Thursday 26 November 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - XXI

Angst or anger

During the waking hours of this morning, I wondered what would happen to my city and the wider region of Greater Manchester after the national lockdown ends on the 2nd of December. I had hoped that we would have the opportunity of moving into Tier 2 with a slight relaxation of restrictions.

Looking at the numbers and the expectations, I realised that we were probably going to be Tier 3, the very high alert tier with the restrictions we have been under since July will remain with further limitations to our way of life. [GOV.UK: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know]

It is not that much has changed for me apart from not being able to attend church, my walking exercises continue in earnest. The people I see daily are as pleasant and communicative as you go about our activities.

Guided by the blind

The shops for essentials remain open and though I do not see that many people around, the roads into town still have considerable traffic like life continues to some extent. More importantly, I needed to know whether after the national lockdown I will be able to embark on international travel. Thankfully, there is no impediment to travel both for business and leisure.

Wondering why we still have high rates of infection in Greater Manchester even though the numbers are falling week on week, you could blame the unconcerned, inconsiderate and selfish people who have paid no heed to government guidance and warnings, if any of them were coherent, understandable, and effective.

I lay the responsibility of the mishandling of this pandemic squarely at the feet of the UK government, especially that part which oversees England. We have lost too many lives, the guidance has been patchy and the prospect of offering a window for Christmas will have dire consequences for those who fall for the gimmick and symbolism.

Other Christmases to come

Whilst, I do realise my going away will include Christmas and the New Year with my partner, in terms of meeting up with vulnerable people in England, the judgement calls should be simple, there can be many Christmases to come, there is no point making this the last Christmas for our loved ones if soon we might be safer with vaccines and a better understanding of the Coronavirus to see beyond the next Easter and years to come.

The conscious act on the part of everyone is the vigilance of 3-Cs, eschewing Crowds, avoiding Closed spaces and limiting close Contact, wearing masks indoors, and washing or sanitising hands. We would come through this, but individual responsibility with neighbourly consideration is what will help us get there. This pandemic is teaching us to be each other’s brother’s or sister’s keeper, with it comes the hope for a new kind of normal, probably much better than before.

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