The rules are changing. It is happening all around us: No GCSE examinations this year in senior schools; no SATs tests for the Year 6’s. In fact, no school either – causing problems for all those working parents who will need to find childcare. Not a good idea to ask grandparents either, since they are probably in the groups categorised as vulnerable and advised to socially exclude themselves. Who will feed the pupils entitled to free school lunches?
On Wednesday 18th, my friend and I walked along the Sea Front to a local park in the Spring sunshine. We knew that there is a friendly cafe where you can sit outside and, yes, it was still open. That was then. Before lockdown. How long can that cafe sustain enforced closure? Will it ever re-open?
Rumours are rife, which makes it difficult to sort out facts from misinformation. Is it really true that children do not catch the virus? And is it true that they act as carriers? And why are so many people wearing facemasks? Do face masks help prevent infection with the Covid19 virus?
One thing is absolutely clear: we all need to wash our hands, stop touching our faces and stay two metres from another person. The rules for my 70+ age group are also clear: stay indoors and self-isolate. This is in complete contrast with the previous edict that “to stay fit and healthy you need to walk half an hour daily/ ten thousand steps daily.” My neighbour has just rung to say that no-one is allowed out – her dog-walker was stopped by the police but allowed to continue because of the dog-walking.
These times bring out the best, and the worst of humanity. Three people have offered to shop for me this morning which is so kind of them and much appreciated. However, the scammers and conmen are already out there preying on the vulnerable and gullible. It was always thus. I’d like to think that when this Country gets through this epidemic that the rules stay changed. That more emphasis be placed on the public good not individual greed and profit. “Health” should not be regarded as a “for profit” activity. “Accommodation/ income” and “transport” are facets of Society which should be available to all – in return for able adults recognising and addressing their responsibilities and contributing to Society not exploiting it. Wishful thinking. . . .
To change track, how am I coping with “lockdown”? As the weather warms up I am venturing into the back garden. I only have the smallest of yards but the two flowerbeds are enough for me to manage. While clearing out last year’s runner bean plants I discovered several pods that had gone to seed. So I planted the resulting beans hoping that they will grow this year. Gardening is very therapeutic and it is lovely to be outside in the fresh air.
One week done, eleven to go. Or have the rules on lockdown changed again? Did Boris mention ”six months”?!