23rd March 2020

My dear Paloma,

Took Lolita for a walk on Saturday morning to Primrose Hill. Thought it would be barren but how wrong we were. Full of people, like us, walking their dog, others going for a run but the majority meeting up with friends for a good laugh. You should have seen the top of the hill. Literally full of people giving no thought to their health and to the health of others. I shouted at one man with chaotic teeth and he snapped back, ‘mind your own business,’ and then walked away coughing and cursing,’ this fucking virus!’ he said quietly, then loudly, ‘it will be the end of us.’ Your mother scolded me for getting involved.

‘ Let’s get out of here,’ she demanded.

I’m definitely watching too much television and scanning too much on YouTube. It’s become an addiction and not sure how healthy it is. I’ve a reminder set for the White House and British government daily briefings. Boris announced yesterday that up to 1.5 million people in England, identified by the NHS to be most vulnerable of severe illness will receive a letter advising them to stay at home for the next three months. A total lockdown for the entire country still remains days away which to me feels like madness.

As for the characters at the White House briefings, the body language from the group on stage is a book in itself. First, any talk of social distancing is abandoned. Faces stacked together so close they must hear the different keys of each other’s breath.

President Trump tries to look empathetic while at the same time concocting answers to journalist’s questions. He boasts of his decision to stop flights to and from China which was without doubt a good thing but once that decision was made he clearly did nothing to take advantage of the time given.

The testing here and the US is still not sufficient so we are chasing the virus blindly and deaths will keep building. South Korea has been testing so they can see their enemy so clusters can be identified and everyone can then be isolated. They have now levelled out on the all important curve which everybody keeps talking about. I have seen more graphs over the last few days than my entire years at school. The graphs continues to build in UK and US

Trump has an answer to all his critics; even when St Peter turns him away at the gate he will have an answer. ‘ We don’t want any of your sort here.’

‘ No problem Pedro, I’m not interested in your paradise. I’m giving you and the rest of your crew ten minutes to get out!’ he’ll reply.

Dr. Anthony Fauci.

My favourite character is, by a distance, Dr Fauci. A clever decent man. I watch him growing more tired as he is forced to stand up there for sometimes over two hours. Can’t anyone see how tiring this must be for a man in constant demand and nearly eighty years old? I imagine him mumbling under his breath like a camel might glancing at the President as if he were a hopeless case. I trust him and that’s what we all need during these long difficult days. I wish though he occasionally interrupted Trump when he hears something that’s simply not true. It would add a touch of spice to the otherwise monolithic, controlled and tedious hours.

Love Daddy.

PS I spoke to your brother this morning. He is living deep in the country. He is safe and staying put with his girlfriend. He sounds good and sounds positive. He is spending his hours painting and enjoying this new found passion. He just completed his first self-portrait. Not sure you’d think it looks like him.

Published by Simon Astaire

Simon Astaire was the youngest agent ever employed at ICM starting the Music department and representing a variety of clients before turning to head a PR agency where his clients included brands such as Bulgari, Armani and celebrities and members of the Royal Family. He is regularly quoted in the press and has been described in The London Times as a PR Prince. He had a regular column in the Sunday Telegraph called Station to Station where he interviewed a diverse mixture of high-profile individuals on their imaginary last train journey. He has written six novels and two biographies including soccer star Sol Campbell when he was nominated for best new sports writer. His latest novel The Last Photograph, was made into a film of the same name. It had a US theatrical release in November 2019 and is now available on all platforms. His blog ' Letters to my daughter' began March 19th 2020.

One thought on “23rd March 2020

  1. I love this it captivated me and the relevance of it is spellbinding…beautiful imagery and metaphors…
    I got lost there for a few minutes by a veil that held my mind…
    Thank you


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