Sunday 8 November 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - XX

No meeting at church on Sunday

When we went into what is now termed Lockdown 2 nationally on Thursday, I regretted that the main social gathering of attending church that we began under limited and COVID-19 aware circumstances on the 5th of July will be stopped.

Apart from that, not much will change from my routine, the daily walks, the shopping for household essentials and the living at work would still follow the same order of things. The ban on travel is a moot point as South Africa that I want to visit still has the UK on the high-risk country list. It is my hope that by December, the opportunity will come to travel and meet up with Brian for Christmas.

The people we meet each day

As I stepped out on Thursday morning, I noticed that the local gym that opens at 6:00 AM was closed with closure notices posted on the door. It felt weird, though further down on my route, two lovers were sat on a bench in amorous embrace, that early. You can’t put a schedule on love, I thought.

Getting to the first park, I met up with the lady who takes her dog on a walk in a perambulator, she chunters to the dog which I think is old and infirm shaking a rattle at it. In the other park, the old lady with her usually one and sometimes two companions exchange pleasant greetings as she feeds the birds. The lady in a hijab I have not seen in weeks and the young man who sprints like a gazelle never acknowledges anyone.

Some open some closed

On the home straight, I was surprised to see that the two Starbuck’s caf├ęs open whilst the Nero coffee shops were closed. I guess what surprised me more was the outdoor gym by the River Irwell was taped over whilst the children’s play area in Peel Park was available with children on the swings.

The roads do not look deserted, just as many cars seem to be plying the roads, indicating people are still going about their business. Many of the restaurant with outdoor seating have kept their seating arrangement stacked indoors as they have transitioned to mainly takeaway and delivery services.

Whilst I am not entirely convinced that Lockdown 2 will yield the benefit of getting the Coronavirus under control in England, it is my hope that enough time would have given policymakers ideas on how to rejig their restrictions to travel and commerce to allow some modified return to normalcy. Meanwhile, we cope and thrive in this lockdown with much consideration to our mental health and wellbeing whilst looking towards possibilities borne of imaginative solutions and human ingenuity.


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