Covid-19 Diaries 21st December 2020

21 December 20

Posted at 6:45


SquirrelSquirrel 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 KiteRed Kite above Mount Pleasant

Meanwhile the red kites and squirrels carry on regardless. They of course have their own challenges but not Covid related.


Covid-19 Diaries 20th May 2020

08 June 20

Posted at 12:28

Schools out

It is now ten days since the prime minister's announcement of some potential easing of the lockdown. The daily graphs we are treated to at the press briefings continue to show a positive trend albeit painstakingly slow. After the announcement of a three phase plan to ease lockdown restrictions much more detail was forthcoming although it is fair to say there is still confusion with what is a complicated message. There is much debate continuing around the high percentage of care home deaths and whether some may have been avoided but care homes have been knocked off the top news item by the possible return to school for some children from the beginning of June. It is really difficult to understand the pros and cons not least because there are those whose position is political as opposed to in the interest of the public. The debate is set to continue but so long as there is evidence of the pandemic lessening along with progress in testing and tracing I believe some classes in some schools will return in early June.

There certainly has been a noticeable relaxation now people are allowed out more and that there is a gradual return to work for some. It is clear that change is gradual and that the idea of small steps still shows noticeable change. Assuming there is no indication of a second peak I think a month from now there will be a lot more retail open, I think sport and leisure activity will have increased and I think open air cafes and even pubs may be offering a table service with strict social distancing. That is not a major topic of conversation at the moment but when some schools are back I think it will just follow.

There has been a lot of news this week around the impact of the pandemic of the economy and jobs. Steep rises in unemployment, very low inflation and concern about businesses both big and small. None of it a surprise but a stark reminder when presented in sensational headlines. Some opening up of the leisure industry along with the ability for people to spend a day or two away from home (not possible at the moment) will provide help for the leisure sector which has hit young peoples job prospects the hardest.

There is also constant talk of when professional football will return. Personally although a fan I think it is madness to even consider at this point in time.

Red kite

I include a photo of a kite taken a few hundred yards from my home. I am a keen wildlife photographer. It has been noticeable with so many people walking in the countryside as a result of lockdown how interest in wildlife has grown. It is not a bad thing at all. There is much good that has come out of lockdown. In general people seem more friendly and supportive to each other. Lockdown has broken down many barriers in communities as people have had more time to consider what is really important to their's and their families wellbeing. We appear to be at something of a crossroads now where people are reconsidering their priorities and making changes to their lifestyle which were perhaps initially mandated but now of high importance. Some working from home, replacing travel with technology, greater use of bicycles and of electric vehicles. A realisation at last that morbid obesity that ravages our society does directly impact are ability to survive viruses from Covid-19 to the more common seasonal flu and even colds. There is a much higher level of interest in supporting local businesses and even perhaps a desire to be free from everything we consume coming from China.

When I say we are at a crossroads the general public appear to be reaching these conclusions but our political leaders both national and local - fuelled by a sensationalist media seem hell bent on returning to days of old. I'm sensing that there is a chance that the 'tail will wag the dog' and we will see something of a paradigm shift. I'm hope full anyway.