Well it has been a year since we were informed we are going into lockdown and what a year it has been.
We were totally unprepared and especially the Government who were so lacking in the beginning and this is not a criticism but rather a lesson learned I hope. Nobody could have seen that a virus from China would mean a lockdown not just for a few but for the whole world.
I can remember looking up at the sky and seeing how beautiful and clear it was because no planes were flying and it felt so surreal but the air was so clear and fresh yet in the same air was.a deadly virus, and it was a very scary thought and yet here I was marvelling at how gorgeous the sky looked and I felt so safe because I was in my walled garden and away from the population.
The vulnerable like my husband Mr Points of Sue was told he was not to leave the house and was too shield and we both thought oh it will just be for a little bit, never in our wildest nightmares would we have thought that we would still be in lockdown.
We were horrified and mourned those dying with Covid and the awful time they and their family were going through, as well as the care homes where our elderly generation were suffering the worst, not only with the virus but also not being allowed to see their family as especially the old people…this is their reason for being. I know my own mother felt so down without seeing her family and it was decided that my daughter would be my mother’s bubble so she could see her grand-daughter and great grand children. I knew it was the right choice to make as I and my siblings did not want our mother to be on her own, even though it meant missing my grandchildren and that was the worst thing. There were several times where the missing them was making me ache all over with sadness.
Me and Mr Points of Sue started to come up with all sorts of surprises for our grandchildren so they would know that Nana and Grandad were missing them and it included bows and arrows, nerf guns, huge paddling pool, jet skins as my youngest grandson called them but they were inflatable jet skis, and I lost count of the boxes of sweets I had delivered to them and cakes and finally the 3 computers so that they could carry on with their schooling, and also for selfish reasons it meant that we could skype them when we wanted.
It also meant not seeing our youngest son who is away in his final year of his Doctorate, and of course the worry set in because he was on his own but he managed to keep working and he has been busy with that…..but the worry as always was my mother. She doesn’t live in a care home but she does live in a retirement village and this virus has gotten into the building and that caused endless worry and please don’t go beyond your front door mum was the cry of the day.
As the virus restrictions are ending we are lucky as we still have our mother here and she like the grandchildren has been spoilt and she does tell me off for doing it, but she knows I will do it again and again.
One of the things that did strike me was how versatile people were and started to advertise their goods on Facebook and design their own website and the treats and cakes sent to my grandchildren were a welcomed treat, and one of the fantastic things that has come out of it is that the entrepreneurs are carrying on their trade and have regular customers….me included.
There was the daily news which I must admit for someone who spends their waking days writing about the news I had to turn it off as it was making me and everybody in the house really down as it was doom and gloom. I took to my garden to not only enjoy the garden and the sun, but to take my mind of things and just try and stay as normal as possible. I took pride in my roses and so liked it when the neighbours said they can see the roses from their bedrooms and they are beautiful….so now have put in more rose trees and covered it in flashing lights which are lighting up now as I write and as my friend said…it is like Blackpool….
We took to clapping for those wonderful NHS people who ran towards the virus to tackle it head on and to try and save those most affected, and it went from a couple in the street to everyone coming out and clapping or banging their pans to show our appreciation and it is appreciated.
As the time went on we had the scare of our own Prime Minister at deaths door when he was rushed in with Covid 19 and there was a real worry that we would end up with someone who was not capable of running the country and dealing with Brexit too, but then we are talking Boris Johnson here and he was destined to be Prime Minister and he was not going to let a virus stop him from doing what he does best. He beat it and the relieve on the majority of peoples face when we saw him clapping but he looked so unwell and we knew then that he was giving everything he had to fight this for the British people.
Like most people I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for him to be Prime Minister not only in time of transition from the EU to become a sovereign nation and where the majority backed him, but to suddenly in the middle of it get hit by a virus that would turn party politics on its head…yet he managed it. All I can think of is thank god we have the right man at the right time. I know there are people who will criticise him as there are always the armchair generals but they could not do what he does, and like the Labour party…they offered no solutions.
The virus continued to hit and the care homes and the elderly were suffering. It was heartbreaking day after day to know that someone was losing their beloved parent and that nothing much could be done. It was frightening and the agony of not being able to hug your grandchildren made it even worse….or those people regardless of their age who could not hold their elderly parents.
Yet some enterprising grandmothers came up with solutions
The online shopping boom where we took to having our shopping delivered but one of things that became real was that we were texting our neighbours to inform them of delivery dates and there must of been thousands of us who were having shopping bills of some £500 to £600 pounds a throw because we were buying for the neighbours, or like me buying for not only my mother but her neighbours as the elderly where she lives were sadly left to their own devices. It was worrying to realise that over 300 elderly people live in there and they were getting a 1 minute call a week from the staff and that was it. Well below the expected level of care and when this virus is over….there will be reckonings for some of the appalling way some people have been treated but now is not the time.
We had the new term of key worker applied to lorry drivers, shop personnel and delivery people as we knew without them that the country would come to a full stop. They worked round the clock to make sure that there was food on the table, and we found out that there would be a toilet roll shortage and the extraordinary pictures of people stocking up and hoarding toilet roll.
We were hit by the 2nd wave but the weather was beautiful and for those of us who have a garden it just gave us extra time to work on them. The Chancellor extended the furlough scheme to save millions from being redundant and we knew that there would be a price to pay in our taxes, and that is a price worth paying. I myself have never taken any of the furlough money and neither has Mr Points of Sue but we will be paying it back through our taxes and it is a small price to pay to keep the country going.
We had the track and trace shambles where we were paying ridiculous amounts of money and run by Baroness Dido Harding and which proved a total waste of time and money, but we cannot blame the Government as we are dealing with a pandemic but I do blame them for putting someone in because of it being jobs for the pals, and not one based on their experience. A waste of time and it started to shake our faith in the government because when it gets it wrong ….it gets it wrong.
The Prime Minister and the government still carried on with plugging this app and it gave those who could only offer criticism the chance to do more criticism. We had the sight of Keir Starmer constantly coming out with his hindsight messages and nothing else…..
The parents of the United Kingdom have become full time teachers and had to master the art of making their children sit down and do some work and the best of British awards should go to those parents who managed it and never gave up. My own daughter has a teenage son who everyday logged on, and two autistic children who needed managing with their school work and she did. She never gave up and neither did they and like so many parents we are so proud that our daughter did this. Pat on the back for the parents of the United Kingdom.
During the past 12 months we have companies providing PPE and of which some of them were a total rip off, and people have gotten rich because the normal channels of bidding on a contract disappeared and some who can only be described as dodgy were given contracts, and hundreds of millions of pounds were wasted because of this.
Hopefully the government and the Prime Minister have learnt that the only way we can be ready is when we produce our own PPE and it meets our standards as otherwise we will be woefully inadequate again….and that is not acceptable.
If the last 12 months has taught us anything it is we have to be self sufficient in our supplies because this virus will not be the last to arrive from the shores of China. We need to be ready for anything and everything and we really should be buying PPE equipment from the country that the virus originated from…that is just ridiculous.
Then the vaccine…hurray….
We had the very clever scientists working at an unbelievable pace to facilitate a vaccine and to start us on the road to recovery, and thankfully because the Prime Minister knew that we needed the vaccine ordered more than enough, and unlike the EU who have only vaccinated some 260,000 per country on average, half of the population have had their jab and all of those who are shielding have all been jabbed and that is something to be very proud of, and I hope that this government and those in power do not forget that it is the scientists who have gotten us out of this ordeal. We need to remember that it was not celebs who have done nothing other than promote themselves who have gotten us out of this….but the scientists and we should thank all of them for the quite frankly miraculous pace they have made…
So one year on and I am finding myself back in the garden and after a horrible winter it is a god send. Our children have regular testing in schools and I know that come the school holidays I will be having my grandchildren staying and I want cuddle after cuddle, and both grandad and I will never tire of that….or smile as mum drives off at full speed to go and have that child free coffee for at least a week. She did say she will just drop them and then put on her 80s tape singing at the top of her voice shouting freedom…….
We are still walking the dog a year on and getting irate at the inability of people to walk in single file and who insist on taking up the whole path….because they cannot stop that conversation for 10 seconds. We have actually learnt a new route for the weekends and stay off the park….so we don’t meet too many people and we are still staying to the hour that we are allowed to.
It seems that we have become a nation of law takers and not even noticed our liberties being eroded and that is because we are more afraid of the virus than we are off losing our liberties, however looking at the rioting that has gone on over the year….it seems that some are determined not to follow rules.
We have had the likes of the BLM who have been determined to wipe out our history and where the silent majority have said no and where the government are now bringing in laws to stop it. We have had to watch whilst we are in lockdown and yet thousands of immigrants are turning up on our beaches with the virus. The carrying on of flights bringing the virus in and very little done to prevent the spread…yet still we stay in our houses and do as we are told.
We really have watched our liberties being erased and doing nothing about it…..and probably carrying on doing it.
The life we were used to has gone. Facemasks will always be worn now if we go into shops, and popping round your neighbours for a brew will only be done in the safety of the garden as we will be wary of being in close proximity of even our friends and we will find ourselves mingling less and less.
The very place the virus came from will not be held to account for it and the worst thing is that they are the only country to actually grow from this crisis, and the medical opinion is that we will have more like this and the one they don’t want is the Virus X as that will kill hundreds of millions. So, if we know it is coming then we have to do what is necessary to make sure it doesn’t and if this last year has taught us anything, that is we need to hold countries to account for the viruses they keep in their laboratory fridges.
Their failure to control these has led to the sad death of over a million people and we are told we are going to have to live with this. This will be the new form of pneumonia that sadly takes those who are elderly and unwell and we owe it to them to make sure that others don’t die needlessly.
So here we are one year on. I am lucky as I still have my family, my mother and my siblings although I have lost a friend and that was and is very upsetting and I feel so sad for his family to know that his death was just another needless result of this virus.
When we got to last Christmas 2019 the majority thought oh this is great we have a conservative majority and we know we will get Brexit done and it was a time to celebrate but somehow that has been muted and quite rightly so, as we have lost people who mattered and who should still be here.
We should insist now a year on and as the 3rd wave strike in Germany and no doubt will run through Europe again that the World Health Organisation put the blame where the blame lies and have some stringent measures in place, as every death that happens because of a clear lack of ownership of this virus is something that should not happen, and the victims should be the very reason for holding people and countries to account.
So a year on and I will be doing tomorrow what I have been doing today and that is walking the dog and then in the garden as it is starting to get beautiful again with the weather and I want to be out as long as possible, and hopefully like last summer I want to be out in the garden at night and listen to the music of the night….the crickets as without the planes in the sky and the people in their cars, or out in the woods the wildlife was allowed to flourish and it was beautiful to see and beautiful to hear and yes I want that again because in this dark world it was a shining light that mother nature will still carry on and she is a wonderful sight.
I also want to be able to this year have my grandchildren around as often as they want too and then go and sit with my mother and gossip to my hearts content, and to be able to hug her….there is nothing cuter than when you are 5ft 7″ and your hugging your 4ft 11″ mother as it has been such a long time and take her to the garden centre for a cup of tea…..
That is when you know the world is right when you can sit with a cup of tea and a scone surrounded by other people your age having a cup of tea and a scone.
It might of been a long time and a year is a long time but tomorrow the sun is shining and you are still here and that must be enough to make you smile, and when you wonder why you are obeying the rules just think that you are saving their lives and look at the fact that by wearing their masks, that they are saving not only yours but your elderly parents or unwell family members.