Monday, September 28th
People are busy blaming the government, the rules, the scientists, etc etc, but the fact of the matter is that the problems are due to people who do whatever the hell they want. Police across the country have broken up hundreds of large parties, many of them at venues rather than private homes, over the weekend, and it’s being reported that fewer than 80% of people who should be self-isolating are actually doing so. However, the 10pm curfew, which worked in Belgium, isn’t working so well here, with everyone pouring out on to the streets, and into supermarkets to buy more booze, at the same time. Fines of up to £10,000 can now be imposed, but how many of the rule breakers, most of them people in their 20s, have got £10,000?
Cases are way down today, but that’s probably the weekend effect. However, apart from the disaster at the hall of residence, cases locally do seem to be calming down a bit. However, there are major problems in Liverpool/Knowsley, and also in the Burnley/Accrington/Colne area.
The way the political points-scorers carry on, you’d think it was just here. It isn’t.
On a more cheerful note, Rafa won his first round match at the French Open pretty comfortably. And, having been off work today, I went to Tatton Park this morning. I found 25 conkers by the big conker tree there!
Tuesday, September 29th
71 deaths reported today, which is scary … although Tuesdays have always been bad, because of the catch-up from the weekend.
The rules in the NE have been changed again. It’s now illegal to meet anyone outside your household/bubble indoors. I thought it already was, but apparently the previous rules were just “advisory”. What’s the point of “advisory” rules? And it’s now “advisory” for people there not to meet up in beer gardens etc. But it’s OK to do so here. Everyone is completely confused. Including Boris, who, much to the delight of the points-scorers, got the NE rules wrong when asked about them. This is getting very silly.
Andy Burnham, having spent July calling for tighter restrictions, is now complaining that the restrictions are killing the hospitality sector. This was in a joint statement with Liverpool and Leeds. Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds join forces- now there’s a first!
What the hell is the answer? Other than for people to keep the rules. Tesco staff are now wearing masks, but most of them have only got masks over their mouths, not their noses. And I keep seeing people on buses with masks round their chins. They must put them on so that the driver doesn’t say anything when they board, then take them off as soon as they’re out of his/her sight. And things are not being helped by idiots spreading false rumours on social media. No, the app is not bloody spyware.
The Czech Republic’s declaring a state of emergency. And Brussels has banned prostitution. I’m not sure what it says about Brussels that prostitution is considered such a big factor, but whatever.
Wednesday, September 30th
Cases and deaths today are as bad as yesterday. Boris has issued a plea for people to follow the rules. Angela Merkel did the same in the German parliament this morning. And yet we continue to hear about large gatherings having to be broken up.
There are rows going on in Parliament over the lack of discussion about restrictions.
Two friends (i.e. two separate people, not a couple) have had their holidays in Wales messed up by the restrictions there.
A teacher at my elder nephew’s school has got the virus, and some of the kids have been sent home, but thankfully his “bubble” isn’t affected.
Still no definite decision on the Christmas markets, but the Christmas lights switch-on and the New Year fireworks have been cancelled.
At least Rafa had a comfortable win today.
Thursday, October 1st
I’m not sleeping very well, because of the stress of all the uncertainty. People in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough have been asked to avoid non-essential travel. No change for us, and some positive news in that pubs and restaurants in Bolton are to reopen, but I’m more stressed than ever now. It’s all so illogical. Rates in Burnley are double those in Hartlepool and Warrington. And why Liverpool and Warrington but not Knowsley? The mayor of Middlesbrough’s hit the roof, and said he tried to contact the Westminster government but couldn’t even get a reply. Council leaders in Newcastle etc have said that they weren’t even told before the announcement on Monday that rules there were changing. No financial support has been offered for businesses affected by local lockdowns. The South would never be treated like this. I’ve tried not to join the ranks of those criticising the government, but the way they’re treating the North and Midlands is not on.
Having said all this, rates in our borough are falling, and they’re falling or stable in most other Greater Manchester boroughs too. Rates in the city centre are rising, but that’s because of the cases in student accommodation. And it’s been reported that the national R rate is falling.
On a different note, our Champions League group is vile.
Friday, October 2nd
Rates in the city centre are sky-rocketing. I just hope that a) the government realise that it’s due to student accommodation and don’t punish everyone and b) other boroughs are not punished. It’s a never-ending nightmare.
Donald and Melania Trump have both got the virus now. Both asymptomatic at present.
Weather forecast for pumpkin picking tomorrow is vile, but that’s the least of my worries!
Saturday, October 3rd
Thanks to Storm Alex, it’s rained all day. Bad weather forcing people indoors is the last thing we need, but there’s not much to be done about it. Despite the rain, I went to pick my pumpkin 🙂 . I think the fruit farm’s had a decent year, despite everything. I’m so pleased.
The outbreak at Manchester Met is distorting local figures, and the same thing’s happening in Newcastle. Very few of the hundreds of students who’ve tested positive have got any symptoms, but there are concerns about the virus spreading to vulnerable people in the community.
Donald Trump was taken to hospital last night. We’re being told that he’s fine and it’s just precautionary, but that was what we were told about Boris just before he ended up in intensive care. People are not airlifted to hospital if they’ve just got a bit of a cough. It sounds quite worrying.
Sunday, October 4th
FFS. Just as it looked as if things were calming down, a huge increase in infections was announced yesterday – apparently including cases going back over a week due to a “glitch” in the system. So the figures for the past few days were wrong. What “glitch”? Can’t they get things working properly? Gah!
Donald Trump seems to be doing better, but it’s hard to know how much of what we’re being told is accurate.
The release of the new James Bond film, to which I was looking forward, has been put back to April 2021. As a result, Cineworld’ve mothballed all their UK cinemas, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vue and Odeon follow suit. Does it not occur to the distributors that audiences won’t return whilst there’s nothing decent on, virus or no virus? It’s a very sad state of affairs. Cinemas were so important during the war. In the ’80s, we kept being told that video shops would kill off cinemas. They didn’t. Then we were told that subscription film channels would kill off cinemas. They didn’t. But now this. I love going to the pictures and hope that this is a temporary thing, but April 2021’s a long way off, and there’s not much else coming.
As for today’s disastrous match between United and Spurs, the least said, the better. What a total humiliation. At least Rafa had a comfortable win, although things get very tough from now on.
Went to Styal (Quarry Bank Mill) this morning. The garden café is now up and running. And a lot of apples had fallen in a pond, looking like some bizarre giant apple bobbing game. It was a distraction from all the stress and uncertainty.