Easing Lock-down

I understand the economic imperative, as one sarky journalist put it, of getting businesses with rateable values back up and running. I understand the joy of some of my friends in the restaurant industry, who’ve been struggling to make ends meet behind locked doors, at being able to earn a few quid at long last. I also understand the ones who’ve said: “Re-open? In these circumstances? Not likely!”

I’m in the latter camp. Dearly as I would love to eat a meal cooked by someone else, and much as I would like to support the industry, I will not be booking a table at any of my favourite restaurants. I won’t be going to the cinema, the pub or even to the supermarket. 

I know people have been suffering cabin fever and can’t wait for life to get back to normal. But it hasn’t, not yet. People are still dying.The pictures I’ve just seen on social media of people living it large in London’s Soho last night fill me with fear. Social distancing? I’ve seen people further apart at an Ibiza rave. Well, I’ve never been to an Ibiza rave but I’ve seen pictures of those too and they were not dissimilar. An image of lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff also springs to mind.

I’d say it was Darwinism in action but that would be to ignore the larger picture. All those people working in the hospitality industry you’re so keen to experience again after months of the coronavirus lock-down? You’re putting them at risk. The health workers you’ve been clapping so sanctimoniously every Thursday night? You’re risking their lives too, not just your own. Yes, I’m absolutely raging. Calm down? No, you calm down, you lunatic.

When the pandemic first began scientists were already predicting a second spike. Do we really need to be giving it such a massive leg up? I’m worried enough about the relaxation of the lock-down rules without people crowding together mask-less and glove-less and virtually licking one another’s faces.

I’m not just sitting here being holier than thou. Family health issues mean we still have to shield and I worry that even going to the doctor’s surgery to pick up a prescription could, in spite of their stringent hygiene measures, expose my household to a life-threatening infection. My paranoia is justified. Lives really are at stake.

I had to close my fledgling business because of the pandemic and I don’t qualify for government help. We’re better off than many, we are financially secure for now. It is still a blow, especially when you take into account the set-up costs, which as things stand I have no opportunity to recoup. As for making a profit, forget it. I can’t imagine I’ll be paying corporation tax for years to come. (So, some good news, then.)

I cannot re-open my cookery school because to do so would be to endanger the health and well-being of my students and I’m not that reckless. Nor, I would hope, are my customers. They’ve so far been very understanding but I don’t know how long I can sustain their interest when I can’t provide a date for a re-launch. I’m not alone in this. Thousands of businesses around the country are in the same position, living in a weird bubble of uncertainty and worry and often, mounting bills.

I’m guessing that most of the people who will read this will share many of my qualms. But if you’re one of the people who’ve been partying like it’s 1999, please take a moment to think. Take a step back from the person you’re standing next to. Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, you know. 

25 thoughts on “Easing Lock-down

  1. You’re absolutely right Linda. Sometimes it IS hard to believe that all this distancing is necessary, when neither anyone you know, or even the friend-of-a-friend has suffered from this disease. But that’s rather the point: if we want to keep it that way, living a monastic existence for a while longer is the way forward.

  2. Hi So very true, my husband and 3 sons all type one diabetics the youngest since he was 4 years old husband had for 36 years they are all at risk all had to go back to work before this last relaxing of lock down rules, and yesterday crowds of people from the camp site in the village heading towards the pub, very worrying trying to place my food shopping on line from now on as worrying before now terrifying, keep safe and look forward to when you can open your cookery school again.

  3. I recall an interview in TV where a young twenty something in Spring break stated, ” you only live once. If I die I die.” I gasped thinking about his careless attitude. It’s madness and selfishness. My best friend lives in Florida. When they opened beaches I was horrified. Our province is easing up but we wear masks and take every precaution. It’s not a time to promote or flaunt self seeking.

  4. I’m so very sorry that your business remains non operational for now. I enjoyed seeing it come together online and was hoping to get to a class, at some stage. However I’m sure not all your work gas been wasted and at some stage your school can be reopened.

    • Thanks, Fiona. I will re-open at some point. Just not yet. I hope to see you in Mrs Portly’s Kitchen one day in the not too distant future! Thanks for the good wishes. Lx

  5. Good rant. I’m still amazed how most people aren’t wearing masks. I’m not out often, but it appears “life as usual” for sure. Really scary.

    • It scares the bejasus out of me, Mimi. I’ve scarcely left the house and garden for three months and frustrating thought that sometimes is, I have no plans to change.

  6. I totally agree Linda. I feel quite fed up with Most People who seem to be acting selfishly. Yet I am surrounded by so many who feel the same as us. I do have some friends who think I am miserable old Biddy though. They tell me it’s only a minority acting so stupidly. However that minority can muck it all well and truly up for us all. So think all we can do is keep calm, look after our loved ones and carry on as best we can keeping safe. What times we do live in.

    • To be honest I don’t care if some people think I’m a miserable old biddy (and I think we’ve established on Instagram that some people do). I will continue to do what I think is safest for my loved ones and for the wider community. I would love to be proved wrong about a second spike. Sadly I don’t think I will be. Stay safe (and how sad that that has become our regular sign-off these days). Linda x

  7. Well said. The numbers are rising here daily, out doing the day before for newly infected and dead. It’s terrifying and so unnecessary. People are being ridiculous about wearing a mask saying they can’t breathe or the government is infringing upon their rights. In my county, you can’t enter any business without a mask and they have employees stationed at the door to make sure. Then the arguments start. Idiots. All of them.

    • It makes me despair. We can only take responsibility for ourselves but that really should, if we have any sense of social responsibility, extend to the good of the wider populace.

  8. Totally, totally in agreement. I’m so sorry for all those whose livelihoods are about service or entertainment but the bottom line is tens of thousands of people have died and it’s still not stopped. I couldn’t in all consciousness add to the risk of even one more person dying if I can help it – and I can help it by keeping to myself. Not to mention I’m at risk and I know a few who are very vulnerable and shielding and some on the nhs front line. Those people crammed into Borough Market and others like them should be given curfew. Or at least made to explain themselves to a doctor or nurse coming off shift. Xxx

  9. From the other side of the world Down Under I also agree with every word you have written. We here acted as ‘smarty-pants’, seemingly got the pandemic ‘under control; with but 104 deaths countrywide and going back to ‘normal life’ was par for the course. Now six public housing high-rises totalling some 3000 inhabitants have had to be put into a ‘hard lock-down’ with 500 police being on patrol every shift to curb a nation-wide tragedy !! People believed it could not happen here . . . over 10,000 have actually had the temerity to refuse to be tested ’cause they liked the stories spun a continent away better than the truth . . . amen . . .

    • As if things aren’t bad enough. What astonishes me is the small number of people who’ve written (elsewhere on social media) in response to my comments defending people’s right to act in this manner. If we’re doomed as a species I think we’ve got it coming.

  10. Great piece Linda. I won’t bore you with my own tales of fuckwittery experienced on this side of the pond. Some people just don’t get it and see the need to satisfy the urge to go out for a few drinks as worth the risk of contracting/spreading/dying from the virus. My medical friends and my tech trends friends are all pointing to an October resurgence. It’s very depressing stuff. For now, all we can do is the right stuff, follow social distancing, wear a mask, carry hand sanitiser and use it, wash your hands.
    Stay well,
    C

  11. I am late to comment; my apologies. I write from America, where we are in the midst of a yet another wave of virus and attendant mayhem. I watched the UK reopen from afar, and confess I was stunned. Look, I get it. I do. Lockdown is horrible. We’re going bonkers. We miss the freedom of shopping, of eating out, of simply moving freely, maskless. My husband has neuromuscular disease and has been working from home since March. The burden of caregiving has fallen upon me without respite. I am exhausted. He misses his workmates–and, poor guy, time away from me. But the alternative, literally, is death. There is NO chance he would survive Covid. My heart breaks for those suffering economic fallout; they need more help than they’re receiving. Enough of my yakking. I agree with you completely.

    • I can’t begin to imagine how tough things are for both of you right now. It’s an impossibly difficult situation and so frustrating and tiring, but as you say, there’s no viable alternative for vulnerable people in particular. Sending socially distanced e-hugs. Take good care of yourself as well as your man. Lxxx

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