Monday, October 5th
What a bloody fiasco. Over 16,000 cases were missed due to this “computer glitch” – which was apparently because someone couldn’t manage to use Excel properly. The setting they’d used didn’t pick up all the rows. I mean, seriously? I use Excel myself every day, and I’m hardly an IT whizz. It’s not exactly difficult to use. We’re now on over 12,500 cases a day. Rates have soared over the weekend, even without the missing cases. And most of the missing cases were in the north, so infection rates in all the local boroughs are way higher than we thought. Manchester city centre now has the highest rate in the country – although it’s nearly all students. Newcastle’s got a similar issue with students, but it’s not clear what’s causing the problem in Liverpool. I could cry. Just when I thought I could start looking forward to my holiday.
The good news is that deaths aren’t rising. Most of the cases are in low risk groups.
Paris has closed all bars. I wish they’d do that here. The Czech Republic’s closed schools. Moscow’s told elderly people to stay indoors.
Everyone’s just had enough. We’ve been in local lockdown for over 2 months. Most of us are keeping the rules. But rates keep rising. A load of jobs are going to go when the furlough system ends. Oh, and Arsenal have made Gunnersaurus redundant. People’s mental health is suffering, and there’s no end in sight. Iran reckons it’s having a third wave. And that ties in with what’s happened with previous pandemics.
Tuesday, October 6th
Things are not good. Infections are up. Hospital admissions are up. Deaths are up. New restrictions are to be imposed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. For all the balls-up with the Excel spreadsheet, I’m not really blaming the authorities. Most countries are in the same boat – Poland’s struggling particularly badly this week – and no-one knows what to do anywhere.
Local leaders have complained that local lockdowns are doing no good and causing harm, but it looks as if Nottingham could be the next place to have restrictions imposed on it. Maybe Oxford too. Universities going back has been a disaster.
Donald Trump’s back at the White House.
Mesul Ozil has said he’ll pay Gunnersaurus’s wages.
Wednesday, October 7th
I do appreciate that the virus is not timing things to cause issues with my holiday, but it doesn’t half feel like that. Nicola Sturgeon has imposed travel restrictions on Glasgow, Edinburgh and various other areas, and closed all the pubs and licensed restaurants there for at least two weeks. I don’t honestly think that Boris would do that here, but things certainly aren’t very good. Universities going back has been a huge mistake.
The Manchester Evening News has published my letter asking it to try rallying the troops – “A City United”, “We’re all in this together” type thing – rather than its current negativity. I doubt it’ll take any notice, but I tried.
Rafa is through to the US Open SFs, and will play Schwartzman, rather than Thiem.
Thursday, October 8th
Bleurgh. It does now look as if there will be restrictions on travel, or certainly on overnight stays. Coming in on Wednesday, and I was due to go on Saturday. I’m SO upset. I was going now because this was the time I’d booked off for my Japan holiday. Then that was cancelled but they were supposed to be doing trips to France or Italy, so they were cancelled too. Work won’t let us carry the time forward, so my holidays, of which I get so few and which I try so hard to make the most of, are … well, I don’t even know what I’ll be able to do at home. I’ve spent hours working out where to go and how to get there. I’ve booked tickets for things and, as they’ll still be open, I won’t be able to get the money back. So, so near … and yet so far. And, as it’ll run into half term loads of families with young kids will be in the same boat.
I am sick of the virus.
I am sick of our area being one of the worst hit by it. I don’t understand why.
I am sick of the Government. They have completely lost the North now. Details have been leaked to the papers before they were discussed with local council leaders, and the exact details are still unclear. People don’t know whether to cancel holidays. Businesses don’t know whether or not they’ll have to close, and what compensation there’ll be if they do. People don’t know whether or not they’re about to lose their jobs. N
Cases, hospital admissions and deaths are going up and up, so I accept that something has to be done, but I don’t see why I would be a danger to anyone in a hotel room on my own – especially as it’s apparently OK for me to be in an office with other people.
I know this sounds really self-pitying, but I am feeling very sorry for myself 😦 .
Friday, October 9th
This is absolutely f***ing ridiculous. Scotland had its announcement on Wednesday. We are just being left in suspense, with people panicking about jobs, holidays and other things.
- Which areas will be affected? Most of the papers are saying Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. But will that include the suburbs and satellite towns? Sadly, the answer is probably yes, which is bloody ridiculous because it means it’ll affect us and other places like Stockport, yet Bradford, Burnley, Preston and various other places where the rates are no lower than, and in many cases higher than, here will not be affected.
- Is this a “circuit breaker” like in Glasgow and Edinburgh, or will it go on indefinitely? Given that Rishi Sunak’s just announced a SIX MONTH plan to support businesses affected … well, it doesn’t sound good, does it?
- What will it mean? Will it include a ban on holidays? It seems all but certain that eating and drinking places will have to close, but where else? Golf clubs? Gyms? Cinemas? Maybe even shops?
- Are we seriously supposed to go for 6 months with no contact with other households?
- The rumours in the press, which are upsetting everyone, also include a return to shielding. Is this being planned?
WTF is going on? This is just ridiculous. And the support for business is something, but won’t go anywhere near saving many businesses from collapse, if they have to close for months.
Meanwhile, Nottingham, which now has the highest infection rate in the country, at well over 600 – thanks yet again to an outbreak at a university, the latest place to be affected by which is Bristol – isn’t in local lockdown at all! Nor are places like York and Barrow, where infections are soaring.
I’ve sent an angry e-mail to my MP about all the uncertainty, but he was only elected in December. It’s like asking a first year to stop the prefects from bullying people.
I have had enough.
The only good thing is that Rafa’s into the French Open final 🙂 . Although I’m not sure I can cope with yet another defeat by Nole. The second semi has just started. Come on, Stef!
Saturday, October 10th
In news not related to the pandemic, Rafa will have to play Nole in the French Open men’s final, Iga Swiatek won the ladies’ final, and Marcus Rashford has been awarded the MBE. And I have had my hair cut. The hairdresser said that they were managing, but things were nowhere near back to pre-lockdown levels, partly because some elderly people are nervous about going out and partly because some people are trying to reduce their spending due to worried about redundancy.
I still have no idea whether or not I will be getting my week’s holiday or spending my few days’ annual leave hanging around. Every newspaper and every TV channel has its own version of the restrictions coming in next week.
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has threatened to sue the Government. OK, it’s easy to criticise when you’re not the one at the sharp end, but he’s quite right about the inadequate financial package. Most people who work in pubs, bars and restaurants do not earn much anyway. How are they meant to cope on 2/3 of that, indefinitely? And, if the whole industry’s closed down, their chances of finding other work is going to be minimal. And many places may never reopen. Liverpool’s said that half its council tax comes from hospitality places, and I’d assume the figure is similar for Manchester. The Government says that local leaders are being consulted, but they say they’re not. Even within Boris Johnson’s own party, people have had enough of the appalling contempt being shown towards Northern England. MPs for northern constituencies have formed a pressure group.
I am very disappointed in Boris. And I could wallop bloody Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary. If he says one more word about “hard work”, I shall scream. What does he think people in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Preston, Burnley, Bradford etc are doing? Going out raving every night? Hospitality workers in Scotland have dumped a load of ice outside the parliament building in Edinburgh. I wish someone’d dump a load over Matt Hancock’s stupid head.
Back in April, when the Queen made that wonderful speech, there was a genuine “Spirit of the Blitz” feeling of togetherness. Now, people in urban areas of the North are angry and bitter. What a mess.
Sunday, October 11th
Bizarrely, just as the world’s about to fall apart again, this has been one of the best days of the year. I always go to Blackpool on the morning of the French Open, so, being superstitious – and because the weather was glorious – I went today, even if it was October rather than June. It was a lovely morning. And then Rafa beat Nole, 6-0 6-2 7-5! I can’t believe it. I wasn’t optimistic, and I thought that, even if he could do it, it’d be a long and tough battle, especially with the roof being closed. But he was just incredible. Absolutely wonderful. It also means he and Roger have got the same number of Grand Slam titles, but I’m not so fussed about that – Rafa, Roger and Nole are all great, and I can live without all this “Who’s the GOAT?” stuff. But I was definitely fussed about today, and … oh wow. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Now we’ve got to see what tomorrow brings. Five Manchester MPs have said that they won’t support Tier 3 restrictions, but Matt Hancock and Boris don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. If the travel ban’s advisory rather than mandatory, do I still go? I won’t be going near anyone else, and I haven’t been in close contact with anyone except Mum and Dad, but … I’m kind of bothered people will think badly of me, which I know is an awful way of looking at things. But I heard loads of Scottish accents in Blackpool today, even though people in Scotland are “advised” not to visit parts of England in local lockdown.
This whole situation is ridiculous.
But today’s about Rafa ❤ 🙂 .