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Until a few years ago I occasionally spent a week travelling around some medium-sized chunk of Germany with a group of experts from the European Commission and some of the Member States of the European Union. They would look at how well Germany was organising some aspect of compliance with European legislation. I visited government offices I had never heard of before, various kinds of farm, abbatoirs, a shepherd, a cheese factory, plant nurseries, garden centres, that kind of thing. And once we visited local and regional veterinary offices, to check up on preparedness for outbreaks of animal diseases.

Since you never know when there is going to be an outbreak of an infectious disease, there is legislation in place to make sure that there are plans in place, trained personnel available, and the necessary equipment in stock to deal with it immediately, and if at all possible contain it and stop it becoming an epidemic. There are protocols for the isolation of farms, taking and evaluation of samples, restrictions or bans on transport, and so on and so forth.

All this, of course, only applies to diseases of animals. If it's humans getting ill, we just make it all up as we go along. Various people whose job it is to know about such things have been warning us for some time now that this is not a satisfactory state of affairs, pointing out that the world is not prepared for a pandemic of a serious infectious disease.

As it turns out, they were talking nonsense: the pandemic is upon us, and it's not that bad at all! Most people who get infected by SARS-CoV-2 don't even die. And the impact of the pandemic on global GDP may even stay in single figures. As usual, robust common sense and good healthy scepticism trump the self-important doom-mongering of so-called experts!

One minor result of this trivial pandemic is that I very shortly will not have an income. This won't be a problem for me at this stage in my professional life; many of my younger colleagues will find things more difficult. And a side-effect of having no opportunities to work for money is more having more time to do something else. So I made this. Hope you like it.