Monday, August 3rd
- People who let their horrible dogs bark all the time should be locked up.
- The burglar alarm service man has been. So much easier to sort these things when you’re working from home!
- The tables outside the park cafes have reappeared, so that the cafes can qualify for the new “Eat Out To Help Out” scheme, by which food and drink is half-price on certain days, to boost the hospitality sector. However, seeing as they hadn’t advertised the fact that they were in the scheme, no-one knew about it until they paid, so no-one ordered anything they hadn’t been going to order anyway!!
- I’ve had a reply from one of my MP’s minions, claiming that the North of England was definitely not being “ostracized”. I contemplated replying, to point out that a) “ostracise” was completely the wrong word to use in this context and b) he shouldn’t be using American spellings, but couldn’t be bothered.
I am so stressed. I was really looking forward to this staycation, and now I’m on edge all the time, in case we’re banned from travelling or anything else happens. Hardly anyone in the region’s actually in hospital with the virus. Most of the cases are amongst young people who’ve hardly been affected. I quite appreciate that they could pass it on to someone else who could have it very badly, but it’s bloody frustrating that we can’t visit our families and friends just because a few people have got a bit of a cough. And how long can this go on? More and more job losses are being announced every day.
It’s not just here. Festivals planned in Malta have been cancelled. There’s been an outbreak on a cruise in Norway. And I am so sorry for people in Melbourne, who’re practically under lock and key.
Tuesday, August 4th
Headline of an internet article today – “Pub closed after worker tests positive for virus following trip to Greater Manchester”. Where had this person travelled from? Land’s End? John O’Groats? No. St Helens! Which is, what, five miles outside the boundaries of Greater Manchester? So someone from St Helens has got the virus, and is making out that they must have caught it when they nipped to a shop or café in Wigan for half an hour or so. And this is being used to make it sound as if the whole of Greater Manchester should be treated as some sort of leper colony. I have never heard such crap in my entire life. But it’s out there. And people down south or in Scotland aren’t going to know exactly where St Helens is. Meanwhile, the bloody Guardian is trying to turn this into some sort of class war, by blaming the increase in cases on people who live in big houses in Hale Barns.
None of this is helping.
It’s just getting me totally stressed out. I am absolutely desperate for this break, and don’t know what I’m going to do if it’s ruined because of idiots in other parts of the region ignoring social distancing guidelines.
A guy refilling the shelves in Tesco this morning was wearing full Spiderman headgear. It made me laugh!
The Madrid Open’s been cancelled 😦 .
Later – and now Rafa’s pulled out of the US Open. I quite understand his reasons, but … bleurgh.
Wednesday, August 5th
I woke up at half 4 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, and then burst into tears because I dropped a pile of papers. I was feeling fine before all these restrictions were imposed because of high infection rates in Oldham and Blackburn. And Nicola Sturgeon has slapped a travel ban on Aberdeen, which has completely panicked me.
The latest statistics show that, whilst the rate of infections is still increasing – and our area is regrettably getting worse – it’s not increasing at anything like it was in the two previous weeks. And the overall rate for the region is about 27, and Blackburn hasn’t been put under a travel ban even though the rate there is nearly 90. So hopefully it will be OK. But I am stressed and upset now, instead of looking forward to my long-awaited break.
Went into a café today, for a takeaway drink, and the lady in front of me wasn’t wearing a mask. She suddenly realised that she should be wearing one, took one out of her handbag, put it on, apologised profusely to the girl behind the counter, and said that she’d just forgotten. The girl said that it didn’t matter and she didn’t have to wear it if she didn’t want to. I mean, FFS!
Rafa’s said that he still hopes to play in Paris. The US Open, if it goes ahead, will be the first Grand Slam event without both Rafa and Roger since 1999.
Some places have cancelled pantomimes. The one here hasn’t been cancelled yet, but I can’t see it happening. I usually book in June … although that’s usually because that’s when the football fixtures come out.
Europa League resumes tonight.
Thursday, August 6th
The number of infections is continuing to rise. And it looks as if the new measures could be extended to Preston soon. Why do things seem to be so bad in our region? The likely explanation is that, because the pandemic got going in London earlier than it did here, we were that much further behind London on the “curve” when restrictions were eased. Nowhere else, with the possible exception of the West Midlands, has got the same level of population density.
There were only 8 deaths “with coronavirus” nationwide today, though. The number of deaths is falling. It seems likely that most of the new infections are amongst younger people, who are far less likely to be seriously affected. So are we just going to have to roll with it, and accept that people are going to get the virus? Yes, you could get it. You could also have a heart attack or be run over by a bus.
Skating rinks, bowling alleys and casinos are now supposed to be reopening a week on Saturday. It seems unlikely that that will happen. So why not bloody well say so? It’s not fair to let places spend time and money getting ready to reopen, and then tell them the day before that they can’t, especially when it’s already been done once.
It’s not just here. Things in Spain are bad, and France, Belgium and Luxembourg are all seeing significant increases in the numbers of cases. Even Greece and Germany, which had been doing OK, are having more and more problems.
Went to the office this morning, to take some stuff back and collect more. All this talk of getting people back into offices, which Boris was very keen on a couple of weeks ago, has died away.
Friday, August 7th
Bleurgh. Had a nasty e-mail from the office today, saying that they were considering forcing people to go back to the office, because people are wasting part of the working day collecting files and dropping them off! WTF? How are people supposed to get the files? Teleport them? Not one word asking if people were OK.
Meanwhile, the local restrictions were supposed to be being reviewed weekly, but we’ve heard nothing. I can’t imagine that anything’s going to be changed after a week, because it’d be way too soon for the new rules to have any effect, but at least tell us! And tell people who run/work in casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks whether or not they can reopen next week. The communication is appalling.
Our MP has protested about the fact that the whole area’s been lumped in together. At least he’s tried!
Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra have been taken off the travel corridor list, and it looks as if France could be next. The rules on Belgium apply from today for Wales and from tomorrow for England, presumably to give the Brussels gravy train brigade time to get back to Surrey. Seeing as there aren’t any international airports in North or Mid Wales, anyone returning to there from Belgium today will be flying into an English airport. How does that work?! OK, I don’t suppose there are hordes of people from Wrexham or Bangor flying from Brussels to Ringway or Speke today, but the whole thing’s just so silly.
It’s all getting silly. My mum and dad’ve had a mobile hairdresser round, touching their heads. Yet, if my sister or my uncle went round, and stood 6ft away from them, in the garden, that would be breaking the law. How does that work?!
Elena Svitolina and Kiki Bertens have both pulled out of the US Open.
Guidelines for meeting outdoors this sunny weekend:
England – max. 6 people from multiple households or 30 people from 2 (large!) households.
Wales – any number of people from 2 households only.
Scotland – max. 15 people from max. 5 households.
Northern Ireland – max. 30 people, no apparent limit on number of households.
Is it any wonder that people are confused?!
Saturday, August 8th
Nice sunny day today. A bit too hot down south, but just nice here! I had a lovely walk round Hollingworth Lake. There were a lot of “We are at risk of lockdown” signs up, though. Rochdale’s doing quite well with getting its infection rate down, but Oldham unfortunately isn’t, and, as Westminster seems intent on lumping the whole region together, it doesn’t look as if the restrictions’ll be lifted any time soon. Well, I say “region”, but it’s done on council boundaries, which are so bloody arbitrary. There’s no natural line between the areas covered by the councils of Stockport (included) and High Peak (excluded), Bolton (included) and Chorley (excluded), Wigan (included) and West Lancs (excluded) or Trafford (included) and Macclesfield (excluded). The line runs right down the middle of particular streets.
It was finally confirmed yesterday evening that the restrictions will stay in place for another week, and that Preston will now also be included. Leeds could be next. But Swindon, Peterborough and Northampton, which have far higher rates than parts of our region, are being left alone. It’s hard not to feel that there’s one rule for the North and another for the South.
The actual numbers are very low, though. Our area looks bad this week, but that’s because of one cluster at one nursery. The same for the city centre, because of one cluster at one postal sorting depot. Headlines scream that rates in a particular area have doubled/trebled in a week, but, in these cases, there’s no real risk to the wider public.
A lot of new cases are now amongst under 30s. This seems to be the same in other countries. Younger people generally aren’t badly affected, and it’s usually younger people who don’t wear masks and ignore social distancing. Yes, I know that it sounds as if we’re all looking for scapegoats.
Earlier, I had my hair cut … and was sorry to see that the café next door to the salon has had to close for a fortnight as the owner was unlucky enough to be in the Canary Islands the week when the rules were changed. There are hardly any cases in the Canary Islands, but the whole of Spain’s been lumped together!
Sorry, I seem to be doing a lot of moaning, but it’s so frustrating. Although not as much as it is for the people in 3 Irish counties which have been put back into hard lockdown – no travel, restaurants closed, etc.
It has actually been a really nice day! And we won the Test match. Football, cricket, golf, rugby league … it’s all happening! Except for tennis 😦 .
Sunday, August 9th
Outdoor café culture has really hit the Manchester suburbs – after all these years of it being joked about! I’ve never seen so many outdoor tables. Most of them are where they shouldn’t be, but who cares? The weather’s about to change, but it’s been interesting to see in the meantime.
Boris is doing a lot of talking about prioritising schools going back and staying open. I think nearly everyone agrees with this – apart from the teaching unions, whose priority is scoring political points rather than the welfare of children – but, if he really does shut down pubs again, there’s going to be a lot of trouble.
Stan’s pulled out of the US Open now.
Had a really lovely time at Erddig, although it was rather confusing that I *didn’t* have to wear a face mask in order to get my takeaway cream tea (although only one person was allowed into the small ordering area at a time, apart from the person serving, and they were behind a Perspex screen, so I suppose it didn’t make much difference anyway) because I was in Wales … whereas, had I been 10 miles or so nearer home, back inside England, I would have done!
It’s been a nice weekend generally. Just hope the weather behaves for my staycation. And also that work aren’t shitty next week and don’t try to bully us into going back. I’m so disappointed, although not surprised, with the way they’ve behaved.
And it’s on to the next round of the Europa League tomorrow! All go …