Thursday, 5 March 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Pandemics and Panspermatism

Run, run, run for the hills the COVID-19 or Coronavirus is going to catch up with you sooner or later according to the worlds media.Panic buying of hand wash, even bog roll apparently.

I myself have replenished the Vodka, Whiskey and Rum optics because alcohol is a sure why of killing this flu like virus that apparently if it takes hold and turns in to a pandemic, will wipe out half the worlds population, or at least the walking dead which are at risk when they catch anything, anyway.

Which to be fair might not be a bad thing, could well free up some well needed hospital beds  .Heck the bloke that nicks work colleague Lee's parking space most mornings, better watch his back.

I jest, avoid crowded places, forgot eating that bat broth for a while, heck wash your hands after using the toilet, oh and  and make sure you sing 'Happy Birthday' to yourself TWICE to make sure the 30 seconds elapses enough time to wash away all traces of this killer. As I type this Coronavirus Cases: 95,509, Deaths: 3,286, Recovered:53,689. In the UK, well, nothing of note yet.

Now we have just commemorated the centenary of the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918, which lasted only a few months but claimed 50 million to 100 million lives worldwide, including 675,000 in the United States. That pandemic remains a benchmark, and many commentators have rushed to compare it to the current coronavirus outbreak.


What’s most striking about these comparisons, though, is not the similarities between the two episodes, but the distance that medicine has travelled in the intervening century. Whatever happens next, it won’t be a second 1918.

Today we live in a world that is flooded with antibiotics. And although there is concern that bacteria are becoming ever more resistant to them, antibiotics remain an overwhelmingly powerful tool to treat secondary bacterial pneumonia. Early case reports describe these infections in COVID-19 patients, and we have every reason to believe that for many, though sadly not all, antibiotics will provide a cure.


We also have another class of drugs available today: antivirals, which directly target the virus responsible for a disease. There are at least four approved antiviral medications, some given orally and others intravenously.

They are not as effective as we would like, but they have been given to a number of very sick COVID-19 patients. Whether those antiviral medications or the antibiotics that are often given in tandem are responsible for successful outcomes is hard to determine. But we have options that were simply undreamed of a century ago.

The advent of modern hospitals, intensive-care units, and medical specialists have changed the response to disease over the past century. During the 1918 influenza pandemic, hospitals offered very few treatments, and many patients were crowded into shared wards where dozens or even hundreds of other people lay coughing, separated from one another by only a flimsy cotton sheet


So basically those already knocking on deaths door best stay inside, the others, just carry on as normal, I personally have enjoyed the psychedelic visual displays the worlds media have used to show the virus in its raw form.

So anyway, back to fishing.

So tickets booked a while a go for the 'Big One' fishing show, an excited 8 year old , money no doubt to be extracted from ones wallet, where if there is cash in it, it doesn't last very long in there. The fingers on ones coffers come from here there and everywhere these days.

To be honest I'm not usually one for these sort of shows especially with a fidgety nipper in tow who can go from being engrossed to bored within seconds. 


We were here for a purpose though and that was to meet Sam's hero, the star of Jungle Hooks, River Monsters, Dark Waters and Mighty Rivers. To be fair, I've followed Jeremy Wade's antics for a while after initially reading his book with co-author Paul Boote  'Somewhere Down the Crazy River". Where they detail their adventures in Northern India and the Congo in Africa.

Well travelled, a biologist and conservationist, which to to be fair, most anglers are because of our pastime. Ok his shows are dramatised to appeal to a wider audience but I don' t think that is a bad thing. My friend, Steve has 3 young daughters, who all watch his shows and want me to take them fishing when I get a chance.

Sam cannot wait to get a date sorted, he and similar aged Isabelle are as thick as thieves, and as he is a dab hand at fishing now, he wants to take the reigns, me taking a back seat.

Now the problem with fishing as a pastime is that the demographic of the average angler seems to be getting older and older year on year. This was clearly evident at the show where despite being an old git myself, the majority were collecting their pensions, using their free bus passes.

It's up to the Dad's to introduce their offspring to all things fishing on the hope that, like Sam, they take to it and hopefully continue with a shared passion.

To be fair the spod chuckers captured some youngsters at the show where having more disposable income than I had as a kid at least can get them bankside dreaming of the next bait boat they can add to their already extensive Christmas list.

Chair's and Other Furniture Available from Martyn from Stratford-Upon-Avon Fish and Outdoors

The tackle was strewn over two halls, the first a little crowded for my liking with all things match related, but certainly some bargains to be had and also the specimen hall with all things carpy which was somewhere you could find some space.

The first half an hour Sam found a stall selling soft toys and the wallet raiding began there. To be fair I secretly wanted him to choose the Zander, which is duly did. 1 metre long, easily a double figure fish if it was caught down the canal.

We seemed to do a couple of circuits and them all of a sudden stumbled upon Jeremy Wade how was there, right there right in front of us.

Sam was starstruck having come face to face with his hero, you know the one who caught the Goliath Tiger Fish. He needed a lie down before going to watch his talk on the main stage.

We joined the queue, got a book signed as well as Sam's Zander, he couldn't believe it. And what a time man he is talking time to speak to everyone that was there to see him. I hope his adventures continue and he can find more forgotten places to fish, more stories to tell, because the fishing world needs stars like him to keep our interest alive and also others to follow.


Now I'd not been fishing for a while but I had a window of opportunity to winkle out a chub or two. I didn't have long but I know where a few reside and having not fed for a while I suspect they should be hungry.

So roving tactics, my 3D printed depth bombs bombs ironically looking a little like the above, I'd wrap some stinky cheesepaste to try at least get a bend in the rod in the short time I'd have bankside.
And that time got shorter, I thought I'd get 2 hours in before dusk but a last minute meeting overran and when I rushed to get bankside I realised I'd left my rod by my car, errrr yes really.


I did winkle out a chub from the third swim though, here if you don't get a bite within 10 or 15 minutes it's time to move to the next swim. Not a huge fish but very welcome on what has been a very busy week.

The water looked perfect for a bite though, so luckily the run up to the close season should fingers crossed be ok. Thats if the rain holds off anyway, you never know what's what the corner.

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