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Author Topic: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)  (Read 20220 times)

Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #195 on: March 27, 2020, 07:33:07 PM »

@7LM Janet knows lots of Gaelic songs (given a lyric sheet as an aide-memoire, as she can never remember words to anything), but she has never taught George any. Gilbert never sings nor brays. He makes a sort of funny woofling noise when he wants something though. Janet only speaks to the donkeys in English so they have never picked up any Gaelic. The two donkeys were not born around here, they are from either Wales or England - Iíll have to check with Janet - they had an enormous journey up here in a special horsebox van anyway
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #196 on: March 27, 2020, 10:26:22 PM »

Iíve another Waitrose slot booked, and just been updating the basket.

I wanted carrots.  It seemed decent to just buy what I needed, which was 3 single carrots.   No, it wouldnít let me, as each carrot counts as one item and together with other items in my basket that took me over my quota for fresh veg.   :'(

So Iíve now got a whole bag of carrots coming, when I just wanted 3, as a bag is just one item.   They wonít go to waste, but how bonkers is that?   ???
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #197 on: March 27, 2020, 11:38:22 PM »

Does it only allow three veg items or did you have other things in the basket too?

Because considering you're supposed to eat five a day, how does that work?  Are they trying to screw everyone immune system so were more likely to get the virus?
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #198 on: March 28, 2020, 12:29:05 AM »

I had other stuff, but I think the veg limit was six items total.   Which, for example, could be six individual vegetables, say, four carrots and two parsnips.  Or it can be two huge sacks of carrots, two huge sacks of parsnips, plus another two sacks of potatoes, as long as it adds up to six.

Same with dairy.  You can have six items in total, but that can be six small cartons of milk or six giant catering-size cartons, as long as itís just six.

Utterly stupid. :'(
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #199 on: March 28, 2020, 10:03:10 AM »

I see now Waitrose are only accepting new orders from those listed by govt as vulnerable or elderly.  I think others supermarkets are under pressure to follow suit.

It seems to me that this is flawed, since you can catch Covid-19 without being on any such govt list.   If not on the list and you want to eat while you are sick, since you canít order online, thereíd be a very strong temptation (avoidance of starvation) to go out shopping thereby spreading the virus.

 :o
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Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #200 on: March 28, 2020, 01:25:52 PM »

Do you think there has been a surge of activity in previous weeks in buying of hardware and installation of networking upgrades by corporates in order to get ready for homeworking? Buying hardware to support massive numbers of VPN connections coming in (or not and just using ostrich technology so users have a nightmare experience). Buying laptops for homeworkers so they are properly secured rather than having homeworkers use their own boxes that are crawling with nasties and have children accessing them and snooping through mummyís work or deleting half of it. Setting up secured lans at home for homeworkers similarly so they wonít be using their own lans which have infants and even neighbours on them. Ordering business class fast internet access links for home users so they have decent ISPs that can be trusted and also done in order that employer pays the ISP bills. Also maybe ordering video conferencing hardware for employees to have at home, be it low end or high end.

Could be a boom in orders for the industry. But maybe corporates were ostriches, clueless, overwhelmed or left it way too late. If they did not act early they have now missed the deadline for FTTP installations because of Openreach cutting off all new orders this week. The other problem is that the supply chain for some hardware may have failed some while ago and success in getting orders fulfilled may be patchy depending on supplier and on level of stock already manufactured.

This is the problem: "key workers" are not just the obvious, eg nhs staff, but also suppliers. Ambulances need tyres for example, so tyre manufacturers could become Ďkeyí, ie critical, too. Since our local garage is shut, what are the local ambulances to do if they need attention? Answer: a 170 mile [!] five hour journey to Inverness and an unforgivable waste of time. Assuming that there is even a garage open there. Or alternative answer: kick the local garage up the arse to cause them to come to their senses and make an exception in this case. But then of course the local garage might not be able to get parts for an ambulance as suppliers have failed.

It seems to me that government needs to act very very early in a situation such as this, before supply chains fail because of lack of manpower. If they leave it too late then they run out of supply availability and run out of fit humans to run government and run critical services. Members of the government are now symptomatic for COVID-19 infection and this damages governmentís capabilities at a time when thereís a huge wartime-like critical workload.

I suspect our government should have acted a lot earlier, but what do I know. Going very early is difficult because people will not take it seriously, not seeing the need, and so tend to be rebellious, ignoring the measures.

Remember Y2K, when some people said there was never any problem, but in fact the badness never happened only because people including me put in work checking for and fixing bugs. I was a member of a small team back then in 1997 asked to check all the software we were producing, which I did by writing a scanner tool which greped all the source code (in C and C++) to find potential bugs/areas of interest and then I inspected areas around lines of code discovered. I found nothing to even look at in my designated area of code which was comms code; hardly surprising as such code never deals with textual ascii decimal dates anyway. (Iím not talking about software involving protocols above L4 - eg email, http - which might parse ascii decimal dates but which wonít have a problem because of the particular nature of that code. But anyway, doing a good job means people will say there never was any problem that needed urgent attention in the first place.

One thing however is that preventive/mitigating measures that involve placing massive orders with suppliers or require large amounts of manpower will be successful still, if theyíre early enough, before everything starts to fall apart because of reduced workforce and even worse supplier problems in eg China.



Iím very sorry to have to report that someone I know is in hospital with presumed COVID-19; she was very poorly at home. Sheís in hospital in Staffordshire where if I have understood correctly thereís now one designated hospital for all COVID-19 cases in that area. No visitors allowed, which is only sensible but horrible for the patient. Havenít heard any reports from the hospital. I am extremely concerned about her as she is elderly.
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Ronski

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #201 on: March 28, 2020, 01:46:49 PM »

Weaver, Isle of Sky tyres is still open https://www.isleofskyetyres.co.uk/ they don't just do tyres, they offer full servicing (batteries as well!) and Mot's. Perhaps a bit of googling before chastising some local garage owner who's decided to shut for whatever reason. Oh, and they are 5.1 miles from your home.

There's several others nearby too, but they either don't have a website or state they open for business, the one above does. And I'm 100% positive the ambulance service will have suitable services in place for maintenance and tyres.
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Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #202 on: March 28, 2020, 02:00:40 PM »

Iím sure there is a good reason why our local garage shut and if he wanted to protect his workforce then that is very admirable. There was no intention to express hatred in my post; so mea culpa and much love to the garage, who is suffering we have to remember.

Good tip about that url, thanks. In fact I did some googling already and a battery might be here today, ordered from a supplier on the web who does free delivery and has a car model selector battery lookup thing too. The last battery we bought was clearly rubbish, only lasted a couple of years; buying not from a dealer up here may mean they sell you the cheapest crappiest one possible because people are all broke and so it is assumed they want the cheapest not a good one, which is a complete false economy anyway and actually backfires on you. If the web supplier turns out to be good then we will keep using them or get batteries etc from the main dealer so they are bound to be good quality and beefy enough for Janet's Land Rover Disco.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 02:05:34 PM by Weaver »
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Ronski

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #203 on: March 28, 2020, 04:22:41 PM »

Off topic. No need to pay way over the top for batteries from a main dealer, just need to buy well known brand names, most batteries have two year warranties, better one's three or you can even get some Bosch one's with five year warranties.
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Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #204 on: March 28, 2020, 04:39:55 PM »

Janet had a Tesco website shopping basket, order in progress, but she has decided to cancel it as neighbours report that when the order arrives most of it is missing or inadequate replacements may be present. This is together with annoying restrictions on amount of purchases. Iím wondering if Tescoís supply chain is falling apart; especially a problem if international deliveries are required and stuff is supposed to come from foreign countries in a worse state than we are.

I donít know how much stuff is to be seen on the shelves of the Tescos shops in the Highlands - nearest on the east coast, ~80 miles and 5 hr away [!]. Maybe itís not so bad in the shops still. Some people are of the opinion that the problem is simply that their home delivery system (or in our case nearly-home, local-to-us collection point) is overwhelmed. But I think it could be deeper than that, a general lack of supply, as the old refrain about hoarding can only be true for so long; after a while the hoarders will have got all the stuff they want, or will have run out of money, or will have been frustrated finally by order quantity restrictions. Looking at the shelves will go some way towards an answer.

Janet said she though she couldnít even get flour from Tescoís. Luckily she still has some. Sheís making bread this afternoon. I love her home-made bread and sheís finding that a valuable way to feed us if thereís no (nasty) bread in the Coop. Janet is feeding neighbours with eggs every day. She gives surplus eggs to the local food bank. Hope we can continue to get hen food.

Donkeys are well supplied as we have a mountain of donkey food (straw for their main food, and then chaff and treats), and next month the first grass will start to appear. Grass is very late here due to the altitude, two weeks later than down low in the village at sea level, and you see a wave of green every year rising up the hillside from sea level towards us. Presumably the northern latitude makes spring late too? Anyway in a month or so donkeys will be eating grass all the time, so only daily treats required. They will go bonkers if they donít get their daily treats of chaff on time; kicking the houseís glass front door  :o and George braying for Janet to come out. Where are you - itís getting late ? Theyíre not hungry as they have stray to eat constantly in their stable; itís just that they have a routine and the crave their tasty donkey treats plus the dose of affection that they get daily.

The hens will be able to feed themselves in the field a little bit but are always totally reliant on lots of expensive hen food; theyíre producing an egg a day so that requires a huge amount of food over day. They are now sleeping in the tack room which is part of the donkey stable and any predator has to get past the donkeys first; thatís the only way in. The donkeys are superb security guards. Reminds me of llamas guarding sheep in their field and running predators off. Iím told theyíre so effective that itís a reason to get a llama even if only as a policeman.

I suspect we might look into ordering more food from Amazon; we already have standing orders, automatic monthly deliveries of various food and non-food products if I remember what Janet said. That was all for Janetís tourist accommodation business.

Janetís business has closed down so we have nothing to live on until the end of June. I donít know what the government thinks self employed people are supposed to do to allow them to eat and pay the rent or mortgage, and pay energy bills. You can sign on but thatís ridiculously inadequate. Iíve probably said, before it would be good if the govt would just give everyone a lump of cash right now to keep people going and then the govt can just deduct that from the July payment if they want.

At least Janet is less tired because she is getting a lie-in in the morning not having to get up to cook guestsí breakfasts after being woken up umpteen times in the night when I am asking for help with pain. And without all her usual daily work associated with the business she can do things similar to bread-making for example

Iím not sure what I will do if we get COVID-19. If Janet gets it then Iím done for as she is in poor health anyway so is vulnerable, and I hate to think about her going into hospital, and in any case, I will have no-one left to look after me. If I get it then I wouldnít want to go into hospital; that would be horrific, so I hope I would have the courage to remain at home and refuse hospitalisation no matter what. And I hope I would not be taken into hospital against my will. That would be game over for me either way I think.

We perhaps should be in total super isolation now but would have to get someone to pick up food and medicines for us. The purchase limit restrictions in the Coop frustrate things when you are buying for a neighbour especially a vulnerable person. There needs to be a way around this at the supermarkets as we want to discourage multiple visits that are required just to get past the well-intended but mindless purchase limit restrictions.

Doctor rang up to speak to Janet. She has sleep apnea and some years ago they gave her some sort of breathing assistance contraption- whatever itís called, I forget. She couldnít cope with it though so she returned it to the local hospital. Doctor said using this puts Janet into the super vulnerable category so she would have to super-self-isolate which means no going out shopping and Janet said govt volunteers would have to be bringing us a morsel of food every week! She explained to the doctor that she had returned the kit, so luckily doesnít fall into this category. I had never heard of such a thing, but then I never watch tv.  I wonder how many people fall into that category now just because theyíre ill or in poor health generally, or are simply old. I suspect Janet is more vulnerable than me because she has diabetes amongst a host of other medical conditions. I have CFS and chronic pain syndrome (neuropathic pain) and neurological problems associated with my spine but I donít know what that implies relating to COVID-19 vulnerability.

Doctor started giving me some drugs for anxiety and depression which luckily also give pain relief for neuropathic pain. Increased one of my drugs a lot and added a new one. The pandemic is not helping much with my anxiety; the other night Janet was listening to Sky News late at night while in bed and the news frightened me so much I asked Janet to listen on headphones. Since Janet gave me some additional drugs the other day, Iím feeling fine now; all anxiety gone. :)

We have been worried about Janetís 93 year-old mum down in England, in Eccleshall, Staffordshire. Had a long phone call the other night. Last month we were trying to persuade mum to come up and stay here where she would be safer. She said no though; she perhaps didnít fancy the journey even if we fetched her up in the comfortable Landrover Discovery rather than train or plane, and she wouldnít want to be away from her many many friends and helpers who form a superb support network for her. Their help is especially valuable as we are so far away. We can only help by for example doing internet orders for her and sorting out administrative and financial things for her as she gets tired, yet has all her marbles- mind as sharp as ever apart from some small amount of nominal aphasia. Mum was going out to the local supermarket on foot a while back, canít remember if she has still been doing so recently; she has vertigo and other problems and is liable to fall over, so walking to the shop is a really bad idea, never mind COVID-19 exposure.

You might recall I was trying to get Janet to agree to put in a good internet connection at Mumís place - earlier thread - and give her an iPad suitably customised dedicated and simplified. But I couldnít sell Janet on the idea for various understandable reasons. Given the current crisis I wish more than ever that we had set this up though. The one problem would have been getting one of her friends - ideally - to do some training on how to use the (simplified, stripped down) iPad. Bring able to do video calls to her would be great. One snag is the lack of upstream bandwidth at this end, only a mere 1.3-1.5 Mbps and a single flow with eg TCP might be much worse as some protocols donít play nicely with multiple bonded lines where the rtt is weird presumably especially in the case where the links are not all the same speed and my line #3 always has slow upstream for reasons unknown. Mum would have incredibly fast FTTC at her end and her speed would dwarf ours making us the bottleneck by a long way and I canít see how to fix our upstream. I just think that having video calls with Apple FaceTime or whatever would be very good for cheering everyone up.

Just now, I have two extremely large ex-kittens on my knees and in my lap: the two boys Somhairle and Pangur BŠn. Somhairle is now two years old I think, just had his birthday, while Pangur BŠn is somewhat younger, by a few months. Definitely now ex-kittens but they donít know that; still crazy playing, running, jumping out, climbing up the floor-to-ceiling cat pole with platforms on it. Having them sitting on me all the time is an incredibly good cure for anxiety, so Iíve found.
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Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #205 on: March 28, 2020, 04:45:48 PM »

Thanks Ronski, good point. The main dealer thing was more about selecting the right product. A friend of ours is a mechanic so we can always ask him. Weíre placing our trust in the battery finder function in the supplierís website this time, which said Ďlandrover all models since xx date".
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4candles

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #206 on: March 28, 2020, 06:34:52 PM »

Earlier this week I ranted about the farce experienced at Waitrose in their supposed "oldies' hour", so in fairness I'm posting to say that today's experience was excellent.
Arrived about 40 mins after opening. No queuing, and not many people in store. Everyone keeping their distance, albeit with a little good natured "trolley ballet moves" when people coming from different directions met at aisle corners.
Plenty of helpful staff, and additional tills opened quickly when needed.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #207 on: March 28, 2020, 06:51:12 PM »

Flying the flag for my own favoured brand, not all main dealer parts are rip offs.   Volvo dealersí parts managers seem to be authorised to give decent discounts, 10-20%, and the only requirement seems to be that they vaguely recognise or, failing that, if you just ask.

A new battery last year for S60 was circa £60, Volvo branded.  I forget which battery manufacturerís name was on it, but it was the same as original battery that lasted ten years. :)

Except of course, I think the dealerships have all closed for coronavirus.   But I believe Volvo have confirmed that they will still honour new car warranties, if people are unable to get their cars serviced due to the lockdown.
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Ronski

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #208 on: March 28, 2020, 07:02:35 PM »

Weaver, anyone with a mortgage can get a mortgage holiday, my brother has also arranged for a holiday on his loan payments. He'll pay the minimum off his credit card, and as much off his overdraft as possible, interest on that is effectively 60% although next month it drops to 50%.

7LM Any main dealer can give a discount, us people in the trade get automatic discounts, and they can give additional discounts, but depends on the parts, some get more discount than others.  Most dealers can also request a price match from  the manufacturer. That does sound a very good price for main dealer battery especially if it includes VAT. Battery could well have been a Varta, pretty sure that's what Volvo trucks use, I never really deal with Volvo car's though.
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Weaver

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Re: The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
« Reply #209 on: March 28, 2020, 07:09:34 PM »

Thanks Ronski, I might have heard Janet mention the mortgage holiday thing, but I forgot. I suppose we might as well get one, if you have to ask for one as opposed to getting it automatically. That might save us a bit of money.
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