A Saturday Pandemic Report From Beetley

This is the first Saturday under the newly-relaxed rules. ‘Stay at home’ has been replaced by the confusing ‘Stay alert’.

We can now drive any distance for exercise.
Sit in a park, or on a beach, without moving.
Socialise with one person not from the same household.
Visit one family member we do not live with.
Go back to work if conditions are safe.
Golf clubs and tennis clubs are open again.
Some more shops, like garden centres, are open again.

This started in earnest last Tuesday, and I had already noticed a 100% increase in traffic from the previous week. It still wasn’t ‘normal’ traffic, but noticeably heavier. Yesterday, far more people were exercising on Hoe Rough, having driven there to do so. One person who stopped and spoke to me had driven four miles to get there, and had never been there previously. The regional news reported a huge number of people had driven to the beaches and beauty spots on the north Norfolk coast. By ‘huge number’, they meant a lot more than last week, but nowhere near a ‘normal’ amount of visitors.

Wales and Scotland have their own separate governments, and have been quick to disassociate themselves with the relaxed rules handed out by Boris Johnson. They don’t want anyone crossing borders for tourism, and intend to keep the previous lockdown rules in place for now. As both of those countries are a six-hour drive from Beetley, there was no danger of me flouting their regulations.

As I sit here, there is not much difference to notice. A few cars are driving past, probably off to the supermarkets. Otherwise, it is ‘Beetley-peaceful’, with not even a dog barking.

But the weather is warming up. By next week, we should be seeing summer-value temperatures.

I’m guessing that wil provoke more radical changes around here.

84 thoughts on “A Saturday Pandemic Report From Beetley

  1. It’s actually quieter around here, but I suspect that’s because everyone has headed to the beaches now that they can. I have stayed away this weekend, but may take a drive during the week. Of course with cafés and loos closed you can’t stay out for long!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just heard one family on the news saying they had driven for an hour and a half to get to Durdle Door in Dorset! They have opened the car park there but no mention of toilets and although there is a signposted one way walk in operation I saw people very close to each other on the steps down to the beach.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds just like our village Pete, all is quiet. However the main road was blocked up with tourists trying to get into the forest – in the end the council urgently closed everywhere again. (Only to cars, luckily locals have a right of way footpath)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. it is all confusing here, Pete. all one has to do is look at the numbers (which are still not good) and use discretion. i believe some are blinded by power, greed and money. they can’t seen to align for the common good. so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pete, as you are aware, here in the US there are AT LEAST 50 different plans underway for states, plus add int he cities, counties and the like and it is completely confusing….the Los Angeles beaches reopened here – there are miles and miles and miles of them, but the rule here is you CAN’T stop, must keep moving…OK we’ll see!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m way up north in Eureka, John. While most people are still showing great restraint, I hear more and more rumblings from folks around here who are losing patience. I’m glad that our governor is taking a more conservative approach to reopening.

      It is bizarre that the government creates “guidelines,” and then states keep reopening without meeting them. I expect that is the President’s escape clause if things go south—blame it on the governors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is NO “federal leadership” unfortunately….while each state has different issues, a coherent “national” strategy would have been far more effective. I don’t think we’ve had ANY leadership on a national level.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, the Federal government is the glue that ties us all together, instead of having 50 separate fiefdoms…while each state has their own unique issues, a national response brings it all together in a lbetter way.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I can only agree with you – unfortunately. We had to drive through town [Fredericksburg/TX] yesterday, and things looked like any normal weekend before Corona. We could not see anybody wearing a mask, and there was no social distancing at all. Now, with trepidation, we are waiting for the next update on infections. So far, I think, we have been very lucky, with only 5 cases here in Gillespie County, 4 of which have recovered by now.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, it’s only in Gillespie County that we have avoided the worst so far. For the Texas on the whole it’s horrible, and I’m very much afraid that it will get much worse here, with tourists flocking in without any consideration of the consequences.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. It does feel like that to me. Out with Ollie today, the amount of people I saw was back to near normal for Beetley, but most were strictly observing a big distance from each other.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  5. I agree with Fraggle. The virus isn’t waning. We were set to extend our restrictions, then there were demonstrations of just a few (less than a hundred) in front of the capital. The Governor gave in and has relaxed restrictions. Relaxed is such an inadaquate word. She may as well have just abolished them.

    Bars open, beaches, gyms, churches and travel. “As long as social distancing is observed”. Right.

    Our traffic picked up nearly two weeks ago. People simply tired of staying home and out of work. I predicted a spike, as soon as the incubation time ticked off. It’s here. Montgomery, Alabama (20 miles away) made national news, as a new major hot spot.

    In one day this past week. 86 were admitted to hospitals in the area so critical, that they all needed respirators. It can hit some people very fast, within hours.

    Stay safe, out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A good example of just why the confusing ‘relaxation’ of rules will continue to spread the virus. I wonder if any of those who demonstrated for their ‘freedoms’ are now on repirators?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Once it is said that you can work, if it is safe to work, all offices open with sanitizers on all desk. Nobody can care less than the management that still stays at home. I have seen the number of people that Covid positive in UK and the decision seems scary. India is still observing lockdown since March. And the way they are pushing dates, it might go on for another month, at least. Having said that, government is providing free food rations to people with ration cards (which should ideally be everyone but isn’t). Rest are dependent on others to help them. There are many, but never enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the update on life in India, Shaily. Sadly, I do believe our government is prepared to sacrifice a percentage of the population in order to save money and return businesses to profit.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Everything that has been done in the name of safety (and I credit all with good intentions, but you know where those lead…) has been confusing. Some of this I attribute to a new virus that seems to have a million different faces. As soon as they think they have a handle on it, some new symptom or patch of data crops up that turns everything on its head. One thing is sure, based on our experience in the US: it spreads like wildfire in enclosed, institutional environments (nursing homes, prisons, cruise ships), or in big crowds (Mardi Gras). We will ease back into some sort of day-to-day “normal” because we must. People have to feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads, and we can’t just keep printing money. Nor can we, or should we, have the government telling us all what to do forever. I just pray that people will be smart and respectful. I will be staying very close to home for some time and will continue to be compliant, hoping and praying that science finds a solution soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your considered thoughts, Angela, and I completely uderstand them. Sadly, I have long ago given up on the idea that most people know how to be smart or respectful, at least most of those I have met.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Carolyn. It is madness on the surface, cynical profiteering and cost-cutting under the surface.
      Fortunately, many schools are opposing the order to resume classes in June, and most councils are not opening up car parks and facilities at pleasure spots.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  8. Same here Pete…..relaxation of rules and stupid charge for the beach and Malls…..I am still the same recluse I was always….me, Sue, Little Man, and MoMo…I am perfectly happy with that….be well….chuq

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The general impression I am receiving in response to this latest pronouncement is confusion, closely supported by a healthy dose of incredulity and sarcasm; no doubt hard-core government supporters [with whom I tend not to associate] might blindly & credulously support the new government ‘advice’ [used advisedly ;)] but I think their numbers might be diminishing, by now. I am confident that many people are sensible and will act responsibly, but as we both know, it is always the irresponsible & inconsiderate minority that spoils the world for the sensible majority. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With many wealthy people (and lots of politicians) enjoying the luxury of second homes, and a round of golf or tennis match, a cynical person (Moi?) might believe that the ‘drive anyhere’ rule was to allow them to use their relaxing ‘Dachas’.
      And going back to work saves a lot of the 80% furlough payments of course. So if a few more people die, it is unlikely they will care about that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. I think they should begin the summer holidays early (start in mid-June) and restart the new year in August (as they do in Scotland) so schools have time to prepare and kids have an extra month added to the next year. Have a two week break in October. That way they won’t be starting and stopping again.

                  Liked by 2 people

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