So, not struggling at all to find something cheery to write about!  Don’t you hate that word ‘so’ used in that introductory context?  So woke!  Which brings me to another word which I detest for its misuse.  Positive start, then!  Actually, I have thought, for a long time, that I should write about words in today’s English language which I abhor either for the word, itself, or its new meaning.  There are so many

First, THAT subject!

–  China
O  –  Oops!
R  –  Reality check!
O  –  Other?
N  –  Naïve
A  –  Anti-bacterial

Expanding, briefly, on the above – does it need any further explanation?  The story we are being fed is that the virus was contracted from illegally traded wildlife at a ‘wet’ market in Wuhan: namely, bats!  Perhaps.  Suitably revolting but not convinced.

Then there is the suggestion that the virus may have been leaked, deliberately, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as part of a covert biological weapons programme attributed to China.   Not outwith the realms of possibility.  That being the source, there would be no ‘Oops!’ required.  More a ‘Help!’.

Whatever the source, however, the orchestrated mass hysteria gradually rising to crescendo is utterly ridiculous.  As I pointed out last week, the number of flu-related fatalities, worldwide, has now risen to 15million in this current 2019-20 season with as many as 250,000 hospitalised.  Something does not add up.  With the symptoms – for the majority – apparently mild, it is only the elderly and those with underlying health conditions who are at risk of complications.  A small minority.  Why, then, the scaremongering?

Other’.  There is definitely something else going on of which we are being kept in the dark.  ‘Naïve’?  I think, perhaps, the word ‘gullible’ would be more appropriate.  Bombarded, day and night, with the updated figures, the latest measures being put in place, the emergency government meetings and, most alarming of all, the sight of the full body suits straight out of ET, it would appear the whole world is on the verge of lockdown and for what?!  Credit some of us with a degree of intelligence.

Sadly, it would seem that most of us do not fall into the category of ‘some of us‘ and, hence, the hysteria.  As if increasing isolation was not, already, a problem in today’s world, there are lots of people now afraid to leave their homes.  Supermarket shelves are being stripped as the sheep syndrome kicks in and stockpiling becomes an obsession.  I heard one supermarket delivery guy on the radio relating how he delivered a £600 shop to one customer who, just an hour earlier, had had another supermarket delivery amounting to £500!  It beggars belief!  The media have a lot to answer for in a manic world now populated by egomaniacs.  ‘No man is an island’.    What about one’s fellow man?  Can you imagine today’s delightful breed of humans on the deck of the Titanic fighting for places in the lifeboats?  Forget women and children first.  Mind you, on International Women’s Day 2020, it’s all about ‘Generation Equality’, apparently, so everyman for himself, then.  No!  There are some of us who prefer to be thought of as individuals first and foremost?  What about those of us, women, who do not want to be men?  Who enjoy having the door held, one’s chair pulled out, one’s drink carried and having gentlemen stand up when one comes into the room?  Women and children first?  A gentler world before consideration adopted the pre-fix ‘self’!

As anti-bacterial wipes become gold-dust and the stockpiling of toilet roll reaches new heights – or lows – why not go big, as in Italy, and lock down the entire northern region?!   Enforced quarantine for something in the realms of 16million people.  Everything shut down.  Any the wiser?  Live images of Rome confirm the Eternal City is all but dead as the Forum lies deserted and, likewise, the Colosseum.  Goliaths in terms of tourist attractions, this is unprecedented – and, also, incredibly frustrating as one appreciates how incredible it would be to disregard it all and fly straight there for the experience of a lifetime!  Tempted.  Don’t think we haven’t got an eye on prices …

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it!’.  A mocking reference to Star Trek, it seems fitting as of now.  I woke, yesterday, with runny eyes and a runny nose.  In fact, in general, I didn’t feel great.  OMG!  This is it!  I have succumbed.  Doomed!  Don’t be ridiculous!  Get a grip!  How many exclamation marks can one use?!  That is the level of indoctrination, however.  So dominant and repetitive that it seeps into the psyche.  Resist.  Having pulled myself together, I survived the day – and night.  Who would have thought?  I jest but none of this is funny.  More sad – and insulting.  Enough.  Except to comment that sales of Corona beer have plummeted – mirroring the level of mentality.

Bring on the light relief – Meghan and Harry!  That’s not light relief.  More a case of ‘Oh, Harry!  What have you done?’  Meghan looks like the cat who has got the cream – read, got her own way!  Back in the UK for their final hoorah, significant by his absence is 10mth old Archie.  Great grandson of the 93 year-old monarch and 98 year-old Prince Philip, neither have seen him since November and, putting it bluntly, time is not on their side!  Somewhat unnecessary, then?  Even cruel?  In the charge of a nanny in Canada, Archie could just as easily have travelled to the UK to see the family from whom he has been withheld for months.  Harry’s choice?

I don’t know about anybody else but, for me, Meghan is a walking contradiction, now; a hypocrite.  Whilst she preaches about the environment and women’s rights – a self-appointed voice for the oppressed – in her personal life, not only is she is happy to milk the goodwill of others by accepting the gratuitous offer of a luxury Vancouver Island mansion but, last night, for her very public appearance at the Mountbatten Music Festival, she chose to wear a red Safiyaa dress with a price tag of £1,295.  Her Manolo Blahnik clutch, itself, cost £1,260!  How can she possibly reconcile that?  Easy.  Preach from above.  It’s a doddle!

Finally, while it is strikingly obvious that she is working Harry from behind, could she, please, just refrain from pawing him for one second?!  He has nowhere to run and his son is in Canada – strategic move.  He has to go back whether he likes it or not.  Meanwhile, these are official visits most definitely not requiring of hand-holding and constant stroking.  You know what they say about public displays of affection, though …  Oh, Harry!  That’s another fine mess you have got yourself into.

Honesty is the key to a relationship.  If you can fake that, you’re in.’   Richard jeni

This is Trish, signing off.