I should’ve written and published this post approximately three or four months ago. I was going to write about my plans for this year. Back in January everything seemed normal, although first news about a new and mysterious illness in China had already started to appear. Then, the epidemic rapidly spread across the world and all my plans fell through. I never once imagined that I would actually write about the life after the coronavirus epidemic.
Who would’ve thought that the world was going to end up in a state in which it finds itself at the moment? But, that’s life, the most unpredictable things happen when we least expect.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED IN CHINA?
Well, the coronavirus happened. I first learnt about the problem in Wuhan at the end of December 2019. The first news items started to appear in the press, talking about a new disease. I followed the news throughout January. Unfortunately, the information coming from China was patchy and it didn’t really convey the seriousness of the situation. Now, we all know that the Chinese government tried to cover up the problem. It’s a pity because they could’ve prevented or perhaps reduced the spread of the virus around the world.
The Chinese New Year was at the end of January 2020. Shockingly, the Chinese government allowed the Chinese people to travel all over China and the world despite the epidemic that, by that time, had already became serious. They put Wuhan and the whole Hubei province in the strictest quarantine.
EARLY REACTION TO THE EPIDEMIC IN WESTERN COUNTRIES
But, western governments were equally irresponsible. They all saw what was happening in China, it was perfectly clear to everyone who wanted to see. However, at the end of January and beginning of February, very few countries closed their borders for people coming from China.
Thus, the virus rapidly spread everywhere and the whole world has now entered a global economic depression. In my opinion, the impact on the economy is not so problematic. Once this has passed, I believe that the economic activity will pick up very fast.
What’s worse is all the people that prematurely died because of the coronavirus infection. It’s unforgivable, especially because it was preventable. Clearly, the world is run by many very incompetent people and that will have to change.
THE BEGINNING OF THE EPIDEMIC IN THE UK
In my previous posts, I’ve already written about the UK government’s response to the epidemic. Here is just a quick recap.
Back in February and in the first half of March, the Tory regime propagated the “herd immunity” concept. Basically, their plan was for as many people as possible to get infected, to become immune. For them, the most important was to save the economy. Lives of people were of no importance, regardless of what they want you to believe now, otherwise they wouldn’t have acted the way they did.
Furthermore, they saw what was happening in Italy and Spain, which were the first European countries affected by the serious epidemic. But, they did nothing. No one arriving to the UK from these two countries was checked or quarantined at that time. So, in addition to China, the virus also arrived to the UK from Italy and Spain.
I remember talking about all this with a friend of mine in March. I mentioned to him that Chinese flights were never halted. Chinese airline companies were arriving to the UK every day throughout the worst epidemic in China. He didn’t believe me. Well, no one would’ve believed it. Which normal and responsible government would allow uninterrupted arrivals from an epicentre of the deadly epidemic?
So, to prove my point, I took a screenshot of arrivals at Heathrow Airport, that you can see in the photo below. It’s a China Eastern flight from Shanghai, that landed at Heathrow on the 16th March 2020. I should’ve taken several screenshots of Chinese flights arriving to Heathrow in February, but this photo also proves the point.
The UK government acted totally irresponsibly. With over 43000 officially confirmed coronavirus deaths at the time when I write this post, the UK is the worst affected country in the whole world. The US has more deaths, but the death rate there is much lower than in the UK. Thus, the Tory regime unleashed death and unnecessary suffering on the country.
THE “LOCKDOWN” IN THE UK
While the Tory regime did nothing to prevent the epidemic, by mid March the people in the UK started to panic. Suddenly, everything collapsed. In the photo below, you can see a completely empty shelf in one of the supermarkets where I went to buy some food. It was shocking. People were panic buying everything, like there was no tomorrow.
In all honesty, I think that people did well. By then, it became clear that no one could rely on the government to do anything meaningful to stop the virus.
That was also when I got sick with the coronavirus. I wrote about it in my post “How I survived the Coronavirus Infection”. I invite everyone to check that article, especially people that have not yet contracted the virus, to see what they can expect if they fall ill.
Of course, during the two weeks in which I was ill, I didn’t go out. I had sufficient food supplies and there was no need for me to go to the shops. I didn’t want to pass the virus to anyone else.
The “lockdown” in the UK came more or less at the time when I nearly recovered. The regime implemented it on the 23rd March 2020. It became politically unacceptable not to do anything and anyway people in the UK voluntarily took necessary measures without waiting for the government to do something.
But, it was far too late as by then the virus had already started to create havoc in the population.
THE SURREAL EXISTENCE
March was a complete write off month for me, as I was ill for two weeks. It took one additional week for me to feel completely recovered.
I took several photos of deserted London streets, that you can see in this post. Both April and May were very strange months. Despite the fact that I had recovered from the coronavirus infection, I spent these two months mostly at home.
The “lockdown” in England was never as strict as in other countries that imposed much stricter quarantine rules. Basically, in other countries people had to stay inside. But, those countries are now slowly going back to normal, while it seems that there is no end to the epidemic in the UK.
Some daily exercise was allowed in England, so every day I went out to do the shopping or for a walk, for an hour or so.
Signs like the one that you can see in the photo below started to appear all over the place, a grim reminder of an ongoing deadly epidemic.
I think it was a good thing to put these signs, in order to keep everyone constantly alert. After all, the epidemic can only be slowed down or completely stopped if everyone personally contributes in the fight. Everyone has to take necessary measures in order not to get infected.
Unlike in the early days of the epidemic, everyone is now aware of the danger that the virus poses. Hopefully, some slight adjustments in our daily behaviour and activities will beat the virus.
Although, I am not sure how a 2 metres distance can be practically adhered to on public transport or in the air planes.
Ironically, we had best weather ever in April and May. I’ve been living in England for 30 years and I can easily say that we have never had such sunny and warm weather at this time of the year. It certainly helped everyone to go through what I think was – and still is – probably the most horrible period in everyone’s life, for a long time.
LIFE AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC – HOW IS IT GOING TO BE?
I don’t think that it’s possible to predict anything at the moment. It’s too early for that. The epidemic is still very much present in large parts of the world. Right now, India and the Latin American countries are the most affected. In Europe, the situation is getting better, countries are cautiously trying to get back to some level of normality.
If you check the official coronavirus statistics, approximately just over 0.1% of the world population has been infected until now. It’s a negligible number and it means that there is a potential for a wave after wave of infection, until sufficient number of people have acquired immunity worldwide.
On the other hand, I think that it’s economically and socially impossible to implement successive lock downs. The world economy is in shock already. Can you imagine what would happen to the economy after the second worldwide lock down?
Anyway, we will see what happens.
MY TRAVEL PLANS
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I had to scrap all my plans for this year. Back in early January, I made a mistake. I booked a flight to Italy. I was going to spend the month of April there. Of course, the flight was cancelled, but I am still waiting for a refund from Ryanair. Initially, they said that they were going to refund all cancelled flights. Then, they offered vouchers. But, I don’t want a voucher that has an expiry date. I don’t know if and when I will choose this airline company again.
Luckily, that was the only flight that I had booked before the coronavirus epidemic in China escalated. By the end of January, it was clear to me that the virus would spread all over the world. That’s why I held back, that’s why I didn’t make any more bookings.
I am now planning to go to Belgrade. I’ll stay there for several months, perhaps longer. One of the main reasons why I want to go there is because I think that the situation in the UK will not improve in the near future. There is no end to the epidemic in the UK.
I don’t know what will be happen later this year and whether or not it will be possible to travel to other countries and in which form. Anyway, given the current situation, perhaps it’s too early to think about that at the moment.
Belgrade is phenomenal in summer. The weather is usually hot, sunny and dry. I may also travel across Serbia and visit cities and towns that I’ve never seen before. There is a lot of interesting history in Serbia that goes back to the period before the 14th century Ottoman conquests.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON LIFE AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC
Personally, I’m not afraid of the coronavirus. As soon as I arrive to Belgrade, I will do an antibody test. Thus, I will see whether or not I’m immune. I don’t know for how long the immunity will last, no one knows that at the moment. But, I hope that I will be immune for at least one year, possibly longer.
That would put me in an enviable position. Unlike many other people, I’d be able to resume my normal life without any fear. I’d also be able to travel freely, although I don’t think that there will be much travelling this year.
Anyway, it’s still far too early to say anything with any definitive certainty.
At the same time, it’s interesting and challenging times for all of us. If you think about it, it’s something that you would expect to see in a disaster movie.