The silence of cities

I think the thing I can’t quite deal with is the relentless silence. I live in Glasgow which is a pretty big city, and it has been ghostly in the five or six days since the UK went into lockdown. Sure there’s still a distant rumble of cars and trucks on the M8 but it isn’t relentless. There’s vast periods of nothing with the occasional dog barking, or tinny sounds of television bleeding through walls. Human contact is virtually gone.

As many of us approach our first week in lockdown it becomes clear the world before Covid19 isn’t coming back. That world is dead, and what comes next is anyone’s guess because when Covid19 is over, we’re entering a depression that’ll make the one of a century ago seem like boom years.

This temporary silence is a quiet before the storm. Soon, death tolls will increase, jobs will carry on being lost and until a working vaccine is made any sense of ‘normal’ is out the window which means at least a year barring a medical breakthrough but you can’t effectively put a country/planet under house arrest without serious consequences, so be prepared. Things aren’t going to get better quickly and we’re in for a very, very long haul.

You can save the comic book industry!

The coronavirus has essentially made clear the American comic book industry stands now on a precipice as the main distributor of new comics, Diamond, has suspended deliveries til whenever this all gets safe again which at best, is going to be July. If we’re lucky! Diamond are laying off staff, while nobody knows what’s going to happen as this week is the last week any new comics will definitely be published and shipped to shops. Thing is many of those shops won’t be able to sell them as they don’t offer an online buying or delivery service, so you can pretty much say those shops will not survive this.

I’ve seen several major crashes in the comics industry. By far the worst was in the 1990’s where shops crashed like ninepins as the speculator boom faded away, then the crash in the late 2000s ended up being a blip. This however is worse.

So what can you as a fan do? Some shops like Gosh and Page 45 need to be singled out because the world is a worse place without them, and because they provide a wide selection of comics outwith the spandex stuff but in this time, if you can, support your local shop. There might not be new comics to buy but this might be the time to see if they can dig out back issues for you, or pick up a trade or two. Anything to keep money flowing otherwise that shop you rely on for your weekly fix is gone and it ain’t coming back because the post-coronavirus world is going to look different to what it was only a week or two ago.

Good luck to all shops out there. It will be hard, some of you will go but as long as the community sticks together then that number will be smaller than it could be as long as people support them by buying what they can, when they can. I’m going to help by throwing out some recommendations in another blog of stuff to buy, but please use your local shop where you can.

Here’s to the new normal

I’m on day two of the official lockdown and so far I’m fine, partly because I’m off work on full wages expecting to get set up to work from home probably next week. What is clear is the situation is becoming more real that things aren’t going to change soon, and that we’re effectively in a wartime situation which leads us to see how people react to this.

Mostly people are doing what they can to help, but panic buying is still rife, as is black marketeering not to mention companies which clearly are nothing like an essential service forcing staff to come in putting lives at risk. Plus young people thinking they’re invulnerable can think again.

Reality is starting to dawn that this is the new normal. We’re locked down til June at least but by then thousands of us won’t be around, so this is a small sacrifice to make in order to save as many lives as possible.

Lockdown

And that’s it, the UK is in lockdown. Probably at least a month late but we’re now in a quasi-police state where civil liberties are suspended in much of our lives here and frankly, the shit has hit the fan.

So for me, I’m in limbo. Because my real-world job is classed ‘essential’ but not key I’m awaiting instructions in the morning, but I fully expect to be told to stay at home due also to my chronic conditions. I have no idea where I go from here, and although I’ve dodged death twice, those situations I was in the hands of experts who knew there was a chance to save me. With Covid19 we don’t know how to do that yet, so if I get it then I’m risking an early grave which means I’m heading towards 12 weeks locked in.

Good luck then to us all. Not all of us are going to come out the other end of this so we’re going to need to be calm, support the scientists and the NHS, plus those folk like posties, cleaners and shop workers who will be the front line in this war.

And with that, I’m off to bed to see what tomorrow brings…

People are twats

It’s the first weekend in the UK after shit got real, or realistically Boris Johnson and his creepy aide, Dominic Cummings realised the herd immunity policy would kill over 250k  and has shifted far too late to try to nudge people into staying home to starve the Coronavirus of potential victims. Sadly things are too far gone and we’re on the same path as Italy who at this rate will be past 10k deaths by Easter, so everyone who should, is staying home.

Nah.

People in parts of the country have treated today like an extra bank holiday so parks have been rammed, while rural communities in the Highlands, Wales and the South West of England are being flooded by second homeowners bringing the virus with them and clearing out local shops of food and supplies. These communities have a clear message to these people.

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Problem is until you force people, you’ll have twats. We’re all going to lose something in the months, even years ahead, but to needless lose your life because some dick from London has driven to their second home will be a terrible way to go.

So, don’t be a twat.

Plague!

At this time when tens of thousands of us will die thanks to the Coronavirus, we need a laugh so thanks to the bloke walking around Leicester Square in a plague mask looking a bit odd and creepy but in a fun way.

Glastonbury 2020 has been cancelled

Glastonbury 2010

To nobody’s surprise this year’s Glastonbury Festival has been canceled thanks to the Coronavirus with deposits for this year carrying onto next year though for those wanting tickets for next year, I’d expect a lot of cancellations as this year is going to fucking hurt badly.

I’d been given the heads-up a while ago that the festival was likely not happening, which is a shame not just because this is the 50th, but because a lot of good people are going to be screwed for money over the summer. See, like myself in regards comic conventions in April, Glastonbury gave traders, and those working there a base to build their year with some working every week of the summer to make enough money so they either don’t need to worry about work for the winter, or are on minimal hours. All that lies in ruins as Glastonbury will be the first UK festival to cancel. Expect others to follow so June and July will be barren months.

If we’re lucky the tail end of the season in August might still happen. Realistically you can forget the 2020 summer festival season and wish good luck to those traders and staff who’ll be working out how to make a living in an industry also completely left to ruin by the UK government.

So to sort of help, I’m going to not so much update my Glastonbury blogs but threw some stuff out in parallel to them because there’s so, so much stuff I could write about. Stay tuned!