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  • Richard Cree

Virtual Pub

Updated: Apr 25

Friday 3rd April 2020

COVID Figures for 2nd April

UK Hospital Deaths 569 / Total 2921

James Cook Hospital total deaths – 32

James Cook Hospital confirmed cases on wards - 84

Nicky and I now have three days off. I've caught up with the progress of a couple of patients I was worried about yesterday but we both need to try and forget about work and spend today with the children; supervising some of their schoolwork and catching up on all the household tasks that have fallen by the wayside. Clearly I’m not as committed to ‘catching up’ as much as she is as I’m sitting here with a cup of tea, writing this instead.

Last night I should have been at the King’s Head with friends. Obviously that’s no longer possible so we decided to ‘video conference’ and drink at home instead. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, we were beset with technical problems from the outset.

We tried using Lifesize initially but the end result was that I couldn’t see or hear any of my friends. They, however, were able to see and hear everything that Nicky and I were doing in our kitchen. Fortunately Nicky was in some reasonably decent pyjamas and I was doing nothing more embarrassing with the computer than alternately proof-reading last night’s blog entry aloud and swearing at the unresponsive webpage.

Mike rang me at that point to tell me they were all watching us. He wanted to ensure I didn’t do anything foolish, like take the laptop into the toilet. Giving up on the website, I tried downloading the app and using that but still no joy. I suspect it was all to do with our rubbish rural broadband. They guys all live in the village and enjoy a deluxe, fibreoptic, high-speed service. My steam-powered router was just not going to cut it.

We then moved onto Zoom and I plugged my laptop into the router directly to squeeze a few extra bytes out of my connection. Things were better but whilst my friends appeared in high quality HD video, my face appeared to be made up of just 8 pixels. Audio kept dropping in and out and I think Mike got so fed up with it that he made his excuses and left.

I then tried downloading the Zoom app on my phone and pretty much sat on top of the router. That seemed to work a lot better and we could finally chat.


I was surprised by the effect that social isolation is having on some of my friends. Other Mike and Haytham appeared perfectly presentable and it was clear that life was continuing much as normal in their households. Whilst I wasn’t exactly wearing my Sunday best, I was dressed to a standard that I deemed appropriate for the pub. Fergus on the other hand, appears to have ‘let himself go’. He seemed to have melted into the sofa. He then grunted something at his son and a large whisky was duly thrust into his hand. I swear it was like FaceTiming Frank Gallagher from Shameless.


No substitute for the pub, but a fun night was had by all. Eventually.



Fergus


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