Real Talk. News. Views. Opinions.
Wherever you are in the world, there’s a lot going on – there’s a lot to keep up with.
One way to try and avoid feeling overwhelmed by everything going on is to remember that the personal is political. What you’re experiencing matters. What you’re feeling matters. Your perspective and your opinion matters.
Here’s what’s happening in my world.
I’m not a doctor. I’ve got the white coat for role-plays, obviously, but there’s a lot of people who are a lot more qualified than I am who you should be listening to when it comes to Covid-19. Make sure you’re getting your updates and insights from experts who are informed and know what they’re talking about.
One of the skills that we all need to develop in this new-normal is critical analysis. We always need to be questioning – Does this person know what they’re talking about? How objective are they? What’s the context of this information? Does this information apply to me?
It’s undeniably really good news for everyone that significant progress is being made on vaccines against Covid-19.
Obviously, the roll-out of the vaccine solutions that are emerging won’t happen overnight – it’s going to take some time before widespread coverage is achieved. But it does give us all confidence that we are finding a way through this and that there is a way to reduce the harm that Covid-19 causes.
In the meantime, it’s business as usual – masks on and keep your distance.
Covid-19 in the UK
The government has now published a ‘roadmap‘ of how and when they plan to lift restrictions in England – Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are setting their own agenda. Obviously, things can still change, but personally I find it really helpful to have milestones to mentally work towards.
The first step is the reopening of schools on 8 March. If that doesn’t cause a spike in infections, then we can expect further easing from 29 March.
One of the unexpected consequences of this pandemic is that we’ve all become data experts as we try to keep on top of the facts.
The best data source that we seem to have is the government’s Covid-19 page on its website.
The good news is that the vaccine roll-out seems to be going quite smoothly. Remarkable.
One of the key failings of this government has been an inability to establish an effective test trace and track system. Other countries have done it, but not the UK. The capabilities around testing appear to be improving, but we’re still relying on lag indicators not lead indicators to shape our response.
Because we’re not testing everyone all the time, test results give a sense of where we’re at with infection numbers but don’t give us a complete picture. What we do know that we had our highest rate of recorded infections on 1Jan21 when the 7-day average hit 61K. Since then, it seems to be easing – which is encouraging – and the 7-day average is currently around 11K.
Hospital Admission rates is a real crunch-point. In a normal year, January and February are the months when the UK’s health system comes under capacity pressures created by winter illnesses. Having the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic – at least, what we hope is the peak – hitting at this time is really a perfect storm. We currently have over 16K people in hospital because of Covid-19, and we’re currently seeing about 1.3K being admitted each day. These admission rates seem to now be easing slightly, which is what we desperately need to see. Hospitals are already under extraordinary pressure – not enough beds is one thing, but there’s also increasing staff shortages.
In terms of deaths, the data on this got pretty messy. After several months, the government realised that different parts of the health infrastructure were counting Covid-19 related deaths in different ways. They’re now officially counting deaths as Covid-19 related if they occur within 28 days of a positive test, but even that seems to come with quite a few caveats. If we take the UK-level data at face-value, back in April we had over 1,000 people dying per day because of Covid-19. By June, that was down to 200 people per day and we saw it falling from then. From 11 August until 8 September, the 7-day average was under 10 people dying each day. We’re currently averaging over 370 deaths per day.
We’ve still got a tough couple of months ahead of us.
Looking for a podcast about some gay nonsense? Give this one a try.
This week, Ming and Gareth are joined by star of stage and screen, Joven Calloway. Joven is a musical theatre triple-threat, and he’s also fuelling our fantasies with his fan-subscription content. He’s filmed with Sean Cody, and all the big names in the adult entertainment industry. We delve into Joven’s fantasies, he schools us on queer terminology, and we ask him tough questions about the guys he’s filmed with. It’s a short and punchy 45 minutes – give it a listen!
In Episode 8, Ming and Gareth discuss what should be in your bio on a hook-up app, go deep on Mpreg fantasies in their erotic fiction workshop, and they’re joined by Drag Race expert, Rob, to analyse the data and decide which queen you’d want to be stuck on an island with. It’s a short and punchy 30 minutes – give it a listen!
In Episode 7, Ming and Gareth explore the history of darkrooms, debate the merits of a cuckold fantasy, quickly re-cap on Drag Race, and debate which of the Charlie’s Angels would be the most fun to be stranded on an island with. It’s a short and punchy 30 minutes – give it a listen!
In Episode 6, Ming and Gareth discuss the erotic allure of werewolves, this history of drag, the superficiality of judging people on their appearance, the risks of bum cancer, a Drag Race re-cap, and David Luca shares a kinkster’s guide to Valentine’s Day. Fun!
In Episode 5, Ming and Gareth are snowballing about douching (again), BDE, the power of secrets, queer heroes, erotic gay fiction, and an obligatory Drag Race re-cap. Give it a listen!
In Episode 4, Ming and Gareth talk cam-sex, the giveaway that you’re gay, erotic gay fiction, Drag Race, Bob Mackie, and Toronto in the snow.
In Episode 3, Ming and Gareth compare horoscopes, consider whether they should be signing up to OnlyFans, workshop their erotic novel, quickly recap on Drag Race, and learn a bit of gay history about Achilles.
In Episode 2, there’s a discussion about hook-up app etiquette, manscaping and personal hygiene during lockdown, and why gay men should be doing pelvic floor exercises.
In Episode 1, there’s a drag race re-cap, some erotic gay fiction, the origins of the word ‘fapping’, and a discussion about whether you should ever call a grown man ‘baby girl’.