It’s the Spring London Pen Show this Sunday and at the same time it’s hard to avoid the fact there is now a globally spreading infection, Covid-19 also known as Coronavirus. The WHO is yet to declare it a pandemic and it is still considered mild in the UK, but certainly people are worried. It will be interesting to see if numbers at the event are heavily affected.
I will certainly be going, and I’m not worried, but I will be following the given guidance. The thing which gets me though, is many of the recommended actions (sneeze into a tissue/handkerchief, wash hands regularly and with soap, etc) are actually just good proper and polite practices though all too often you see people rudely ignore these. The shaking of hands will be harder to ignore as this is an ingrained reaction – key thing for me (and others to remember) is to wash your hands before touching your face/eyes or eating.
The nature of the way the virus is spread means aircon and stuffy hotels should not be an issue as long as people do not sneeze or cough with the noses/mouths uncovered. Picking up and examining goods, however, does bring about an interesting question as Covid-19 will survive on hard surfaces for 2-3 days and the main vector for infection is to get the virus on your hands then touch your eyes/mouth/nose or eat food. Not surprising it’s very hard to buy hand wipes now – I do wonder if the hotel or show organisers will put any out.
Another question will be how many vendors will pull out. I strongly suspect the ones from Italy will not be there for obvious reasons (now travel restrictions have been spread and they have now advised not to do foreign travel ). Also any above a certain age or with medical complications may drop out due to being in the high risk groups.
Am I recommending you do or do not go? No – if you have doubts it’s a decision you need to make yourself. Don’t let others talk you in to or out of going. I’m driving, so no public transport, plus if it does go wrong, I can work from home so if I suspect I’ve caught it I’ll be ringing 111 (the non emergency NHS service) and if suspected of being infected, will self isolate for 14 days. Note the last thing you should do if you think you have it is go to your doctors – that will just put more people at risk and potentially result in the surgery being closed and the doctors no longer available for a fortnight.
Hopefully it will go ahead and I’ll try to take pictures and give a write up – any additional news and I’ll post here.
Now known not to be coming
The Writing Desk
Confirmed they will be there
Update – about the medical info above. I am not a doctor, however the the info on the virus I wrote above was got from the Chief Medical Officer of England (from his press briefings on TV) – he is chosen for his medical knowledge (must be a doctor) and not political affiliations. If you look at his actual background you will realise he is the perfect person for this (and previous) situation/crisis.