An Actor’s Life: Testing, testing, tracking and tracing! (Not before time)

“How about human car washes, or dry cleaning, or … come on Fucki, help me out here?” (photo: White House)
May 2nd, 2020 5:01 pm| by Ian Burns
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Will Trump’s teams of quacks win the vac race? What would Britain’s upper-class twits think of Mette Frederiksen’s decision to not compensate companies that don’t pay their taxes? There’s a lot to chew on during the Coronavirus Crisis.  

Beyond parody 
Forget touting the tried and failed hydroxychloroquine (chlorine dioxide industrial bleach to you and me) treatment, King Trump I promoted injecting coronavirus patients with disinfectant to kill the virus.  

It’s beyond parody if he thinks he can utter such idiotic drivel without public rebuke.  

What’s next? Incantations? Swallow light bulbs then stick a screwdriver in the wall socket? Standing in a bucket of water is optional. Dried badger droppings on toast?  

To claim afterwards that he was being sarcastic is difficult to believe. He tried and failed to sound intelligent by promoting a quack cure from dodgy geezers. End of. 

Sweden’s cautionary tale 
Benjamin Franklin said that there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But he forgot about all the greedy bastards who register their companies overseas.  

Praise here to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who has told companies that do not pay their taxes that they will not be eligible for state financial aid bailouts.  

As things stand, Frederiksen has done extremely well across the board – particularly when you compare Denmark to its neighbours. Sweden’s relaxed, experimental approach to the virus might prove to be a bad choice – naïve at best with over 2,000 deaths so far.  

But time will tell whose path was the most successful. 

We will return! 
Forget the space race, the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine is on. This is the world’s greatest challenge.  

The last two months have seen the beginning of a new way of interacting with the world. Working from home is possible for many and will be the norm for many months if not years to come.  

Sadly, restaurants, cinemas, museums and theatres can’t do that, but one fine day we will be back. In our urge to return to an improved version of the planet I hope caution prevents opening everything up too soon – to undo all that would be tragic.  

Saluting the brave 
Health and care workers deserve respect and it’s time for their efforts and risks to be recognised. Praise is also due to the people who deliver essential goods by road, rail or sea and the people who clean up after us. They all deserve to be rewarded with a dignified wage.  

Over in Britain, a decade of reducing financial support for the NHS left it woefully unprepared to cope with the outbreak, not least with a complete lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).  

Asking nurses to reuse PPE gear reminded me of the upper-class twit generals who daily sent thousands of men to certain death in World War I. Hundred years on, their continued retention of power doesn’t fill me with much confidence in an isolated post-Brexit Britain. I am happy that I live in Denmark. 

A time to reflect
There have been stories of incredible kindness and courage during these anxious times.  

An example of Britain at its best is the now famous 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore (who will turn 100 a day after this issue goes to print), who raised 28 million pounds for the NHS by walking around his garden with a zimmer frame.  

Meanwhile, over in Madrid, hospital workers thanked a taxi driver who had been driving them for free. Along with a whip-round and a standing ovation, they presented him with the negative results of his Covid-19 test. 

This period has given me time to reflect and I think I can say that I have lived a good life and that I am proud and happy of my achievements. My heart goes out to those whose lives have been cut short.  

Take care and stay safe. 

Ian Burns


A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company and very possibly Copenhagen’s best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Shakespeare and Tony Hancock.