Beetley, and The Virus

Whatever happens, 2020 will always be remembered as the ‘Year of The Coronavirus’. Life in Beetley was always pretty quiet, but this year it is even quieter.

The population of Beetley, including the hamlet of Old Beetley, is just 1,390. On a busy day, I might see perhaps ten or twelve of those people, and they will mostly be walking dogs. Almost every home here has a pet, and the majority of those are dogs.

On large dog-friendly areas like Beetley Meadows or Hoe Rough, we might be joined by prople from the next village of Gressenhall, or from the nearby market town of Dereham, four miles south. But since returning from a short trip on Tuesday, I have hardly seen anyone.

People here are taking self-isolation quite seriously. Like me, many are only venturing out to walk dogs, or to buy groceries. Even though the schools are not closed until Friday, lots of children have already been kept away from school.

My daily dog walk has become quite strange. Other walkers are keeping a distance, in some cases turning round and walking away from me and Ollie. Over on Hoe Rough today, the sight of us approaching sent one family into an apparent frenzy to avoid walking past us. I felt as if I should have a bell around my neck.

I wonder how long it will be until we have to start painting black crosses on our front doors?

110 thoughts on “Beetley, and The Virus

    1. I am still taking Ollie out, and Julie’s job at the GP surgery is still running. Naturally, that makes her nervous. At least you are all together, chaos or not. 🙂
      Stay safe and well, dear Abbi. x
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. Who know where this ends? What if the virus mutates? I feel quite fortunate, if we go to complete lockdown, normalise it, plateau the number of infected and passed away then the ramp up of panic, ill will and so forth will reach its zenith. If not then there is the potential for chaos. We’ve got to hold our nerve, right now things are escalating and we don’t know where it ends. Makes people anxious. Once we enter the endgame we’ll start to turn the corner, hopefully we get there soon and with as few deaths as possible. Please stay safe Pete, you’re my biggest fan. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It feels strange here, too. I think most all of us feel that way. This is not an ancient pandemic like the Black Plague with no modern medicine, yet some people are treating it that way. Best to you, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not having a vaccination or cure is panicking people. Especially the huge number of deaths in Italy, which is not that far from here, relatively speaking. Also the government information is confusing, and constantly changing, added to by so much ‘fake’ stuff going the rounds on Facebook. Modern social media can spread panic like wildfire.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, don’t listen to social media. I must say that it took Britain too long (my opinion) to issue mandatory closures. Recommendations aren’t enough in this case. Yes, the no cure and no vaccine (plus three times more contagious than the 1918 flu) is panicking people. Stay home and wash your hands is simple yet powerful advice. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. And allowing flights back too! Same with Italy, once the news broke there. People returning every day. It took far too long for it to be taken seriously. Now they are saying that they will not treat people over 65, just let them die. It’s scandalous.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve decided to do as I have done in the past with other outbreaks. Limit my travel, stay clean, Watching the numbers, it seems this is turning into more of a political move to scare us all. This has been around since Oct 2019 from what I have found. I think the whole household had it back in February. My mother-in-law who was already in end stage, died from flu like symptoms. So it may have been around here for quite a while already.

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  4. Good to take precautions but some people just go to extreme limits, no bell needed yet Pete but I’m sure the black crosses on the doors isn’t too far away.
    Keep safe and well

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    1. I agree, Margie. Worse before it gets better, if it does.
      We also have a government that has left everything too late to manage this virus.
      I hope that you and your family are able to avoid this awful thing.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you , Pete. We are mostly holding up inside. My husband’s brother was exposed to the virus from someone who has it so we are praying he does not get it too
        My brother in law lIves in NYC, not a good place to be now.
        Take good care

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes still doing ears, I suppose if people stop coming I’d get laid off for the duration, but people still need to hear, especially if they’re stuck indoors with the TV, so they’ll want their ears done. Also if we don’t stay open the business might go tits up, my boss is not savvy with money so it wouldn’t take long to go under.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Pete you made me laugh with your bell! I don’t avoir other dog owners while walking mine but we do speak from a safe distance, one on each side of the road!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I usually get my exercise at the gym, but in the past two days, I’ve felt run down and opted for walks instead. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people walking (with and without dogs).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some of us have to withdraw from human contact…so I am scheduling FaceTime or Zoom meetings with friends, attending Virtual exercise classes at my MS therapy centre, and a number of other things to maintain my sanity!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. And, slightly worrying, what happens if your car needs an MOT test and testing stations are closed? I know my VW garage is still open and offering to collect and delivery cars, for now. But my car is due its test end May when the epidemic is supposed to peak – without a car we are pretty much stuffed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is online, on the Auto Trader coronavirus page.

      What if my car needs an MoT or service while I’m self-isolating?
      If your MoT has expired you’re committing an offence having it on the public road, even if it’s parked up and you’re not using it.

      If you’re afraid you may be required to self-isolate and your MoT is up within that time you have a couple of options. If you work fast and can get a test booked before you self-isolate you can do that up to a month early and preserve the existing renewal date. You can also have it done earlier but that brings the renewal date forwards to a year from the point it is tested. For peace of mind that may be worth doing, though.

      You could, of course, ask a suitably insured friend or family member to take your car for its MoT on your behalf while you self-isolate, and ask them to wipe all surfaces and touchpoints down with suitable disinfectant afterwards.

      Or, if you have off-street parking or a garage in which to keep it, you can let the MoT expire and then arrange a retest for when you know you’ll be getting back on the road. You can then – and ONLY then – drive a car with an expired MoT to a pre-arranged test at a nearby garage.

      Manufacturer service intervals are obviously important too but not a legal requirement. For newer cars some dealers may be willing to collect from you and then deliver it back once the service has been done. Or, if you’re not using it anyway, you could just wait on the basis you won’t be adding any wear and tear in the meantime. Just check the small print of any service contracts, warranty conditions or similar to make sure there are no obligations to have the service by a certain date and call the dealer or manufacturer if you’re uncertain.

      https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/features/coronavirus-advice-for-car-owners

      It seems the best thing is to get it tested early. Let the garage pick it up and return it. The staff will wear gloves and use seat covers.

      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  8. I saw a big difference today in our town – it was very quiet, even parking spaces available so the single yellow side of the road had no cars at all. I now only watch one news broadcast a day to get an update and otherwise ignore all the rubbish on twitter and the reported stories of someone who knows someone who told someone else there is definitely six new cases on the street/there will be a total lockdown from midnight tonight or tomorrow or the next day/you can go to the drive-in testing station/you can’t go to the new drive-in testing station/no tests are being done/everyone has to be tested…… I’m just worried they won’t let me go for a walk because I don’t have a dog!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I saw a government spokesman telling us we need to go for a walk, dog or not. We are supposed to keep at least six feet away from others. But at the supermarket that is impossible, especially at the checkouts.
      I fear it will get much worse before it comes under any form of control, Mary.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I sure hope it doesn’t come to the black crosses, Pete. I know I’ve washed my hands countless times and already used a ton of Purell, and disinfected so much around here, my immune system won’t need to work at all – I could conduct surgery in this house!! (but still my better-half is paranoid.)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I still only see a few people a week, now its fist pumps instead of handshakes. I did go to the shops the other day and delivered some milk to a customer, so I washed my hands when I got back. The shops where quiet and the shelves were full.
    My only concern is all the returning workers from all over Europe, I think the numbers in Poland could start to go up rather rapid, fingers crossed that I’m wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am surpised they are letting them come home, Eddy. Fist bumps are no good, as you have to be around six feet apart where possible. (Supermarket checkouts make a mockery of that of course)
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I try my best to follow the rules, but running away from me and Ollie almost 100 yards away was extreme. I think it will be very bad here soon. We still have to go shopping, so that’s a risk. And my wife still has to go to work at a GP surgery, where she is at huge risk. If I see next March, I will count myself very lucky.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Strange days indeed… A lot of conflicting info, one doesn’t know quite what to believe. I’m glad people in your neck of the woods are taking it seriously, though, some others I could name are just unconscious of the harm they could do. There’s no doubt it’s very contagious. I feel blessed to be in a place where I can walk outdoors, to be stuck in a flat with a couple of screaming kids must be hell. Best wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I got the following note about dog walking during the outbreak from a woman with a lot of experience with decontamination. “Dog walking: Yes! Like other hikes, select a low-traffic area to avoid seeing other humans, and don’t touch surfaces that others may have passed near or touched. Don’t pet other people’s dogs, as they may have droplets in their fur. Don’t allow your dog to socialize with other humans or their dogs, as this may transfer droplets to their fur, and require modification of the decontamination protocol for your dog. Skip this unless you
    really want to haul your dog into the shower with you for a shampoo.” Warmest regards. Theo

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  13. The black crosses on the front door is a terrifying thought. I hope this doesn’t devolve into a Black Plague scenario and I don’t think it will. (I know you were being facetious, Pete–up to a point.) No doubt, it’s a very serious situation.
    I couldn’t help being amused by your reference to the frenzied family. Now contrast that to American college students reveling on Florida beaches; yes, that was happening just yesterday. Obviously neither occurrence falls into the realm of common sense, or good citizenship. May we all be calm, kind, resilient and inoculated with common sense and decency.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Pete, it is sad to watch over-reaction like that in action. People need to practice safe “social distancing” without panicking – what’s interesting to me is that, while the survival rate is very high, people do indeed see this as the new “black plague” , wiping out everyone it touches….and all you have to do is wash your hands with soap!!!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. News here is that per head of the population, we actually have had more deaths than most other affected countries. That combined with imminent closure of all schools has got people into a real panic.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, they shut down the entire NBC Universal backlot….she had two weeks worth of shows filmed so what is airing now is new, and they are working on plans on going back as soon as possible! Thanks for asking!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Pete, two studios have announced that their current films in release will be streamed beginning tomorrow….for $20 we can watch “The Invisible Man” at home among a few others….worth it? Well, it would have been more to see it in a theater so I guess we will see!

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Trouble is, after around three minutes, moisture from your breath makes that pointless. It’s the same with paper face masks that dont have one-way respirators attached. Not a lot we can do, unfortunately.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I was rather thinking I might make some money hooking my utility trailer onto the the SUV and go up and down the streets yelling “Bring out your dead!” and charging a few bucks for each one… and dumping them out in the desert (where all the other bodies from Mafia hits are located).

    Liked by 7 people

  16. It’s all rather crazy isn’t it? Here in Washington state many restrictions went into effect this week. I keep thinking of that old movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers as we warily eye one another! It’s good to be cautious of course, but I’m glad you can still get out and walk Ollie and I can still hang out in my garden with the cats. No shelter in place warning yet, I’m dreading that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We have been told to go out and exercise, though to avoid close contact with others. But as my wife works as a doctor’s receptionist, and the doctor is still seeing patients, that seems a bit crazy.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Some inconsistencies for sure! I worry about those medical professionals on the front lines. Some of our clinics are closed and virtual and phone appointments have taken their place so doctors can be redeployed where most needed. Not a good time to be sick with ordinary illnesses.

        Liked by 1 person

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