An outbreak of selfishness

Over the past 20 years alone there has been the threat of airplanes falling out of the sky on the stroke of midnight January 1 2000, the SARS virus, bird flu, E-coli, Ebola or now coronavirus.

There will always be something to prompt people into loading up their supermarket trolleys with tinned goods and non perishables as if World War Three was about to break out or an alien invasion was imminent.

This time there’s a rush on toilet paper, which is a bit puzzling as COVID-19 doesn’t give you the runs.

We’re not facing a dysentery outbreak here people.

COVID-19 is certainly spreading at an alarming rate, if the daily updates are indeed accurate, but let’s just try and add a bit of perspective here.

So far in the UK there have been two deaths and in both cases there were underlying health issues involved. So while it’s certainly accurate to say that certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others and there will be fatalities, just like every other illness, this is not a rerun of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed millions worldwide, so panic – whether it be fighting over fusilli in the aisles of Tesco or grappling for the last bog roll is not going to achieve anything.

Catching coronavirus is not a death sentence. It’s not the Great Plague and self isolation does not require you to seal yourself into a nuclear bunker – it’s simply shutting your front door and watching Phil and Holly in your jimjams for two weeks.

And even that is out of consideration for others in an effort to slow the rate of contagion. It doesn’t mean someone can’t go out and grab some groceries for you and leave them outside the door. There’s even this new thing some of you may not have heard of called ordering online.

Panic buying is indicative of the human condition – when the going looks like it might get just a little bit tougher than usual it’s every man for himself.

Queues at petrol stations, empty shelves in shops – all it does is create chaos when common sense and a bit of community spirit can keep everyone, if not happy, at least satisfied in the short term.

Because, after all, we all need to wipe our bums, don’t we?

The lamb sits down on broadway

It’s no one’s place to tell a rock star they shouldn’t be doing it any more. There’s no compulsory retirement age for a muso and most of them carry on until they drop.

But I certainly won’t be going out of my way to see Genesis (or as I look at it, three fifths of Genesis) when they undertake their first tour in 13 years in November and December.

Following nerve damage and back surgery, Phil Collins is no longer able to play drums – the guy can barely walk and he looks like his head is collapsing into his torso – so his 19-year old son Nic will be doing a Jason Bonham by filling in for his dad.

Which leaves the band’s frontman possibly spending the gig singing from a chair like he did for much of his solo shows over the past two years.

Doesn’t sound like much of a show to me, and it’s not the Genesis of Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway that I loved (for that you need to see guitarist Steve Hackett’s show) but I’m sure every date will be a sell out.

From the prices of the tickets I would say a sell out in more ways than one.

Curtain call

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex got a standing ovation at the Royal Albert Hall this week as they made one of their last appearances before going into self imposed exile in the little-known Third World country where the press fear to tread – Canada.

I’ve no idea what they sang to warrant such a reaction, but it must have been good.

I think I’ll wait for the comeback tour this time next year.

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Edward Case

Columnist