C.
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