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Filling Up Wembley When Over 200,000 Brits Contract COVID-19 Every Week Sends the Wrong Message About Public Safety

Filling up streets and even a densely-populated stadium at this time is a really awful idea

Paris

AS I noted the other day, amid COVID-19 surge we’re meant to think that winning Euro 2020 is more important than winning against the virus. I went to town (Manchester) thrice this past week, only to see few people wearing masks and many who don’t respect people’s space with appropriate distancing. Here in Manchester, especially the centre of town, the number of cases is very high. We’re talking about more than one in a hundred. Not even counting recoveries, people who are not symptomatic etc.

Later today there’s a final in Wembley (again Wembley, not the capital of English football), this time the big chance (first in 55 years) to play the Euro final and maybe even win the whole tournament.

Our government is well aware of the coming COVID-19 crisis and likely imminent lock-downs/circuit-breakers, but to intoxicate the public with nationalism and a sentiment of national pride things are being opened up prematurely and the public is told that being reckless is OK. No need for masks, distancing etc. As if some dodgy firm administrating some (still experimental) doses will magically solve everything.

RMS, who is as pro-vaccination as I am, has just said: “Indonesia has been using Chinese vaccine, and it’s better than nothing, but a substantial number of medical personnel have caught Covid-19 anyway and cannot work.”

Our government keeps promoting a false sense of security; people are led to think or believe that vaccination alone — no matter whose — makes one invulnerable. This is clearly not the case. While vaccination certainly helps it does not mean that we can act as if COVID-19 is a thing of the past. Winning in football is nice and all, but packing up a stadium with fans sends the wrong message about public safety.

COVID surge

Manchester is a Football Capital and Deserves to Hold More International Matches Than Wembley (London)

Best known for football

Mancunian football

LAST week I wrote about Wembley being half full in spite of a raging pandemic. Tomorrow we can expect Wembley to be in 2/3 capacity (about 60,000), but Manchester has large enough stadiums (almost as large as Wembley) with more decorated clubs (in the trophies sense) than any of the London clubs. Why is it that in 2021 every match still ‘defaults’ to London? Are Mancunians lesser people? Every now and then there’s an international match here, but clearly not often enough. In any case, those stadiums ought not be filled for the time being; with 37 new deaths today (linked to COVID-19) we’d be too arrogant to pretend it’s “all behind”…

Put the teams and the filming crew inside; that ought to be enough.

We dominate; we used to win trophies

Britain Lost in Wembley

The only winner was coronavirus

Wembley match
A half-full Wembley Stadium (match ended a few hours ago)

RECENTLY in this blog I wrote about my personal experiences dealing with our local and national government. They use COVID to deny us any meaningful service. Today is the last day to register for post-Brexit (EU exit) settlement and only a few days ago, or two weeks late, a local council finally contacted me (a reply to my E-mail about lacking a mobile phone; but they asked me for my mobile number, so clearly they didn’t even bother reading my message!).

Here’s a roundup of recent posts on this matter (it’s good that I’ve chronicled it herein as it turned out to be a lot worse than I had imagined):

So England won the football match (well done to the players!), but we all lost as a country because COVID and whatever “mutants” or “variants” or “strains” exist will have spread by the end of that match. This was known in advance, but our government chose to pretend that football can distract us enough. My wife and I are both disappointed and very upset at the density of that crowd… as if football is more important than containing the virus.

Politicians: We laugh at your safetyTo put it in very simple terms, based on photos like the above (many more photos such as this, also video footage) you would not know COVID-19 cases and deaths soared across the UK (up by 60%-70% this past week alone) and you would not believe they deny access to essential government services, as I’ve noted in this blog for almost a year…

When Liverpool FC chose to host the match against Atlético Madrid last year the club was rightly blasted for it, even by the local authorities. What were they thinking? One last “blast” before lock-down? How many people died as a result of that match, which also saw Liverpool crashing out of the Champions League? (Karma.)

According to the BBC, “[a]round 43,000 fans at Wembley, 1,800 of them Germany supporters” were in that match, which ended hours ago. Our government officials just wanted to pretend we’re doing well against the virus, but those Tories (sociopaths) will regret it when we go into lock-down again. Will the public hold them accountable for it? For a second day in a row over 20,000 new COVID-19 cases are reported in the UK, but they still stuff almost 50,000 fans in one single venue, tightly packed into Wembley (mostly without masks; see photos!) because “flag waving” is apparently “ESSENTIAL” work, unlike British residents who need to register and don’t have a mobile phone (like us). A Tory Britain basically tells me that I cannot meet a government clerk “because COVID” (even while the number cases of per day was less than 1,000!), even for an essential service, but almost 50,000 fans are tightly packed inside Wembley for football (when the number of daily cases is >20,000). This is truly incredible, isn’t it? I’ve long pointed out to them that its absurd I can go dine in a restaurant (where people touch foods that people put inside their mouths), yet meeting a government clerk behind a plastic/glass screen is considered too “risky”…

Filling up Wembley? OK. Meeting a person for an essential service? No way! This is what happens when you elect Tories. Facts just cease to matter.

Oops! They Did it Again (Manchester City)

Manchester City champions

RECORDS were being promised and are now being delivered. Last night we saw our local team (across the road from us) winning the league again, having already won the League Cup and the Community Shield. In 5 days from now we shall see if FA Cup is added to the trophies cabinet, making a first-ever treble of this kind.

Not the first time

Manchester City won the league half a dozen times before, but over the past 8 years it happened 50% of the time. Here they are as recently as last year.

Manchester City champions

An attitude thing

I was never a crazy Manchester United fan. Sure, they’re local, but the attitude was always a tad different and City was the ‘underdog’. With young talent like ‘Insane’ Sane, how can anyone not like City?

Sane

Compare that to the pretentious London clubs, where some players’ heads are too big even for the coach/manager.

Kepa

Liverpool made victory even sweeter

I’ve long cheered for Liverpool because it’s a sweet, passionate club with a lot of tradition. For a number of decades it receded to ‘underdog’ status, but not anymore. It has defeated City more than any other club in recent years, so seeing their incapacity for actual trophies is always amusing.

Crying

‘Pep’ and Jürgen are another matter. Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, like his German club, are somewhat of a Nemesis to the legendary Guardiola, based on their track record. Thus, any time we see Klopp defeated there’s a tinge for sympathy for Guardiola, who conquers his worst fear.

Pep and Jürgen

And so, here we are the morning after. Will City get the perfect ‘cabinet set’ this year? We shall know on Saturday…

Manchester City is Now Very Well Positioned to Break More Records

Manchester City's Pep

Yesterday, for the first time in months, Manchester City returned to the top of the league’s table (and not because it had played an extra game). The team is now in a good position to secure a third trophy, the most prestigious of all (league/PL), and is well positioned to advance further in the Champions League too. What remains other than those two prestigious cups is the FA Cup, which has no major teams left it in except Manchester United and Manchester City. So this can be another interesting year with Manchester taking all the trophies (Community Shield included) and maybe Manchester City alone will net them. It also seems increasingly likely that the northwest (England) will secure the top 3 spots in the league for the second year in a row.

At the start of the season it seemed highly improbable that Manchester City would break yet more important records; it never won a Champions League either; didn’t even reach the final. Time will tell what can happen (over the next 3 months)…

It is a good time to be a Manchester City fan and Manchester United too seems to have found solid new leadership.

Members of the Quarter

Members of the quarter

Mike Coogan Winning European 400m Championship

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