So many deaths, so many stories of loss and worry, so many fears for the future.
However, few things about the pandemic troubled me more than the death of Belly Mujinga.
His death was not only a tragedy for his family and friends, but also for humanity. How could such a terrible thing have happened to us?
On Mothering Sunday, the morning before the London foreclosure, Ms. Mujinga went to work as a ticket clerk at the capital’s Victoria station.
As usual, the mother of a 47-year-old boy got up at 4:30 a.m. to take a bus to start his shift at 6 a.m.
Ms. Mujinga (pictured above) asked to work inside, behind the glass screens in the ticket office. However, for reasons that remain unclear, she was sent outside to work in the hall without PPE. And then the unimaginable happened
It’s people like Belly who move every big city; the vast diaspora of train drivers, transport workers, police and engineers who work tirelessly to keep the networks open and functioning properly.
Like many, she was concerned about the coronavirus. She had informed her employer, Govia Thameslink Railway, of an underlying health problem that made her vulnerable.
Ms. Mujinga had asked to work inside, behind the glass screens of the ticket office. However, for reasons that remain unclear, she was sent outside to work in the hall without PPE. And then the unimaginable happened.
It was nearly 11:30 am when Belly Mujinga, busy checking passenger tickets, was accosted by a stranger.
After telling him he had Covid-19, the man, described as an “elegantly dressed” professional in his 50s, spat in his face, then fled, plunging into anonymity.
Tragically, it seems he was telling the truth. Belly died of the same infection two weeks later at Barnet Hospital, north London.
What kind of low life, what kind of fault on humanity could make such a vicious and unforgiving thing?
Spitting on someone is a shame – but do it knowing that you have a deadly communicable disease?
We have a word for that, and that word is murder. Many of us have encountered bad behavior as we negotiate a path through this strange new world.
Selfish people who will have no social distance. Joggers running thunder, sweating sweat. Covidiots who think the rules don’t apply to them.
Yet this unprovoked act of violence against an innocent railroader takes brutality to a whole new level.
One can only hope that the despicable individual is tracked down and treated by the full force of the law – but is there a chance that will happen? So far, there has been little action.
Why didn’t she have protective gear, given that she was a vulnerable frontline key worker? Her husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay (pictured above together), and her 11-year-old daughter, Ingrid, deserve answers – and justice for this terrible death
It is only now, six weeks later, that the death of Belly Mujinga is being investigated by the British transport police.
They say that until his union raised the alarm this week, they had no record of the incident, although Belly reported it to his supervisor as soon as it happened.
Other worrying questions also remain unanswered. Why didn’t she have protective gear, given that she was a vulnerable frontline key worker?
Her husband, Lusamba Gode Katalay, and her 11-year-old daughter, Ingrid, deserve answers – and justice for this terrible death.
What makes this episode even more tragic is that Belly fled the horrors of the Second Congo War to make a safer life in London.
In her native country, she had done well, studying journalism and becoming one of the first female presenters on the national TV channel.
Yet violence and millions of deaths have forced her abroad. When she got here in 2000, she worked for the BBC – and now this terrible ending.
Over the days in the hospital, Ms. Mujinga must have known that she was dying. She said she wanted her daughter to remember her the way she was when she was fine.
On the phone, she told Ingrid that she loved him and that she had to be good and strong.
She died because the victims of Covid 19 must, with none of her relatives by her side, another wave of grief in this sea of corona pain.
However, the terrible end of Belly Mujinga at the hands of a bitter nihilist must not, must never become a forgotten death in the midst of the horror of the pandemic.
BBC radio waves
Zoe Ball loses more than a million listeners – what carelessness on his part. However, many of us will be surprised that the number is not greater.
Since she took over Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 breakfast last year, her notes have been on the slide.
Listeners died en masse, unable to bear the stammering of bullets and the general inanity of the delicious mummy.
The main national BBC radio stations have all lost listeners in the past year as audiences have turned to commercial networks.
The listeners are extinct in their mass, unable to bear the babbling balloon (Zoe Ball is illustrated above) and the general inanity delicious-mummy
Radio 2 is leading the decline, in part because of the promotion of Zoe Ball (gah!) And Sara Cox (ugh!) In prestigious slots in an overhaul of schedules.
Lauren Laverne thrives on BBC Radio 6, where she is deep in her comfort zone, but her tenure at Desert Island Discs is more problematic.
Listeners know these meetings have never worked, but the bosses continue to work, determined to put female voices on prime-time shows, even if they are not suitable. This is what happens when you prioritize sex over ability.
Ball’s breakfast recorded another quarterly drop, Cox is about to hang out and Laverne is not Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs.
How long can she stay in her job, especially with Victoria Derbyshire at a loose end? VD on DID? Now it would be an island to visit.
Nice ferry for Lady Alice
Fifty days after the lockdown and what have we learned? Especially since all locks are not equal.
Lady Alice Manners (above) has passed her lock in the family seat – Belvoir Castle of 356 pieces
In the Scottish town of Elgin, police were called when traffic stopped and anger rose when the local drive-in Burger King reopened.
Never put yourself between a Scot and his flame grilled Whopper, that’s all I say.
It was the most exciting thing that has happened in the city of the Highlands since the Beatles – described on posters as “The Boys of Love Me Do” – played in the local ballroom in 1963.
Meanwhile, Lady Alice Manners spent her lock in the family seat – Belvoir Castle of 356 pieces.
His family, horses and boyfriend Otis Ferry (right) keep him company. How’s it going?
“I’m surviving,” she told The Times newspaper stoically. “I don’t mind, you know?” I secretly like to be lonely, as long as I am in the countryside and not in London.
“We are not asked much, really, let’s stay at home. I think all the complaints are a little too much. “
But even this radiant aristo sometimes has a glimmer of self-awareness. “Obviously,” she added, “everyone is in different circumstances.”
Indeed, we are, Lady Alice! Few of us jump into the fragrant hedges of a 16,000 acre estate with one of Bryan Ferry’s sons-in-law to keep us company.
How can she handle it, that’s what I want to know. The girl deserves a medal.
I’m not fooled by ‘St Nicola’
An unfortunate development in the past year has been the lionization of Nicola Sturgeon by dolts in England.
Many do not understand the misery it has caused in Scotland: the divisions, the unhealed wounds, the belligerence, the secrecy with which the SNP operates in Holyrood and beyond.
She is a skillful and competent political operator, there is no doubt about it.
But my heart beats every time an English commentator or a crazy Lefty on Twitter yells, “Why can’t we have someone like Nicola in charge? If only you knew the truth.
Nicola Sturgeon (above) can read the novels of the day and have a brilliant mind, but that’s only part of the story
After the leaders’ televised debate before the 2015 general election, one of the most wanted questions on Google was whether people in non-Scottish constituencies could vote for the SNP.
What an astounding stupidity: first, even to wonder if they could do it, which goes against everything that the head of the SNP defends.
And, second, for the belief that Nicola is a kind of peerless specimen of all that is noble and good in politics.
“The sturgeon reads, laughs, connects and does not suffer from idiots with pleasure. Maybe it’s time to move to Scotland while the rest of the country tidies up his house, “wrote an admiring expert while I laughed in my tartan handkerchief.
Nicola Sturgeon can read the novels of the day and have a brilliant mind, but that’s only part of the story.
The truth is that she is obsessed with independence at the expense of health and education systems and many other things in Scotland.
Because how can you successfully manage a country when your primary ambition is nationalism?
The coronavirus crisis has shown Nicola in his appalling true colors – as someone who is ready to play politics with a pandemic to pursue his own ambitions.
And she seems to have asked her SNP lieutenants to do the same.
Saper Boris Johnson, twittering Dominic Raab, making crazy accusations – what her own national clinical director said in an interview were “rubbish” – that England was piling up PPE for Scotland: all she had done to sow Scottish resentment with Westminster in general and Boris Johnson in particular.
Surely his attention and energy should be used to tackle the real problems in Scotland – including an appalling lack of testing and a nursing home crisis that could get out of hand?
But no. Why bother when Boris-bashing is so much more satisfying and attractive to the Scottish voters who voted for her?
Oh don’t be such a heel, Eva
Eva, listen to me! It’s been so long since most of us haven’t worn a pair of heels, we can’t really remember the persecution and tyranny involved
Bond girl Eva Green says high heels are oppressive tools of patriarchy, blah, blah, this is the time, give me my Crocs. Honestly.
Eva, listen to me! It has been so long since most of us have not worn a pair of heels, we cannot really remember the persecution and tyranny involved.
On the streets of London, while the lock is lifted, women are in sportswear or crawling in the wine shop in their slippers.
In fact, I’m not sure I can remember how to walk in high heels, let alone get mad at men at the same time.