Half-marathon goes ahead in Britain despite coronavirus pandemic

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/16/half-marathon-goes-ahead-in-br.html


There were some of the same type of sentiment from the idiots who went out to bars on Saturday in Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day. “We’re not going to give in to the fear…we’re got to live our lives…we can show that we’re not afraid…” just a bunch of nonsense that misunderstands that we’re not dealing with terrorism here, it’s a fucking virus that doesn’t care if you’re scared or not.

ETA: A good take on having 9/11 brain:



The other thing to think about is that after running a half-marathon, the exhaustion could well make you more vulnerable to the infection. Better hope you don’t catch it before you’re fully rested.


It seems pretty obvious that canceling large gatherings is worth doing, and who knows what the thought process was here.

But I think the take that this reflects tabloid horseshit is exactly wrong; the current horseshit is pointing in the other direction, with the media pushing for more panic and more draconian measures from the government. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people were wilfully underreacting to covid-19 precisely because they’re so inured to the British media’s relentless, transparent button-pushing.


This is the case of “I can beat this virus” mentality. People don’t think they can infect someone who’s vulnerable.


As a Brit who lives in the US it’s hard to decide which government is more ineffective and bumbling. I really am worried that a bunch of wonks “experimenting” with the lives of my mother and family in the UK will end poorly. But there’s nothing I can do about it now.

I guess the British government approach is what happens when you have a country run by people who hate their parents because they sent them away to boarding school at the age of 8


I’m fairly sure the UKs current plan is some malthusian power fantasy Cummings has dreamt up after an evening of vigorously frotting himself whilst reading a Wikipedia article about actuarial tables.


I also think that Cummings sees the wholesale killing over 1/4 of the population over 70 as an answer to the long-term care crisis, housing shortfall, and pensions funding. I believe there was an article in the Telegraph that said that some time in the last couple of week

The fact that they are mostly Tory voters doesn’t seem to bother him

I hope there are Nuremberg-style trials after this works itself out


At least its outside, I’d think it would be harder to catch vs indoors. And anyone running a marathon isn’t going to be having breathing issues. It is still an unnecessary risk.


Yes, exactly.


Kind of like the Spanish Flu and the Liberty Day Parade.


OH, well, maybe not. I guess I was thinking about spread out runners, vs crowds on the side lines.


In their defense, maybe getting totally bladdered on Guinness and Bushmills offers some protection against Corvid-19? :smiley: I wonder how high does one’s blood-alcohol level has to be to offer immunity.


I’ve never seen a public footrace in which either participants or spectators all maintain a six-foot radius between each other for the duration of the event.


As I, myself, recently opined, “Cummings is a shit-stain on the soul of humanity.” I would add that he doesn’t seem to understand how epidemics work; as exposing everyone would lead to an increased death rate, higher mutation rates and multiple waves of infection.


This 3 day race meeting seems to me to be a more risky proposition.


I’m forever astonished at the depths of human selfishness.


Yeah, things like this tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people.


I’ll have to concede to your expertise, as I can’t physically run. Still, one would think if you can run a marathon, you aren’t sick, but maybe if you just got it and it was super early and no symptoms, but still expelling with breath.

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I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Cummings and his ilk think that way, but I’m not convinced they’re the driving force behind the government’s policy. If there were even an anonymous third-hand whiff of that, the Guardian would be printing nothing else; they’re already kneading the facts fairly hard to try and sell this “experiment” narrative.

However good or bad the response turns out to have been, from what I have read it sounds like it is coming from Whitehall more than Downing Street, and it sounds like the difference from the response in Romance countries is that they’re more concerned about what happens after you shut down a country. And, again, I don’t know who’s right, but unlike 100% of the media, I do not think it is crazy to worry about that.

It’s very easy to say “of course everyone should just lock themselves in their homes”, and opinion writers like nothing better than an opinion that’s easy to say. But they don’t have to (and won’t) make any suggestions for June, when no one in construction or retail or hospitality has been paid for three months, and there’s no plausible reason to end the lockdown because everyone’s still a potential infection vector.

To be clear, the UK’s current government are halfwit scum, and I’m not confident in them to get anything right. But I’d feel even worse if they were just reacting to the bad-faith backseat driving of the press and the social media peanut gallery.