Another Relaxed Rules Saturday

One of my short reports about living with the pandemic in an English village close to a country market town.

I noticed a few changes since the last time I wrote one of these. A short trip into Dereham to go to the bank brought the surprise that well over half the shoppers there on market day were wearing masks now. They will be mandatory in any shop in England after the 24th of July, so I suspect that a lot of people have decided they might as well start earlier.

The bank still has a system of queuing outside, with entry through a side door, and exit on another street. And it is still only open for four hours each day, for the foreseeable future. Some of the cafes were open, one with extra tables out on the street, another with greatly reduced seating arrangements inside. Compared to a few weeks ago, shoppers appeared to be more responsible, and keeping their distance on the pavements and walkways. I was left wondering why they had waited so long.

The big supermarkets have abandoned the one-way systems and single checkout queues, though the two largest ones still have some form of door policy, letting customers out before allowing more in. I have a little concern that once every shopper is wearing a mask, many of the other safety measures will be abandoned. Whilst masks are good at protecting other people from your breath, so many users don’t wear them correctly, only covering their mouth with them, and not their nose too. Then there is the obvious fact that they are touching things and putting them back on the shelves, something that masks cannot protect us from.

They have also generated a new and more dangerous form of litter. I saw many disposable masks dropped on the street, and the supermarket car park had quite a few dropped next to car parking spaces. There will always be thoughtless and inconsiderate people, sadly.

All schools are set to go back to normal operation in September, and some hotels and guest houses have already opened for the summer tourist trade. Holiday parks are popular, as their lodge-style accommodation or static caravans can be used by a family without having to share any communal area. However, swimming pools are still closed, as are cinemas and play areas like Soft Play centres.

Yesterday, 114 people died in England from Covid-19. People with families, loved ones, friends, and colleagues. It is far from over.

We must never forget them.

62 thoughts on “Another Relaxed Rules Saturday

    1. It’s good you went out. I have to say that I was totally relaxed the other night. Nobody wore masks except the staff, but all the safety provisions were so reassuring, it was a very good atmosphere.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, thoughtless and inconsiderate people are spreading this virus. Where did loosing the basic value of putting others first go? The U.S. Navy says it best – ship, shipmate, self. That’s the pecking order. Just wear the masks. I wish everyone felt the same way. Best to you, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will only start in September. Up to now, sending your kids to school since March has been optional for those working in essential jobs. There will be some rebellion, I’m sure, but there is also the issue of some parents really needing to go back to work.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Wearing them is visibly on the increase here. I was actually heartened by seeing so many more people making a real effort not to get too close to others. Shame they were not doing that in April.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am not looking forward to wearing a mask I must say. I have some, reusable, and tried it out but I feel suffocated. I’ll still only be going to the supermarket, but then I am not a shopping person anyway. I just feel that people wearing masks take risks, they get close to you, they touch their masks all the time, they pull them down to talk and then put them back without cleaning their hands, it’s all rather too random for me to have any faith in them. At least come the autumn I can simply wrap a scarf around my face. And according to our leader it will be all back to normal by Christmas. So we can party as much as we please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was used to masks when I was in the Ambulance Service, though we only wore them for potentially infectious patients. I have some, but now I wear glasses to go shopping, the mask fogs them up. It’s not a big deal for me, as I only go to the shops once a week, and usually only to one shop. (Tesco) But I will now have to remember to always have them handy in the car.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Overheard…
    Robber: “I’m robbing this bank!”
    Teller: “You’re a funny guy!”
    Robber: “Never judge a man by his mask!”
    Teller: “And whatever you do, never let your wife order the masks. Mine ordered the pink swan print instead of the variety pack.”
    Robber: “Just give me the cash!”
    Teller: “Blow your stimulus check already? My wife is going crazy with QVC.”
    Robber: “I have a gun!”
    Teller: “Smart move! You can’t count on the police these days. Crime is off the charts!”
    Robber: “I’m a criminal.”
    Teller: “Would you like for me to call a social worker?”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Doctors have stated over and over that the single most important part of prevention of spread is a mask – closely followed by washing hands before and after all trips out. Two of the easiest things to do and they have the greatest impact, yet here in the US “Covidiots” still roam among us…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I just don’t get it, Pete. We wear seatbelts while driving. We have rules in place to protect ALL of us, why refuse to wear a protective cover to avoid getting or giving a deadly virus? The world is sadly turning upside down…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is the ‘Me First’ society, John. They don’t care who gets it, as long as it isn’t them. And many people here don’t even believe it exists, with a raft of conspiracy theories all over the Internet.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, and many of those “theories” are being mass-promoted by foreign government “bots” – flooding us with negative messages design to de-stabilize us…and 35% of Americans fall for it…

            Liked by 1 person

    1. My step-daughter is going to refuse to send her son back to school in September, as she doesn’t think that five year-olds (he is six in December) can be kept safe in such an environment. They have already warned her about the fines, and she has said she will pay them, rather than risk his life.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes whatever happened to that? Seems to have disappeared from their vocabulary now. Surely we can use one that other countries do? It worries me that so many people are getting tested every day – does this mean they show symptoms? Or are people just getting tested?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was abandoned at great cost, (£45 million!) and they are investigating an ‘alternative’ touted by Apple and Google. Shameful, as the company (Serco) was involved with the woman who gave them the contract. The model used successfully in South Korea depended on compulsory compliance, something that would never have happened here. The testing is part of the Government promise to test. Ultimately, it is pointless, as you can be clear today, and infected tomorrow.

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  5. These are really good security methods taken to prevent the spread of Covid. I am quite impressed. India, on the other hand, isn’t so serious at all. We have had 37000 cases in the last 24 hours so it’s really dangerous here and the situation is also out of hand. I hope you are safe. 💖✌😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you are keeping safe at home, Suzan. Some things are more relaxed here, but the restaurant owner has taken his business very seriously, which was good to see.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Well not so safe my aunt’s sister is Covid Positive and we have no idea how she got it. The good thing is we haven’t met her in a while but nothing is safe here anymore. My home is surrounded by cases and it’s scary. I am glad that you are safe. Do take your own precautions too and don’t go wandering too far from home. Take care, Pete. 💖✌😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You must be going crazy after being shut in for so long, but it is undoubtedly the best thing for your safety. I hope your aunt’s sister is okay, and doesn’t develop symptoms.
          Best wishes,, Pete. xx

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          1. Oh, I ain’t going crazy Pete. I love being at home. You don’t know me that well but I am a high-class introvert. I am reading and watching series and movies. I am in love with staying at home. She is not showing any symptoms and is in the hospital but her husband is very sick and can’t breathe so he is admitted to the hospital too, her mother in law in infected too. It’s a very dangerous situation here. 😞

            You stay safe💖✌😊

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess it is okay if you wear hand gloves when going to the supermarket. Bring a small paper or plastic bag and dispose of it before you go home. Wearing a mask is just practical but not all do it. Having a face shield would have a double protection when you wear one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some shops here do not allow gloves. They say they can actually spread infection. So many different rules and conditions, with no hard and fast set of the same instructions in every establishment.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. I’ve always wondered why if wearing masks is to be mandatory they didn’t just say ‘from now’ instead of giving a date so far ahead. We’ve been wearing them for a while in Scotland. I still need to find a way to stop my glasses fogging up when I’m in shops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just don’t see how a second wave can be avoided. Masks help, but are not the answer. They need to try harder to get the vaccine tested and approved. Better international cooperation would help with that of course. But now they are allowing people to enter the country without quarantine, and British people to travel to over 40 countries on holiday, more infection seems to be inevitable.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I think that sooner or later we’ll all catch it, but it’s a virus so it’s unlikely we’ll stay immune to it as it can change over time. I think it’ll surface every winter just like the common cold and we’ll just have to get used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are right Pete. We must never forget them. I feel that individuals get “lost” in amonsgst all the statistics, and people have become blase about it. I wobder if a National Day of Mourning would be in order? Then of coyrse we would need another one sometime in the future. But I DO think that people’s agony and suffering should be marked in some way. They almost feel like the forgotten ones in amongst all the governments various different directives, and people wanting to get back to normal life. I feel that people tend to not want to face the horror that this thing has caused, thinking more about the economy, and getting back to the pub, and being able to go on holiday again. All of course necessary, for the sake of our mental health. I am not decrying it in any way. Only the irresponsible ones, as you say, Pete. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw that Manchester had a memorial service the other day, for all the people who had died of the virus in that city. But as you say, I believe that many people are trying to get on with their lives to a large extent, and don’t want to think about those still dying every day. For those like you and me, vulnerable because of age or medical condition, we are still trapped by having to stick to our own safety rules.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree. But surely the nation can spare just a FEW minutes thinking about and honouring those who died. And of course there are those still grieving who did not even get the chance to sit wit their loved ones whilst they died. So very very sad. Is there help, in this socially distanced society, for all those people? I don’t know, but feel possibly not. It is chaos all around Pete. I was looking forwards to possibly joining a church service again, though even before the pandemic I didn’t go to church. But I find myself craving a bit of normality and at least spending SOME time in the company of others. But I dare not. Not yet. Csigh.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I wasn’t able to go to my best friend’s funeral in June. His daughter wants us all to have a big celebration party for his life instead, but we have no idea when that will be. Probably not until 2021.
          x

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I know Pete. I remember. So very very sd. But I hope that the Celebration of his lufe does him proud, as I am sure it will. But WHAT a long time to wait. I am so sorry. Xx

            Liked by 2 people

  10. In contrast, although I have misgivings about it, we are heading to a wedding today.
    I don’t think Poland has been hit hard enough yet for the population to take it seriously, although there is lost of mask wearing, which may have helped early on.

    Liked by 2 people

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