Welcome to this JUNE 2021 edition of Hackwriters. 22 years on-line, 7804 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.
JUNE 23rd 2021:
Covid numbers worldwide. 180,063,192 - Total deaths 3,901,008
USA 34,435,010 - total deaths 617,884 - Source: Worldometers. 6.23.21*These figures more inclusive than John Hopkin's numbers
|Mid-summer. California and Texas roasts and the dams dry up. In the UK we watch the mid-summer rain and cross fingers England do well in the last 16 of the Euros 2020 which is a year late of course due to Covid. I suspect a long of things are going to be a year late for a while. If you haven't had the jab make sure you get it, if entitled. It's the only way we get out of this. Covax it getting millions of doses out to many other countries now but we will need billions more. Don't resist - the whole world needs to be immunised for this to work.
I was thinking about the many articles in the media about peoples' mental health issues after Covid - being in lockdown certainly affected many people quite drastically. WFH burnout is a thing too, especially for those with families and a lack of work space. This is driving the property boom for homes with more space and outside spaces in particular. No doubt social media is also driving this sense of insecurity, delivering misinformation daily and making people have doubts - it eats away at your confidence and sows discontent.
In poorer countries where Covid is still raging such as Peru, Nepal, and South Africa - the aftermath will drive millions into poverty and destroy any educational dreams young children may have, particularly girls. In many countries they are only just getting Covax donated vaccines and lack people to deliver them to rural communities. We might congratulate ourselves in the West for getting millions vaccinated but until the whole world is vaccinated the variants will just keep on coming.
Most who caught Covid recovered, we hope they have some immunity from the variants. That leaves 3,877,000+ dead worldwide (that we know of) and many of those leave behind wives or husbands, orphaned children, all of whom must find a way to survive and continue living. Emotionally many will be deeply affected by this, as well as impacted financially. In some countries it is catastrophic as they have no social security at all or any government minded to help. It is a worldwide tragedy and it will resonate for a generation. Disrupted careers, mental illness (particularly those who went down the rabbit hole of QAnon and Anti-Vax) will have lasting consequences. Those who were more willing to be vaccinated are probably people with a more optimistic viewpoint of life, keen to survive and move on. But each one us will have been affected by fear and anxiety. * If you need help - it is out there. Mind,org.uk
But then I got wondering how people coped after five years of war between 1939-1945? You can't equate bombs and a pandemic but I'm thinking more about the duration of the experience, how that must have shattered so many lives. Did the UK population get counseling? Of course not. How badly scarred were that post-war population? Were there studies on PTSD for the whole UK population? On individual soldiers who suffered trauma yes, on the population probably not. They were expected to pick through the rubble and start over. It's a fact one million homes were bombed in London alone. During the Blitz, night after night, people slept in the underground never knowing what they might face in the morning. In fact, PTSD only became accepted as a diagnostic tool by the APA in 1980. Diagnosing a whole civilian population would have been impossible in 1946 and could have led to stigmatising those who didn’t get over war as easily as others. You can’t tranquilise a whole nation – except in fiction. (Brave New World comes to mind.)
People should perhaps reflect on that we have a lot of reasons to be thankful for the biochemists that developed the vaccines and gave us our freedom back in the West.
I read a few months ago that after millions died following the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918/19 people just wanted to forget it and remarkably they did just that. Few songs or books or films were made about it. Will Covid follow the same pattern? It might. The restaurants are full, the beach is crowded. People are laughing and gathering in large numbers. It just might all be forgotten sooner than you think - the still shuttered bankrupt businesses the only reminder. The Delta variant might scotch all that of course.
Anyway I was just writing this editorial when first my little finger went numb, then my whole hand and then right up my left arm. Was this a slow motion heart attack or had I been stung? Couldn’t find any stings or bites. Luckily I had recently bought some antihistamine and quickly swallowed a pill with a nice Malbec. ‘Cause if you are going to have a heart attack, might as well enjoy your last glass of wine if the bottle is open.
All is well now I hope, except I can’t feel my little finger, which is red-hot. This took me to another phenomena of Covid. The almost complete inability to see your doctor face to face. No check ups. (I am supposed to be monitored for skin cancer and heart but have not seen anyone for two years or more). Others I know all have experience the same. You can phone up, go through reception 'triage' and they suggest you call some spurious 111 number – where someone will read a script and fob you off. If your problem isn’t life-threatening don’t bother us. The snag is, the longer you don’t see a doctor, the more likely it is your issue could become life-threatening and require major surgery or worse as it becomes too late to treat the problem.
I know doctors in hospital have had it extremely tough, as have the nurses, but GP’s have been in hiding now for 15 months. The backlogs are getting horrendous and no doubt many people are slipping through the nets and dying unnecessarily. Some of those patients might not be helping themselves with their diet or the booze or drugs; some may well be resorting to on-line ‘cures’ and scams. Unless you build up a rapport with a GP no one is going to see the warning signs.
I suspect in future we are going to do a lot more of taking care of ourselves. Personally I can’t wait for 24-hour AI virtual doctors. Doctors have no idea how vulnerable they are to the AI revolution and the more they ignore patients, the less likely they will want to defend them when AI sweeps in and scoops their jobs. Won’t be long now. Meanwhile enjoy your new found freedoms and stay cautious and watch Sweet Tooth on Netflix. The best series of 2021 so far.
||Celebrating the publication of MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?
It's for any reader concerned about climate change and the future of humanity and who wants to escape on that spaceship with Elon. (Well not that actual spaceship but you know what I mean). Buy a ticket and enjoy the ride. But don't forget to buckle up. It might not go where you thought it would.
'Gripping adventures with highly engaging characters' W. Leff - Goodreads
© Sam Hawksmoor - June 2021
The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu
Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles. A definitive survival novel.
We Feel Your Pain
Hammer & Tong
Review: 'I really enjoyed living with Delaney, Asha and Maria. And I particularly revelled in that obedient and loving dog, Rufus. They were lovely characters and it was a good story. The author evokes amazing, vivid pictures of St. Joes with human misery and the beach and Jasmina’s neighbourhood and the apple farm'. B. H. February 2021
Delaney (42) and Asha (22) run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people. When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right? But what if the scam works? What kind of scam is that?
We Feel Your Pain is available in print and as a download.
All pain teaches us something - it is for you to understand what that lesson might be.
- Guru Gurajani
*Keeping Hackwriters archived is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
Magenta - A chilling story of kidnapping, burning and strangeness set in the wilds of Lincolnshire
** The Heaviness, & The Repercussions of Tomas D - 'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'
The new edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
There's no safe place to hide from a lethal pandemic
Print & Kindle - Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands.
a taster here The Last Ferry
Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die: Endtime will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...'
Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk
||Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award
'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.
'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. - Honorable Mention
|J&K 4Ever - A post-apocalypse love story
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect. A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder. No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted. But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge.
'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
||MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2
Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book
‘Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk
|Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here
'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible '
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
||'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity. An original Genie Magee story
Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo - Bookish
Kindle & print
Thanks to readers who have been buying this title.
* Also published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge
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