Day 336 – Reflections on Lockdown

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It’s been another sunny day today, but a lot colder, with a cold wind and temperatures dropping quite a lot this evening.

There is definitely a feeling of Spring in the air, even though it is still February.

Has Spring come early or are we going to be faced with another cold period?

Not much happening in my day – some work and a few walks.

The canal was quite busy with walkers and cyclists, which was surprising being a Monday!

The water was really still on our morning walk, but then a breeze picked up.

I love how the still water creates lovely reflections.

 

Our afternoon walk started along the canal, but then Honey kept finding bread left everywhere.  Lots of pieces broken up for the birds and then whole slices in the canal.  Honey has a weakness for bread – she loves it – running off to eat it and not listening to me.

With that happening, we changed our walk and headed to The Meadows.

The daffodils were starting to appear, the plants clearly ‘think’ Spring is on it’s way.  Although, they often get it wrong, with more cold weather later…lets see what happens!

Do you know that phrase – a hot summer leads to a cold winter – or is it the other way round – a cold winter leads to a hot summer?  Well I looked it up and there is no scientific evidence of this 🙁

But with the warmer weather we are heading into that period of the year, when we start hoping its going to be a hot Spring and Summer with lots of sunshine!



Lockdown Restrictions Corner

Today Boris, announced a four-step plan to ease England out of lockdown, which could see all legal limits lifted by 21st June (Day 455), just 119 days away!  Although he also stated that the easing of restrictions will not go on dates but on data.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56158405

He described it as a “one-way route to freedom”, but did not guarantee that it was irreversible.

There will be a gap between each step for at least 5 weeks, with a decision whether to move to the next step based on measurements of 4 criteria –

            • Vaccine programme continues to go to plan.
            • Evidence shows vaccines are reducing deaths and numbers requiring hospital admissions.
            • Infection rates do not risk surge in hospital admissions.
            • New variant do not change the risk of lifting restrictions.

 

STEP ONE  – from 8th March (Day 350)

  • 8th March – All schools and Colleges to open

Including outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed.

Secondary school pupils and College students can access tests and will have to wear face coverings in classroom and shared corridors.

 

  • 8th March – Outdoor Recreation

Allowed between 2 people in public spaces – such as a park – e.g. allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic

 

  • 29th March – Outdoor Gatherings

Of either 6 people (Rule of Six) or two households.

This will include gatherings in private gardens.

Outdoor sports – tennis or basketball also reopen.

Organised adult and children sports – allowed – e.g. grassroots football.

 

  • 29th March – Travel

Travel outside local area allowed.

 

 

STEP TWO – from 12th April (Day 385)

  • Non-essential retail opens – including hairdressers, some public buildings and libraries.
  • Outdoor settings open – e.g. alcohol takeaway, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks.
  • Indoor leisure open – e.g. swimming pools and gyms.
  • Self contained holiday accommodation open – e.g. self catering lets and camp sites.
  • End of hospitality curfew.
  • End of hospitality requirements to eat a substantial meal alongside alcohol.
  • Funerals continue with up to 30 people.
  • Weddings continue with up to 15 people.

 

  • Wider Social contact rules continue – no indoor mixing between different households allowed.

 

STEP THREE – from 17th May (Day 420)

  • Outdoors – most social contact rules lifted outdoors.
  • Indoors – Six people or two households can meet indoors.  With ‘Rule of Six’ applied in hospitality settings, e.g. pubs and restaurants.
  • Indoor hospitality – open, including hotels.
  • Cinemas, museums, hotels, performances and sporting events – OPEN – although social distancing remains.
  • Up to 10,000 spectators can attend very large outdoor seated venues – e.g. football stadiums.
  • Weddings – up to 30 people.
  • Funerals – up to 30 people.
  • Wakes – up to 30 people.

 

STEP FOUR – from 21st June (Day 455)

  • All legal limits on social contact removed.
  • Reopen final closed sectors of economy – e.g. nightclubs.
  • Weddings – restrictions abolished.
  • Funerals – restrictions abolished.

 

Scotland

Nicola has announced Scotland will be returning to a tiered system of restrictions when lockdown restrictions are eased.  This means different parts of Scotland will have different rules.

She is to announce phases for gradually lifting restrictions tomorrow (Day  337).

 

Wales

Mark Drakeford, has said he hopes the “Stay at Home” requirement will be lifted within 3 weeks, with non-essential shops and hairdressers opening at the same time.

 

Northern Ireland

Arlene Foster, wants it’s executive to discuss a reopening date for schools.



Readers Corner

One post today.

 

Jim

Jim posted a Facebook comment on Day 334 blog, saying:

“Good pictures Jim and lots of exercise as well. Good on you!😄😄😄“.

Thanks Jim!  There’s lots of lovely photos on the canal 🙂

Was tired after all the exercise!!

 



As I come to the end of this blog, I fell a sense of fear with Boris’ announcement of lockdown easing in England.  He said it is not set to dates instead data, but then has been quite specific with dates.  I fear that things will slow down and everyone will get disappointed.  Alternatively, restrictions get eased too quickly and there is a return to tighter lockdown restrictions again.

I guess, there is that feeling of uncertainty, of what is going to happen.  Unlike last May/June when restrictions were eased, we know that we could return to tighter restrictions again, where as in May/June 2020, we were told this – but I think many (including me) kind of disregarded this as being not true.  England is a big country and there are going to be big variations in cases, how is that going to impact the 4 Steps of easing?

We will have to wait and see.

What do you think?  Is the England easing restrictions too slow?  Is it too fast?  Is it too date driven?

Hope you’ve had a Magical Monday!!

Stay Safe 🙂

Jim xx

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