“This virus is in retreat. We’re working through our plan and our plan is working.”

Matt Hancock  11/6/20

All this war terminology. People talk about people winning or losing the fight against cancer as if cancer is an enemy that you can defeat by putting up a good fight. So, if you succumb to the disease, does that mean you didn’t fight hard enough?

We battle against the virus. We have people working on the front line. And now the virus is in retreat.  I’d love that to be the case but I’d be surprised if it’s true.  There may even be a spike in a couple of weeks as a result of all the Covidiots who haven’t been following social distancing.

It seems there’s a list of 60 statues the protestors want removed including Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square.  I think we should replace him – and all the other statues they’re complaining about – with statues of pigeons.  Totally inoffensive. And the pigeons would love them.

OH (other half) and I have been in lockdown now for 87 days. We began quarantining ourselves before we were all officially told to do so because we thought, at the time, that our daughter had the virus. She went through all the symptoms, was examined by an ambulance crew and went into self-isolation away from her husband and three young children. Recently she had the antibody test, only to find out that apparently she had not had the virus after all! All that self-isolation for nothing! And she’s by no means the first person I have heard about who has had this experience.  On the other hand, I’ve been told about other people who had extremely mild symptoms and found out when they were tested that they had indeed had the virus.

It seems to me that – in coping with this “battle” most of us have been going through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Some of us – maybe those people in their thousands who swarmed onto beaches and beauty spots – are still in denial. Many are angry.  A few of us may have done some bargaining. Maybe with God if we believe in one.  Or maybe with ourselves.  A large number of people have suffered from depression and many still do.

And then there’s the final stage of acceptance. I think that’s where I’m at now. It was easier when the message was ‘stay at home to stay lives’ rather than ‘stay alert’. But I think many of the people in my position – older and no longer working – have found it easier to accept the lockdown.  So much harder for younger people who led very active lives who are missing work and financial security.

What’s more, working from home and home schooling your children is not an easy task.  I know many parents who are finding it exhausting. If I’d had any say in it I would have said forget about this year altogether. Think of it as a long, extended holiday. Enjoy the time you have with your kids – you may never have a time like this again in your lives. My suggestion would have been to pretend this year had never happened. Postpone all the  assessments and exams. Start again in January 2021 where you left off the curriculum in January 2020. Everyone would be at the same level. No pressure.  Yes, it would mean next year’s cohort starting school a year later but I don’t believe that would harm their education.  There are many countries where children don’t start school until the age of six ( in Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland it’s not until they’re seven) and very often those children do much better academically than ours.

One of the recent bugbears is that the congestion charge has been increased and will now be operating over evenings and weekends too. Talk about adding insult to injury! At a time when they are trying to encourage fewer people to use public transport, they’re obviously going to get more people using their cars!  So, here’s my idea.  Why not lay on free shuttle buses?  We could use the open top deck tour buses that are redundant at the moment.  Stop all but essential traffic and offer free car parking to people coming in from the suburbs so they can get a shuttle into London or wherever it is they live. Rather like the park and ride many towns operate over Christmas.  And reduce the congestion charge so that people who have to use their cars can afford to do so. We should be doing everything in our power to encourage people to get back to work not hindering their attempts to do so.

Do we really have the second highest figures of deaths out of all the countries in the world?  Really? I find that hard to believe.  Some countries are obviously not reporting their figures correctly or honestly. According to WHO, we are told that India’s total number of deaths up till now is only 10,000. A country that is 17.7% of the total world population! Can you believe that?  Maybe Diane Abbott has been helping them add up the figures.

Rant over.

Stay well. Stay safe. See you again soon.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


  1. Re the congestion charge, our son is in the gigging industry and of course has zero work at the moment. Previously he was in London at least 3 nights a week and went in for a 10pm start finishing at 3am. It just adds an extra insult for lots of people like him for when they eventually do get back some work they have to pay £15 extra a night.


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