The Social Isolation Diaries — Week 12 and
It is hard to believe that we are still living with a deadly virus in our midst anymore. If you look out the window, certainly where we are, traffic is pretty much back to normal, children are now beginning to walk back to school, and the queues for supermarkets don’t feel as long.
At the beginning of the week we were being told that people who had been contacted by the track and trace service were willing to do so, and by the end of the week were being told that the whole thing was shambles, won’t be working properly until at least September and alot of the staff are being sent home as there is nothing for them to do. It seems that with so much of this there has been great fanfare about things the government have announced, only for them to be quietly ditched, glossed over or abandoned a few weeks later.
On Tuesday the much anticipated report was released that had investigated why a seemingly disproportionate number of members of the BAME community have died from the disease. The report had been delayed by a number of weeks and has now been released when there is a huge focus on Black Lives Matter. George Floyd’s murder at the hands, or should I say, knee of a US police officer has ignited the debate about race on both sides of the Atlantic. Protests have taken place in a number of US cities this week, and in a few in the UK too. This weekend the statue of a slave trader, Edward Colston, in Bristol was torn down and thrown into the river Avon. Many of us posted black squares as part of Black Out Tuesday on our social media accounts, spending the day sharing voices from the Black community instead, reading, and donating to Black Lives Matter charities and campaigns.
From next week anybody arriving into the UK will told they have to self isolate for 14 days at an address provided to officials on arrival, and they may be visited to check this is happening. Apparently fines will be issued for anyone not complying. This seems utterly unworkable to me, and too little too late. Some two million people have flown into the country from overseas since the beginning of March with no such quarantine. So why now? Needless to say airlines are up in arms and threatening legal action as they say it will put people off flying until it is lifted.
I don’t really understand why anyone wants to travel right now to be honest.
Masks will be mandatory on all public transport from next week and also for all hospital staff. The latter feels like a real punch in the guts for hospital staff who have been asking for more PPE since the very beginning.
This is now the last week before other shops are allowed to reopen, though how workable that is going to be also remains to be seen. Will clothes shops allow people to try clothes on? Can you flick through books in a newsagent? It all still feels pretty scary to me and I am still in no great rush to return to the high street. 40,000 people have died (I believe it is much higher than that in reality) and a few hundred a day still are. I think the lockdown has been lifted too early and we are going to see a second spike.
We can now even meet up with half a dozen other people in our gardens, or in the park (though indoors is still banned) but we haven’t been in any rush to do that because we are all trying to make sure we stay coronavirus free for the day we get to meet little Lily.
Right now, nothing is more important that that.
Photo of a cup of tea courtesy of Shutterstock