Behind the public face of our website, are pages of data and analysis that include information about how many people access the site, where they access it from, and what they look at.

In the middle of the night, sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, somebody in the Philippines clicked on, and presumably read, a scholarly post on our website called Life Cycle Of A Swan Mussel.

Lockdown is lockdown, all over the world: in the Philippines, a densely populated archipelago with a very fragile health system, they call it Community Quarantine and have just extended it to the end of April. It is strictly, even lethally, enforced by a heavily armed police force and boredom has finally driven somebody in the suburbs of Manila into the arms of our swan mussels.

Lockdown, somewhere on the scale between strict and fatal, has already reduced the Philippines’ number of new coronavirus cases. But our more democratic government has made mistakes and the forecasters are predicting horrific consequences.

Our best chance at some kind of mitigation is to ignore the snake-oil salesmen and the gossip about intravenous vitamin C, and stick to the strictest interpretation of the lockdown rules. That way we may still be able limit the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

….flatten the curve….

We have been asked to leave our homes only to shop for essentials, to take exercise, to walk the dog, or fetch and carry for somebody in quarantine. Runners have been asked to run solo in places where they won’t meet others and, if they do meet others, keep at least two metres away from them. We have been asked to observe hygiene rules when we are out and wash our hands when we get in.

Please don’t meet up with friends in the park; please don’t stroke my dog even if he comes to greet you; please don’t picnic or sunbathe or gather round illicit fires in the copses; please consider wearing a mask if you are running or cycling and breathing heavily anywhere near another park user. Please, please take your rubbish home with you so that FoSCP doesn’t have to take the risk of handling it.

We know it’s going to be a beautiful day; we understand being cooped up is difficult. We know how frustrating it is, if you are young and fit, to be asked to limit so much of your life. But we are old and in various at-risk categories, and you may very well be asymptomatic.

For once, we really do need to do as we are told – and just in case you need it, here is a link to that post about the life cycle of a swan mussel:

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