Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Opening up England.

Last Sunday evening, we ate out in a local pub. Our first restaurant meal since Christmas Day, 2020. There were disposable paper menus, table service, and the staff were wearing masks. Diners had to also wear masks until seated, and if they left their table for any reason.

In the nearby town, every shop is now open, although customers are still asked to wear masks inside when shopping. Despite the recent rise in cases of the Covid-19 ‘Indian Variant’ in some parts of England, it appears that the government is going ahead with its plan to fully ‘Open up’ the country on the 21st of June.

This will be good news for some companies involved in the tourist industry, also for service industries like wedding venues, and organisers of similar social gatherings. Nightclubs and other entertainment venues will be allowed to open with no restrictions on numbers, though wearing a mask will technically still be compulsory in many public places.

This new policy has made a lot of people very happy of course. Coming alongside a welcome change in the weather, England looks set to go a little ‘crazy’ as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

The lockdown rules have seemed to last for so long now, any break from the restrictive routines is bound to be welcomed.

But. There is always a but.

Having fun and adding alcohol to that doesn’t usually make for sensible behaviour, and keeping to rules like wearing masks. Being allowed to visit anyone, cuddle anyone, and to mix in large crowds of strangers may sound wonderful after so long, and the fact that so many have now been fully vaccinated will hopefully reduce any serious symptoms and cut hospital admissions.

But. Yes, another but.

There are still 8-12 people dying of Coronavirus every day here. That’s around 60-80 people a week, every week. And that is after all the vaccinations, and during the time when restrictions are still in force. In three week’s time, we could possibly see an explosion of infections once again, and a significant increase in the numbers of people dying.

Yes, I know we cannot remain locked down forever. Life has to go on. People have to go back to work, the economy has to start to rise from the pandemic slump.

But. The last but, I promise.

I for one cannot help thinking it is still too soon.

58 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. Pete, as we cross the 60% vaccinated threshold here in California, everything is scheduled to open up completely next week…we still have some cases and sadly some deaths, but the numbers have plummeted dramatically because WE GOT OUR SHOTS! Some parts of our country are lagging behind and that is where the numbers are higher…we will wear masks when appropriate and will social distance, but we are seeing a light at the end of this very dark tunnel….I agree that rushing it is not the thing to do, but if everyone would vaccinate there would be NO PLACE for the virus to take hold!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Massachusetts is now fully open, and I have mixed emotions. The Bruins (hockey) had their first game at full capacity, and it looked like a cattle car of people. I went to the store and many people are still choosing to wear masks. Fingers crossed we don’t have another spike.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree to you, Pete! The virus and its strains are still around, but they will never leave. I hope they will very soon find a medication against. Only this will bring back real normality. Best wishes, and please stay save! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Completely agree Pete. I would put forward the idea of holding off on the last stage. Maybe a little later than May 21. I don’t know but just a thought. Best wishes Pete.

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  5. It hasn’t disappeared yet and I for one am not going anywhere…around the world, there are still many deaths every day …I know lockdown can’t last forever but Covid shows no sign of going away x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is going to be a very difficult balancing act between opening up and protecting people. I don’t have much faith that any government is going to do that, except perhaps New Zealand and Australia.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Poland seems to have gone mad, only a few weeks after the last and most deadly wave yet, they have decided to open everything up. Gosia had to make a trip to the city over the weekend and she was shocked by the numbers of people and the lack of distancing and masks.
    I keep noticing the warning signs of worse to come, more variants, younger people infected, health services starting to creak again, and that’s only so called developed countries. What’s is going on around the rest of the world?
    Still the sun is shining this morning, so I won’t dwell on it too long 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Here now if you have been vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask in a restaurant. You have to wear one if you have not been vaccinated. But if someone is not wearing a mask, nobody can ask them if they have been vaccinated. Duh! If they are so selfish as to not be vaccinated, do you think they might also lie?

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Here the restrictions are being lifted as well, although so far everybody is supposed to keep wearing masks even outside (although how long for we don’t know yet). Of course, not everybody does. In some communities numbers have started going up already, although not drastically, but people are very eager for tourism to come back, and there is talk of the European COVID-passport. The vaccination is going well, but yes, there are always going to be people who refuse it, so we shall see (I am due the second dose next week, although I haven’t been contacted yet).
    The larger issue is that in many countries they have no vaccines or a lot of people don’t have access to them, and either we all get out of this together, or there is little hope of the situation really improving in the long run.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that we should all be helpng the poorer countries with vaccinations doses, Olga. If not, the problem we face now will never go away, and could potentially get much worse.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting news, Pete. We are in a third wave now and our President is speaking tonight so we’ll see what happens. I don’t expect another lockdown, our country can’t afford it. Very few are vaccinated here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is still too soon. We don’t eat out unless we can sit outside. The clubhouse was full to bursting at our site last night, and we came away. Air travel restrictions need to stay in place for the next few months I think.

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  10. I agree. It’s the same here and it seems that many people are going a little mad. Where I am, it makes no difference as I am isolated but I think more people will get sick that don’t need to and yes, more will die. Presumably thy have been deemed expendable:(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sense of ‘madness’ is definitely in the air. In London, football supporters have been gathering in tens of thousands to celebrate Chelsea winning a trophy. No masks, no distancing.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I did hear on the news that there is now a Vietnam variant which came from the Indian Variant and is even more infective, though don’t think it’s here. Yet. Yes too soon, I’m just going to carry on with masks and being antisocial!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I saw about the ‘super-infectious’ Vietnam variant too. No doubt soon everywhere will have its own variant! I’m anticipating the Beetely Variant next. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Maybe 10% of people wear masks now since our restrictions ended. Of course those not yet vaccinated (and there is ample supply available for those that want it) are supposed to wear masks, but we all know deniers have no intention of wearing them. So I will carry on wearing mine. You could not pay me enough to eat in a restaurant right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt safe in the restaurant, in all honesty. Big gaps between diners, and nobody needlessly wandering around. We have a lot of people who will not have the vaccination, somewhere between 9-11% of those offered have refused, and once it gets to the younger age groups, that may increase to 20-25% in those age groups.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I completely agree, and yesterday’s news that the government knew about the India variant two weeks before they told us, and three weeks before they did anything about it, doesn’t inspire confidence that they know what they are doing by opening everything up. There are suggestions that it may be delayed: I think it’s essential that it is.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Fingers crossed! ‘Brave’ isn’t a word I’d associate with this lot, though. Plenty of less complimentary words, but not that. Best wishes to you too 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Pete, I absolutely agree with you,

    I will continue to keep my distance and wear my mask when there are too many people.
    Fortunately, I finally got my first vaccination. That gives some security.

    All of you stay healthy. Best wishes, Irene

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am happy to hear you have had a vaccination, Irene. Julie and I are fully vaccinated with both doses, but that doesn’t mean we cannot still be infected, and potentially be very ill. (Or worse.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  15. I agree it is too soon…my granddaughter graduated high school and the hall was pack full of families and less than 10% were wearing masks…..I know that most were not vaccinated…..glad we were wearing masks. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I completely agree, slow and steady is the way forward but I can’t help thinking we’re going too fast and will end up going back on the timeline. I don’t think it would be a bad thing, but if we continue as is I think a lot of people will make silly choices and we’ll get another big spike.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pete, I’m totally with you on this… yes, vaccines “will hopefully reduce any serious symptoms and cut hospital admissions”….in the less vulnerable, yes. But contrary to popular belief, vaccines are NOT the answer without other measures and for the vulnerable, Covid still prevents a real threat….survival of the fittest.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I agree, Pete. In India, we have seen too much death. I lost a colleague yesterday. It was such a shock. He was a great guy and a beloved mentor for my close friend. At one time, We used to drive him crazy with continuous chatter sitting next to him. It is weird to realise he is gone. He was too young to die…

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