Lock-down 2.0 is only days but it already feels a lot longer. The News cycle adds more COVID-19 cases day by day. It’s too early to tell if this restraint on liberties is having the desired impact.
Wearing a mask has become so much of a habit its going to be difficult to shake when this is all over.
Mild weather is opening the opportunity to be outside. Much as this is pleasant there’s places where people naturally congregate. Being socially distanced isn’t so easy in places. My recent walk along the ridge of the North Downs was busier than it would normally be. Coming to the car park near Junction 8 of the M25 it was crowded. Since take-away coffee and a wonderful view come together it was a magnet for many people.
I’m trying to leave the car at home and go by shank’s pony. Building up lock-down legs is an investment for the winter. Getting out before the cold hits. Although, I’m reminded of being told that there’s no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes.
We all need human interaction, so it was nice to have a chance meeting with some friends while out walking. All the time we stopped and talked I was conscious of the perception that we might be doing something wrong. These strange feelings were especially crazy as we more than doubled minimum 2 meter spacing.
It’s sad to hear that there are people taking advantage of the rules and a few being crooked. I overhead of one case where a consignment of PPE was stolen. Businesses may be shut up but those with a criminal mind have found ways of profiting out of the situation. Junk mail has risen as cyber criminals have upped their game to snare people.
There’s a level of general public trust in the science but the politicians handling of the pandemic is poorly regarded. Faith in the Government being stretched paper thin. The use of incorrect and exaggerated data has contributed to this position.
It has been said that if lockdown goes on one day beyond 2nd December then it’s curtains for PM Johnson. His own MP will turn on him with scorn and vitriol. This may happen regardless of the pandemic statistics at the time.
It’s obvious? Certainly, seems obvious to me. This lock-down has a completely different feel to it from the springtime one. Then a wave of solidarity swept over us all. Back in April – May the days were getting longer. Tulips were flowering. For a while it did feel like we were are all in this together. A great national effort to pull together and beat this ghastly virus. Then as we got into the summer a cautious clam settled. It looked, for a while as if a sense of normality had been restored.
Where did it go wrong? Such has been the general incompetence since that there’s a sourer atmosphere with this latest incarnation of a national lock-down. No longer can we turn a blind eye to mistakes made in haste. A succession of Ministers over promising and under delivering has erased credibility and undermined public confidence.
Autumn can be colourful. If there’s an aspect of lock-down that lifts the spirit, it’s those misty mornings when the sun burns off the fog and the full glory of the leaf fall is revealed. Finding time to be outside is a plus. At least if the weather holds.
Wandering around there’s an air of confusion. More commercial premises are open. Traffic is way up on the springtime lock-down. Looking for a logic in what’s open and what’s not is perplexing. I can walk into a shop and buy a newspaper. A book on the other hand is an online purchase. If I want Christmas decorations, it’s best to go to a garden centre and mingle with an older generation.
Forget a coffee and a sandwich unless I’m happy to sit in the park and eat them alfresco. Having missed the window for a haircut, I’ll come out of this lock-down as a yeti. A well-fed yeti. Supermarkets carry on with no sign of difference or special measures.
It’s an impression but I don’t think this national lock-down has the serious attention of the past one. People know that policing is focused of the attention-grabbing breaches of rules. Everyday skirting around the rules and mirror infringements have become habits.
Rules, although written simply, need a lot of interpretation. Moving to a new house is in scope. But what about the ancillary tasks like traveling to meet agents or dispose of possessions no longer needed. Even knowing that charity shops are shut-up for the duration.
The urgency displayed as a justification for this national lock-down isn’t being followed through but Ministers. I’m reminded of the advice for speakers: tell them what you are going to say, tell them and then tell them what you have said. There needs to be repetition of urgent communications. For a message to stick and be taken seriously by the public the Prime Minister must be more visible.