Lockdown Day 11: 03/04/11 Policing

A lot has been said, for and against policing the lockdown. Firstly, I want to start by saying what a thankless task it is for the constabulary’s around the country. Yes, the government has stipulated what we can do and can’t do as far as leaving our homes but the ambiguity in the wording is bound to cause a few problems. So much is left for the police to interpret that it seems mistakes are going to happen. It’s been left to them to decide whether or not they deem a reason given to them for somebody being outside is valid under the ruling and fine the person if they don’t.

The police don’t stand to make many friends this way, and this at a time when they need our support, just as much as the nurses. Let’s not forget that they are still out there doing it, sorting out problems for people that involves putting themselves at risk. It’s no easy task and dealing with individuals that shouldn’t be out there doesn’t make it any easier for them.

I’ve witnessed police stopping individuals in their cars to check why they are out, and also stop and check walkers for the same reasons. They are doing what they’ve been instructed to do so please don’t give them a hard time. We should be saying thank you to them in the same manner that we’ve been thanking the NHS and by the same token, everybody else who still has to run the daily risk of leaving home for work.

Wherever you are, stay safe

Lock Down Day 10: 2/4/20 The Harsh Reality

Those of us who read all the updates on the progress of the virus could easily interpret results incorrectly. The death rate fell for a couple of consecutive days and while the news brought fresh signs of hope that the social distancing was starting to work, it clearly was the wrong belief with a massive jump following. It follows that the amount of people getting sick is an inconsistent amount every day and therefore those who succumb to it will also be inconsistent. In the harsh reality of the virus’s spread in a body will vary in patients, some take longer to die than others. I believe the will be peaks and troughs in the death toll. One of the medical doctors summed it up when he said we have to look at the data over a period of time rather than day by day.

The death toll is still rising, and it would be unreasonable to expect the government to relax the lock down rules. We will be confined to our homes for a lot longer yet. When I listen to the daily reports from both politicians and medical experts dancing around the issues I just wish they would come out and tell it straight. The British people can take the truth, would respond to the truth, by taking the necessary action, and the government would become far more credible for doing it.

There is a long way to go in fighting this epidemic and recently I found it very interesting listening to the way Sweden have approached this. While I don’t agree with their tactics, regarding lockdowns, what I did find enlightening was that the Swedish people trust their government, they believe their politicians tell them the truth and they respond by following the advice they’re given. I’m advocating only half of this, that our government give us the chance to believe them while we remain in lockdown

Wherever you are stay safe

Lock Down Day 8: 31/3/20 Health of the World

Some of us who haven’t been out could be excused for not noticing that spring is in the air. The recent run of weather with the northerly air flow has cleansed the air enabling us to see further. As I strolled along the Lees, France was in full view and the detail was incredible. The sun was shining, shimmering on the sea and the wind had abated. It was a beautiful day and a pleasure to walk for the half hour I allowed myself. There was more though, the silence and the calm made it a spring day unlike any other I’ve experienced. Perhaps in all the mayhem, disruption, fear and uncertainty there is hope.

Perhaps this is natures response to the abuse we, as a species, have imposed upon the earth during the last millennium, natures way of telling us to stop messing around and finally take responsibility to protect the world we live in properly. Clearly, nature is far more powerful than us and we should listen and act; when the virus abates, and I’m sure it will, then we have to make ourselves accountable for the world we live in. The state of the world is what we bequeath our children and grandchildren.

I know this sounds like I’m on my soap box here, but I’ve spent the last three years touring our country. I’ve seen the beauty of our land and it’s creatures like never have before and it’s so worth saving and protecting. We are no longer under the control of Europe and it’s time we started to lead by example instead of following the moves of others. Make a commitment to change but make that change relevant, meaningful and for the future.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lock Down Day 9: 01/4/20 Coping

I’ve been asked several times recently how I’m coping with the lockdown. I’m going to be honest and state that it hasn’t been easy. For one thing living on the road, as I currently do, has afforded me a freedom unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Normally, I travel from school to school on a daily basis, so I’m accustomed to constant movement and it’s been really hard to remain in one place.

When I’m not in school I try to be outdoors as much as I can and after the hopping run etc then I like to find beautiful spots out in the countryside to write and edit. I never seem to relax more than when I do that. It can be a little lonely at the weekends, but I’m disciplined to the work I do and the work, and the places I visit, can offset the worst of being alone.

As far as family is concerned, of course I miss them, my children and my two grandchildren the most. Yes, we can do a lot by phone and face time etc but it’s not the same as actually being with them. Their proximity brings a comfort and closeness that no electronic gadget can replace. The touch of affection, a kiss, a hug cannot be dismissed as meaningless.

As a parent, a son and a grandfather I feel the responsibility to nurture, to keep an eye on my family and it’s the lack of being able to do that physically that causes me the most difficulty in coming to terms with. I would be home now, back from my travels for the Easter break. Everything I am used to tells me that this is the time I should be spending with my loved ones and everything else tells me I should be staying away. I will obey the rules, but I don’t ever think I will fully come to terms with this. I can only hope my family realise how much they mean to me by my absence.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lock Down Day 7: 30/3/20 Outlook

The end of the first week of lockdown has passed. Most of what has happened and has been discussed has come as a huge shock to all of those who are in a position to have spent time contemplating it. For some, they’ve been far to busy trying to help those in need, or putting themselves at risk to man food shops or patrol the streets etc. I salute all of you and thank you.

There's been much talk that life will never be the same after we beat the virus. And maybe now we are at that stage of evolution where change is necessary, and the virus has just provided us the impetus to make that change. Working from home was already on the cards for the immediate future for many of us, on-line education could also be partly addressed like this, one thing I’ve particularly enjoyed since the lockdown is the silence from less traffic on the roads and the slower pace of life.

There is no doubt that things will be different; for trust to be regained people will need to be able to prove that they don’t have or have had the disease. This might bring forward the need for Identification cards. A simple card, much like a driving license, everybody should have the most basic one of these. You need to prove you are who you say you are for everything these days so why not a common identity card. With some careful thought and consideration, the card could hold the type of information that employers need; through a simple Identification code that anybody can check for criminal records, serious medical issues etc. To cater for those who don’t want this, perhaps the choice to disclose what information is available on record should remain with the individual.

I’ve only just touched on issues of change that might come from this, there are plenty more, but I for one would like to think about the opportunities of change in a positive manner. We have a chance going forward to make real improvements to the way we do things, the way we live and the way we think of and treat others.

Wherever you are stay safe.

C.S. Clifford

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