A Whatsapp message from Kate, just after three yesterday afternoon, linked to a tweet from the local council. The city’s covid alert level had gone from yellow to amber, the last stage before the government “will declare the city an area of national concern“.
Along with the cutesy picture of a knitted coronavirus, the council informs us that “We all now need to make extra efforts”. What efforts? I’m genuinely not sure what else we should be doing.
My reaction to this news is not fear at getting the virus; despite the awful effect it’s had on friends of mine. My reaction is not determination to ride this out.
My main reaction is anger. Throughout the summer, the government has made foolish errors and failed to prepare for any rise in cases. Tracking and tracing is a joke, an expensive and confused bureaucracy that is unable to count cases, or tell us the number of people being tested. Local lockdowns are not working. Enforcement of the existing rules, particularly around the 10pm curfew is a mess. Nobody can keep track of the current rules people should follow, including government ministers. Messaging has been incompetent, with exemptions to the rules for grouse hunting, or certain government advisors. And just this week, the Prime Minister was telling us to go out more and support our local cinemas.
Part of my resentment is selfish, at the threat to my own plans. But a lot of the anger comes of being six months into this crisis with no clear exit strategy and no real plan from the government. My job is stable, and I can’t imagine the fear and uncertainty for those working in local hospitality businesses (most of the cinemas in the town didn’t survive the news of the new Bond film being postponed).
I guess the only thing to do is prepare to withdraw once more, and check those around me are OK. But I am so tired of this mess.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list