Categories
Thoughts

What I’ve learnt about the virus which has had an incredible impact on the whole world

My bullet-point list of things I’ve learnt about this crazy Coronavirus so far:

  • It originated in Wuhan, China, where it was transmitted to humans via some other undefined animal in a market.
  • It is incredibly efficient at transmitting from human to human in close proximity.
  • Mortality rate is estimated to be at least 2%, which is quite a few people due to the transmission efficacy.
  • It shows up with a variety of flu-like symptoms in most people who contract it.
  • It is exceptionally dangerous to the ‘at risk’ groups: the over-70s and anyone with a fragile immune system.
  • It can be contained where very strict human-movement measures are put into place, and where testing and tracing is used.
  • The far east has been the most effective at containing the virus (China reported just over 3k deaths and then it all cut out; the UK is at 9k deaths; the USA is now over 18k deaths and it doesn’t seem to be calming yet).
  • The west has been incredibly poor at containing it (governments trying to be liberal failed miserably).
  • The UK initially thought ‘herd immunity’ would be wise (letting the virus run loose), and then adjusted it’s irresponsible policy when it realised the health system (NHS) couldn’t cope with such an idea. The Netherlands also favoured herd immunity, but with an apparently stronger healthcare system.
  • The economy in every country has suffered immensely, with a lot of industries being completely suspended (such as mine).
  • Most countries now are operating with some form of ‘lockdown’ policy in place.
  • Healthcare workers in most countries are the most valued people in society right now. They are doing an incredible job while being underpaid, and while being under-armed ‘soldiers’ trying to save vulnerable people in the UK and other nations.
  • A vaccine might be available in about a year from now.
  • No-one knows when ‘normal’ life will resume…
Categories
Thoughts

Is Corona-induced self-isolation a good time to try VR?

Well my thinking is, if we’re going to be isolated from our friends and family then re-creating a virtual reality has got to be the next best thing… Sure Zoom, Facetime, and Whatsapp are nice, but creating some form of virtual landscape to meet in has got to be worth a shot. We’ve just got to get all our friends to choose a headset to join in the fun.

From my research you’ve got the below options:

  • VR using your current computer and adding on a headset. The leader in this realm is the original Oculus Rift. Note that you need a very powerful PC/Mac for this to work (£400-ish).
  • VR using your current smartphone, by slotting it into a headset. There doesn’t seem to be any clear winners in this category. Amazon has BNext and Destek as most top-rated right now at between £30-£40.
  • VR using a stand-alone headset (no need for any other hardware). Oculus are market leader here too, with the ‘Go’ (budget version), (£300-ish) and the Quest (bit more expensive version) (£500-ish)
Categories
Thoughts

How I turned my doorbell into a smart one for £0

Following on from my post about smart smoke alarms, I have managed to make my current doorbell smart with just a touch of a button.

I found out through trial and error that my current £10 doorbell uses the 2.4Ghz radio frequency. I simply tried to pair it with my SONOFF RF Bridge box… and it worked to my delight.

Now every time someone rings my physical doorbell I get an instant notification on my phone! Bingo. Who needs an over-priced Ring doorbell system?

Evidently if needs be, I just load up one of my external Yi cameras to see and speak to anyone who triggers the doorbell.

Categories
Thoughts

The UK government’s £0 support for my business during the pandemic

As many of you will have noticed, the government is cheering on employees and sole traders, giving them comfortable financial support in circumstances where they cannot currently be employed.

Unfortunately for some (such as myself) I don’t fall into the above categories as I am a director of a company who relies on dividends rather than salary to be paid. Given that my industry (entertainment) is basically on pause for a very long time from now due to the circumstances, it seems that the government is being more than a little unfair.

A petition has been started as this situation does not just apply to me, but millions of people. Please find the time to sign it as we need some serious help. Thanks for your time 🙂

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-small-ltd-company-directors-to-get-government-support-like-the-employed-and-self-employed

Categories
Thoughts

My life in Coronavirus 29/03/20

So the UK is well into the coronavirus-season now, and this is a summary of my experience to date.

  • Lockdown for us has consisted of me, my pregnant wife, our 2-year old, my wife’s 60-ish year-old parents all living together at the in-laws’ house. I am so thankful that we are in the suburbs, have a reasonable space to (permanently) live in, and a garden.
  • Given there is no childcare anywhere now, we all have a strict daily timetable for each looking after our toddler. 1-1.5 hour slots throughout the day.
  • I’ve been the allocated weekly supermarket shopper, despite the in-laws still gagging to get to shops too. The supermarkets have only just enforced strict entry rules (5 days ago).
  • My Limited company has been fully put into a state of ‘pause’ along with the entire entertainment industry. It has been offered no governmental support because of it’s director structure and lack of premises.
  • Building work on our house extension has now been suspended until further notice.
  • The government has been reckless with it’s rules and guidance, and insodoing has killed a lot of people. Too many ‘shoulds’ not enough ‘musts’.
  • The government has not been logical in any way with regards to helping the NHS cope with the mess. Very rare testing, and no PPE (personal protection equipment) means the NHS staff are at serious risk.
  • Overall Boris Johnson together with is muppet side-kick Dominic Cummings have been weak and pathetic.
  • I’ve also been thankful for the beautiful weather in the UK over the last week. It helped to lift many people’s spirits.
Categories
Thoughts

Looking forward to seeing positive pollution impact from Coronavirus

I’m sure there’s some people monitoring everything pollution-related, and I’m certain the current pandemic will have some form of (positive) global pollution impact. Obviously power stations and the like will continue working, but the lack of transport on the roads and planes in the skies should demonstrate something.

Perhaps the results will help to open some people’s eyes about what needs to be done to help the environmental impact of our previous way of life…

Some great results re air pollution in UK cities so far: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/27/coronavirus-uk-lockdown-big-drop-air-pollution

Pollution maps showing difference in some countries:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52065140

Categories
Thoughts

When your property agent adds £2k to your service charge during COVID19 pandemic…

Some things wind me up slightly, but this one is an absolute corker. My property management agent (Chamonix aka Shambles-Nix) has added close to a whopping £2k to this year’s service charge, at the precise time when no-one (normal) has spare cash due to the Corona pandemic.

Why have they added so much? Due to the UK’s property cladding crisis (which was caused by Grenfell). The building was identified as requiring a new outer layer installed.

Is it an actual charge? No. It is just a ‘reserve’. This is the point that really stings. If it was actually something that had happened, and required payment then fair enough. But the company seriously think that at the start of the biggest crisis in recent history, it is viable and sensible to add this incredibly large ‘estimate’ to the service charge.

Categories
Thoughts

A great resource for entertaining kids during the Coronavirus isolation

https://www.hotukdeals.com/discussions/ideas-to-keep-kids-entertained-if-you-are-self-isolating-home-from-school-3421376

Categories
Thoughts

Copper vs Coronavirus

An interesting article on Vice explaining how copper is an incredible material that should be used in public places because of it’s natural ability to kill off bacteria and viruses.

Source article: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xgqkyw/copper-destroys-viruses-and-bacteria-why-isnt-it-everywhere

Categories
Thoughts

Coronavirus hack: keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose

If you’re still having to go out and get relatively close to other people during the Coronavirus outbreak, then breathing through your nose rather than mouth is highly recommended. It has the upper hand on mouth breathing as it kills deadly bacteria and works as a vasodilator on the airways, your arteries, and capillaries

Reference: https://breathing.com/pages/nose-breathing

The fantastic Dr Chatterjee also did a whole podcast on nose breathing benefits: https://drchatterjee.com/how-breathing-through-your-nose-will-change-your-life-with-patrick-mckeown/