The quiet saviours

This keeps happening. I am at a loss to know why...

The most recent, received this week - Are you the same Martin Kirby who wrote Arterial Embolization for Primary Postpartum Haemorrhage in the 2009 Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology?

I could keep you hanging but that would be fraud. Nope. Not me.

I confess to bathing for a fleeting second in the glow of such positive mistaken identity, as I shovelled pony poo into the wheelbarrow, weighed the good against the bleak and tried to keep positive. It was, perversely, something very positive, a reminder of the remarkable capability and dedication of some humans - the scientists constantly pushing the boundaries of understanding.

How we need them. I said it last May and I need to reiterate it again.

People are dying, families and people are isolated and frightened, mental health issues are deepening, health professionals are giving their absolute all in a system creaking at the seams, small businesses are collapsing and yet.... and yet.....

Everyone seems to comprehend that Britain is a basket case right now. The ruling Tory party, ruthless and now steeped in sleaze, has some seriously alarming – deranged to my mind – people in its ranks. A recent target for their angst has been Chris Whitty, the country’s chief medical officer, counterpart to Spain’s Fernando Simón, and Anthony Fauci in the US.

Whitty, like Simón and Fauci, is an eminent physician and epidemiologist, whose measured and qualified advice continues to provide vital reassurance and qualified assessment as he is forced to stand beside PM Johnson and assorted ministers whose messages are predominantly incoherent. He has been physically attacked in the street and is now the target for puffed up right wing politicians foaming at the mouth that someone who is unelected is calling the shots. He is only an expert for pity’s sake.

Whitty, Simón, Fauci and their global equals are not the sorts to raise their voices, so we must listen intently. Not easy. They lack celebrity sparkle and notoriety, so the fickle media remains a moth to the flame of the shallow, egotistical loudmouths with nothing to say.

This ever-evolving pandemic, if nothing else, has brought into sharp and sickening focus this and other malaises of our selfish age.

The epidemiologists state one glaringly obvious fact, though, one that nobody can fail to grasp: we have to treat the whole world to defeat Covid. In the context of the ever-increasing distance between the pinnacle of the first world and the depths of the third, and there has never been a more pressing moment in my lifetime for selflessness, consideration and caring.

And yet... and yet...

We are not in one boat. Through this tragedy and challenge, stark extremes and other horrors come into acute focus. While refugee families with absolutely nothing but hope take to deflating dinghies, a few people have been loudly capitalising, making monumental fortunes, mindlessly flaunting their gains by taking social distancing to the extreme. It beggars belief how stark the extremes. Yet it is the society we have created and will struggle to ever balance.

I make no excuse for keeping you in the picture.

There are now circa 2,755 billionaires worldwide, a rise of 660 compared with 2020 (Forbes 2021). More than 200 new super-yachts were launched this year up to September, up from 165 in the same period in 2019, and there are orders for 330 to be built before 2023. (Your average super-yacht costs $275 million).

Meanwhile, sales of arms and military services by the industry’s 100 largest companies totalled $531 billion in 2020, an increase of 1.3 per cent in real terms compared with the previous year (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).

If only Whitty, Simón and Fauci could find a vaccine to save us from ourselves.

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