Saturday, 14 March 2020

Taking it on the Chin UK Tekkie Style


Cramming them in 2018
The Metal Detecting problem in the UK may well soon be over, natural selection may solve it for us as utterly moronic artefact hunters insist on holding a commercial meeting for hundreds of artefact hunters in a few weeks time (“Spring Detectival” still on despite the health crisis' Heritage Journal  14/03/2020):
Spring Detectival 2020 is the latest in a series of similar massive events, this one scheduled for April. They are particularly unwelcome and damaging because of their sheer size and because they cater for detectorists from all over Europe and beyond. It is perhaps a reflection of both the organisers and their customers that despite the current health emergency the event is still being scheduled to go ahead, using the thinnest of excuses: “The risk to individuals in the UK remains low [really? – Ed.] and there is no restriction on travel or trade. In light of this, our events will take place as normal and we will continue to adhere to UK Government guidance.”.
Shades of the same rhetoric that accompanied the Brexit ("we Brits won the War, we beat the Hun, we can beat this"), the pandemic is causing distress, death and disruption all over the world, but "individuals in the UK" are somehow immune. Because they are British? Eh?

Of course the organisers have a lot of money to lose if the event is cancelled. They may even have contracted with the landowner to pay a specific sum (maybe paid in advance with the ticket money received). They have overheads to cover and will lose out if they have to refund the ticket money. So it stands to reason that they will want it to go ahead and not have to return the ticket money. But if they callously do, and cretinous  ("I paid me munny and nuffink's gonna stop me from going") people actually do crowd into the campsite and beer and burger tent, it will be at the expense of the lives of many of the participants and members of their fmilies.

A large section of the British metal detecting community are white males, aged 60+ many of whom are or have been heavy smokers and drinkers. The reported government 'policy' on dealing with this virus might be to "let it pass through the community" as the country is left to “take it on the chin” (This Morning on Thursday 5 March). If a wave of infection passes through that lot, they will be among those endangered by a collapsing NHS as overstretched British hospitals predictably fill up with increasing numbers of acute pneumonia and organ failure cases. Not all of them will get on the respirators. The UK strategy is called eugenics.

Much as I disapprove of 'metal detecting', I really would prefer those that do it and the more vulnerable members of their families to be safer than reckless.


Update: 15th March 2020
Heritage journal: 'Detectival: shameless organisers still determined not to cancel!' 15th March 2020. 
The Detectival organisers [...] have issued this statement: "[...] we will continue with the event.”
Meanwhile "Italy reported its biggest day-to-day jump in cases of COVID19. 3497 new cases - a 20% increase in 24 hrs. Authorities cited irresponsible behavior by citizens, who despite warnings headed to beaches or ski resorts, especially after closure of schools". Here for the benefit of the numpties, the Washington Post has some colourful moving pictures which explain "Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”... (Harry Stevens, March 14th 2020). This British "Keep calm and carry on as you were" strategy is going to lead to tragedy. Poland began a lockdown on 12th March, and Britain fails to seize the opportunity, and many of the less-bright citizens tragically fail to see how that will in the end affect them. 

1 comment:

Brian Mattick said...

The Rescue Archaeology AGM, scheduled for about the same time, has been cancelled - but then, they aren't out for what they can get.

 
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