The Meerkat Muse – 19/5/21

Here we go again… it’s Meerkat Muse time!

There’s extra reason to celebrate – on the 20th I finally get my first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine! I’m fortunate – I have the Friday off work, so if the vaccine floors me, I’ll have the chance to recover. I’m gonna be getting the Pfizer vaccine, which has a highly-rated success rate, though there will be a substantial gap between the first and second jabs.

Covid Deniers

In a time when the effectiveness of vaccination programmes can be clearly demonstrated, there are still those who deny the existence of the virus – and indeed, any form of bacteria and virus. In many respects this topic deserves a wider examination, and it ended up getting one, but I refer to my dissection of a flat earther’s arguments back in March, and a subsequent post from the same individual on the subject of Covid-19. There’s a lot to digest in such posts, and nor is the author alone. The denial of the obvious is all too common, and it leads people to make some dubious choices. I’ll be getting the vaccine because I do not buy into wishy-washy conspiracy theories. I’d rather take the steps to project my loved ones and myself.

At some point, it seems that as a species we stopped learning, and stopped wanting to learn. Instead of seeking knowledge, some of us became afraid of it. When faced with facts that threaten our world views, it was easier to deny the facts than change our views. I can’t think of any other reason for the prevalence of flat earth and young earth theories in this day and age, and nor can I think of any other reason for why people would deny the existence of bacteria and viruses. How do people become ill if bacteria and viruses do not exist?

We know how diseases spread too – it’s part of the science of bacteria and viruses – and we have evidence that some diseases have been less prevalent during the pandemic, because of masks and social distancing measures. The practice of basic hygiene has played a part. Cases of colds and the flu have dipped considerably. There’s a reason for that.

Last but not least, there’s a certain element of dishonesty at play here. The author of the flat earth and anti-vax posts presented a rather skewed response where they went after one small element of what I’d written – and failed to address this fragment with any degree of accuracy. They are ultimately entitled to post whatever they wish about whatever they wish, but I find it quite revealing that they’re not prepared to reveal what I actually had to say, and that they prefer to attack a ‘reimagined’ version.

Voter ID

There’s a plan afoot from the Tories that will make it a lot more difficult for some people to vote in future elections. The proposal is to introduce voter ID – someone wishing to cast a ballot will need to produce a driver’s licence or a passport. Not everyone has a driving licence or passport, so this will exclude some people from exercising their democratic right to vote. Care to wager which part of the political spectrum this will affect the most?

The theory is that this measure is to prevent voting fraud, but such cases are already incredibly low. This is an obviously transparent ploy to stack the deck.

Family Trees

Research continues into the family tree. Whether my discoveries are accurate or not is difficult to figure out, as we’re delving into records from the 16th Century and crossing borders as well. In the course of my research I’ve identified historical figures that bore some quite impressive local significance, and may have found a number of living relatives, scattered across the USA (with some in Australia). Some of the tales are quite tragic, others are surprising, and I expected this to be the case. How could it not be?

When it comes to the living relatives, do I make contact? Would there be a point to such an exercise? We’re talking some very distantly related people here. Whilst it’s kinda thrilling to discover family, would my 7th cousin (once removed) and I have a lot to talk about?

I’ve spent some time pondering a post on one of my ancestors. I might produce it soon. The stories and the history are incredible.


Having watched a lot of Criminal Minds and also some Doctor Who lately, my subconscious has produced a few nocturnal journeys that have wrapped the two together. I’m not able to accurately describe the dreams in much detail (they were too chaotic), but given how much I’ve been watching both shows, I imagine further dreams await. There’s a vague image of a train station in Florida… And that’s about as far as I can recall.

The Weather

(a real picture of me in the rain… if I was David Tennant)

It wouldn’t be a Meerkat Muse without pondering the strange and unusual British weather! Every time we’re told we’re going to see an improvement to the murky grey conditions it ends up not happening. At this point, I’m giving up on what to expect. I know that eventually we’ll get some summer sunshine (we might even get some spring sunshine!).

The chief issue is what we’ll be allowed to do come the summer. The spread of the Indian variant of Covid leads to the possibility (as much as the government insists otherwise) of another lockdown at some stage. For reasons that escape me and any sane person, flights from India are still coming in, with the potential to carry more of this new strain of the disease with them. As before, the Tories aren’t following the science and aren’t acting decisively – recall last year, when they were slow to require masks and slow to close borders.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the Tories prioritise money over life. They want to keep the economy running, which is another way of saying they want to keep open the activities that line their pockets. They don’t give a damn about the working class and the people who are most likely to die from this virus. They never did.

Ok, I veered away from the weather there.

Whether the weather will improve any time soon remains to be seen. There are plans afoot for my daughter’s birthday that don’t require glorious sunshine, but it would be nice. I have no particular desire to be travelling into and around London (assuming we can) if there are storm clouds over our heads.

The Scooter Scourge

Essex has seen a trial of e-scooters on the streets, with the theory being that use of the for-hire devices will allow people to cut out the car from their routine and in turn cut traffic, as well as improving transport links to a minor degree. The only thing I’ve noticed is that these scooters, which are not meant for use on pavements or in town centres, or on roads (obviously) end up being left lying around here there and everywhere. They’re fitted with GPS trackers, so stealing one is next to impossible, but they get dumped all over town. They’re also pretty quiet, so you’re not always aware of what’s around the corner. I’m all for greener forms of transport and I’m all for ideas to ease traffic, but I’m not sure these things are the answer.

What else is going on? Well, work has been reasonably busy over the last couple of months. In most respects this is a good thing, but it does mean there are a lot more people coming into the showroom, and sometimes you’re just not in the mood for people. That might sound odd when you work in retail, but when it’s 9am, and you’ve just opened the doors, you sometimes want a little while to prepare and compose yourself before getting streams of people coming in. Also, it’s highly annoying to have swarms of customers come to the store around lunchtime. Finally, the customers that come in with only a quarter of an hour to go before we close… grr, that’s all I can say to that. If you work in retail then you’ll know precisely where I’m coming from.

I can’t moan too much. I’m earning money, and eventually that money will go towards one of several things that are wanted and needed. I’ve some things on my personal wish list, and as long as the store remains busy, I can make some of those wishes become reality. We’ll have to wait and see.

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