Today was much like yesterday, but without a cream team, or a round of applause for the NHS. However, the health workers and support staff were reporting back today just how touched they were that their sacrifices were so appreciated by the population as a whole. Even royalty and the PM & Chancellor joined in with the applause.
The NHS will certainly be earning our praise over the next few weeks, as the death toll from this indiscriminate virus rises daily, and it seems inevitable that we will be practicing social distancing in one form or another for considerably longer than the initial 3 weeks set in place.
Talking of Royalty and PM, it’s now reported that both Prince Charles and the PM have the virus, although their symptoms are mild. Other members of the cabinet are also affected, which I guess is no real surprise. Regardless of how you feel about our Government, right now we need them to be fit and healthy, so I for one hope that they only get mild symptoms and can keep on carrying on. This is not the time for
Thoughts about isolation
This isolation impacts everyone in different ways. There are those like me, who are lucky, still have their full income, can work from home, still get most things they need, and the main (pretty much only) sacrifice is a bit of our freedom….a REALLY small price to pay. Since I am still working full time, I am a little sad that it means that it’s difficult for me to volunteer for the national effort. I think I’d like to but in this case, the best I can do is to follow what’s going on locally, and offer to help out should one of my near neighbours need some help. My daughter, however, has been furlonged, and had registered to volunteer. She is already bored, as her partner is working still from home, and she’s kicking around the house waiting for him to finish work each day. She’s opted to dress her best in the house, and has started cooking – she usually lets everyone else take charge of cooking.
For others though the isolation is very different. Many have lost their income, and until they can access the government aid, all they can do is sit and wait. In a dual-income household, it may be less of a problem, but many are on their own. So with no income and alone in isolation, days may feel like weeks, and the initial 3 weeks is going to feel like a really long time. Whilst some may find it easy to still be in touch with their friends, others find it difficult to reach out, and for them its an incredibly hard thing to deal with. If you know friends like this then reach out. Accept that they may not respond, but don’t stop letting them know that you are there for them. For some, just knowing that someone cares, could literally mean the difference between life and death.
My dogs normally go to Doggy Day Care. It’s like a playschool for dogs, and each day my old Collies come back happy and tired. But now we are all confined to home, they are requiring quite a walk at least once a day, which of course means that one of us loses our outdoor (run/cycle)exercise if we get the long walk. Let me make this clear, our Collies are 13 years old, they can still walk a long way, but they are long past coming out for a run, so we can’t combine the activity anymore.
However, I quite enjoy the evening walks, always in search of a lovely sunset photo across the water. I have noticed though that the sunsets are less dramatic at the moment. When I’ve been globetrotting I’ve observed that actually, the best sunsets arise either when there are clouds, or when there is a certain amount of pollution in the air. With the lockdown, there are few businesses or vehicles polluting the sky, and the beauty of the sunset suffers as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for creating a less polluting atmosphere, and this was just a long-winded way of saying that I didn’t get my photogenic sunset.
What I did get, however, were photos of quiet streets. Where crossing the road didn’t require you to press a button and get a green man. For the most part, social distancing is finally happening in Portsmouth. Yes, there were cars about, but once the main commuting times were over (from 5:30pm onwards) the streets were empty. As we start to see more people we know affected by the virus, people have started to take it seriously. Police were given more powers from yesterday, and added police presence on the streets was noticeable. They were friendly, but if people were clearly flouting the new rules, they didn’t hesitate to have words.
Unfortunately, not everyone seems to get it. As I walked back with the dogs, a group of people were hanging about outside Pizza Hut. Were they delivery drivers, or just friends of the workers? I don’t know, but clearly they had no concept of social distancing. If they were delivery drivers, I might think twice about ordering from them until the crisis is over.
There are lots of reports currently about people simply taking the p!$$ over the exercise only once a day rule. I talked about this a couple days ago, but now various police forces are enforcing policies of asking people not to drive to local beauty spots to take a walk, run or ride. They also take a dim view of those who chose to venture out all day far from home on their bikes. Several cycling organisations have posted their own guidelines, and they’ve been highlighted on a post by Cycling CC. It includes thoughts by Cycling UK and British Cycling so it is worth a read.
The good stuff
In positive news, I got an email today from the organiser of the Race Around the Netherlands. He has opted to not cancel this year’s event, but to reschedule it to the end of August. I can make the new dates, and so long as gatherings are allowed by then, there’s a chance that I may be able to ride the Netherlands after all. I’ve rebooked by ferry, and a bonus was that the new price was less, so I’ve got a refund – winner!
And finally, today’s cake experience was a home delivery by one of our favourite local (dog-friendly) cafe’s. They are closed at the moment like everyone else but already had an Uber Eats take out service. And so, in support of local businesses that are taking a hit right now, the Hubster procured Macarons and carrot cake. And whilst the carrot cake is always nice, the new to the menu macarons were little short of amazing. They are always a hit with me when we cycle in France, and along with a glass of wine this evening, they were a little taste of heaven. Thank you Harrietts Portsmouth.