We reprint some philosophical musings by a Unite black cab driver.
By Mark Edward Taylor
We have been in Covid-19 Lockdown for seventy days. There are minor relaxations to the lockdown coupled with potential fears of a second coronavirus wave. All the world can do is wait. A vaccine may be found, but there has never been one for the common cold, a relative of the deadly Covid-19 . . .
On the plus side, seventy days in London have seen the best weather ever. The Met Office stated it has been the sunniest and warmest Spring since weather began!
Also, another plus has been a large tailing off of daft Whatsapp messages. They proliferated early on in the pandemic but as people started to get used to the boredom by reading, watching untold episodes of long drawn out series on Netflix and cleaning their homes to the standard of five star hotels, the Whatsapp virus is in steep decline.
Here in the UK social distancing is two metres. In much of mainland Europe it is one metre. In South Korea it is 1.4 metres. Virus experts say a cough or sneeze can travel eight metres . . .
I like social distancing. Long after this plague has gone, I like the idea of keeping some folk eight, nine or even ten metres away from me for the rest of my born days . . . Some individuals I’d like to be even further from me.
Weirdo-in-Chief Dominic Cummings should always be 260 miles away from most of us. This bug-eyed moron should be tracked and traced throughout the land. Whenever the much-heralded Test, Track & Trace comes to the nation’s aid – if everyone who catches the virus says the Cummings monster has been in contact with them, he could be in isolation for weeks on end, possibly never surfacing again.
Many will have seen the 2011 Steven Soderbergh film, Contagion. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law, the movie has uncanny similarities to what the world is going through now. I watched it about a month ago and thought almost everything rang true except the civil unrest. Now, over the last week, that is happening in the USA after the tragic, brutal and needless police killing of George Floyd, a black man and father of two daughters who worked until recently as a security guard at a restaurant, in Minneapolis. Protests have broken out across American cities demanding justice for George.
Race is at the core of the issue and a never ending spate of black Americans being victims of murder by white cops . . . The American dream is easier if you are white.
Today as I went for a bicycle ride I ran into the Black Lives Matter march from Parliament Square to the US embassy in Vauxhall. Thousands ignoring social distancing, carrying placards and chanting. The protests have gone viral as many politicians lose their grip. President Trump has not helped the situation with inflammatory language of the tone, when the lootin’ starts, the shootin’ starts . . .
Zoom in on this photograph to see Black Lives Matter March Photo© taylortaxitours.london
Regular readers of Mark’s Missive will know how I have rallied against Brexit. Calling it Crexit. Crazy European Exit. I know it is not catchy and has clearly not caught on. But, how can leaving a trading bloc with our closest neighbours be sensible at a time of global pandemic? Should a vaccine be found for coronavirus, how will barriers against importing a cure be helpful? We can see Covid-19 has made the world a much smaller place with everyone in this crisis together.
It is time for my Brexit rant.
Michel Barnier’s senior special advisor, Stefaan De Rynck, has warned he would be surprised if the UK gets a deal by the due date at the end of this month. De Rynck states the UK continues its “have your cake and eat it” approach. Seeking free movement for workers in the services sector, for example, while closing borders to EU citizens. Barnier has stated the UK wants to be able to “dance at the same two wedding parties”.
There will have to be an extension to the muddle of trying to leave the EU. David Cameron’s referendum of 2016 has caused chaos. Splitting the country into tribes of Leavers and Remainers who cannot unite…. If this is taking back control it appears like fantasyland. I know I will go to my grave knowing Cameron’s referendum unleashed an evil across the land giving many voters a chance to cast an anti-immigrant vote, fuelled by an intolerance to residents of colour or speaking Polish or Rumanian.
Meanwhile back in Belarus, you remember, the state where authoritarian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka stated saunas, tractors and vodka would protect the people against coronavirus. They have had 20,000 cases and 112 deaths according to news channel, Aljazeera. Getting accurate information from Belarus is difficult. Aljazeera adds many fatalities have been registered as pneumonia.
At a recent military parade celebrating the end of World War II, Lukashenka made a lax attempt at social distancing by saying: “You don’t need to drag anyone to the event”. He also adds, “People should not only wash their hands with vodka but poison the virus with it.” Still on the mighty vodka in Belarus….
I am thinking about trying to get back to work in a week or so. It could be futile as taxi drivers are telling me there is very little business around. You just sit for hours on end doing nothing. At least at home I can read, do crosswords and sharpen my sudoku skills while partaking in a glass of my dwindling beer and wine reserves. Additionally I can stay at home, protect Our NHS and write this shit . . .
Cash is going to become a problem. I need to work. Most other people do too. Simple economics tell us things have to change. During this lockdown I have celebrated my birthday, and all my three kids have had theirs. Should their mother have a Covid-19 birthday? Six months, half a year, twenty-six weeks, 180 days will have passed . . .
By the way, has anyone seen anything of Boris Johnson? I heard it alleged he’d gone off to patronise a one hundred year old captain with a large garden. Other sources say he is on holiday again. Search me….anyway toodle pip . . .