I have decided to write a diary of our time through the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep for the future. It’s such an unprecedented time and full of so many mixed feelings and events we have never encountered before it is hard to process it all.
Lots of change happening in the world after Boris’s announcement on Monday night and I have decided to write about it, as writing can be therapeutic for me. In Monday night’s announcement we were told that from the 19th July, life will pretty much go back to normal. No masks, no social distancing, no lower venue limits, clubs, festivals are all a go. Great. Don’t get me wrong I have missed the world and missed my life. I’m sad that this week we’re missing our children’s sport’s day and my son is participating in a concert for his rock school that we will have to watch via video. It’s sad, it’s miserable and I have missed it all so much.
But… and there was always a big but coming here. The Delta variant is rising very, very fast. In Boris’s own words last night they are expecting that we will soon hit 50k cases per day at the rate of growth we are experiencing. Lots of people are vaccinated, this is amazing and I am so, so grateful to be double jabbed. But there are 25 million people who are yet to have their first jab. Including children. We know the virus impacts children a lot less, we know the vaccines are reducing hospitalisations and deaths, like they should be. However, there has been very little mention of long covid and the impact that is having on people a year after infection. There has also been little mention that 8% of hospital admissions are now for children, who I have not heard any plans for vaccination as yet. Having watched my daughter have an asthma attack this week, this is a genuine concern for me.
There are things that do not make sense. Like the removal of mask wearing. We all own plenty now and it’s a very minor inconvenience, so why not keep them going for a little longer? Why are we moving so fast, why not go just a little bit more slowly and cautiously and monitor the impact? Why does everything have to be done in one big whoosh?
A third wave is coming, even the government have made no secret of that. They have also hinted at a more difficult autumn/winter. And while they have said the measures are irreversible, I don’t believe them. You only have to look at the school message in January – all schools can open one day and then the very next day – no they have to close. I highly suspect we’re opening up now big style while they can and we will be back in lockdown at the end of the year. Although I very much hope to be proven wrong.
I am beyond frustrated at the impact this continues to have on our children. No parents at sports day, no summer fetes, no assemblies, no school plays, no school concerts. Months and months of missed schooling. And yet, the football, Wimbledon and Ascot have been able to go ahead with people gathering mask free in their thousands. Last week 375,000 children were in isolation, back homeschooling due to exposure to a positive contact. I feel like we’re on tenterhooks waiting for that phone call or email meaning we’ll all be stuck inside again. We have been told this is going to change and are waiting on another announcement but I suspect this will be based on testing. Have you ever tried to get a small child to have a covid test? My youngest will need pinning and holding down. It feels wicked. But at the same time, I know something needs to be done about the continual bursting of bubbles. But if we could slow that transmission rate it wouldn’t be such an issue would it?
Since I have started writing this there has been a new update on isolations. From 16th August children and anyone double vaccinated will no longer have to isolate providing they test negative. Also, there will no longer be bubbles when children return to school in the autumn. There was a sense of relief at reading this, the isolation does really feel unbearable. But is it the right thing or will it just lead to greater community spread?
I really feel like commercial interests have been put before welfare. It’s a fine line I know it is, we need an economy for our country to survive. But why does it have to be so fast? Deaths are inevitable. Of course, we have to learn to live with covid, just as we do the flu. But my gut tells me it’s not quite the time yet. Give the vaccine roll out a little more time. Have a better strategy for schools and our children. Work hard now to prevent the surge and avoid another lockdown.
As with everything in this pandemic time will tell. I will watch and wait and see what happens next. I hope I am wrong and we can glory in all the days out and socialising we have missed. At least after 8 months, I have now had that haircut!