Day Twenty-Two of ORCA in Switzerland – The Company of Cats

Today during my walk this afternoon I surprised a cat on some stairs and I moved patiently. It brushed up against me so I started to stroke it. During this pandemic the only living things I have had physical contact with are cats. During a pandemic, if you’re not living with people, you are very limited.

Yesterday I did go out for a bike ride with a group of people, virtually. Before the ride I was feeling really down, and negative. After the ride I was feeling refreshed and relaxed. For the first time in three weeks I was able to do something physical without having to avoid people, worry about routing or anything else. All I had to do was pedal to the limit of my motivation and endurance.

If we went into full lock down then I would treat it as if we were in winter. I’d train hard, on the indoor trainer, so that when we are finally allowed more freedom in the outdoors I’d be fit enough to explore new routes.

The Shopping situation

When I went to the shops they were the emptiest I’ve seen them in a long time. I didn’t even need to queue to get in, although I did have a brief moment of over-exaggerating my steps as I was behind people walking slower than me. Everyone, or almost, walks slower than me, so that’s not a criticism of the people ahead of me. It’s good for you. You can use entirely different muscle groups as you behave in an eccentric manner. Even the self-checkout was empty, just one other person.

Of course in the process I forgot to buy plain rice so now I’m going to have to cook with wild rice today. I think playing the COVID-19 lottery, by going to the shops once a day, is risky enough. Wild rice is meant to be healthier anyway.

A Slow Down In New Cases

According to the figures I see, and articles in the press, it seems that the Pandemic has reached a plateau and we may be able to feel optimistic about the end coming in two or three weeks. Of course we have to be wary. With good weather more people are going out to enjoy the conditions, and the likelihood of another flareup is high if people are not careful.

Having said this I saw a tweet that the Canton De Vaud judiciary is going to start work again today, I saw that a shop selling coffee was open again and that a pet shop was open again too. These could be seen as signs, that more people are optimistic that things are improving.

Societal Change

I see that people are discussing whether society will have changed when this is all over and I believe that it will not have because of two key reasons. The first is that the wealthy, those with the power to effect change, will not have suffered like those that do not have the power to effect change. As a result many things will remain the same.

The second factor is rate of infection. When China was infected every other nation on earth had the opportunity to react, but as we see, after Italy was infected, no societies changed. Switzerland, France, Spain, The United Kingdom and the United States did not change.

It took governments saying “stay home, and self-isolate” for people to take action. To me this is a clear sign that the societal change people idealise is just that, an ideal.

Update: Victorian England was afraid of germs and diseases, which is why they wore white gloves and tried to keep their homes clean. The problem is that the paint they used to cover their walls was poisoning them, as was makeup and other elements of everyday life.

Side Effect

I have seen the headline in French and English that according to some people, the earth is less seismically active than usual. As none of the reputable news services have written about this story I am seeing it as just a curiousity, rather than something serious. It’s more likely that with less traffic, whether cars, trucks or planes, that seismometers, may detect less background noise.

In theory now would be the perfect time to have the LHC running, as there is less background noise.

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