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Last week, I learned about the day that Daniel Defoe was put in the pillory, but pelted with flowers rather than the traditional rotten vegetables. Tina read two of the Vera Stanhope mysteries by Ann Cleeves. Jean read essays by Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller.
I had a busy week, so I thought I’d take a quick look at the COVID-19 news from the British and Irish perspective. I think it’s helpful to get out of my own news bubble once in a while.
The current uproar in the UK is less about the virus itself and more about 50 million masks purchased by the government that turned out to be unusable by the NHS because they couldn’t be fastened tightly enough. According to The Guardian, Labour (the opposition party) is calling for an investigation in how the contract was awarded.
According to The Herald yesterday, Scotland shut down pubs, clubs, and restaurants in Aberdeen due to an outbreak of a 100 new cases and growing.
Wales eased restrictions last week, according to The Guardian, to allow family and friend groups of 30 or fewer people to meet. They predict a second wave in the autumn, pointing out that this won’t be over by Christmas.
Cases are rising in Northern Ireland so face masks will be compulsory starting Monday, according to the Belfast Telegraph. They are attempting to slow the spread so that schools can reopen at the end of the month.
Brady’s Ham plant closed in Ireland when more than a quarter of their staff test positive in the past week, many without symptoms. According to The Irish Times, other meat plants in County Kildare have also experienced outbreaks, despite precautions. As in the United States, many of the workers are migrants and they don’t get sick pay, incentivizing the dangerous practice of working while ill.
Our cases are surging here in St. Louis County, so we’re continuing our shelter-in-place procedures. I shop for groceries once a week and attend a masked, socially-distanced, outdoors Black Lives Matter vigil on Saturdays. Otherwise, I’m at home, in the yard, or walking in my quiet neighborhood where even the kids are good about keeping away from us. How do things look in your part of the world?