Peter Rhodes on dodgy hairdos, the fading case for HS2 and llamas to the rescue

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

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A reader, literally enjoying the fruits of her gardening, says what a wonderful thing it is to be able to lean out of the window and pluck figs. Although you do have to be careful how you say it.

There is apparently so much research and so many learned papers being produced on Covid-19 that many doctors simply cannot keep up with the latest developments in treatments and revolutionary ideas. I wonder how many of them have missed the llama connection. A report a few days ago in the journal Cell (I buy it for the crossword) suggests that some tiny antibodies found in llamas could offer a defence against coronavirus by “sneaking” into spaces on viral proteins that are too small for human antibodies. As a mere layman, my fear is that if you start introducing llama cells into humans you might create patients who are immune to Covid-19 but keep spitting at the doctors.

HS2, the high-speed railway that costs £1 billion a mile and that nobody wants, presses ahead, despite the latest official report revealing the true costs were hidden from MPs. It was sold on the promise of taking us from London to Brum 20 minutes faster than at present. Even in pre-pandemic days that wasn't much of a deal. In present circumstances, when we have discovered how much commerce can be done online without travelling anywhere, it makes even less sense. At a time when we are trying to prevent the spread of disease, the last thing we need is more trainloads of passengers whizzing up and down our land.

The difference between law and politics is perfectly illustrated by Lord Jonathan Sumption's suggestion that we are far too frightened of this pandemic. The historian, barrister and former head of the Supreme Court says most Covid-19 victims have been old and frail and, even without a pandemic, the “overwhelming majority” would have perished “a bit later.” A lawyer can dare to say such things. A politician campaigning under the banner “They'd have died anyway” would be finished.

More on the demise of shoplifting during the pandemic. A shop worker tells me that while observing customers closely to enforce sensible distancing has had an effect, so has the removal of the self-scan checkouts. Anyone surprised?

Isn't it strange that while women are happy to cut their men's hair, they are not so keen on men cutting their hair, let alone helping out with the mysteries of tint and bleach? I suspect this will be remembered as the Summer of Dodgy Blondes.

And you can't help noticing how some female TV presenters seem to have magically kept their hairdos looking magnificent at a time when hairdressers are locked down. I am sure there's a logical explanation.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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