15th February 2015

I’ve just gotten off the phone with Ethan.  My brother is a trouble magnet.

He managed to injure himself playing rugby.  He dived to block a kick and ended up with a boot in the face.  He broke his nose, split the skin below his eye and split his lip.

He was taken to the nearest hospital covered in blood.  Apparently he managed to get blood in his eyes and as he stumbled into the hospital he was immediately put into a quarantine room.  Followed by doctors in full hazmat suits until they figured out what was wrong with him.

He was finally released several hours later with pain killers and 6 stitches under his eye.

If it wasn’t so serious it would be hilarious.

I just wish I hadn’t found out today, after two wonderful days with Richard.

4th February 2015

There are days when I wish that having to read and watch the news was not part of my job description.

This morning while I drank my coffee, I caught up on the world news.  I was not quite prepared for what greeted me.

16 new cases of Ebola in London.

16!

And because the Ebola patients from early January still occupied 8 of the 12 beds, the London Royal Free hospital could only accommodate 4 of the new patients.  The other 12 people had to be sent to three other hospitals (Royal Liverpool, Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne) via police convoy.  Madness!

I get that they don’t have the bed space but three other hospitals is just not smart for several reasons: One, they run the additional risk of infecting the drivers and medical personal on the ambulances; Two, what if they have an accident on route? Three, there is an additional risk of people at each of the hospitals being infected.  Why they don’t just set up a special Army field hospital to cater to Ebola victims is beyond me.  Clearly they don’t have a strategist giving advice to the PM.

Maybe I should submit my CV?

What’s worse the media gave live coverage of the police escorting the four ambulances travelling from London to Newcastle resulting in several nurses and other medical staff calling in ‘sick’.  Sometimes I wish the media thought more about the consequences of their actions. Don’t get me wrong I am all for freedom of the press and good investigative journalism, you just don’t see much of it these days.  It’s all sensationalised and devoid of facts.

This is definitely going to impact my scenarios.

26th January 2015

I phoned Ethan today to find out if he was Ok and why on earth the was down in Southwark. Turns out he went down there to see an Australian Blues and Roots band and buy some weed.  The Idiot.  Quite accidentally he got caught in the melee.

He then proceeded to tell me what happened and even though I wasn’t there I was quite scared.  What started as a peaceful protest against the cancelled airline flights, turned ugly when someone threw something at police.  Then everything escalated out of hand.  Whatever people could get their hands on was thrown; fires were lit in the streets; cars overturned; shop fronts vandalised, windows smashed and looted.

The police pulled back before coming with reinforcements but by then the crowd was already out of control.  Ethan and his friends, while not in the thick of it, were picked on by a group of angry youth.  That was when Ethan got kicked in the head.  About that time police reinforcements arrived and the rioters turned their attention to the police.  Thankfully it gave Ethan and his mates an opportunity to escape down an alleyway and over a wall.  They made their way out through backyards.  Ethan then collapsed with concussion and woke up in hospital.

He’s been told not to go to work for the rest of the week.

Then he swore me to secrecy.

Mum and Dad would have kittens if they found out.

25th January 2015

I got a phone call in the middle of the night last night from a doctor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.  Phone calls in the middle of the night are scary at the best of times, then when the person on the other end tells you they’re a doctor…

I knew it was going to be about Ethan and the Southwark Riots.

The doctor told me that Ethan was fine, he had sustained a couple of lacerations and one above his eye had required stitches.  He was particularly lucky the one above his eye was not more serious.  He also suffered a serious knock to the head so they were keeping him in for observation, but he should be able to go home tomorrow.

I’m glad they couldn’t get hold of Mum and Dad, they would have been beside themselves.

I was too alert to go back to sleep after the call so I got up and made myself a cup of tea to calm my nerves.  I decided to read about the riots.  Instead there was breaking news of a flight from Casablanca to New York.

“Earlier today a plane on route from Casablanca to New York encountered severe turbulence.  Consequently inducing vomiting in dozens of passengers, including 2 (of 3) MSF volunteers returning to the U.S. from Liberia.  Neither of the turbulence affected MSF volunteers showed signs of a fever.  However as a precautionary measure and in accordance with strict CDC guidelines the pilot immediately notified the CDC.  Two air stewards then donned personal protective equipment including face mask, gloves and apron before moving the MSF volunteers to seats in air crew rest area.  

Passengers witnessing the removal of the volunteers immediately suspected Ebola and messaged friends and family using the flight’s internet connection.  All three MSF volunteers were quarantined on arrival at JFK.  All other passengers have been interviewed to capture detailed contact information.  Passengers interviewed as they departed the Casablanca to NY flight have expressed their fear of infection.”

“And in related news there are now reports that airline stocks have dropped 15% in final hour of trading.”

Wow, things are really starting to heat up, I wonder what’s next?

I really must get back to sleep though if I am going to be functional at work in a few hours.