Day 63: So Near and Yet So far

Day 63 of Stay at Home here in Scotland, with the tantalising promise (if all goes well) of the beginnings of a slight lifting of lockdown restrictions later this week, in that outdoor contact will finally be allowed between two separate households, as long as social distancing is maintained.

To be honest I’m finding it really difficult right now to stay in what amounts to full lockdown mode while everyone in England has already had a taste of relative freedom for the last couple of weeks. Although in an attempt to reduce our collective frustration, thankfully last week our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shared in advance the Scottish Government’s full ‘Roadmap’ out of lockdown including the welcome announcement that Phase One of easing restrictions will begin on Thursday 28th May.

But until then, all previous Stay at Home rules apply… Sigh!

One week more of total lockdown for Scotland is not much to ask in the grander scheme of things – and the First Minister has given us fair warning of her future intentions – but to me it feels very much like that last week of work just before you go on a long-awaited leave. Your head is already in holiday mode but your job still needs to be done properly, conscientiously, with full focus. Yet all around you, you see friends already on holiday, enjoying their new-found comparative freedoms and forgetting that you have not yet reached that point.

I know there are absolutely no shortcuts to getting through this pandemic for anyone, huge mistakes have definitely been made along the way and we’ve got a long and bumpy road to travel yet, but personally I’m oh-so-ready to move on from this stultifying stagnant stage, however cautiously and carefully. I understand we need to take it all one step at a time, in the smallest of tentative baby steps if needs be, but I firmly believe in general we do need to begin to move on now. We have successfully flattened the curve of Covid-19 infection and protected the NHS, and that was what we were asked en masse to do.

We were neither asked nor expected – well, other than those shielding of course – to remain self-imposed reclusive captives in our own homes for unspecified months on end until an appropriate vaccine had been found and tested and approved before the world moved on again. But for the bulk of the population it makes sense that we learn to keep our distance and protect ourselves and others from infection, even if it means drastically change the way we live our lives outside the home for good. Because I think the time has come when we do all have to learn to live in the outside world again, even if it means going on living with this virus into the future, and not just exist in limbo as we have been.

I’m not in any way advocating acts of mass idiocy or individual selfishness, or of disregarding the rules or treating them with disdain. I’m simply saying it feels to me like it’s time as a nation the rules and expectations changed so we all stop floundering around treading water in absolute panic and start to learn to swim forward a little again, stroke by measured stroke, until we can gain enough confidence as a country to loosen our deadly coronavirus chains and as a people together look outwards once more to appreciating the everyday joys of living, instead of focusing inwards only on the fear of dying.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Shortcut

13 thoughts on “Day 63: So Near and Yet So far

  1. I think a lot of us are feeling the same way. Some states here in the U.S. have “reopened” and I see photos of people gathering in large groups, not maintaining social distancing, and not wearing masks. And I worry that there is going to be a resurgence and that there will be even more cases and more deaths as a result of reopening too soon. So I’m going to continue with my own lockdown even as the stay-at-home restrictions are being eased. I’m not ready to be exposed, to get sick, and possibly to die. Not yet.

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    1. The probability of a spike in infections after lockdown is eased is indeed worrying, and I certainly find the sight of so many hyper tooled-up Americans literally ‘up in arms’ protesting shoulder to shoulder about the threat to their constitutional right – so arrogant and entitled – seriously disturbing. But I feel such extreme behaviour only gets in the way of planning sensible steps out of this pandemic. Both the US and the UK governments took far too long to act to the initial threat of the virus, and now we’re all paying the price in rising death-tolls for their short-sighted incompetence. But the basic fact remains that both our countries are built on capitalism, and simply can’t survive for too long without the myriad businesses that need to run to fund our western consumer-based lives. So however we get out of this mess, it’s not going to be by thinking about all or nothing, open or closed, health or wealth as diametrically opposed entities at war with each other, but about creating a rolling sliding scale of availability and involvement in line with containing the virus as best we can while getting our respective economies slowly moving again. I doubt very much if Trump can do that, or Boris either, for that matter. So I think that whatever happens next, wherever we are, it all seriously sucks big time… 😦

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  2. In England, we’re only allowed to meet one person and this is limited to outdoors.
    Even the Beauty spots and beaches are still saying Go Home. People are still too scared so there’s not really as much movement as expected. The school my son teaches at is refusing to re-open in June as instructed. The school governors have voted against it. The school where my eldest works is not taking Reception children.
    I intend to stay where I am for a long time to come, but I am fortunate, I don’t mind at all, and I don’t miss anything. Well, maybe I do miss eating out!

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    1. To be honest I just want to be able to see my children and grandchildren in the flesh, even socially-distanced across the garden, and I deperately want to see my elderly dad again, who has been really unwell lately. And I do worry about work – it’s not sustainable for the government to be paying to furlough everyone longterm. Neither of us are at retirement age yet so we do need to earn an income to continue to live where we do, so I suppose like so many people just now I’m just feeling stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place… 🙂

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      1. Oh, I can understand everything you say and l feel for you. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m just unsociable!

        My family are scattered around nearby, and having such a lot of space outside has made it easy for us to have outdoor conversations when they have been up here for walks in the fields. No one has been inside though.

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  3. To me living in New Zealand, it seems that there are very confused messages being given in the UK. It was much clearer here. I went to the hairdresser today 🙂 But the borders are firmly shut and I am still working at home.

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    1. Very confused messages being given here in the UK, made even more muddled as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have devolved governments setting their own ‘local’ rules as well as the UK government’s over-arching authority, so Boris is basically left setting lockdown rules for across England only 😦

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  4. I wished our dumb ass leaders were taking more cautions. I pray a lapse in judgment is going to put America in serious trouble in coming months. We haven’t had to stay locked up in our homes, but the amount of people who deliberately don’t wear masks in the grocery store and go down the wrong way isles drives me nuts. You are right about the arrogance of stupid people! I served my country as a US Marine and believe in our constitutional rights, but we have the right to be protected. We will continue our social distancing for a while. I will be missing my grand daughter’s birthday party because my daughter seems to think it is safe to invite a bunch of kids and have a bouncy house water slide. Ugh! I’m not convinced that we are safe to wander around aimlessly like we did pre-COVID. Our ridiculous president is the biggest problem! Okay, thanks for letting me vent and I truly hope you can get some fresh air soon! 🙂

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