I was a sceptic; one of the, “it’s only the blinkin’ flu, for goodness sake!” Brigade.

It all seemed like an overreaction, these things happen in places like China with so many folks living on top of each other.

It was actually Viktor who made me stop and think, he pulled out of a meeting for a Sunday night drink in Edinburgh on the day of the Scotland v. France rugby match at Murrayfield.

He was concerned about putting his wife and family at risk by coming into all those fans from Italy, where the virus was beginning to become a problem.

Vik worried?

Unusual. 

Shortly thereafter, my Italian friend Ale Federico told me he was working from home and his home town on the Adriatic was ‘locked down’ – serious stuff.

And it wasn’t long until ‘Our Man in Iberia,’ Al Hamilton reported that the same measures had been adopted in Spain with troops on the streets of Benidorm and the police stopping cars and questioning folk as to why they were out and where they were going?

Then I was speaking to Kyle Gordon – interview to come soon on VeloVeritas – at his March training camp up on Mount Teide on the island Tenerife, he and the other HUUB guys were all locked down.

A CCC guy who was up there training went out on his bike and was duly arrested.

And sadly, it looks like the HUUB record breaking assault on Cochabamba, Bolivia isn’t going to happen.

That cycling hub and home town to many professional racers, Girona in Catalonia is locked down too – Turbo/Zwift or nothing.

Strange Days Indeed
Strange Days Indeed.

The weekend papers made for scary reading with 6,000 dead in Italy; 793 of those coming on Saturday alone.

The body count in Spain now tops, 2,900 – very scary numbers.

On the subject of the weekend, the pictures of crowded seaside resort and National Park car parks filled me with horror.

It doesn’t seem to have sunk in with many folks that the way it is in Italy is the way it will be here if we don’t adopt the appropriate measures, now.

Strange Days Indeed
Robert Gesink trains on his terrace in Andorra. Photo©Twitter

I’ve been told by the father of a nurse who works there that the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy has two wards full of those who have contracted the virus, with an intensive care ward reserved for the NHS staff who will inevitably contract it, and we hear that there are 42 ventilators at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in constant use, with a queue of patients waiting their turn.

It’s real, it’s here and it’s not just old folks who are susceptible.

Here at VeloVeritas we try never to lecture or patronise our valued readers – albeit we do RANT – so all we’re saying is, “avoid crowds and public transport, be extra stringent with yourself on the personal hygiene front, be patient and kind but BE CAREFUL.”

We can’t afford to lose a single reader…    

* * *

I wrote the above during the early evening of Monday March 23rd and at 20:30 hours the inevitable happened: 

‘Lockdown.’ 

Even though I knew it had to happen eventually, it came as a shock, generating a feeling of uncertainty and gloom.

Two lyrics from Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison came to mind;

Strange days indeed.”

But also; 

All things must pass.”

Be patient, be optimistic, be kind, be safe.