Lockdown Day 33: 24/04/20 Death

The depressing news that the death rate in British hospitals is approaching 20,000. Of course that isn’t the real total because many more have died at home, or in care homes. That figure has yet to be disclosed and reports I’ve read range from 15 to 50% of the hospital total again, which would make the overall total anywhere between 23,000 and 30,000. And the virus has not finished yet. I don’t want to make a prediction about the totality of death in a year’s time or two years’ time, but it will be horrific, and we are told there will be several waves of it between now and then. Food for thought perhaps.

 The population of the world is growing so fast it’s not sustainable. In the past we’ve seen cholera epidemics, the plague, eEola and AIDS. These are not man made and there will be other virus’ or plagues in the future. Nature has a way of sorting out the world in its own way. Food for thought perhaps.

 The British people have followed instructions for social distancing well and, despite a rocky first week, if anything we have refined what and how we do a lot of things. I think the return from lockdown will be harder than the going into lockdown for many reasons and the issue of trust will be highlighted in weeks to come. This time I’m not talking about the government, I’m thinking about the trust between people. All of a sudden, from little interaction through social distancing, we are going to interact again with social distancing. You can talk to me but keep away! Have you had the virus? Two simple points that will be on peoples minds when they return to the outside world. Food for thought perhaps.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lockdown Day 32: 23/04/20 Back to Work

The government has been talking about relaxing the closure of some businesses and I think that is the right course of action provided everyone can still follow the social distancing rule. For some industries like restaurants, if they can offer a takeaway service that will be a start. They will need to prepare a system like the supermarkets to ensure everyone can adhere to the two-metre rule, and I don’t just mean customers.

 There is still a lot of concern related to re-opening schools. As an ex-teacher, but also some one who frequents schools on a fairly full-time basis, I can categorically say that social distancing in schools would be impossible for most schools. The very nature of education is through social interaction. While I don’t understand completely how the Covid 19 virus spreads, I would have thought that schools would be a hotspot for spreading it on and there is little anybody could do about it. I really hope that the government don’t open the schools too soon.

Other industries could potentially return to work and other shops could re-open. In doing that, it will have the effect of enticing people out from their homes and giving thee impression we’re getting back to normal. There is no normal for the foreseeable future. The government has a thankless task in terms of deciding who can return to work, which businesses can open etc. There is no perfect solution. But the people of this country need to think very carefully about what they can do and if they can get by without doing what they used to do in the past.

 Wherever you are stay safe:

Lockdown Day 30: 21/04/20 Jealousy

Thanks to the silence, the cleaner air we’re breathing and having time for an hour a day for exercise, it’s not hard to spot differences around us; for once we have time to really see. Despite everything happening to us right now everything else in nature continues as if nothing is happening. I personally love the fact that the air I breathe is cleaner these days. The world smells better too. I notice the weather more too. It’s amazing how, before Covid 19, life was so frenetic and caught up in time that our days centre around work and getting home. We missed what was happening around us. One day the trees have leaves, then they don’t, then they do again. And before anybody says to me that I’m lucky because I’m not a key worker, I have been working for at least eight hours a day. The difference is when I do my hours. More in the evenings to allow myself free time during the day.

 As I watch the birds and the animals going about their daily routines, I can’t help but feel a little jealous of them. Their freedom is driven by more innate drives that the materialistic ones we chase. They spend their time doing what they need to, oblivious to what we pursue. I saw a family of foxes playing at the edge of a field. I don’t know if they were town or country foxes but it was lovely to see the adults rough and tumbling with their young. The thought of family sparked a sense of melancholy for those I’m missing and haven’t seen for some time.

 The seagulls continue to dominate the sky around here, waiting patiently for crumbs thrown or discarded, the pigeons too, but less aggressively. The blackbirds, thrushes and wren song fills the world around where I’m living, so often masked by the sound of traffic or aircraft.

 There are things at the moment that are hard to adapt to, and yet within that hardship there is much to be thankful for to. I envy the freedom of the creatures around us and one day we’ll be able to find that freedom too.

 Wherever you are stay safe.

Lockdown Day 31: 22/04/20 Warnings

The conversation about coming out of lockdown still maintains a high focus among the questions that are fired at the government and speculations of the people. I’m pleased that the government hasn’t allowed the building pressures to make them lift the restrictions too early. The death toll for a couple of days was low, lower than for some time, and figures like that can easily suggest that things are getting better; only for them to be dashed with recordings back in the 800’s.

If you are reading reports around the world about other countries struggling with Covid 19 then the warning signs are clear. The latest from China, just after lifting lockdowns in Wuhan is to see another surge of people contracting the disease elsewhere in their country. A second wave is hitting them.

I believe our government was right to lock down the entire country rather than just the places where the virus was most prevalent. I’m not convinced that we won’t get second, third and more waves before this thing goes away but at least we stand a better chance of containing it instead of forcing it to hit other areas.

There is much still to learn about how this disease functions and migrates but if you can prevent that as much as possible through the lockdown then hopefully we will be in better shape than other countries who have tackled it by region. Well played government for keeping the lid down and please don’t lift it until we can be sure our people will be safe.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lockdown Day 29: 20/04/20 Shopping

I wrote yesterday about the changing mentality of the people I met recently and there is further evidence to support this change. Shopping has been a task that has demanded patience since just before the lockdown, with queueing and stock availability issues. Nothing much has changed since. Queuing had gotten worse during the early stages of lockdown as the numbers of people in stores has been reduced but lately I’ve ben shopping twice, six days apart and each time I didn’t have to queue to get in. Most people seem to have gotten into the mindset of shopping once a week now and few just carry baskets in the stores.

Shelf stocks have improved, although certain items are still out of stock, notably what is imported. I know for a fact that people are running out of money so maybe that is a contributing factor to the reduction in queues. Also those who bulk bought weeks ago probably realise that most of what we want, we can get, so they are running down the excess they have at home. Whatever the reasons it has become easier to shop and spend less time exposed to others.

More and more people are having groceries delivered to their homes and that makes a lot of sense except that getting a delivery slot is still difficult. I think it’s only a matter of time before that is improved. Getting used to this way of shopping is a good thing. A higher percentage of people will continue this after the lockdown is over and it is a trend that would have happen naturally anyway, albeit on a slower scale prior to Covid 19

It seems that as far as shopping goes, some sort of normality is now evolving, and I say that knowing that this reduction of people within a store, will be maintained long after the lockdown is lifted. There are many changes that we’ll have to cope with in the future but the changes I’ve witnessed after just four weeks reinforces my belief that we are still adaptable as a species and working with the trends instead of bucking against them will only make transitions easier.

Wherever you are stay safe.

C.S. Clifford

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