Friday, 8 January 2021

Staying Local

Day 296...

So here we are at the last day of my working week and it was another cold day with a light dusting of snow. The weather app on my phone had said snow was forecast for most of the night so I was hoping for a snow day but it was not to be.

Work was fairly steady with the usual bits of admin and we still have lower numbers of children attending than what we were expecting, which is a direct result of the lockdown and parents not knowing what to do for the best. There is lots of concern within the early years sector as to why we have been told to stay open while schools have closed along with long term financial implications and whether we will get the funding from government that we so deserve.

As we find ourselves a few days into 'lockdown 3' the talk turned to where we can go outdoors to exercise. I am very fortunate that I live in a small village and have numerous footpaths to roam literally on my doorstep. But we have noticed a significant increase in the number of cars parked in the village; people travelling to us and then setting off on walks.

But today we heard of a local country park that has been turning people away because they are not considered to be 'local'. Now this park is only a few miles away from me and I have always considered it to be 'local' to me but apparently because I don't live in the same borough council I can't visit it anymore. Reports are that police were in attendance and were turning people away and issuing fines where they saw fit. This is such a shame; there have even been reports of people who live within walking distance, but live in a different council area, being turned away and told they are not allowed to visit. It would appear that there is no legal definition of what 'local' means and this would seem to be causing confusion and irritation. 

And this is not the only country park, there have been others reported across the region where I live. These country parks are often expansive and are the ideal place to get out, have a change of scenery, get some exercise but at the same time maintain all social distancing. This draconian approach feels very wrong and quite oppressive. I am sure that the police have much better things to be doing with their time and resources other than guarding the entrance to these parks.

It does make you wonder where all of this is going and whether our civil liberties will be completely restored after all of this. We seem to be doing so badly with this virus compared to other countries and we keep having lockdown after lockdown imposed but nothing seems to have an affect on those all important figures that are reported to us each day. So what is it that we are doing wrong? And whenever it is questioned we (the public) get told to do more or that we're not doing enough and all the while businesses suffer and our freedoms crumble. I am sure there are people out there that are not abiding by the 'recommendations' but I think the vast majority of us are, or at least are trying our best to do as we are being told yet all the time it feels like we are being 'told off' for not getting it right, that we are the scapegoat, or the excuse, for things not getting better.

It is a depressing circle of events that seems to be spiraling downwards with no end in sight.

Take care.

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