Notes From the Northern Colony

lockdown

Discarded face mask on the ground

Throughout the pandemic, it has been common to see disposable masks littering the streets of Glasgow, but in the last few weeks it has become almost as common to find reusable masks in the same state.

And, even though yesterday Scotland beat its all-time record for Covid infections, with more than 4000 new cases and six new deaths, Glasgow is in level 2, and in a few weeks the entire country will be in level 0, no longer required to wear masks or socially distance.

#covid19 #plaguediary #pandemic #lockdown #level2 #level0 #glasgow #scotland #scottishblogs

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Santa Muerte

When I wrote this in April, I hoped to be wrong. I was not.

#covid19 #plaguediary #pandemic #lockdown #level3 #scotland #scottishblogs

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If you are a virus in Scotland, things have been tough since the start of this year, with lockdown making it harder for you to kill people. But tomorrow your life will get easier. Lockdown is ending, Scotland is moving to Level 3. Here are all the ways you can find victims starting tomorrow:

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“You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way.”—Marlo Stanfield, The Wire

The stay-at-home rule was lifted yesterday. Since then, Covid cases in Scotland have risen by 414, and Scotland has the highest infection rate in the UK. Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, says this should be “a warning to us not to go too fast.”

But we are going fast, heading towards a further lifting of restrictions on April 5, and bars and restaurants starting a phased reopening on April 26.

Yesterday and today, the weather has been sunny and warm in Glasgow, so parks have been crowded, with few people wearing masks.

I had my first dose of the AstraZenica vaccine on February 21, but my behaviour will not be changing with the rules. I will continue to go outside as seldom as possible, always masked. If the ending of lockdown is not cancelled, it means Scotland is in life-threatening denial. There is what we want, and there is how it is, and how it is always wins.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”—Philip K. Dick

#covid19 #coronavirus #scotland #pandemic #lockdown #plaguediary #scottishblogs

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Even in lockdown, essential services continue. And, when a woman has been murdered by a cop, protests and vigils are essential services.

#saraheverard #policeviolence #acab #misogyny #violenceagainstwomen #patsystevenson #plaguediary #covid19 #lockdown

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The anarchist ideal and the libertarian ideal have something in common: they cannot work, because they are based on the assumption that people are sensible and well-intentioned, a thesis that can be disproved these days just by going outside, where you will view:

People wearing masks around their necks, not their faces

People wearing masks over their mouths, not their noses

People not wearing masks at all

People taking their masks off to cough or sneeze

People in any of the above categories standing close to strangers, and becoming angry when asked to distance

There is, as Marx wrote, a lumpen proletariat, but there is also a lumpen bourgeoisie, and the most sensible rules of lockdown will not contain the plague unless they are enforced.

#covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic #lockdown #plaguediary #scottishblogs

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Outdoor life in Glasgow today was like an enactment of China Mieville's novel The City and the City. But, instead of two different nations in the same place, there is a Glasgow where there is a lockdown because of a pandemic, and a Glasgow where there is no plague, and no such law has passed.

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Neil Gaiman's ability to make up stories has brought him wealth and fame. But his creative powers seem to be failing him when he is challenged about how he thinks his wealth entitles him to ignore the law and put people's lives at risk.

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Looking west from Maryhill, Glasgow, these days is like seeing the view for the first time. Or like seeing a high-resolution image instead of a faded photograph. You can see farther, and in more detail, and there are colours that were previously invisible.

It only took a couple weeks of reduced pollution because of the lockdown for us to be able to see — and breathe — so clearly. Of course, the polluters are receiving billions in financial bailouts. When the pandemic ends — which will not be soon, according to a professor of the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard — a more common sickness will likely return. Our view of the distance, near and far, will fade, and we will once again be breathing in the chemicals that blur our vision.

If we saw as clearly with our hearts and minds as we now get to see with our eyes, we would ban all private cars from our cities.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#glasgow #scotland #cities #pollution #covid19 #coronavirus #lockdown #pandemic #environment #scottishblogs

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