So what’s the score then? Don’t know, ask one of the cardboard cutouts in the stand that are turning to papier màchè. To say this virus, or more to the point, trying to cope with it, is dragging me down is an understatement. It dragged me down back in mid March of 2020. It’s now giving me a right good kicking. Life isn’t life anymore, it’s an existence. I’m merely just a bio-bot. When the government called an end to supporters attending games, they also told the pubs to close. The first weekend afterwards was a weekend spent doing nothing. They then called a general lockdown. I’ve got to say, I enjoyed the first lockdown and for me, the only lockdown. Not having to go to work and still getting paid was like I expect retirement to be similar to. I needed a rest, didn’t get bored, didn’t get fed up of my own company. As the death toll rocketed, I saw a point to it. Three months later and the number of people dying, being admitted to hospital and just being infected had diminished to what was deemed something the country could cope with. Work phoned me up and asked if I was willing to come back. I wasn’t desperate to go back, but knew it would be inevitable. Since then, and not really surprising given the circumstances, I’ve had some weird and wonderful hours of work. I’ve done 2 days, 3 days, 4 days and 5 days a week. I’ve done twilight shift, night shift and day shift. I’ve even done agreed overtime. It’s now bugging me. Why should it bug me when so many people have lost or will lose their job? Yeah I know, I should be thankful that I’ve got a job, but I’m not. First of all, on a personal level, all the chopping and changing has made me feel extremely expendable. It comes as the government has admitted that the virus variant has mutated. They had to, the rate of infection, hospital admittance and ultimately the death toll had skyrocketed again. Now I’m not bothered that I might catch it and end up dying from it. What bothers me is that I feel like I’m being placed in its path. Why? The country has been in lockdown since Christmas. Er no, it hasn’t, I’m still working. I’m one of the ‘forgotten’. I’m not a frontline worker. I don’t work in the NHS. I don’t work in a supermarket. I don’t work on the transport system. I don’t even work in the supply chain that keeps those three functioning. The company I work for makes parts for the automotive sector. It was classed as nonessential and was closed back in March 2020. We make components (Plastic, I might add) for the high end sector. McClaren, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. Not in your average persons price range. We also make parts for JCB. Though nothing is being built that wasn’t being built when the original lockdown occurred. We make parts for the London Taxi Company. Commendable, as it’s for their new electric range, but with absolutely everything else shut, who’s going to need the services of a taxi? Like I’ve alluded to, we are a component company. It means we’re in a chain. It means there’s other companies and other factories forcing their workforce to effectively jeopardize their own health and the health of anybody they live with. For what exactly? Keep the economy moving or to just keep making profit? It’s still nonessential, or has something changed? The only thing I can see that’s changed is the mutated variant is spreading a lot more quickly and a lot more violently in spite of the ineffective measures and restrictions that have been imposed, the death toll is now at a thousand and above per day. I’m a bio-bot, I’m expendable. To be honest, if the virus doesn’t get me, the deteriorating condition of my mental health will.
But there’s so much football on the telly, I can hear you protest. In that sense, I should be happy, as a football fan, I’ve never had it so good. I’m not happy though. I’m irritated by the guests and presenter’s. I’d really like more of an insight from ex-players and managers. They had enough talent to play the game, enough technical knowledge to coach, know tactics and formations. Instead they regurgitate the same thing game after game, week after week. It’s all very ‘nice’. They don’t criticise, don’t poke fun, too mindful it’s a family show, too mindful that their comments might upset. It’s boring. I dislike the piped crowd noises, a bloke in a studio trying to gauge when to press a button to signal perceived derision. I always, when I can, have just the players voices. The only amusing thing about watching football on telly is when there’s audible expletives and the commentator hastily issues apologies. That brief smidgen of panic is the only thing that feels real. I suppose not being able to watch Blues is actually a blessing in disguise. I could of course, subscribe to Blues TV and somehow link it all up so I can watch it on my main television, but firstly, I’m not technically minded in the slightest, and secondly Blues appointed one of the most morose managers on the planet, and the football he’s got Blues playing is even worse than dour. I was against Aitor Karanka being appointed, and I’m no different now. I actually expected Blues to be higher in the table than what they are. I wasn’t expecting Blues to be in the automatic promotion places, or even any of the playoff positions, but I did expect better organisation. The formulated style I knew Karanka (Though I refer to him by something that sounds similar) would foister on the team, would pick up a few more points. We’re actually sitting a couple of wins from the relegation places. We won’t go down. More’s the pity. If relegation meant getting rid of The Wan…. and also the owners, I’d willingly take it. The owners have found a way of making money off the fact we’re listed on the HKSE. For the dodgy Chinese businessmen who own us, it’s a bit of a golden goose. It doesn’t actually matter what league we’re in, it’s just a way of securing more money and switching things round. It’s far far above my pay grade and business knowledge, but there’s a Blues fan who has an inquisitive mind with this sort of thing, and he posts his findings on the SHA forum. If he didn’t, I wouldn’t have a clue. The upshot of it is that the ownership of Blues is in the wrong hands and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. So things with Blues are depressing. Hey, I even hate this season’s playing kits.
So to the future then. I didn’t wish anyone ‘Happy New Year’ this year because quite frankly, it’s not going to be. There’s absolutely nothing to look forward to. Everything’s in limbo. We’re treading water. The word ‘Hopefully’ has become just an empty lie. There’s no point making plans, no point being able to focus on something, anything but just getting through the day. Sleep, work, eat, repeat. We might as well each of us just find a patch of land somewhere, dig a hole big enough and just bury ourselves. I personally have even got ideas for what I’d etch as an epitaph on the plank of wood I’d use as my headstone. It would be something like, “Well that was a strange one”, “That could’ve gone better”, “Leave me alone, I’m sleeping”, maybe, “Sorry. I promise I won’t do it again”, or just plain “Sorry” or “T’ra”