A pingdemic and flood warnings

The pandemic has turned into a “pingdemic” in the UK because as new cases soar to over 50,000 a day, so too has the number of people getting pinged as a close contact and having to self-isolate for ten days. It’s so bad that many shops can’t open due to staff shortages.

We have been worried about this ourselves and have chosen to avoid contact with other people until after our impending holiday as we don’t want to have to cancel it. If cases rise to 100,000 per day as they are expecting then huge numbers of people will be self-isolating all the time.

It’s hard to see how this can be sustained unless they abandon the requirement for fully vaccinated people as suggested by former PM Tony Blair. His Institute for Global Change predicts the number having to self-isolate could reach 10 million.

There’s an interesting article in the The Times on the weekend about the devastating floods in Germany which have claimed the lives of more than 150 people. Ben and I found it strange that so many people could die in a flood in Europe. Floods usually come with forewarning and time for people to evacuate to higher ground. Why didn’t that happen? According to the article, scientists did know the floods were coming and sent their dire warnings, which turned out to be almost spot-on, days in advance to the German authorities. The problem seems to have been a combination of people not getting the warnings or of not understanding them. Some people, inexplicably, took refuge in their basements.

It (Efas – European Flood Awareness System) raised the alarm on July 10 — four days before the first floods — with warnings to the German and Belgian governments about the high risk of flooding in the Rhine and Meuse basins.

Over the next few days it produced minutely detailed charts correctly predicting most of the areas that would suffer the heaviest damage. Its German partner agency requested specific analysis of several rivers including the Ahr, along whose banks at least 93 people later died and 618 were injured.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Time and time again people ignore warnings from scientists. It has been happening with climate change since the 1950s. Not until the fire affects people personally do they heed the warnings.

4 Replies to “A pingdemic and flood warnings”

  1. We generally don’t want our lives inconvenienced, so ignore warnings in the hope they don’t happen. I’m currently getting a preparation kit together in the event of having to evacuate at any time. I don’t anticipate anything specific happening – apart from the Alpine fault going off – but then again chaos is happening more and more frequently.

  2. I live in the South of the Netherlands, where the floods started. Thankfully we got away with minor flooding in our basement. But others in my city and neighbouring cities were up to their waist in water. One B&B, just 15 minutes by foot from my house, had the water 1.5m high. She lives at the bottom of a hill, and her house & business were completely ruined. Other historic towns got flooded severly, and suffered a lot of damage. Like bridges collapsing.
    Then the problems started in Belgium and Germany. It’s really bad and so tragic what has happened there.
    I only knew on Tuesday, that the weather alert for Wednesday was code orange. Which changed to red, during wednesday, and was also given for thursday.
    So, we didn’t get a big heads up either.
    During that wednesday, people had to run to get bags with sand, to protect their homes.
    I was definitely worried we’d have to do the same. We were lucky that it was only the basement, and a mop, cloth, ducttape and buckets were all we needed.

    Thankfully it’s been dry now for a couple of days. But saturday it’s said to rain again, for days. I keep my fingers crossed and hope it won’t be like last week.

    1. I didn’t realise the Netherlands was also affected. I’m glad you are ok and didn’t have too much damage. Do you think the flooding was worse in Germany and Belgium or were the Dutch better prepared?

      1. By the time it got quite serious here, it got even more serious in Germany, so that’s probably why it didn’t make it to the news.
        Thanks! I’m definitely thankful for that too.
        Hmm.. hard to say. We are definitely a prepared folk when it comes to water.
        But I also think that in the case of Germany, many of the towns are surrounded by higher hills / mountains. So they catch more water, that can then come downhill into the valleys where the people live. The water had no other way to go. And water always finds a way… 🤷🏼‍♀️ so I think that their location was the biggest reason for things getting so much worse. Just like that B&B at the bottom of that hill in my town. It was build so much lower than surrounding streets as well. It’s why water got highest there. It all gathered there.

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