Notes From the Northern Colony

pandemic

“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

—GM Stevenson

Email: contact at stevenson dot scot

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Laura Henderson Photo: Cube Housing Association

Dear Landlords,

I remarked today to a fellow tenant (or “customer,” as you call us) that communicating with Cube is a bit like praying. But then I corrected myself, because when praying we do not know for certain that no one is listening or that our supplications will be ignored — which we can be certain of when communicating with you.

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A week after I posted this, the stairwells and lifts in the high flats on Wyndford Road are no less manky. I sent the link to Laura Henderson, Cube's Managing Director, right after I posted it, but I have had no reply from her, or anyone else at Cube. I did not expect one, but I hoped to be wrong.

But at least one tenant (or, as Cube calls us, “customers”) has a sense of humour, as evidenced by this in a stairwell:

#cubehousingassociation #wyndford #maryhill #glasgow #healthhazard #laurahendersoncubehousingassociation #scottishblogs #plaguediary #pandemic #covid19 #wyndfordtenantsunion

—GM Stevenson

Email: contact at stevenson dot scot

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This is after cleaning

In a time of plague, Cube Housing Assocation's neglect of the health and safety of its tenants is medieval.

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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

—GM Stevenson

Email: contact at stevenson dot scot

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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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danse macabre

The Scottish government has not announced any plans to ease the laws against robbery, assault or drunk driving.

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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

—GM Stevenson

Email: contact at stevenson dot scot

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