Strictly Confidential!

Well where to start. Like all cities, towns and places people call home Exeter, Devon in the UK, has taken a bit of a beating this year. Shops shut, people staying at home and all that Jazz. As for me on the other hand I’m now working in the city again that I love to call home, at the heart of the city council in for want of a better word a pandemic planning room.

I work now for the environmental health team answering phone calls and emails for the team directing them to where they need to go to or sometimes I am even able to answer the questions myself.

Business is booming in the office lots of environmentally unhealthy things to deal with, listen to, act on and treat. Though I don’t really want to or cannot go into too much detail because the calls we take emails we get and things we act upon are all really related to people’s lives and are personal to them and strictly confidential!

So during this pandemic when most people are stopping going into the city, I on the other hand turn about face and do the opposite. I sometimes catch a bus to the city centre, sometimes walk (less than I should), sometimes stop in a bar for a beer on the way home (possibly more than I should under a pandemic year but less than I would in a normal year).

I go out to a bar about twice a week and this feels too much like I am taking my life in my own hands with regard to the potential picking up of Covid-19. I am very overweight have a borderline diabeties diagnosis and am nearly mid 40’s so I am not exactly in the young and just passing it on bracket of the pandemic population.

Though I do think that if I get used to not socialising I might permanently not go out. I instead continue to go out and love doing so more for company really than Guinness. I don’t drink at home and still love to meet people and watch punters when sitting in a local bar. My social lockdown beer drinking acquaintances have been one of the joys of this year.

My original group of socialising friends that I used to drink with in a local pub has really gone tits up though. Some are social isolating, some have had mini meltdowns, and others like me are just getting on and making the most of it. Our little group were like ten pin bowls knocked down very quickly by the bowling ball that is Covid-19.

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

Covid-19 Vs Trump

Trump gives his supporters liberty while Covid-19 gives them death! If you are still alive after this butchers little escapade please don’t vote him back into office (I’m refering to Trump of course as Death has yet to stand as the President of the USA!)

Skip Marley – Refugee

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2020/06/give-them-liberty-or-give-them-covid-19

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, denial was the default response from the political right. Donald Trump derided it as a “hoax”. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro scorned the “hysteria” over a “little flu”. In Italy, Matteo Salvini urged people to go on holiday, in defiance of social distancing advice from the World Health Organisation.

The denial has often been tacit. While coronavirus spread across India, Narendra Modi was silent for weeks. The British government argued that the risk of the virus to the UK was “low”, and declined to prepare for lockdown or to implement a full programme of testing, tracing and isolation.

Most governments now reject Covid-19 denialism. Nonetheless, it has inspired far-right groups, and sparked protests against lockdowns, from Michigan to Melbourne.

Why was denialism the reflex of the nationalist right? It makes commercial sense for the Koch family – billionaire libertarians threatened by a more regulated capitalism –  to be against the suspension of economic life. But it is not the obvious position for authoritarian, anti-immigrant nationalists to take. The pandemic demands unprecedented restrictions, border controls and surveillance. It offers popularity to any government that takes control of the situation.

Indeed, before the pandemic, nationalists thrived on a fantasy of catastrophe: “white genocide”, immigration “invasion”, “communist” takeover. But faced with a real disaster, they have stumbled.

This is not for want of human enemies to scapegoat. Epidemics are fecund ground for conspiracism. In the Middle Ages, disease was blamed on Jews. In the 19th century, it was blamed on elites. In early American outbreaks of Spanish flu in 1918, rumours blamed it on a German plot. Today, it is Chinese people.

But far from cohering against a new enemy, the hard right is incoherent. Trump swerves between disinformation and exhortations to “liberate” states under lockdown. Boris Johnson urges people to return to work – without explaining how this can be done safely – all the while enforcing lockdown and continuing furlough schemes. Even Bolsonaro is sounding more petulant than defiant. Challenged by the media about Brazil’s soaring death rates, he huffs: “So what? What do you want me to do?”

This incoherence is only partly hidden by Covid-19 jingoism – the invocation of warlike nationalism to fight the pandemic.

Denial is often a form of affirmation. Alongside those who belittle the seriousness of the pandemic are those who admit it’s serious, but suggest that we die for the economy anyway. As Bolsonaro put it, “I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life. You can’t stop a car factory because of traffic deaths.”

There have been subtler versions of this argument. Johnson never asked us to die for capitalism. But his government did urge the nation to “take [Covid-19] on the chin”   while the medical evidence suggested that such insouciance could kill 500,000 people. The government initially refused to shut schools, citing the claim that a four-week closure would cut 3 per cent off GDP growth.

As Bolsonaro’s example suggests, governments routinely trade off lives for economic growth. Why stop now? This contemporary denialism is ideologically similar to the social Darwinism and class contempt that, as the historian Richard J Evans shows in Death in Hamburg, led to 10,000 deaths in 19th-century Hamburg from an outbreak of cholera.

But the desire to end the lockdown for economic reasons does not explain another significant right-wing trend. This is the emergence of the so-called “Branch Covidians” – those cultish figures on the American right risking death for “liberty” – who are protesting lockdowns.

There is a tendency to dismiss anti-lockdown gatherings as campaigns entirely bought and procured by rich businessmen. In the US, this idea has some truth. Denialists, 5G conspiracists, Trump fan-clubs, evangelicals and militias have enjoyed the financial backing of the American Legislative Exchange Council and even elements of the Trump White House.

In some respects, this anti-lockdown coalition resembles the ultra-conservative, anti-establishment Tea Party movement, which also received lobby money. The slogans, equating social distancing with communism, recall the paranoid vigilantism of that earlier movement. The threats to journalists, and calls to “hang” Anthony Fauci (head of the US’s coronavirus task force) recall its violent rhetoric.

However, the lockdown protesters are acting out of their own convictions. As the Harvard-based sociologist Theda Skocpol has argued, the nationalist far right is a grassroots affair. When rich patrons offer financial support, their role is to mobilise existing networks of activists.

But the concerns of lockdown protesters are not the same as their sponsors. They care less about the economy, as the New York Times delicately put it, than about “ideology”: a polite term for the toxic stew of racism and conspiracism underpinning the movement.

The desire to end lockdowns and restart economies has brought the far right and neoliberals together. This intellectual and political alliance is based on a deep suspicion of “society”; or what the political theorist Wendy Brown calls “sociophobia”. It is why, according to the anti-lockdown slogan, “social distancing = communism”, because social distancing represents a form of social solidarity.

The coalition of Covid-19 denial remains limited. Most nationalist voters support lockdown. But that could change. Test results suggest that only a small number of people around the world have been infected by coronavirus. That means more waves of infection are likely, and therefore further lockdowns. Every month of lockdown cuts growth, adds to unemployment and risks industrial scarring.

Many people are struggling, with little support. On the nationalist right, some of the ingredients are already there for back-to-work denialism. Unless a new economic model is found, the risk is that life under the pandemic will supply the rest.

Richard Seymour is a writer, broadcaster and activist. His latest book is The Twittering Machine (Indigo Press)

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How our brains are processing the pandemic

BBC News – How are Brains are processing the pandemic
The Prodigy – Poson

I don’t know about you but nothing feels normal about this year and it is just a little bat sh*t crazy. It seems on the news that one problem was kind of sorted and a new thing would pop straight up in its place a little bit like the arcade game below.

Hammer Hitting Arcade Game – Almost like watching the news during Covin-19 Pandemic.

What happened when we all stopped

#WorldEnvironmentDay

“What happened when we all stopped” narrated by Jane Goodall

First published on 4 Jun 2020

21K367ShareSaveTED-Ed 11.7M subscribers An animated poem exploring how the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of living in harmony with nature. Download a free children’s book version: https://bit.ly/TEDEdWhisper#WorldEnvironmentDay — As millions around the world shelter at home, the smog melts away, the birds sing, and the waters run clear. What if we used this moment in our lives and in history as an opportunity to jumpstart the rebirth and rewilding of our planet when we go back to work and school? This moment can lead us to a healthier, cleaner, greener future, if only we grasp it. Tom Rivett-Carnac tells the story of what happened when we all stopped. To download a free children’s book version of this poem, visit https://bit.ly/TEDEdWhisper Written by Tom Rivett-Carnac, directed by Avi Ofer. Narrated by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE. Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace Created in partnership with https://www.janegoodall.org.uk/ and https://www.rootsnshoots.org.uk/ Animator’s website: https://aviofer.com/ Sign up for our newsletter: http://bit.ly/TEDEdNewsletter Support us on Patreon: http://bit.ly/TEDEdPatreon Follow us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/TEDEdFacebook Find us on Twitter: http://bit.ly/TEDEdTwitter Peep us on Instagram: http://bit.ly/TEDEdInstagram View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-happe…

The Fear Phenomenon

I’m really struggling to write down the thoughts in my head at the moment. So many thoughts but afraid to say them out loud. We very much are living through a time which history will remember for good or ill. The story that is unfolding for the planet, humanity our economy and our present, past and future has so many sides to be viewed from its octagonal!


Capitalist economic way of life on hold, stock markets smashed and crashed, local small businesses could be about to shut up shop and make their staff unemployed for months. People becoming afraid for themselves their families, the streets are quieter with less people on them and talking and walking, people are afraid to embrace each other.


The necessity of a resilient and well funded social structure and health service is becoming clear for all to see. Social investments are being made and social policies are being adopted across the world to help turn the tide against Coronavirus, no one’s calling these measures socialism but that’s exactly what it looks like to me. Lives are being lost, slowly so far but not clear yet as to the long term outlook. I kind of wonder who do I know who I might lose?


I got offered a new job this week so going through the process of getting references and stuff sorted for that. A little concerned about if I hand in my notice at my old job and then can’t start the new job due to lock down and being at home where do I stand with being able to pay my rent and affording to eat. The job will still be there it’s not going anywhere it’s just a question of whether I am aloud to start to work in it, due to work restrictions.

I believe that this outbreak is a natural phenomenon and is a delicately dark and yet simple and effective way for mother nature to flex her muscle to show us all in a very short space of time just how fragile our way of life is and how easy the rug can be pulled from under our feet and is forcing everybody to stop and reflect.

Mother Nature proving just how puny we really are

The industrialised and calculated damage to the planet and to the plants and animals that live on it and how humanity seems to think it can carry on regardless without consequence is truly being tested this decade. We have had record temperatures, flooding, fires and now Coronavirus. The flooding , fires and temperatures records didn’t really seem to get under the skin of the corporations, billionaires and governments running our show globally.

Even though we have seen a lot of mass marketing by governments organisations and billionaires concerning how much they care and what great lengths they are going to in order to help our species continue to industrially manipulation the planet, butcher wildlife to make more room for the crap we buy before it goes to landfill whilst worshiping at the altar of capitalism it just does not really feel as if anything has changed.

That is until Coronavirus came along, everything seems to have changed now and people in charge are mobilising as if war has just been declared. It really does feel like it has got under the authorities skin. My chances of living or dying in this world dont seem to have changed that much and someone living in a piss poor country trying to escape to a better life to a richer continent, their life chances don’t seem to have changed much. But for our leaders and people in charge they now realise more now then ever before that like us all are just mere mortals and only human.

When I was a child at school back in the early 1990’s my geography teacher started to tell us about climate change, the industrial deforesting and destruction of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest and the amount of undiscovered by man, species we were losing by the bucket load. She darkly commented ‘well of course it won’t affect my generation but it will of course affect yours’ and then laughed and carried on with the lesson. Even back then and still to this day I very much knew she was right.

I don’t know whether to fear Coronavirus or to be in awe of its simple deadly efficiency. Well only time will tell.

Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind