COVID-19, coronavirus

The world’s finally, belatedly going on lockdown. It’s the only sensible thing to do—slow the spread by isolating ourselves. The response has been badly bungled all over the place, but some recognition of reality has finally started to take hold. And if we’ve handled it disastrously to date, we have to see it out better to learn the proper lessons about preparedness and response for the next inevitable outbreak. And of course in the here and now we have to do anything and everything we can to minimize the number of deaths and follow-on consequences from overwhelmed health systems.

Since this is a Villa blog, I’ve only considered how the pandemic affects the team in the comments so far. Lots of other things to worry about, and I usually stay out of anything unrelated to football. But obviously this is different. So the main thing is for everyone to reduce contact, find clever ways to keep supporting local businesses if they’re allowed to remain open. Do some shopping for high-risk individuals. The missus and I are much more worried about our parents than the kids. And we’re worried about the kids. So, we’re dropping off groceries, keeping our distance, and telling them to stay put.

Higher up? Governments need to do what they can to offer support to the workers and businesses who are being affected. As well as do everything they can to stop the spread and treat those who are ill. It takes competence and intelligence, which have seemingly been in short supply in much of the Industrialized West until things got out of hand. Surely we can rely on those who dedicate their lives to public health and epidemiology to have rational paths forward if we only listen to them.

When it comes to football, truth be told, I won’t be heartbroken if the FA do the right thing and just suspend and/or void the season. Yes, there’s lots of money involved. Lots of details and dominoes. I have no idea where the acts of god clauses fall into place in all the various agreements and contracts. For example, Sky and BT pay the PL for rights, sell subscriptions and more to make their money, of course. They’re not considering refunds, at the moment. Somewhere in that agreement a person clicks on will be some line saying Sky or BT is not responsible for things beyond their control.

This sort of thing is playing out for everyone in all kinds of different scenarios. And the only thing I care about in regard to sport is the workaday people whose lives and livelihoods will be affected. People who don’t have guarantees. I hope the clubs (to the extent their resources allow) do everything in their power to look after all the associated employees related to the club who don’t have contracts. And hold firm in not resuming play until it’s safe to do so. That’s as much about messaging as anything. And in the meantime, the clubs can assume a greater, more positive role in their communities by doing other things than resuming matches too soon.

When it comes to the season, league standings, all of that…it may get a bit heated. We’re all reading and watching the latest, have no idea how it will shake out. But everyone’s going to have an agenda, for reasons right or wrong. For example, I’ve seen Oliver Holt being an idiot in the Mail saying this is all about denying Liverpool the title. Villa, Bournemouth, and Norwich? Hard cheese, but you can’t keep the title from Liverpool.

Absurd. That’s not anyone’s motivation, and dressing it up like some opportunistic vendetta is ludicrous. It’s a global health crisis, we’re shutting down countries. It’s not a campaign to deprive Liverpool of a title. Talk about a victim complex. Kenny Dalglish, who couldn’t be less neutral, agrees. “Anyone with a football heart…” Please. Don’t tell me Villans, with all their suffering and loyalty, don’t have football hearts.

I’m sure everyone would be quite happy to vote Liverpool champions regardless of how everything else is dealt with. I’m sure Liverpool are guaranteed CL football, regardless, and all that money, because that show must go on at some point, as well. Promote the teams in automatic positions. That’s easy, too. That there’s some immutable law handed down from Moses saying you can’t crown a champion with relegating teams is farcical.

But to assume that anything is going to play out normally from here is to deny reality. Does a three- or four-week suspension (or even six to eight weeks) help a struggling team catch its breath? If anyone climbs out of the bottom, is it fair to the teams who get sucked in?

I don’t think so. In any other sport without relegation and promotion, the whole thing wouldn’t be an issue. So just take those things off the table.

Before all this blew up, it was obviously looking decidedly dodgy for Villa. No idea whether we’d have escaped the drop. But you can’t relegate teams who have a mathematical chance of surviving. The consequences are too great. Liverpool’s ‘punishment’ would be far less than Villa’s, Bournemouth’s and Norwich’s. And it’s irrational to be rushing back to football with much bigger concerns at hand because we must crown a champion. And if Villa haven’t yet ‘earned’ relegation, then teams who haven’t already achieved automatic promotion down the leagues have no greater claim on going up. Have they earned it yet? No.

Continuing the season in the summer at least it has an air of fairness about it, even if contracts, fitness, breaks in play, fixture congestion and all the rest complicate matters. Dalglish may not care about Villa playing two games a week, because Liverpool only need to win two and they could probably use a rest. But to not even get the standard break between matches when Villa face 10 cup finals is hardly fair on a threadbare side.

For me, the compromise whereby you promote without relegation makes a lot of sense in terms of the least amount of damage done and honoring the spirit of sport. No one suffers the bitter consequences of relegation, but teams who’ve tried long and hard to get promoted and are poised to do so don’t miss out.

But as long as people resist basic, common-sense solutions, it’s going to be bit of a nail-biter as far as football goes. Here’s hoping football manages to stumble over the right thing to do, on and off the pitch.

In the broader picture? None of this matters a bit until we get things settled down and prepare for what’s likely to be a resurgence in the fall. What happens to people and their jobs? Their housing? How are we going to better protect the particularly vulnerable? That’s all that matters.

Over to you.

Comments 105

  1. Good post jc,will read in full later,ireland nearly in full lock down,going to cripple economy but health has to come 1st,120 thousand people lost jobs since Thursday

  2. Another consideration crops up if the season is declared null and void. What happens about FFP for the current financial year? Does the situation provide a vehicle for clubs to load this year with big losses as it will be argued that null and void is just that and cannot be considered as accurate due to reduced income?

  3. JG]
    Here Boris is leaving the schools open, which is where most of the flu & colds come from.
    It’s bad enough without a deliberately designed ploy to choose who’s valuable to the country even before the virus epidemic has materialised badly.
    For me it reminds me of the Nazi methodology, & a terrible risk, counter to every other country’s methods of dealing with it.
    Feels like we’re in a Boris theme park.

    If it gets too bad I’m going to put my primus, food & sleeping gear in the car & f**k off to snowdonia & talk to sheep that can’t infect me.

  4. JG, why is the Queens head on our stamps?

    Because if her backside was on them, nobody would lick them.

    Enough of these jokes about the Monarch. Two future Kings are Villans forever.

  5. Plug,

    I would have to think so…Seems like one of the easier issues to address. You have a stop point, and income should be relatively easy to extrapolate for any lost games, or games played without supporters.

    And of course, no idea how the TV contracts work when there are no games to televise. At any rate, whatever the losses, I’d think FFP has to take it all into account. And that’s just math.

  6. IanG,

    The response in the US has been so god-awful because Trump has ridiculed the importance of science, government, disaster response…experts and facts as he seeks to create a puppet state with no challenge to authority. Funding cuts, lies, blame-shifting, no coordinated response whatsoever. Anything meaningful is largely being undertaken without any national government direction or support.

    No leadership, no concern. Just PR, the election, business interests. He only cares how it affects his political prospects. It’s criminal, basically.

  7. JC
    Has trump not changed tact completely, all flights in are banned from Europe and I see plenty jokes going that Mexicans are demanding trump builds his wall to keep the Americans out of Mexico

  8. Where to start, Sky sent me an email saying my price is going up £3, not on the sports package mind, the mind boggles. Can’t see a sensible solution where monies are concerned until they realise the entire system might implode.

    My logical head is spinning at present as the figures don’t add up on a global scale vs day to day deaths . Normal flu kills 290k to 640k yearly yet no panic, ditto many other things like heart disease at 18 million, Cancer 10m, 800k commit suicide. All cheery stuff I know.

    Seems to me we need to isolate the vulnerable where possible to avoid overwhelming the health services but the world shutdown is asking for trouble, people don’t appear to do sensible anymore. Every radio show seems to be shouting don’t panic at the masses who then panic. The entire thing reminds me of the War of the worlds radio broadcast hysteria.

    Still lets see where it goes and help where we can, no cues at the coffee shop so theres a bonus.

  9. IanG- I’m afraid you might be right about being viewed as expendable , saw an article this week where the writer pointed out the effect of losing the old and ill etc would balance the losses , very very cold view. Don’t know about you but I think these last few years have turned into a conspiracy theory free for all. Very hard to believe anything put out there now without an oceans worth of salt. I’m waiting for the Banks to hit the reset button.

  10. IanG,

    Basically after being contradicted by every reputable source including his own health chiefs, major cities, universities and school systems shutting down, and having been found to be spouting nothing but nonsense, lies, and wishful thinking for weeks, he implemented the travel ban. It fits his anti-immigration/anti-dark-skin agenda, so he’s all for that.

    Of course, the travel ban put thousands and thousands of panicked travelers packed together in airports for hours going through meaningless screenings with no testing. So, well done there.

  11. MK,

    I think the issue, what’s different from flu, are the virality, mortality ratios, and impact in terms of treatment requirements. And there are just huge numbers of unknowns. The calculations based on the CDC’s four scenarios “suggested 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds. Fewer than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.”

    So, the distancing is simply about flattening the transmission curve, slowing the spread. It appears that when people get the high-quality care the virus merits, their outcomes are vastly improved. When the system is overwhelmed, like in Italy, they’re having to choose to let older people die.

    Further:

    “Dr. Lawler recently presented his own “best guess” projections to American hospital and health system executives at a private webinar convened by the American Hospital Association. He estimated that some 96 million people in the United States would be infected. Five out of every hundred would need hospitalization, which would mean close to five million hospital admissions, nearly two million of those patients requiring intensive care and about half of those needing the support of ventilators.

    Dr. Lawler’s calculations suggested 480,000 deaths, which he said was conservative. By contrast, about 20,000 to 50,000 people have died from flu-related illnesses this season, according to the C.D.C. Unlike with seasonal influenza, the entire population is thought to be susceptible to the new coronavirus.”

    Do we know? No. Is it best to take steps to prevent needless deaths? Yes.

  12. I think Considering that the world does enormous business with China and with people flying in and out constantly for months before the Chinese put their hands up. I cannot see any way that the horse had not already bolted by dec last year.

    I’m in two minds about governments being unprepared or wilfully playing the situation down. I think its the possibly the second as they know there is not a fat lot they can do beyond wash hands and isolate. As for unprepared, How do you prepare for something you have no idea how to treat beyond basic measures? for me the government have no magic solutions and neither do the health services sadly.

  13. JC- I agree we have to do all we can, I just think that there are far more infected than we can know right now. Many get no symptoms or very mild, I do wonder what the figures really are.

  14. JC
    Yes I’ve been following the funfair in the US quite closely for a couple of years, & it is serious s**t, & it’s spread round the world like a pandemic.
    Boris is Trump light, & he always bottles it, a petty criminal out of his depth, but it’s the one’s behind him that bother me.

  15. Totally agree, MK.

    Friend of ours is a nurse. This morning, she got sent home from the oncology clinic with a fever and dry cough. One of her colleagues is now running a fever, as well.

    The health system they work for refused to test either of them. So much for accurate numbers.

    And yes, it has to have been among us for a while.

  16. Surely now is the time tk get rid of smith and start sounding out new managers?

    What’s the point of waiting to start again, keep Smith and go down

  17. Obviously remains a very fluid situation, but the noises from the PL seem to suggest they’re desperate to play the fixtures out. I’m sure you’ve all read the “plan.”

    To me, there’s a lot of it that sounds ridiculous, like potentially playing three fixtures in a week. Fine for City, not great for Villa.

    They’re obviously spinning and hoping to avoid harder choices. But obviously, the broader context will determine all this.

  18. IanG,

    I’m assuming it’s not wanting to deal with all the money stuff, TV, sponsorships, whatever else…At least look like you’re making a good-faith effort to fulfill all obligations. And that I understand. You’ve got to posture, then let the inevitable take the decisions out of your hands. If you postpone/cancel without being forced to, different legal outcomes.

    It’s the pundit t**ts I’ve gotten sick of hearing: integrity of the game, blah, blah. A once-in-a-lifetime disruption blows everything up, and we’re supposed to worry about explaining to future generations why we chucked a single season of football in the midst of global chaos.

    My god. That’s the bit doing my head in.

  19. I would keep DS and get rid of JT. Based on our defensive record, JT is not cut out for management.

    Will be interesting to see if EPL scrap the season. Unless they play behind closed doors – which make no sense to me – it could be July at earliest before the season restarts

  20. VillMD
    If the young & the idiots continue to think they’re invulnerable & ignore it, it’ll still be here for the new year. along with the second & third waves, with the accompanying tragedies.
    I’m enjoying seeing the football status quo struggle trying to remain relevant with something they can’t control & make extortionate amounts of money from.
    As for the Villa, hopefully some of us will be around to see the potential fix, still with fingers crossed.
    Take care & stay well everyone.

  21. In Brum the hospitals are sending relevant news to those in their out patient care in real time.
    I got sent this by an old friend today.

    ‘Guys, Hospital sent a message this morning that this virus seems to be spreading quickly via petrol pumps so have asked to tell everyone to wear gloves or use a paper towel when filling up and dispose of straight away -please share -thanks’

  22. IanG- There are loads of similar things being put about including advice from china, doctors etc etc that are questionable. Unless the government are checking all objects we touch now I would not worry, they are not even testing people. Does beg the question does the supreme+ pumps pass it on quicker?

    Food delivery companies are asking to be given money in an envelope?? obviously corona resistant ones 🙂

    From my experience and others over the last few months with some pretty hefty fevers/chill/aches/coughs myself and those around me (much more than normal) its been here a while, at least since late Nov, That is encouraging if so.

  23. Mark
    This was local advice from the QE & Heartlands hospitals yesterday, a bit nearer than China, & from the horses mouth, but will soon apply everywhere as it’s also common sense.

    We’ve also got last year’s different corona virus to this humungous one, & the one before that etc.
    Your logic seems a little dangerous to me, as it’s not fact based, but you might be lucky.
    But we’re supposed to be intelligent? So I suppose the supreme+ makes us come quicker :]

  24. IanG- yes its common sense therefore should be in practice same as door knobs etc.

    Could well be that Corona likes something in fuels, its no coincidence that polluted citys are hit the hardest and peoples lungs will have damage and muck from cars in them which this virus might find delicious. Most viruses use up something in your body like selenium to grow so that would make sense.

    As for my logic being dangerous, its based on observation, A women returning from China in nov 19 and visiting her father in law at local old folks dementia home (where my mrs works) and ten die in a lock down around end of Nov/start Dec. I doubt anyone was checking for Cov19 at that time but the nurse said it was Corona by the symptoms. Chances that many other infected Chinese/ business people got out before lock down in China pretty high I’d think.

    My Mrs and her family have had all the symptoms as have I. All around Xmas time when they all get together, fits the incubation period.

    Then roughly 6 weeks later in Feb I had another dose , started with the sore throat barely noticeable, then dry cough, then three nights of fever/chills +2.5c over normal. this was 5 days after being in contact with the mrs grand son who was running a low fever but generally asymptomatic. Only now feeling closer to normal same with the mrs.

    Those are the facts I have mate, as many people are Asymptomatic and the incubation in others so long Its a certainty that millions not 1000’s likely have it.

    Doesn’t make it any less dangerous to the vulnerable but the figures of 5000 cases in the UK seems tiny for a highly contagious disease. We simply do not have the figures to be accurate. Considering 17,000 in the UK die annually from the Flu though so this disease is either not as contagious as thought or not as deadly or yet to do its worse, we don’t know. It is impossible to get infection levels for either of them.

    The proof of the pudding will be in countries like Mexico that have said they have bigger things to worry about, Dengue fever among them. We will see as it plays out, Stay Safe mate.

    PS I’m bored now.

  25. Mark
    You may be bored, but I’m not, I’m paying attention.
    The problem I have is that fact & people’s perceptions are often different.
    I have spent time in china, &also have family that have just come back from China after 10 years, & they would be very unhappy with what was said.

    Also as one of the at risk people, if others personalise the issue I’m extremely wary, as they may be right or they may not, because to put it charitably, they don’t know for sure either.
    I say to all, better refrain from public personalised reactionary pronouncements, especially doing the false news mantra.
    i merely passed on what the hospital wanted to be passed on, that you dissed, which encourages stupidity, but I hope people on here use their brain.
    If you have had it, please keep away from me, [ with knobs on] :]
    Stay well mate

  26. Mark
    PS: of course it’s been here for a while, as it has everywhere else, along with mutated strains, as has been reported.

  27. A friend of mine from college is the chief pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins. One of the world’s top five. He’s sleeping in the hospital, there 24/7. He says we’re past the point of testing, assumes there are hundreds of thousands of infected people in the US. We may never get an accurate post-hoc analysis. He agrees with the 40-70% model.

    He’s afraid we’ve failed to flatten the curve, and believes it will peak in July/August. A big concern is mutation in a second wave come Fall.

    So he’s basically confirming the sober assessments we’ve read from responsible sources. Continue being very careful, and do so for a long while yet. You’re not overreacting.

  28. The EPL suggest that the season can be finished behind closed doors by the end of July or August. That is money well and truly speaking. The financial losses are so great, it simply has to happen.

    These people are living on a different planet. In the wider economy, huge businesses are going to be looking at eye watering losses. Football is no different. Playing behind closed doors will infringe the “two metre distance” rule. It ain’t going to happen.

    Things will get worse on the virus front for months to come. The EPL are whistling in the dark. Nobody knows when the games might be ready to start again. Villa need to start planning for reinforcing our midfield. We badly need a couple of warriors in there to help Jack and SJM.

  29. On the footy front, if the virus is basically out there by the time they begin the games the players will be sitting ducks as their immune system take a knock after every game. Playing 2-3 games a week would be even worse. In an over-trained state we would likely see teams self isolating more than playing. All will depend on if they have gained immunity.

  30. Mark
    The request came a family I’ve known for 40 years not the internet, & my mate’s brother has had a heart attack & his mother is over 90 & in poor health, which is why he personally had the message from the hospitals.
    It was specifically for Birmingham, & personally I also find the tendency to believe everything you hear on the internet abhorrent.
    But it’s nothing new, & predates modern technology & New Age, which is why I don’t live in it, & am a confirmed sceptic.
    But human nature is always the predominate factor, however it’s dressed up.

    As far as football is concerned, I agree with plug, & I have a feeling that events will make most scenarios irrelevant.
    There is comfort that for once it’s not just the Villa in the s**t, which makes it harder to scapegoat us.
    But they will try.

  31. IanG- Hard to fathom what is the truth mate, certainly you can’t trust the politicians fully. A case in point is modern dietary advice, the government take their lead from industry funded studies, IMO part of the reason this virus is so disruptive leads directly from these policies with high rates of Diabetes, heart disease etc weighing the NHS down when it needn’t. People in poor health are sitting ducks and we mass produce them.

    On that front if you know your way around the cr*p on the internet then there is good info out there. I’m sure this is the truth out there for many subjects but the waters are very muddy. Some I am sure are made purposely so.

  32. Hi lifers, hope your keeping safe. Working from home for the second week, schools have been out for about two weeks here, and no return date yet. Canada has to make a call by Easter whether we can go ahead with the Grand Prix and that’s in June. I don’t expect to be back at work until after Easter to be honest, any earlier would make the past couple of weeks null and void.
    I don’t believe they can relegate us when we have a game in hand, and if we played that game and won it then Watford will be pi$$ed off. I have thought maybe a play off between the bottom six might be fair but have doubts about that too. As much as I hate to agree with her I think Karen Brady is right just null and void the season. I don’t mind if Liverpool are given the title anyway, lets face it they have done enough to deserve it. Anyway keep safe and healthy every one, will keep checking in every couple of days to see if there is any thing new going on.

  33. Canadian,

    I also agree with her. The whole thing is just silly at this point.

    What I think is happening is the money/contracts/sponsors, etc. If the league makes all the right noises, and then are forced to cancel, they’ve probably got insurance that kicks in.

    But if they just call it off without being ‘forced’ to, they may have to pay up. Maybe they do anyway, I don’t know. At my work, we’ve got a big international conference we put on in June, and if it gets taken out of our hands, then we get relief whereas we wouldn’t otherwise.

    Like you, I’d say give Liverpool the title, fair enough, extraordinary circumstances. Promote two if you like, and deal with the winnowing later.

    But to force clubs to fight for their lives with this kind of interruption/disruption…I just can’t see how that’s any more fair than any other scenario we’re being given.

  34. JC/Canadian
    Yes the solution really is that obvious, but it all has to go by Insurance procedures etc, let alone the egos involved.
    What’s wrong with a bit of winnowing anyway?
    It’s like watching a play & we never get out of Act1.
    The O’Hare piece seems to be a bit of a slow news day dredged up old story.

    Well the air is cleaner at least, & it is quieter now the kids are joining in the self incarceration

  35. IanG- Times are hard.

    Ohare is out of contract and many Villa youth chose to leave rather than were pushed apparently for similar reason, we will see.

  36. Mark
    It’s the same at many clubs, & there are many reasons for this, & one of them is mismanagement, & one is that their development isn’t in time with the clubs’ team needs, it’s a moving scenario.
    We’ve all seen very good young players stall in their development & disappear, even some who were given a first team place & didn’t or couldn’t take it, or were a square peg in a round hole for some managers’ team ideas, or were sold for financially more immediate needs .
    I totally understand any gripes from them, but also with some they had growing up to do, which can change everything.

    It is a bit simplistic as an analysis just to blame the clubs, & tends often to be an emotional response which as fans we all understand.
    But as you say, we will see, but it will take time to change course & see the results.

    O’Hare maybe should have gone out on loan before he did to strengthen up & get experience, & possibly needs another one as he is not a direct replacement for Jack, currently, but in my opinion needs more nurturing, probably in the Championship, for at least half a season.
    And he’s only 21 & not anywhere near the finished article, but we need to keep him.
    There is of course the make or break element, where some naturally flower later, & here Bannon springs to mind.

  37. And now Boris has got it, I hope it results in some space in him for some common sense.
    I wish all those with the virus a speedy recovery.

  38. r0bb0
    How are things down your neck of the woods?
    You have a fair amount of responsibility right now as an employer, on top of your personal circumstances, & I hope you’re working through it ok.
    Viva Devon!

  39. IanG- Yes mate its not a perfect system, we have given contracts to many youth and not played them. We have been in a s**t patch for a long time though and have never stopped and risked a season to change that. When we dropped a season of bringing a few through and being less extravagant on our purchases. A Smith or Wilder type manager would of helped. sometimes a needs must situation is a bonus.

    The clubs stance now is if they are not coming through to the U23 by 16/17 then they won’t be kept, if you are in the U23’s at 22 equally your not likley to last. I have never understood when the likes of Enda Stevens were not exactly appalling they didn’t get a chance. Why we call for flash over steady I’ll never know.

    I think the call was more or less correct to bring in young players that have big league experience elsewhere but would of equally been behind pay a bit more for some top players closer to jack and McGinns level and use some of the youth. Green, Ohare, and few others would of coped I feel judging by what we have seen but they did need games, tough call.

    Sorry about your mobility scooter, as this is barely a 1-2 weeks in. Lets hope it doesn’t turn up in a robbery or a ram raid. You got anyone looking out for you mate?

    How are you doing PP? quiet by your standards hope alls well.

    I hope people take a bit of time to think what the world will look like after this is over and not surrender to the push for controls for want of a better word. Or maybe even what they would like it to be like. One funny thing for sure is Brexiteers and Remainers are having to rely on each other 😉

  40. Mark
    I don’t scoot mate, I drive a car, or I did to get essential supplies.
    Rely on each other?
    Rely on the Government & councils to protect the vulnerable?
    Not so far, except the vulnerable supporting each other, & except the Poles round here, who really understand as they have parents in Poland.
    I’d rather envisage help & succour for those unfortunate to be experiencing the illness now, experiencing the fear worldwide, those unfortunates who already bore the weight of suffering & now are left to die, often alone,
    & those knowingly risking their health & lives for others.
    So far, many of those advocating to focus on the future are deliberately & wilfully ignoring the present with dangerous BS, to the detriment of everybody else.
    Do what you can mate.

  41. High MK,

    I am still alive and have dropped in occasionally to check on the site, but really have been busy on other fronts, switching off from football in the main, as it will be a very long time before we able to go to Villa Park and watch a game. My estimates from what the medics/scientists around the world are saying, are that we could well be continuing on from this season next March, which would mean completing this season in time for Euro 2021.
    This would mean that everything remains in a frozen state for twelve months, including players contracts, sponsorship deals, etc.
    In regard to the virus, I fall into all the bad categories, over 70 years old, lung condition and no where near a hospital. Powys does not have a proper hospital, and buys in all its needs.

    I am , however, enjoying self isolation with plenty in the garden and the home to occupy me. I am dosing up on YouTube watching old “til death us do part” episodes and stars like Freddie Starr, bringing back the times when we laughed until we cried with all the unPC humour washed down with the odd bottle of Hobgoblin Gold. At the end of this there is fine port, cheese and crackers!!

    Hope everyone else is surviving ok, and if conservative estimates are correct, we have lost just over a thousand people, and only have another 19,000 to go before we start to get back to normal….
    Just feel so sad for those who are affected, especially our front line staff, who are keeping the country going.

  42. Mark
    One of the lower level symptoms for some appear to be a painful stomach & diarrhea, well into last year.
    Well that’s me, then it’s all my fault.

  43. Was just reminded its time to be grateful for what we have, not we do not. 20 days unbeaten, no rivals pulling away from us and no injuries.
    Look after yourselves !

  44. IanG- Thanks for that 🙂 I have had the stomach and loose yellow stool thing a few weeks ago mate along with a temp for one day. Consisted of really bad stomach cramps coming on suddenly then feeling rough for a few days, I just did what I always do in those circumstances not eat and it passed. My lady and my mom who’s 77 had the same. We have also had the other symptoms as I said but who knows eh. My Aunt also has been rough for about 8 days with bad chest etc, she’s self isolating and about 75 but seems to be pulling through without having to go to Hospital. Seems to me it is not just a one hit wonder.

    I’m signing up for whatevers out there on the driving/ delivery/NHS front , I’m self employed and my work is still going on currently but is much reduced, luckily I have whole houses to myself , good job as no Grant money available until June and then you get “you are 85,000 in the que” when you call them to sign up apparently looking forward to that if it comes to it. I have the feeling that a three month grant will mean years of higher tax etc, we will see.

    To be honest I am amazed that the whole world has shut down as much as it has to conserve life as much as is possible. Also amazed that shop staff have not all gone sick, they are exposed daily and don’t get masks etc .

    The Mrs works at an old folks home and they have banned talk of it as several are depressives and even she’s showing signs of it getting to her with all the doom and gloom out there whilst trying to show a happy face, she really misses her family too.

    One old lady sat through some skyping from family and friends etc on a big screen then stood up and said “we are all going to die” I hope she did it in a Fraser from Dads army way.

  45. Mark
    At least it gets you out of the house mate.
    I’m locked in, out of sight & out of official mind.
    The only people stepping up are the public, as everywhere else they just seem to be shouting “don’t panic”, & then panicking, & then use it against you.

  46. IanG- must me cr*p mate you can only wonder what the full repercussions will be. I know several farmers have killed themselves as they cannot get their farms audited due to the shut down, at least one nurse has too. In the end the Cure may well be worse than the disease.

    I do wonder whether an overreaction by China has set off a chain reaction. The lab in Whuhan had registered the virus on the world data base as a new corona version last year apparently. Without the full facts who knows. Protecting the vulnerable should have been the priority not defcom 1 perhaps. One top German Virologist has said exactly that.

    Apparently they can only test for Corona virus not Covid 19 specifically as yet nor the level in the body. People are dying with 2-3 other conditions and being found with Corona which we all will have along with 100’s of other viruses. This then goes down as the cause of death. Also the Rate of death per day has not gone above seasonal average from all cause mortality. If I and many other people (virologists etc) are right and its been here and elsewhere since Dec at least then its encouraging.

    Anyways the lower leagues have voided the season, you’d think the prem will have to follow.

  47. Just what we needed – Jack acting like an idiot again. That must finish him as captain (Mings is the ready-made replacement) and I’ve got to say I hope it finishes him as a Villa player, that is if we can still sell him. Relegation’s going to round this season off nicely. I’m so p*ssed off.

  48. Can’t be to harsh on Jack Myself, he has been in lockdown longer than most. A young lad and an athlete who’s daily life for the past 16 years has been training and banter with mates. Reducing your physical movement has psychological and physiological consequences .

    Not to mention playing games, I still miss that so what he is experiencing heaven knows. Hands up who’s never been Young? this I think is a drop in the ocean to what is to come and why Boris was seeking to delay lockdown like the Swedish have. I just hope its worth it, the evidence so far says no.

  49. I’m going to defend Jack. He’s the major reason we’re still in with a shout of avoiding relegation. He has been magnificent.

    One night acting like a plank whilst the season is closed down doesn’t change my views. If it puts other clubs off, then that’s brilliant for us. The guy is a diamond. He’s also very young. Cut him some slack.

  50. Yeah, Mark and Plug, I hear what you’re saying and, up to a point, I’d agree. He’s pretty much carried the team this season and, until now, I’d been desperate for Villa to hang onto him. But to prat around at a mate’s house (McCormack, ffs) just hours after publicly urging everyone else to stay home, self-distance, etc, was just so carelessly and arrogantly two-faced, it frankly infuriated me. At 24, I wouldn’t consider him ‘very young’ anymore, though he certainly has an immature streak.

    But you make a good point, Mark, about the psychological effects of lockdown on an athlete and, on reflection, my reaction was probably a bit ‘knee-jerk’. I would still relieve him of the captaincy though – I think Tyrone’s a more natural leader anyway. But, so long as he’s read the riot act and realizes how daft he’s been, I’m more than happy for Jack to stay and, like Plug says, if other clubs are put off by this, so much the better! There’s already talk that Man.U. have turned their attentions more to Maddison……….

  51. Vivavilla- No doubt he’s been a prat mate, I think the reality is plenty others have too he just got caught. Look at Neil Kinnocks son driving 200 miles to see his dad from 2m away on his Birthday. Times like these everything seems world ending and everyone’s miffed they can’t get out.

  52. Apropos of nothing in particular …..I did here Sky are losing £30m per week and stating they will withhold the £750m due to he Premier League on completion of the all fixtures if the remaining 92 fixtures aren’t completed by 30th June. Think for a moment the impact on Premier league clubs…
    The proposition is to complete all fixtures behind closed doors at venues in the Midlands and London with all matches televised, to give the puplic a lift while on lockdown…..Bearing in mind all sporting events have been cancelled, trooping the colours at the queens birthday, cancelled, Glastenbury..cancelled.
    This could the end of he modern game as we know it…..back to Saturday 3.00 pm kick offs ….can’t wait

  53. Sweden have only just stopped their lower leagues playing, they are following the approach we were supposed to of Herd immunity with gradual shutdowns and so far it appears that there is no difference in the virus’s spread.

  54. Mark
    Possibly because they didn’t start early enough to take it seriously.
    And more concerned about losing money possibly.

  55. IanG- No mate they took the same view that our experts did about herd immunity originally. The only reason our lot changed was the London computer model that predicted millions dead and the opposition and media pressure, they have since revised that and other models like Oxfords have predicted far less.

    So far no difference death wise etc in approaches that I have seen. Would of helped if the World Health Organisation were not still parroting the Chinese governments insistence it doesn’t pass from human to human back in Jan.

    As yet we are still below average death rates for all cause mortality too,and long may that continue. Hope you have your crampons on while climbing the walls.

  56. Mark
    Taiwan seems to have learnt a lot from the SARS pandemic when I was there, but they’ve got an advantage with communication system primed for an invasion.

  57. Iang- Agree mate all the Countries around China got stung before and likely live in permanent preparedness for the many threats that presents. Taiwan are some clever cookies and need to be, like being a flea on a bears arse.

    Testing is the way forward because at present its all knee jerk but also is not foolproof as there is no gold standard and throws up false positives. At present any sign of Covid-19 on death is being recorded as a covid death. Previously if you had say cancer and died while having a cold or flu or respiratory disease the cause of death was recorded as the cancer. so either respiratory disease is more deadly than portrayed or many people are dying as per normal. Not really a great time to be finding out. Germany are testing 1 in 10 which could swing data because if 1 has it they record all have it and visa versa. Its all a mess if viewed scientifically.

    Italys had nurses/carers from the EU leave their charges to fend for themselves and went home, it snowballed as they already have huge problems with respiratory disease this season, they also have few crematoriums being catholic hence the bodies in churchs etc.

    Its not unusual, Its all very loose, my mates dad died of sepsis and they put something else on the death certificate, he insisted they recorded it properly as Sepsis which they then did. At the moment autopsies are not likely to happen either.

  58. IanG- Also Taiwan are not allowed on the WHO council, the same lot parroting china’s its not passed from person to person rhetoric in Jan. Seems to me they would be the first to get a seat considering what you have pointed out.

  59. The American science guys are now confirming that the virus is actually passed more often from the fine spray we eject when talking to people, which is why the compulsory wearing of face masks in China were so successful in containing the virus in the end.
    Sepsis no longer exists, and is now recorded as COPD, in the same way as Asbergers has ben classed as autism.

  60. And so, time ticks on. The EPL have kicked the can down the road. We’re all in lock down. Playing behind closed doors is against the social distancing rule. Should the season restart, teams will need a period of training to get fit again.

    Anybody prepared to offer a restart date? Approximately?

  61. Plug if the world remains as it is until June then it will have to be next August, and thats if the present strategy doesn’t throw up a second wave of Hysteria come Sept/oct.

    Another thing, if the players all drop their wages the Government will lose a huge chunk of Tax. There are not any easy ways out of this is we are going to go the whole 9 yards. My savings account just went from 0.25% to 0.01% interest with a letter saying if we can be of any help etc 🙂 I suppose I should be grateful its not in the minuses yet.

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