The BBC, Norovirus and the World Athletics Championship!

Posted on August 14, 2017

I quite like athletics, well the running bits at least as I am never quite sure about the jumping and throwing events as they all seem a bit odd. At what point in childhood does someone say “When I grow up I want to be a Pole Vaulter” or “Nope, the Long Jump is not for me I am afraid, I want to do two little jumps followed by one big one.”

So anyway, I looked forward to it but suddenly found myself not really enjoying it that much, possibly because Usain Bolt underperformed, maybe because a lot of athletes were missing through injury or suspension and definitely because Justin Gatlin is a cheating bastard and Seb Coe makes my skin crawl.

I also hated that entrance into the stadium where the athletes had to come out like X Factor contestants, putting on a faux smile and hoping for a good reception from an audience who were like a deranged… erm…err …X Factor audience. All we needed was a whack of a red buzzer and Simon Cowell saying ‘Sorry it’s a no from me’ to any athlete who looked nervous or wasn’t pleasing on the eye. 

However, my number one ‘I want to stick my foot through the TV” moment, came when Gabby Logan and her group of pundits, decided to give up biased athletics punditry and take up a career in the medical profession.

They became so good at being medical professionals that it wasn’t long before they were telling Pam Venning, Head of Medical Services at the IAAF, that she was shit at her job and that they could diagnose the Norovirus far better than she could.

Gabby Logan was basically being a bully and Denise Lewis and Paula Radcliffe were more than happy to join in. Michael Johnson was nearly as bad but I quite like the bloke, so I will forgive him a little bit for feeling obliged to join in.

What had happened was that Isaac Makwala, from Botswana, had, at the advice of Public Health England, been withdrawn from the 200 metres as it was suspected that he had the Norovirus.

“But why was he withdrawn?” said Dr Paula Radcliffe.  What were the symptoms?” she said, as Dr Denise Lewis and Dr Gabby Logan looked on.


Medical experts: The BBC Pundits tell Pam Venning how to do her job

Pam Venning was incredibly patient and whereas as you, me or anyone else would have said “What part of someone shitting their brains out don’t you understand?” the poor woman kept trying to tell them the following facts.

If someone comes to the IAAF complaining of symptoms akin to the Norovirus in the middle of a Norovirus outbreak, they have to take the advice of Public Health England, not Paula Radcliffe or Denise Lewis.

That still wasn’t good enough for Dr Radcliffe and Dr Lewis who, it seemed, would only accept that Makwala had Norovirus if he had been seen entering the stadium waving a flag with “I’VE GOT NOROVIRUS” written on it, before proceeding to simultaneously shit and vomit all over the starting blocks.

“But why not do a blood test to see if he had Norovirus?” they cried.

“Because it takes two days for a blood test to come back, so we went on the advice of Public Health England based on the fact that because he had the symptoms of Norovirus and there was a Norovirus outbreak in the campus, we could not take that risk.”

“But why?”

At this point Venning would have been excused, by me at least, if she had said:

“There is fucking Norovirus in the campus, this fucker (Makwala) was shitting and vomiting himself transparent and his arse was in tatters. I would say that under the circumstances, where, I repeat, there is a Norovirus outbreak in the athlete’s village, a man, in this state of health, may well have the Norovirus. I do not give a flying fuck what you think, you are athletes and I am a health expert backed by Public Health England. Now, do you want me to explain it again, or shall I write it down?”

I don’t know what Gabby Logan wanted the poor woman to do? Go to Public Health England, knock on their door and say the following?

“Hello doctor, how are you?”

“Aaah good morning Pam, what a stressful week. How’s it going with the Norovirus outbreak?”

“It’s pretty bad but I think Makwala should run tonight”.

“Oh but why, he has all the signs of Norovirus?”

“Because Paula Radcliffe told me he should.”

Do you know what it reminded me of? When Michael Gove said before the referendum, “It’s about time we stopped listening to experts!”

It seems to me that going against expert opinion has now spread from politics and has become standard procedure across all forms of industry and entertainment. The most insane answers to questions are now the ones that are to be believed.

It’s got so bad that sometimes I wonder whether it is me who is losing the plot and I guess, that’s the way these lunatics want it.

Nonlinear is a term that is often used for this stupidity. Where nothing is sequential or straightforward anymore and the correct answers are always the most illogical ones. People who spot a Redwing in their back garden in September can now claim it is the onset of a harsh winter and get themselves taken seriously on the front page of The Daily Express.

“You get your forecast from the Met Office do you mate? Do me a Rod Laver, they know naffink!!”

I need a lie down.

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