• Rob Butterfield


Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic.

This is the second 'reminder' blog I've posted. I am not the author of this piece. I’ve copied it from a friends status on Facebook. I’m adding this to my blog so we can look back and NEVER forget the way the world changed in 2020. I fear we still have a very long way to go...

Today is Thursday 11th June 2020.

Boris Johnson announced 12 days ago that the lockdown would ease a little from Monday 1st June and we will be able to meet in an open space as a group of up to 6 people‍‍‍‍(not from the same household). Social distancing must still be priority and we must still keep 2 metres away️.

Face coverings are now recommended in all enclosed areas to help protect you and others. They don’t have to be medical masks but just something to lessen any chance of catching or passing on germs.

The main message is still to keep washing your hands. It’s recommended you don’t wear gloves but do use anti bacterial wipes, sanitizers or even better wash your hands.

You are now allowed out of your homes to exercise as much as you want in an open space and currently with one other person from another household.

Those shielding are still being advised to stay home and stay safe for now.

Last Monday Primary schools re-opened for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 ages only. They prioritised places for the key workers children and the vulnerable first. You are not being fined for not sending your children if you chose not to do so. Plans to open Secondary schools on the 15th June have been shelved. They will now return in September. Parents are home schooling and teachers are doing remote learning using the internet. BBC 'bitesize' is being used to help teach children who don’t have work or who want more help etc.

Some non-essential shops will re-open from 15th June but details are yet unclear. Takeaways are open and some restaurants have adapted to offer takeaway services .

Last Thursday evening was the last 'Clap for the NHS' after 10 weeks of doing so; standing united on our doorsteps, balconies and/or through open windows applauding and cheering for all our amazingly brave NHS staff‍ who so courageously and selflessly battle to try and save as many lives as possible️.

The Excel in London (known as the NHS Nightingale hospital) currently hasn’t been used to any extent and has now been closed and will stay dormant until it is needed - let's hope that it will never need to open.

The new way to chat with friends and families has been by using apps like Zoom and MS Teams as well as the usual Whatsapp and FaceTime.

Live experiences are now available to watch anything from a live theatre performance, a safari or an interesting chat in a museum.

Petrol️ prices are currently £1.04 per litre for unleaded and £1.11 for diesel.

The current statement from the government has changed from Stay at Home, Stay Safe to Stay Alert, Stay Safe.

We are working towards lowering the 'R' number and keeping it below 1. As long as we keep doing this then lock downs will ease️. We are currently between 0.7 and 0.9.

Tape on the floors at supermarkets and shops is a normal sight now to help distance shoppers from each other. Essential service workers and NHS staff are given priority in supermarkets at certain times. Limited numbers of people are allowed inside shops therefore queuing outside the store, 2 metres apart, is the norm.

Businesses were told to continue to work from home unless unable to do so, then, as long as the safety measures are in place, you may return to work

The Government is paying 80% of wages to all employees across the country who were furloughed due to Covid-19. Furlough has been extended to October with employer contributions starting in August which some companies are unable to take advantage of so redundancies loom.

Cruise ships are at anchor while they've paused operations. Many airlines are still grounded️ but any travel abroad must now be followed by two weeks quarantine.

Parks are now open for exercise but playgrounds remain closed.

You are advised not to use public transport unless necessary and if you do, then you must wear face covering. A maximum of only 20 people are allowed on a bus at any one time.

No masses are allowed as churches️ are still closed.

Weddings and family celebrations are cancelled for now.

Funerals are limited to only 10 guests, all socially distanced so lots of funerals are now being shown online.

Entire sports️ seasons have paused.

Premier League football️ has just been announced to continue from the 17th June behind closed doors. Golf️ has now restarted in 2 balls. The Olympics have been postponed to 2021.

Concerts, tours, festivals and entertainment events are all cancelled and all theatres are closed for the foreseeable future.

Panic buying of toilet paper, flour and pasta happened in the early days but now all are readily available again. Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesseshave switched to make visors, maskshand sanitizer and PPE.

You are still not allowed to visit or stay anywhere else other than your own home although 'support bubbles' have been introduced for people living on their own. They can now visit/or be visited by one designated houselold.

You are now allowed to drive to an exercise place (like a bigger park area) but preferably within 25 miles of your home. Public toilets aren’t open yet so don't venture too far!

Seeing people wearing masks and gloves outside has become ,normal'.

Air pollution has improved️; rivers are running clear, city and traffic emissions have reduced. You now hear constant birdsong - It feels like the Earth is healing again! (Until some people spoil it, forgetting how precious ALL life can be and leave the area not as it should be, but covered in their rubbish no matter how big or small).

Press conferences are held daily from either the PM‍ or other government officials with daily updates on new cases, recoveries and deaths.

Covid-19, Novel Coronavirus, was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11th, 2020.

Why do I write this status? One day it will show up in my memory feed and will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and we should not take life or those and the things we love for granted. In these past 12 weeks, I have learnt that I can do without many 'things' but people, experiences and memories are to be treasured. Be thankful and be kind to each other always.

Stay safe️ everyone!

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