Thursday, 18 March 2021

Day 365 - A Year On

Day 365...

So today marks one complete year of writing blog posts.

March 18th 2020 was the day I made the decision to close pre-school ahead of any official government announcement. We had fewer and fewer children turning up each day and parents who were understandably concerned, confused and didn't know what was the right thing to do.

At the time, a year ago, the 'panic' around COVID was mounting and with horrific scenes coming out of China and then Italy of overcrowded hospitals and with death rates abroad spiraling the whole nation was gripped in a state of fear and disbelief. What should we be doing? When should we take action? Is the response too slow?

In the preceding weeks the message from the scientists and government officials had been in line with the World Health Organisations approach to pandemics. Protect those most at risk, place some sensible social distancing measures in place, work from home if you can, wash your hands but otherwise carry on with our lives. The words 'herd immunity' were used and for some reason this seemed to stoke the fear levels even more, despite the fact that achieving 'herd immunity' was what had to happen with any virus outbreak.

The day after we closed our doors at pre-school the government announced that all schools and childcare settings across England would be closing from the following Monday. We felt justified in our decision to close our doors and settled in for a few weeks away from pre-school...perhaps we would return after the Easter break or worst case early June. We could not have predicted how this past year would have turned out and how our small, charity run, pre-school would have been affected.

But here we are one year on. England is in it's third full lockdown and we have a supposed 'roadmap' of how we will attempt to get back to 'normal'. We have experienced a tier system and for a short while over Summer a little bit of 'normal' had crept back in but it was a 'normal' that was conditional on masks, social distancing, booking in advance, hand sanitising, temperature checks and more.

Pre-school re-opened in mid-June to a limited number of children and then since September we have been open pretty much as we would have expected to have been. Yes, we have extra measures in place and a few of our routines have changed but essentially the end service we offer to the children is the same...just with more hand sanitiser!

But what a year we have had, a year where we seem to have leapt from one panic to another and with very little rationale behind the actions taken. We have been led down a very blinkered path and anyone who dare raise their head above the parapet and suggest a different theory or approach has been shot down immediately. Those of us who believe in a scientific and evidence based approach find ourselves with little hope for anything assembling a sensible solution and can only see a future that is filled with restrictions and caveats. But I am sure as the days, weeks and months move on I will be able to capture our 'roadmap' to wherever through my blog posts.

Only today we received in the mail a letter and leaflet from our local member of parliament chastising us for not doing enough to get us out of lockdown. Commenting that figures in our local area were not as good as they could be and therefore we, the people, must 'do' better!!  Forgive me for being cynical but first how much of my taxpayer money has just been wasted on producing colour, glossy leaflets and posting them to the tens of thousands of households in my area. And then don't even get me started on the testing of asymptomatic individuals and the risk of false positive rates.

But today was Thursday and today involved work this morning and an afternoon at home. Work was pretty much the usual stuff with prepping invoices and updating banking and sending emails. This afternoon was tackling the mountain of ironing that had built up whilst chatting with Molly via WhatsApp and making coffee to keep me and the boys going.

I received a letter today for my next mammogram in a few weeks time, this will be my second since having my surgery for breast cancer two years ago. I was a little surprised to get the letter as last year's mammogram that should have happened in April got delayed to June because of the pandemic so I had presumed this year's would be in June. But, it is quite comforting that the appointment has fallen at the 'correct time' when there is so much concern about how lockdowns have been detrimental to other health aspects like cancer care.

Simon and I still have sore arms from our vaccines on Tuesday but otherwise we are fine...although I was a little concerned that my sore arm was impacting my ability to pour out a glass of wine earlier...but that will get easier the less wine there is in the bottle!!!

Well, with said glass of wine poured, it is time to stop writing and head off in search of RuPauls Drag Race UK final!

Take care out there.

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