Wildlife is already getting bolder

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e Government is still not doing enough to ensure we are all doing enough to cut down person to person contact to stop new infections. We are rapidly heading for an Italian level of crisis, with a health service which is a lot more poorly resourced than the northern Italian zones which have had the worst problems.

I was admitted to A & E yesterday with an unrelated long established condition. I saw the pressures those doctors and nurses treating those of us still being wheeled in with broken legs, suspected heart attacks, etc. I’ve had lots of time in hospitals in the last fifteen years. I always leave with a lump in my throat at what I have seen of the work of all the hospital staff in delivering what we need as patients despite shortages of staff and equipment and funding. What I saw with my own eyes yesterday left me feeling that, but a hundred times more.

As for the doctors and nurses treating the infected patients, that is (I hope obviously) all going on in a separated area, with a different medical team. It was impossible to avoid hearing occasional sounds from that area. I saw a trolley laden with a large pile of hospital kitchen rolls (if you’ve never experienced them, the usual fillings are limited to ham or cheese or scrambled egg with cress) being taken into the infection treatment area, so the medics could eat by grabbing a bite to eat in pauses while they were working.

So I don’t claim to actually know what’s going on. But I suspect it wouldn’t be too far out (for those of us old enough to remember the TV series) to think of the mobile hospital in MASH. But this time there is little or no pause between each wave of incoming wounded. And where they are is the front line.

We need the country in full lockdown now. While we wait for the government to recognise this, we must try to bring social pressure on anyone we know who is giving self-indulgent answers to the question: “Is your journey really necessary?”

But now for wildlife to help keep us sane. As spring seems finally to be getting going, butterflies are starting to appear in increasing numbers.

Birds and small mammals are already getting bolder and easier to see. There long-tailed tits which normally patronise the battery of bird feeders my wife has in our garden. One or two of them are now regularly coming much nearer the house – indeed are regularly flying in and out of a “sun lounge” through the open doorway and a missing window pane. As they do so, they have been pausing to perch on the lawn mower handle. They seem unworried that I am only a yard away, separated only by a pane of glass which would have left me clearly visible.

Earlier, we took a little stroll in the sunshine, taking care to keep well away from the few other pedestrians about. In the bottom of the hedge on the corner of Paget Road and Clark road we saw the scurrying of a small mammal. It was only a quick glimpse, but clear enough to tell for sure that it was not a rat but some type of vole.

Sorry, but I didn’t get any pictures.