21 December 20
Posted at 6:45
Squirrel at Mount Pleasant
A couple of photos of wildlife today, taken during the November lockdown when I went for a walk around my local golf course, which was closed. Getting exercise during lockdowns is important both physically and mentally. The mental challenges during this pandemic are getting greater as time goes on.
It is now the 21st December just three weeks since my last blog post. Things are so dynamic it is really difficult to keep up.
Since the last mini lockdown ended we have entered into tiers. Initially three tiers although most of the country was in either tier two or three. Both were restrictive in terms of socialising indoors and both meant traditional hospitality like pubs and restaurants were either closed or had very restrictive rules about operating. We were though going to be allowed some respite at Christmas with the mixing of up to three households in any single bubble for a five day period encompassing 24th – 28th December. Although this was welcomed by many there were also some grave reservations of both the wisdom of it and potential abuse.
Then late on Friday 18th December at a solemn press conference the prime minister advised the country that a new mutant variant of Covid was spreading uncontrollably through London and the South East of England. This variant was thought to be much more contagious than previous strains. A new Tier four range of restrictions would be introduced immediately for London the South East and the East of England, in particular the proposed easing for Christmas in those areas was to be scrapped. This was a message that horrified many. There was anger, disappointment and something of an emotional outburst. Some tried to flee London on the Saturday although I think there was a lot of media hype about this because in reality where could people go and still conform to rules in tier three or two.
The prime minister and government have been criticised unfairly in my opinion. They are dammed whatever they do. Today it is clear how bad the new virus situation is with most of the world banning travel from the UK until the new strain is understood. Even the port of Dover is totally closed today and for next 24 hours.
On a positive note it is believed the vaccine roll out, which has commenced, still protects against the new strain.
For me personally the loss of a family gathering on Christmas day is upsetting. We would only have been five in total and we are all in near isolation anyway. Add to that we live under half a mile away from the other household. However there are many with larger households and individuals travelling potentially from all over. I concede it would be wrong to make a case for exceptions as everyone would make a claim. So we will take the medicine and look forward to things gradually improving in 2021.
Red Kite above Mount Pleasant
Meanwhile the red kites and squirrels carry on regardless. They of course have their own challenges but not Covid related.