21 December 2020

Tiers

Tiers or tears? I try not to bang on about the ****ing virus all the time but on Saturday night I went to bed feeling especially glum about it. All these months of being careful and now we find that Britain is in an especially concerning phase of this pandemic. Things are no better. In fact, they are probably worse.

Late on Saturday night, our hapless prime minister appeared on the television sandwiched between the nation's chief medical officer and our chief scientist. All three of them looked as if their dogs had just died. 

They shared the most recent coronavirus figures with us - infections, hospital admissions and deaths and they confirmed that there is a new, mutant strain of the virus waiting to infect us all more efficiently than the first strain.

As a result of this, restrictions have been beefed up. Until very recently, London and the south east were in Tier 2 but now they have been moved to Tier 4. Here in South Yorkshire we remain in Tier 3. No pubs. No restaurants. No mixing in private homes.

Until recently, our esteemed mop-headed leader was promising a loosening of restrictions to allow families to enjoy Christmas together. But now it is as if Christmas has been banned at the last minute. We were looking forward  to seeing our son, Ian. We have only seen him once since last Christmas but now he is not coming back. Londoners are advised to stay in their homes, avoid travelling to other areas and generally respect the new tighter lockdown rules.

It's the same for thousands of other families. Christmas plans cancelled and presents lying unopened under thousands of Christmas trees. Lonely citizens alone.

I am sick of it. Sick of seeing Johnson's ugly face on the TV screen. Sick of masks and social distancing. Sick of precious time drifting by when we should be really living but most of all I am sick of this goddam cruel virus. It is as if we have all become characters in some endless horror film.

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Yesterday's figures for Britain:- 35,938 new cases, 325 extra deaths, 67,401 total deaths, deaths per million now 990.

54 comments:

  1. I'm sick of it too. I wanted to cry all day. I can't visit my Katie. It will be the first Christmas ever that I don't spend with her.

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    1. As I said, this virus is so damned cruel.

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  2. I'm sorry you won't see Ian at Christmas. So much about this virus seems unfair. I've been hearing about the new strain of the virus in the UK now. This is the worst possible time since it is Christmas but I do think it is important to take precautions. I keep hoping enough people will get the vaccine and it will make a difference for us all. I also keep thinking that once they finally get this under control there are going to be an awful lot of people getting together and celebrating! That day will come I know but it is hard being patient after all this time.

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    1. I hope a day of celebration will arrive but COVID could threaten us forever.

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  3. Even if we are sick of a whole lot, we know that we have to carry on and I hate to make you feel worse but it could be a long time. More time in the hills for you.

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    1. You are normally so positive and encouraging Red.

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    2. Sometimes the best thing we can do for people is help them to prepare psychologically for a long haul.

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  4. We are all tired. Better things are coming.

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    1. Are you referring to Brexit Lisa? It is a double whammy for Britain.

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  5. Sick of it is too true. I sometimes use the word desperate. I dread to know what tier 4 consists of, since tier 3 is draconian. California is pretty much in lock down too. Let's hope the vaccines arrive soon and are effective.

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    1. Tier 4 involves closure of all shops apart from essential supermarkets for food. Where is Superman when you need him? Where are the cavalry?

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  6. We've all had enough - and that's just us. I can't even begin to imagine how sick and tired (literally) those must be who work in health & care. They take the brunt of it, combined with the constant threat of infection.
    Personally, I do not have anything to complain. A year of missed pub quizzes, restaurant visits and disco dances with my girl friends is nothing. And I will still get to see my parents on Christmas Eve.
    The news about the new strain of virus are worrying. Will you be able to see Frances?

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    1. Yes. We will see Frances and Stewart on Christmas Day and when the baby arrives we will form a "support bubble" with them. And rather than dancing with your woman friends you can dance in front of the mirror!

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  7. The news is bad, but we can't blame the plague on Johnson, he is just an idiot that got put in control and has made a mess of it. It does beg the question why do we all travel on one public holiday? Could we not be like the Queen who has two birthdays and have another Xmas in summer maybe? I don't want my family to travel on trains, my son is a type 1 diabetic for a start. Not that I am seeing the funny side but we have just been declared 'pariahs' by Europe this morning, there is chaos round the ports and don't we grow sprouts in this country to accompany the poor old turkey.

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    1. We do grow a lot of sprouts here. I saw millions of them growing in Lincolnshire in September. Pariahs of Europe? Is that because of the new strain of the virus or Brexit? Johnson is often seen on television wearing a tight-fitting lab coat. It is therefore possible that he did invent the virus.

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  8. Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. I feel greatly for young people who have been missing out on life like we never did, but for those of us who may not have a lot of years left, it is pretty hard too as we just drift on like a.....ah, as you said.

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    1. And how tragic that departing senior citizens - through COVID or natural causes - don't even get to have proper funerals to tie up their life stories with loved ones and friends gathered together.

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  9. Same here. Thoroughly, completely and utterly sick and tired of it. The tiredness is real. We want our lives back. Being glad not to have caught it is no longer enough.
    It's the shortest day today but this year even that can't cheer me up.

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    1. There is a (conspiracy) theory that the new strain flourished in the the south because they were allowed to languish in tier two longer than they should have. Infection rates there were worse than ours for weeks while we were put in tier three. This however has backfired as so many southerners have by now jumped ship that it will be everywhere by Boxing Day and we'll all be in total lockdown in January. I'm also tempted to wonder if supplies of the vaccine will be not make it north for a while.

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    2. Even yesterday, people were heading out of London with their suitcases - walking past British Transport police officers in railway stations. I thought they were meant to stay put instead of bringing the new strain north! The whole thing is a living nightmare as freight traffic queues stretch for miles. What are those poor lorry drivers meant to do? How can they eat? Where are their toilets?

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    3. Kent, once the garden of England, is now apparently the toilet instead.

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    4. Maybe it is wrong but you made me chuckle with that one Jean!

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  10. It's easy to blame Boris and I agree things have not always been handled as best as they could but I dont see anyone pointing the finger at China where all this started - supposedly accidentally (yeah right). I doubt anyone else could have handled it any better and it's easy to say when you've not got the responsibility of the nation in your hands. This is a bloody awful virus with no known history to work out how to deal with it. Other countries are just as bad at dealing with it. I read somewhere that the reason our infection rates are so bad is because the UK is a world travel hub so we are getting it coming here from all directions. Personally I would have stopped all incoming flights back in March. All we can do is try to get through this together. But I agree I dont want to play this game any more.

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    1. Johnson's characteristic upbeat optimism has caused several critical delays in the making of hard decisions. This has led to extra deaths.

      I was also thinking about China. How come that very populous country continues to come out of this with relatively few cases? It does not seem logical does it ADDY? Twenty three COVID deaths happened in China yesterday and overall they report 4634 COVID deaths this year. Very suspicious.

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    2. Because they locked the country down and it stayed locked down. They have social cohesion
      and a compliant population, unlike many selfish people in the UK. Unlike the hapless Tory government who only ever went half-measures on purpose, as the country is skint and the Tories would always put profit over people.

      It certainly wasn't started by accident, but not by China in my opinion. They have suffered financially more than most.

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    3. Thanks for considering the China question "Unknown" and for offering your views in a pleasant manner. I appreciate that.

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  11. It will be over by Christmas 2025🤔. I think Europe is starting to throw its Brexit toys out of the pram. Perhaps we will all start growing our own again and get use to eating vegetables that are in season?

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    1. I must admit that I do not know what the hell is going on even though I am a news junkie. Christmas 2025 sounds rather optimistic. They say there may be other deadly viruses in the future. What's it all about Alfie?

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  12. I'm afraid to say that I think isolation is the only way to stop it spreading but it seems very difficult to get that message across to everyone. We need to cancel Christmas...it doesn't hold any real religious significance to most of us anyway. Stay home and do the right thing and perhaps have a Christmas in July and experience what Christmas is like in the Southern hemisphere (HOT !). We are so lucky that in today's world we have such good methods of communication available to us so we can be in contact, often visual contact, with our families and friends.
    We are fairly covid free here but the interstate barriers have just gone up again to prevent a small outbreak from spreading. Containment seems to be the way to go and we have proved that over the past few months.
    Hope you and yours continue to stay safe and healthy into 2021.

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    1. Thanks for calling by once more Helen and thanks for your thoughtful words. Happy Christmas to you and your carer - Tony!

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  13. Wherever we are, we are all fed up, YP. It's not just a few - it's the whole world suffering. Perhaps we should remember that we're all in this together, which is no consolation, I know, - it's so easy to think that we stand alone. We've just got to bite on the bullet, stiff the upper lip, and bear with it until we're finally released, one way or another, from what is becoming a living hell. No matter how much we complain we're fed up by it all, it's not going to do any good - it's too late - and with this new, more virulent strain, it's obviously not going to go away any time soon.
    That said, things seem fairly normal here because we have the lowest number of confirmed cases and fewer deaths. Perhaps we are becoming used to masks, sanitizer and social distancing. Best not to be complaisant though - things could change overnight.
    YP, be thankful that you have been able to continue walking, and have done so, in spite of restrictions. So many people have not been able to enjoy the same freedom.

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    1. Thanks for your typically wise response CG. Appreciated.

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  14. I think we are all fed up. I totally understand where you are coming from. But in the end, we'll take a deep breath and we'll continue on. We really have no choice. I am so grateful for zoom. For skype. For IM. For blogs and internet. For netflix. For online books. So much is closed to us, but these days would be unbearable without those things. Chin up!

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    1. You are so right Debby. Thank you for reminding me.

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  15. It's just...damn hard. But what is the alternative? This is a truly serious matter the likes of which we have never seen before in our lifetimes. I suppose we just have to hang on and hope for the vaccine. Meanwhile- there will soon be a baby in your life. That's going to make a lot of difference. Trust me. For you and your wife, anyway, not to mention your daughter and her husband.
    But it's completely okay and understandable to be glum.

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    1. Thank you Mary. Throughout the pandemic I have felt okay just carrying on but I was noticeably downhearted on Saturday night. If felt different somehow.

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  16. At least yours had the decency to look sad. Ours is on another planet, doing god knows what.He hasn't acknowledged the suffering and dying for months.

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    1. If only all Americans were super beings like him - contracting the virus and fighting it off like a superhero. I wonder if he really had it or was it an election ploy?

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  17. Sending hugs over the Pennines to you, Mr pudding.

    We are all weary of it but we just have to "keep buggering on" as Churchill said.

    I've gone from minding two little granddaughters aged 3 and 4 every week to not seeing them at all as I have to shield my 88 year old dad.

    We have to believe better times are round the corner.
    Chin up, chest out. Display that "Yorkshire grit!"

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    1. Thanks for the pep talk Christina. You should manage Blackburn Rovers!

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  18. I'm with you all the way. I'm beyond ready for this to end. I haven't seen any of my family since Sept. 2019, and it doesn't look like that will change any time soon. I'm weirdly enjoying the home time, though, and the fact that I don't feel compelled to run out and DO things.

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    1. What do you mean Steve? You seem to go our squirrel hunting every day!

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  19. Mood dips are understandable in these wretched times YP....we are all heartily sick of things and praying for better times...but the joy on your horizon will be holding your beautiful new grandchild in your arms and being suffused with happiness and love...chin up x

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    1. Thanks for those kind thoughts Libby.

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  20. I would just like to echo Debby and say how lucky we are to have Zoom and Skype and the internet and blogs and Netflix. It certainly doesn't make up for all that we're missing out on but life would be nearly unbearable right now without so many conveniences and distractions.

    Our numbers are worse than they've ever been here and we're setting records every single day. South Carolina is averaging 3000+ new positive cases every day and around 30 deaths. Many of our hospitals are full to capacity and there are no beds available. A coworker took her husband to the emergency room with what they thought was a heart attack last week and as soon as they determined that he wasn't actively dying right that minute he had to wait for 7 hours in a packed ER waiting room full of sick and coughing people and couldn't even have his wife there to wait with him, they were so overwhelmed. It was the next day before they could get him into a real room to run tests. It's just awful. Also we're hearing more and more stories of "long haulers"....people who have mostly recovered from Covid but still have serious lingering aftereffects. No one knows how this is all going to play out long term. It's just a fucking nightmare all the way around! (Pardon my language). And we STILL have so many people refusing to believe it's serious, refusing to wear masks and social distance themselves, refusing to be responsible. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen in my life.

    So I understand your feelings. All we can do is continue to be careful, continue to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and get a vaccine as soon as possible. Keep Calm and Carry On, right?

    Hugs xx

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    1. Hell, you could easily replace that awful fellow who is one of South Carolina's senators...Lindsey Olin Graham. You talk more sense than him Jennifer.

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  21. If everyone behaved sensibly we could fight this thing between us all. But with so many wanting to make personal and political capital out of all the suffering, that is not likely to happen is it.

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    1. If everybody had played by the rules things would certainly have been a lot better than they are now. However, if Johnson had been a wiser and more astute prime minister, the first lockdown in Britain would have happened several days earlier. That would have reduced the number of deaths considerably.

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  22. As you express YP everyone is wanting it over.. but we collectively know we have hope the vaccine will work but it's still a long road ahead.

    I just think those of us 'baby boomers' have now seen it all.. Wars, Space travel,Tech advances, Medical advances ect..and now a Pandemic. Considering those who lived through the 1st then the 2nd World War our circumstances are so much better.. we have the technology to contact our loved ones - to actually see them if we have a 'smart phone' - so it's not like waiting anxiously for a letter or news that was weeks to months old.. but frustrating it certainly is.

    Sadly the really elderly or single people isolated on their own have it tougher than those of us with a partner and probably the isolation is doing great harm to their mental wellbeing.
    Jennifers post was gut wrenching. Besides the horrifying statistics of COVID cases, how many people have died through not having proper care of other causes beside COVID even not seeking help for fear of the hospital situation.

    Hang in there YP..keep soldiering on! We love your pictures of interests & beautiful vistas from long walks, and for me - a window of a country I will never see in person. So we 'blog voyeurs' visit you and others and escape realities for a while and are very thankful that you are one of many helping to keep us all sane. Cheers, Elle xx

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    1. What a lovely, wise and encouraging comment. Thank you Elle.

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  23. The one note that rang the clearest for me in your post is that the time is passing us by....quickly. While we could be enjoying our lives to the fullest through travel and visiting family and having get together with friends our age and with our experiences in life.....here we are stuck! At our age, it is awful to waste one moment of life let along a week or month or year. It is awful!
    Then I remind myself how selfish that sounds. There are millions of people who don't have a choice but to put themselves at risk every day for me! Doctors, nurses, the menial workers in hospitals and clinics, those patiently sticking Q-tips up peoples noses to test them in all kinds of weather, the grocery store workers who allow me to pick up wonderful fruits and vegetables once a week, the garbage men who dispose of our waste and the postal workers who bring lots of recyclable items to my front door so I can send it out the back door next week. The power and water workers who make sure I can shower and bake sourdough bread once a week.
    And then, I am very mad at myself for complaining.

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    1. We are all allowed a moan xx

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    2. You are right John. And Donna - I know that you will have always valued those people you mentioned. It's not just because of this depressing pandemic. We are all pieces in a jigsaw puzzle - interdependent, connected. As I say, you knew that before sister.

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  24. For many years now my life has been curtailed by abuse, disability and very limited finances and it is frustrating but I have managed to be happy by throwing myself into whatever I enjoy and can do.
    I feel I have meaning and connection and those are the things that really sustain us. A swim in the ocean would be amazing but I might have to wait for the afterlife to get that

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