Covid and the end of 2020

Covid and the end of 2020 is now feeling much more like the end of the world quite frankly.

When I started doing a weekly diary at the start of lockdown back in March I had no idea it would go on for so long, and when I wrote a post at the beginning of August it was week 21 of my social isolation diary and I genuinely thought we were at the beginning of the end for restrictions.

How wrong I was.   How very very wrong.

Over the summer there was the exam marking fiasco and then just as we thought it couldn’t get any more bleak various parts of the country were placed into stricter regional lockdowns.  Now millions have been plunged into a new Tier 4 and there are hints it could remain well into the spring.   Wales and Scotland have very much said “you don’t govern how we deal with this pandemic, we will have our own rules” and so at times it has been confusing as we remember that a headline we read might not actually apply to us, and left many of us wishing we lived under a different Government when we felt one of the other Ministers was saying what we wanted to hear.

Good news is thin on the ground to be honest this year and I really wish I had documented it all so I could look back on it and remember it all.  I have forgotten what has happened in the four months from August to December because it is all merged into one big “what the hell” mess.

And whilst good news has been thin on the ground, there has been some at least.   Bubbles went from what we drank to get through the summer, into a legitimate means of Government endorsed support.   There’s now a number of ways to create a bubble, including when a person lives alone, has a child with additional needs, or a baby under one.  These bubbles have been a lifeline for millions ensuring that those who live alone are not left alone but can form a bubble with a designated household.   Even with the new harshest Tier 4 restrictions now in place the support bubbles can remain thankfully.

We have however, in addition to hearing about Tier 4 had our five day Christmas window slammed shut with just four days notice.  I did wonder how on earth a five day window made sense and wouldn’t result in a spike in January and if I am honest they should never have given us that hope.  People saw it as the light at the end of the tunnel, as a beacon of hope that made all the sacrifices we have made worth it, and it has been taken away.   Taken away after the plans have been made, shopping done, arrangements all in place.  Some people now have 12kg turkeys and there will only be two of them, vulnerable adults living alone have cancelled their daily carers as they were expecting to be collected by family but those family members live in Tier 4 so they can’t travel, families with reservations in a local restaurant wanting to do their bit for the local economy have seen their reservation cancelled and now they have no food in the fridge.   Social media has been full of people saying they are having to self isolate yet can’t get an online delivery slot.   It is all heartbreaking.  There is a mutant strain that we are being told is even more contagious, and our borders are currently shut as the continent tells us they dont want anyone from the UK entering they country by road or air, including truck drivers.   Honestly you couldn’t make this stuff up now and never before has the UK felt so isolated.

There is hope though, there is a vaccine, it has begun to be administered, with other companies announcing their own vaccines are on the verge of being submitted for approval before being available.   This is the best news we could wish for to be honest as it is our ticket out of all this.

Without hope there is nothing and so we have to hope, and pray, that these latest restrictions will work this time, infections will begin to decline, vaccines will continue to be administered and that 2021 will finally see Covid-19 being clobbered once and for all.

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