Wednesday, 25th March 2020
Its Lockdown time folks!
As mentioned in my last blog, we are now all officially in lockdown… no ifs… no buts…
We are only permitted to leave our humble homes for:
- Essential shopping
- Those working in key industries, such as hospitals, the care industry, supermarkets, pharmacies, police, firefighters, contractors building new hospitals and other ‘safety’ constructions, and any other construction worker who can work at least 2 meters from other construction workers.
- Medical reasons. (But not if we have VC symptoms, as then we must stay in lock-up… or lockdown?? For at least 2 weeks)
- Taking a daily walk, run or cycle, but note, only members from the same family home can exercise together.
There is also a rule than not more than 2 people may congregate – not sure how that fits in, bearing in mind all the other rules.
As you can imagine, there has been any amount of hot air and controversy surrounding point 2 above. What exactly qualifies as a critical industry, and how the hell can builders on a construction site keep 2 meters away from each other? These matters – and others – are far from settled at the time of writing.
The official list of Essential retailers that are permitted to remain open are:
- Supermarkets and other food shops
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Home and hardware stores
- Launderettes and dry cleaners
- Pet shops
- Post offices
Then today, the government added another one:
Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries.
Considering that all the pubs have been shut down for the duration, this is probably the most important retailer on the list of essential places to stay open. I wonder who lobbied Bojo to include sellers of booze on the list of ‘must-have’ shops?
It’s a wonder someone didn’t demand that brothels should also be included in the ‘must-haves’ for all the aging, fat cats that run our country.
In all, it seems that the above list will cover a huge number of workers, but the fact remains that there are millions of folks working in other sectors, particularly the tourism, hospitality and service sectors who will have to sit it out at home.
Boris has promised all businesses that the government will cover 80% of employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, but that does little for the self-employed, (gig) economy where it is estimated that over 5 million people will have to live on 94 quid a week – assuming they can ever get their claims approved by the social services, where there are horrendous backlogs. More is promised for these folks, but as yet, no specific announcements.
So the rules and regs are pretty much a moving feast, (or drink…) and every day brings new announcements and yet more confusion and frustration.
Is the government doing a good job? Who the f…k knows? They say they are being transparent with us the proletariat, but if you believe that you believe that the USA will be free of the virus by Easter.
(Easter 2021, possibly…)
The only way we will know if they are making the correct decisions, is by reviewing the infections and death rates over the coming weeks.
History will certainly relate what is really going on behind the shuttered doors of Whitehall and Downing Street, but for now, we can only hope and pray they are getting it right.
I certainly hope that the so-called leaked story about Dominic Cummings planning to let all us pensioners die so that the rest may survive is simply a wicked piece of fake news. I don’t fancy being sacrificial lamb to save the rest of humanity. What say you?
I am pleased to note that so far there are no recorded cases of CV in my delightful little county of Rutland. But there again, there are only some 78,000 of us rural folk living here so it doesn’t mean much. Neighbouring Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Lincolnshire all have a few reported cases, but nowhere in the East Midlands has it risen above double figures. I guess we are a few weeks behind London and the southeast, so we must wait our turn with bated breath.
But the thing is, they are only testing people who go to hospital with CV symptoms, so nobody really knows what the true numbers of infections may really be. Even if someone has the symptoms, they are not tested unless they become really ill, (or die).
I note that his Royal Bigness, the tree-talking mumbling Prince Charlie has now succumbed to CV. Given that he has been mixing with the whole royal family over the past few days, we might be looking at a wipeout of the entire Windsor/ Mountbatten/Wales/ Hapsburg clan in one fell swoop?
We should be so lucky…
My family’s lockdown situation continues to be relatively uneventful. I am still taking my daily walk with Olly the dog, and doing my best to keep 2 meters away from other dog walkers I encounter en route. I must admit I do feel a bit silly whenever I have to move to the edge of the grass verge, while the other walker moves to the opposite side of the pavement. It’s just as well that dogs are not likely to catch CV, as invariably they meet each other in the middle of the 2-meter space that separates us and enjoy a good old sniff.
Lek was supposed to work the first three days of this week, but yesterday she was sent home halfway through her shift as the school was concerned about not adhering to Boris’s new lock-down rules.
It was a sudden decision to set the cleaners free from their ‘essential work’ and there was a lot of stuff in fridges and elsewhere that had to be cleared out. So Lek and two of her colleagues cycled along Oakham High Street with bags bulging with discarded produce, and a bunch of unwanted, helium-filled balloons tied to their handlebars. It’s a wonder they weren’t arrested… oh, wait… there’s no cops in Oakham.
The balloons are now sitting (standing) in our lounge.
So she’s now home for the duration, or at least until after Easter. We are hoping that she will remain on the payroll throughout the shutdown, but we simply don’t know, as her employer remains silent on this point. If she does lose her job, it will create a few problems as there is no way we can live just on my pension.
Yesterday afternoon she cut all the grass and washed the car – the first time either chore had been undertaken since back before winter. Although we had an overnight temperature of below freezing, the afternoons are getting quite warm with temperatures in the mid-teens
Song is slowly settling into a routine of doing her school work between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Her work is still creating many problems for me, her self-appointed teacher. Some of the work is beyond my feeble comprehension and much of it is too complicated for her to grasp with her limited English.
So there has been much anguish and gnashing of teeth as we work through her daily tasks of up to 8 subjects! I try to keep a balance between her just writing down what I tell her, and pushing her to attempt to do the work by herself. Talk about the blind leading the blind, but it certainly keeps us out of mischief.
Well, that’ll do for now – more in a day or two.
Take care, folks.