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Proteus 55

MountainBiker, Bushrat and Wildartist, thank you for your comments. It is a pleasure to know that so many people are interested in this crisis, as I believe there are lessons to be learned on all subjects. From preparedness, to reaction times, to group mentality, to political maneuvering, keeping a low profile etc.

An interesting thing I have observed is the way people reacted to certain persons who stocked up supplies. As you might have heard, the latest austerity measures increased the VAT to 23% to many things, including beef, canned food and spaghetti! Many people had been stocking up on stuff like that for months, myself included; but others that were in supermarkets were targets of gossip and derogatory comments. I witnessed a small number of such attitudes, and the prevalent behavior that the group projected was not mocking /ridicule but more like…envy. It was also interesting that several persons who recently went to the pharmacy to buy medications, medical supplies etc in bulk were asked by staff as to why they were going to buy all that. This curiosity was not altogether harmless; they seemed to really want to know (whereas in the past no-one gave a damn about the choices the customers made). When faced with this myself during the last run to the pharmacy, I fabricated a plausible explanation about mountaineering in order to evade further irritating questions and immediately I saw smiles of…what seemed like relief. As if my somewhat ordinary explanation was grounds enough to appease their own worry, or could it be something more? I have no idea, but I am thankful that I managed to complete my acquisition for medical supplies on my list (now it should be enough for a year, barring any complications). People are more impatient on the streets and during driving; they also seem more careless too. I expect that their attitudes could change even more, as the crisis deepens (perhaps in the beginning of autumn).