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.

Ollie: The skin he’s in

Poor Ollie has had a couple of bad weeks. Yet another ear infection, this time spreading to the skin between his legs, and causing sores over the areas not covered by his fur. He was shaking his head so badly, it made the insides of his ears swell up. Not his usual happy self at all, and grumpy with other dogs he encountered on our walks, as he didn’t want them to realise he was unwell.

I tried some ear drops, but they gave only temporary relief, so we finally decided to take him to the Vet last Friday. It was confirmed that he had a bacterial ear infection, and that it had spread to his uncovered skin, as we suspected. It was also between his toes, so making him lick and nibble at his paws constantly. He was given steroids for the itching, and antibiotics to clear up the rest. Add a new bottle of antibiotic ear drops for direct application, and we got a hefty bill of £167.

It’s now only Tuesday, but he is already much better. The sores and redness have gone, and he has stopped licking his feet too. Still a while before the ear clears up, but he has stopped shaking his head, and rubbing it on the floor. When our much-loved pets are poorly, it is so distressing to watch them unable to fend for themselves, as we can. It’s up to us to do our best to relieve their suffering, whatever the cost. After all, they don’t ask us to take them on, and if we choose to do so, then we must care for their welfare at all times.