So, they’re relaxing the lockdown. But is that wise with so many new people still becoming infected every day?
It’s reported that half a million people travelled to the south coast yesterday. I’ve never understood the urge to rush to the beach the minute the temperature hots up. I can understand the need to get out if you don’t have any outside space at all to call your own but why go to a crowded beach and sit cheek by jowl with thousands of others? I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting on top of other people – even when there was no such thing as a deadly virus.
What can be more pleasurable that sitting in the comfort of your own back garden/balcony/terrace/front garden/patio/front step/communal garden/nearby green space (delete whichever is inapplicable) with a good book and a drink to hand – unless of course, like us, you are having to contend with the sawing and drilling coming from neighbouring properties. The work starts at 7.30 am and goes on all day. I suppose we could always escape to someone else’s garden or to the local park but what would I do if I needed the loo? At the moment, with this heatwave, our downstairs loo is the coolest place to sit in the whole house!
On a good day, when it is quiet, the sun is shining and the birds are singing it feels unimaginable that we are all in the middle of a global epidemic. However, I read in today’s Times that pollution levels have sadly gone back to their pre-Covid levels. Nothing Lasts Forever, as Judy Collins sang.
One thing that has stopped is the 5pm briefing. I’m sure that BJ had better things to do than attend those briefings we have all been avoiding. Have you noticed how he has recently taken to banging on his lectern? Maybe they did a Mori poll which asked what would you rather do – watch Boris and Co’s slides, sit in the sun on a beach in Bournemouth with all the other Covidiots or turn to the other channel and watch Pointless instead?
Do you think Boris has been doing his share of childcare? He hasn’t shown much of an aptitude for it up till now by all accounts. But then he’s had a lot to put up with. What with Brexit, the election, his divorce, his engagement, a deadly pandemic, getting the virus and then catching it and having to go into hospital and then the arrival of yet another Johnson baby. One could also begin to feel sorry for him. He has packed into a few months what most of us don’t get done in a lifetime! No wonder he didn’t have time for those Cobra meetings!
Today it was reported that Gavin Williamson, the Education Minister, wants all schoolchildren to face the front of the class. It’s interesting that it has taken this epidemic to return to what was the normal classroom setting when I was growing up. I’ve never thought it sensible to have small children arranged around tables so that some of them have to strain to see the teacher whilst others have their back to the whiteboard the whole time! It will be interesting to see if learning improves with all the children now facing in the same direction.
Now lockdown has been relaxed will people maintain some of the new hobbies and interests they have been enjoying? I wonder what the gender balance is? Has lockdown seen more women returning to what’s traditionally been considered as women’s work – childcare, sewing, baking, cooking, housework, knitting – or have men taken up these things in equal measure?
I thought lockdown would give me more time for working on my book. Instead I have been busy blogging, writing poems and flash fiction in response to the tasks set by Watford Writers, my local writers’ group. I also imagined I’d get more reading done during lockdown but the same pile of books still sits on my bedside while I play Words with Friends and Upwords online. What’s more, almost every evening OH (other half) and I play a table tennis match. We have clocked up fifty games so far. And I remain ahead! I wish I’d had this competitive spirit in my schooldays!