Author Topic: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?  (Read 4164 times)

George Oscar Bluth II

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When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« on: February 04, 2021, 05:03:15 PM »
Because we're rapidly approaching the first anniversary of realising it was going to be bad, I guess.

For me, I was properly fucked up by what was about to happen in late February, which in hindsight looks really late doesn't it given all the signs. Did we think China was locking everyone up for a laugh? I think that was the point it was well documented to be in Seattle, but a lot of people here were still treating it like something that'd be confined to Asia. At this point I was not sleeping at all, completely shit scared of what was going to go down. Think at that point I was as worried about societal collapse as I was by the actual virus.

Remember going to a family gathering at the end of the month, people had come from all over the country, my cousins son was licking his fingers and dropping his toys in everyone's drinks and then retrieving them[1] which properly put me on edge. We were joking but also not joking that it'd be the last time we'd all be together for a while. And it was.

Then I remember going to Tesco the first weekend in March and it was just pure chaos. No toilet roll, no pasta, no rice, people pushing round trollies piled with bottles of water and the like. Like a film. Genuinely the most chilling experience of my entire life because of the realisation of exactly how close we are to complete chaos at all times.

We still, after that experience, went to the pub to medicate ourselves though. Of course.

Looking back I'm struck by my combination of genuine terror at what was going to happen and also my complete lack of making any changes to my life as it approached. I went to the pub to watch the LASK v Man Utd game with my Man Utd pal on March 12th! The game was played behind closed doors! Why was it any safer to be in the pub? What the fuck was I thinking!

Er yeah so when did you know this would be bad? And how long did you keep doing normal things for despite a deep feeling of dread within you?
 1. He's 28 years old etc etc

rue the polywhirl

  • eight lives left
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2021, 05:15:39 PM »
When Mikel Arteta caught the vid and football soon stopped being played for a while and it wasn’t end of season yet. That’s when I knew stuff was getting serious.

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 05:18:00 PM »
Some time between the 1st February when I was saying "we'll see in the next few weeks, I guess" and about three weeks later when they took away my desk.

Boring, useless, but true.

George Oscar Bluth II

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 05:20:10 PM »
(I suppose the really interesting question is whether there's a reservoir sitting somewhere, outside of China, that no-one's noticed yet.)

Pretty much as you wrote this it was being seeded into Europe in the bars of the ski resorts wasn't it. Eeeek.

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2021, 05:22:12 PM »
Enjoyed this one as well:
At the risk and in the hope of looking like an idiot in a month or so's time - I think we've lost at containment now.

(Not so much in a "look how clever I was" fashion because I don't seriously believe this reflects actual repeatable good judgement on my part in the slightest, but more the coincidence of being right and the 12 months we've had since then.)

(Edit: The most interesting thing about that thread is people changing their minds over the course of February, perhaps.)

George Oscar Bluth II

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2021, 05:22:41 PM »
Hey Zetetic, when am I next gonna be able to go to the pub.

Cuellar

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2021, 05:23:12 PM »
Don't know really. Our China office got sent home at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 but had started to go back into the office by the time we all got sent home so I thought it would be, like in China, a few months and then back to normal. Suppose the 'true' magnitude never dawned on me, really. Just gradually kept getting worse. Boiling frog.

Although maybe it was when I came down with maybe COVID after returning from Belgium/Netherlands at the end Feb/beginning of March. Went into work one day, then started feeling rough that evening and I haven't been in since. I was self-isolating when everyone was told to work from home. This was long before testing was available so who knows if I had it, or if I spread it all round the office then buggered off lol.

Al Tha Funkee Homosapien

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2021, 05:25:08 PM »
The Imperial report.

George Oscar Bluth II

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2021, 05:27:04 PM »
The Imperial report.

Oh that was some real scary shit wasn't it. I seem to remember their death projection with no mitigations was 250,000 too...

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2021, 05:34:03 PM »
The evening of 20th Feb 2020.

I went to lecture about discrimination at the LSE and about 20% of the room were wearing surgical masks. The guest speaker was Anglo-Chinese and shaped his introduction around attitudes to Covid patients and sinophobia. I'd read about the outbreak / containment efforts, but the lecture made it all seem very close.

chveik

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2021, 05:39:43 PM »
when captain sir tom died

shiftwork2

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 05:42:05 PM »
Clearly later than Thurs 6th Feb when I flew back from Seville and sat next to a total belm wearing a face mask.  Was he worried about importing a virus that would start a flu-like pandemic that would turn the world upside down or something?  Honestly, some people...

NoSleep

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 05:46:38 PM »
Around the time shortly before we went into the first lockdown it was clear to me that the official government attitude (wrongly) seemed to be that we'd all be locked down for a couple of weeks and then back to work after that. I guessed that this still wouldn't be over, even beyond a year or more (even if the government hadn't ballsed up at every turn). I got the impression from those that I spoke to that this was the general opinion.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 05:50:35 PM »
For me, I was properly fucked up by what was about to happen in late February, which in hindsight looks really late doesn't it given all the signs.
Well you were miles ahead of me anyway. Only a week or so before it all got real, I was at a quiz night, on a team called "The Wuhan Clan". We'd already seen SARS, Bird flu and Swine flu come and go (as far as I was aware). I had no inkling this would be any different.

Then I remember going to Tesco the first weekend in March and it was just pure chaos. No toilet roll, no pasta, no rice, people pushing round trollies piled with bottles of water and the like. Like a film. Genuinely the most chilling experience of my entire life because of the realisation of exactly how close we are to complete chaos at all times.
Same here. It was my turn to make dinner one evening and we had no tinned tomatoes. I thought about all those empty shop shelves and felt so overwhelmed that I had to sit down for a while to steady my nerves.

It really didn't help having my sister, living in Spain, bombarding us with horror stories about what we could expect a couple of weeks after them.

After that, the rest of the year was actually relatively normal for me. I saw friends and family a fair bit (in accordance with the guidelines at the time). I had a few trips to the (mostly empty) cinema. I worked from home, as I had for the previous ten years. Most normal of all, I stayed in, watching telly. Maybe a lot of that was stupid and I've just been very lucky.

Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2021, 05:54:08 PM »
Very late on. In March I had planned a multi-country trip to Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, booking everything back in January. Iran was the first to go, my flights there being cancelled at the end of February. No probs I thought, I still had the other three, and on March 15th I flew into Budapest with a few hours stopover before my flight to Nur-Sultan, intending to fly back to London from Bishkek in a month’s time. As recently as the 12th I’d met up with a couple of friends and the three of us had a right laugh about all this panic, remembering the non-event of swine flu (in the UK at least) and that we’d have all forgotten this by April.

Gate opens so I board the queue, have one last check of my phone before putting it on flight mode and find out that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are closing their borders that evening. The flight I’m nine minutes away from boarding may or may not arrive in time for me to be let into the country, but even if I am then christ knows how I’m meant to get out. I ask at the gate and they’re not aware of any border closure and confirm the flight’s definitely departing. I look at the queue and everyone in it has a Kazakhstan passport except me, so presumably they’ll be ok but I could get stuck. As I watch the queue board I feel the sinking realisation that this huge trip I had planned isn’t going to happen after all, and sit there feeling all sorts of helpless as the gate closes and the flight departs. So, erm, can I go back to London? Or at least into Arrivals? Or is my new life akin to Tom Hanks in The Terminal?

I try going back into Arrivals but the immigration officer gets rather concerned at a recent stamp for Lebanon in my passport (from January 2020) and questions me a bit including if I’ve ever been to Iran. He lets me through (just before Hungary themselves shut their borders) and as it’s a Sunday the terminal’s packed full of weekenders trying to get home, so I decide to sod that for a game of soldiers and stay in Budapest for a while, at one point wondering if I should just start learning Hungarian and get a job here until it’s all over.

First accommodation I find has a sign saying they’re not accepting travellers from China, Italy, Iran or the United Kingdom. I show my Irish passport and I’m allowed to stay there. It’s a cheap £5 hostel with €1 pints and I enjoy an evening with travellers from Taiwan, Croatia and Germany all laughing about the mess we’re in and how we’ll get home. Luckily Budapest is in a 22 degree heatwave so I spend a lot of time lazing in empty parks and getting unseasonably tanned for that time of year, and on hearing from London friends about the panic buying, I pop into a random supermarket and see that Hungarians thankfully aren’t following suit and there’s dozens of toilet roll on the shelves. By the 17th my work closes, as is gradually Hungary with restaurants limiting their hours and hotels closing down, and I watch as the tourists deplete each day and everything gets oddly quiet.

The following weekend I’m back at the ghost town that is now Budapest Airport and out of the 30 flights listed on the departure screen, four are still running - Doha, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and, oddly enough, Edinburgh. It’s the latter I get and there’s about a dozen of us on the flight so plenty of room to distance. Immigration is a breeze - no questions, no temperature checks, just straight through into a weirdly empty arrivals, and I frantically go online to see how to get home to London without paying a three figure sum. Through a combination of last-minute advance tickets it costs me about £30 instead, and via Manchester/Liverpool I’m back home in London on the evening lockdown is announced. Walking home past shuttered shops and cafes it feels like I’ve been gone an utter lifetime.

TLDR - Sunday 15th March, Budapest Airport.

Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2021, 06:06:56 PM »
EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT. WE'RE FINE.

Maybe I'm just a happy sunshine person, but even in the first lockdown I was thinking, "It'll all be over soon, I can go to the Edinburgh Fringe and to Spain in September". I think a couple of weeks after the first lockdown lifted and it was obvious that we hadn't got rid of the vid it became clear that the government had no plan and no way of stopping the spread. But I'm lucky because nobody I know has been seriously ill with it.

I was in Amsterdam for a few days at the start of March, and it was clear they were about to close everything down, all the Asians with masks on, but we got out just before everything shut. But getting sent home from work in March was all very jolly and unreal, seemed just precautions. Then there was a night in March, just before full on "shut everything", I went to see the band Nimmo play in Edinburgh. A few days before, bars were "just pay by contactless, no hugging, and we'll be fine", but that night the venue manager was close to a breakdown and the audience was about 8 people all standing in separate bubbles and nobody talked to anyone and just hurried home immediately after.


Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2021, 06:07:21 PM »
The exit poll is wrong lads

buttgammon

  • Leave him Tony, he's not worth it
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2021, 06:16:24 PM »
Thought it would be interesting to see the first use of the word coronavirus in the massive ongoing WhatsApp conversation I have with my girlfriend. This was her on January 27th 2020:

Quote
I keep reading coronavirus as coriolanus

I replied with a laughing face, so not much worry there.

It was some time around the start of March that I had a really feeling of impending doom. The stories from Italy were horrific, and the first few cases in Ireland were very worrying. In the first week of March, I spent the weekend away at a hotel with Mrs G and in the two or three nights we were there, the yellow warning posters went up absolutely everything. A week later, I had to ship a covid test in work that was going to the UK - presumably because there wasn't the facility to do it here - and the nerves really kicked in. Despite getting increasingly worried during the first few weeks of March, I distinctly remember watching them announce the closure of universities on the TV in a crowded pub without any fear of picking anything up in there.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2021, 06:24:45 PM »
Quote
When did you realise it was gonna be bad?

7-14 days ago

Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2021, 06:26:57 PM »
On my last proper night out, at the end of February, one of the friends I was with was panicking because his boyfriend, who works in a school, was staying at home unwell (fever, cough, vomiting, shitting buckets etc.) and he was concerned it might be the new death virus. Nah, I'm sure it's not, I assured him, as we elbowed our way to the bar in a sweaty crowd of strangers. (He's fine now, btw, although my friend had the same symptoms shortly afterwards.)

About a week after that I bought a new backpack and trainers so that I could start walking to the office rather than getting the Tube, only to be told a day or two later we'd all be working from home for the foreseeable future. Think that was the really "Ah right, this isn't going to go away, is it" moment for me.

Still seems mad that until that point Tube carriages had been absolutely rammed, and aside from the odd announcement about washing your hands there were no safety measures, no distancing, only a handful of passengers wearing masks, etc. (I wasn't one of them yet, though I did start wearing one to the shops etc. later in March). At that point I was dolloping on hand sanitiser every few seconds yet standing inches away from a load of maskless randoms in an unventilated carriage for 30 minutes or so at a time, seems unthinkable now.

BlodwynPig

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2021, 06:54:46 PM »
It's not that bad?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2021, 07:19:14 PM »
Quote
Still seems mad that until that point Tube carriages had been absolutely rammed, and aside from the odd announcement about washing your hands there were no safety measures, no distancing, only a handful of passengers wearing masks, etc.

The government line is that 'no-one could possibly have known', yet all this was happening while we were watching Lombardy turning into one giant coffin.

imitationleather

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2021, 07:33:15 PM »
When it was announced Squarepusher had dropped out of appearing at Bang Face Weekender.

Chedney Honks

  • When life gives u no hair, ball spin
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2021, 07:40:21 PM »
January 2020. I bought a load of masks in Feb 2020 and signed up again here to share some experiences from friends in Wuhan not long after. I had a number of arguments with people about us being too slow to lock down. Not too long after, I somewhat lost my mind and it's never really come back. I'm not kidding. I developed a weird kind of cathartic nihilism and genuine hatred for this country/Western civilisation that basically grows by the day, albeit I've started to focus more on the chinks of light and learned to switch off and enjoy my time again. Sorry to anyone I bored or annoyed along the way. Hopefully some threads were entertaining or cathartic but there were far far too many. I still find it very hard to process that some of my best mates in Oz, NZ, China and Vietnam are basically living life as normal while we're still fucking this up and dragging it out with literally nothing gained and everything lost. I am extended friends/family with nine people who've died from it now with three currently in hospital.

icehaven

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2021, 07:46:57 PM »
Combination of when it was getting really bad in Italy (yes that's horribly Euro-centric of me) and when the news was more or less definite that we (the UK) were shortly going into a full lockdown. So probably late Feb/early March 2020. Like others though I anticipated 6 weeks rather than 6 months.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2021, 08:02:18 PM »
It's going to get bad?

Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2021, 08:09:35 PM »
Just after Christmas when I got an email saying, that I wasn't just going to be on Furlough anymore and they needed me to work part time. Feels like it's only a matter of time before I'm back full time now.

thenoise

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Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2021, 08:31:46 PM »
When Neil made a dedicated subforum.

Al Tha Funkee Homosapien

  • Nothing is ever as good or bad as you think.
    • http://www.last.fm/user/georgethebadger/
Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2021, 08:45:13 PM »
albeit I've started to focus more on the chinks...

Steady on. Bit much.

Re: When did you realise it was gonna be bad?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2021, 09:02:11 PM »
When convoys of army trucks were shipping the dead out of Bergamo and Boris was missing Cobra meetings.

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