Tiers Of A Clown

Well, where to start? Perhaps with a genuine question. How are you doing?

If you just want to rant, have a moan, or just get off your chest how you are feeling, then feel free to do so in the comments here. It is very unlikely I’ll be able to help of course. I’m just a portly middle-aged bloke stumbling through all this like everyone else, but, as I find with Twitter, it can sometimes help just to get things off your chest.

Yesterday saw the year rounded off with a crescendo of incompetence. A tribute to the constant litany of dither, delay, and mixed messaging that has seen the UK spend the most per capita on the pandemic and still have the worst death rate in Europe and the worst economic outcome. It isn’t the measures that piss me off. I’m usually on the side of supporting measures designed to restrict the spread of the virus and will fight that corner in the trenches of the Facebook comments section on an ever more regular basis, but as ever, despite all evidence to the contrary, the government make announcements that they think will make them popular/less hated and then right at the last minute, snatch hope away from millions with a U-Turn and a reversal to a policy that was obviously the correct thing to do anyway.

I know this is an unprecedented situation, but it is for every government and every country and yet we still set new standards in ballsing it up on a daily basis. This latest last-minute U-Turn saw hundreds of folks at London train stations last night trying to head north, spreading that lovely new strain of the disease to the parts of the country that currently aren’t seeing too much of it.

Being relatively unscathed by yesterday’s nonsense, sitting here in a consistent Tier 3 for weeks, I can only send sympathies to anyone who has just had their plans ruined at the last minute. If we had locked down longer and harder in the last few weeks to prepare for Christmas, and done a whole host of other things that would not have thrown away the relatively solid situation we were in during the summer, things may have been different again. That may have allowed some sort of Christmas. How much easier would coming to terms with just one day of limited relaxing of restrictions for Christmas have been had we known weeks ago? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, but there have been experts saying this for weeks now. How often can you consistently make the wrong calls?

All we can do I think is cling to the hope of the vaccine that is being rolled out and the others that will hopefully be approved shortly to save us from further acts of incompetence. As of yesterday, I believe 350,000 people have had their first jab. Of course, the Health Minister promised “millions would be vaccinated by the end of the year”, but I think we just need to ignore this sort of stuff now and just see how things pan out.

On that subject, last Tuesday I took Louise’s Mum for her first jab. Mary is in her late eighties now and as is your absolute right at the age, has some pre-existing conditions. These have meant that lockdown has been pretty grim for her. So she called her GP to make sure she was one of the first in line, so off we went.

I was very impressed with the setup, to be honest. It was incredibly well organised with a mixture of clinical staff and volunteers corralling lots of old people into the various stages of the process. There was, and I know this sounds odd, a nice atmosphere. One of community spirit, pulling together and finally hitting back against the virus. It was great to see the place so busy, full of people doing their part in trying to get us out of this mess. In the interests of balance, from my limited experience, it is being executed efficiently and quickly and if that is the case, the government deserve credit for that.

Mary has to go back, three weeks to the day, for her second jab and then will be “protected” about a week or so after that. I am of course no expert on any of this, but I do try to read as much stuff as I can from trusted sources, and I came across an article that gave me some comfort and encouragement last week, so I clung to it like a drowning man to a raft. I offer you the same raft here.

It said something like if we vaccinate the over 75’s, which is about 9% of the population, then, based on the demographic of deaths we’ve seen so far, they estimate the death rate would reduce by about 70%. This would protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, which has always been the government’s main aim (they say), and that may well then allow many of the restrictions to be lifted. With younger folks much more able to get the virus, have a few shitty days and not go and die, then life may be able to edge back towards normality. I know people of all ages have died of this thing, but I’m talking generally of an approach that may see us escape most of the worst restrictions before the summer. Not just for the sake of our holiday, which seems more irrelevant than ever right now, but I hope that is the case because it really is something we’ve all now had enough of I’m sure.

In what has been a busy news week, the virus made an appearance in our little world last week too. Tom tested positive last Tuesday, along with his Mum and his brother, who all work together. This was not good news, and it meant all of us went into a period of isolation as we had seen Tom, masked and socially distanced when helping out with Freddie. We all had tests and thankfully, nobody else returned a positive result and we hope it stays that way. Tom has since had a negative test result.

At the same time, my brother messaged me to let me know his wife had tested positive too. Thankfully, she and Tom were not seriously ill with it and it is just a case of riding it out. This entire thing is, as they say, a shit show. Our collective isolations end around the 22nd or 23rd of December, and with us all testing negative and pretty much self-isolating between now and Christmas Day, we plan to stick to the Tier 3 rules of three households briefly getting together.

To make the gathering as safe as possible we have abandoned plans for a sit-down meal, replacing it with a buffet. Windows will be opened as per the advice, and folks shall be distanced, banned from hugging and generally told to stay away from each other. Is it the right thing to do? I have no idea. We have taken every precaution to make sure we are all negative, made the set up of the day as safe as possible and balanced the risks against the prospect of seeing mine and Louise’s parents sat on their own on Christmas Day, as they have for pretty much every day since March.

I know it is hardly worthy of any consideration right now, but on the subject of our frequently rearranged holiday, it appears I was right to move it when I did. When you are right as seldom as I am, I will bask just a little to say that I have started seeing posts in the various Disney Facebook groups about flight operators now cancelling flights for March and beyond. Having already gone through the pain of the reschedule, I’m pleased I don’t need to worry about that….yet. June is by no means guaranteed of course, more now than ever.

It seems trite to wish you a Merry Christmas as I cannot fathom where everyone’s head is at right now. Make the best of it you can, do take up my offer of having a rant and a moan if it will help and let’s just hope things get better as quickly as possible. As pissed off and bored as you might be, and lacking in faith that all and any government advice is not worth listening to, adhering to the basic rules as much as possible will accelerate that so I hope you can and will.

All the best to you all from myself and the family. x

Till the next time…….

16 thoughts on “Tiers Of A Clown

  1. I live right on the border of Buckinghamshire in the space of three days we have gone from tier 2 – 4. The neighbouring town across the border is already making it very clear no one is welcome. Road blocks expected next.

  2. My daughter lives in Salford I haven’t seen her since 31st December last year. We were planning the nearly impossible feat of driving to Salford and back from the south coast in a day to see daughter in her garden for an hour now that has been snatched from us. I know there are lots worse off and she won’t be on her own but to say I am fed up (to be polite ) with the situation is an understatement.
    Anyway enough misery , happy Christmas to you and your family I have really looked forward to your thoughts every Sunday through out this impossible year.

  3. To compare the UK with other countries then all need to use the same metrics for reporting which isn’t the case. We will only see how badly or good we did once this is all over but even then we won’t be able to get the correct figures. Are the deaths due to Covid as high as reported? Almost certainly not as we know even if you recovered from covid but died from other causes with 28 days of contracting covid it is still classed as a covid death. Other countries have only been reporting those that died in hospitals whereas we included those that die everywhere.

  4. I understand your concerns about tiers.. we live in an area in Scotland that was due to drop to tier 1 next week but the wee Krankie panicked and put the whole of the Scottish mainland in tier 4 purely a political decision, so much for using scientific data…

  5. It’s another total and utter balls up By the gov by not wanting to U-turn with schools working remotely before Xmas and promising Xmas to everyone. But they now have the new strain to blame for why we are in sh*t street, not because they are incompetent and now Xmas is scaled back and schools can work remotely after Xmas so not a U-turn. Total pisstake.

  6. I wish you and all your loved ones, a happy festive period.
    Personal thanks to you, as I very much enjoy my regular Sunday read.
    2021 just has to be better than 2020 right?

  7. But for some there won’t be another Christmas and carefully laid safe plans within the expected guidelines, now lie in tatters 😢

  8. Having been shielded pretty much from March to September as a kidney transplanted immunosuppressed person I really haven’t come out of that process. My first forays into outside world life revealed the yob side of our culture with gatherings of people desperate to cling to one another hugging, kissing and drinking at every opportunity. The “I don’t care” culture along with the conspiracy theorists was bound to result in the outcomes we suffer now. I wonder if people read the newspapers or listen to the radio or watch the news. Yesterday I sat as a passenger in my Wife’s car so she could pop to Curry’s to pick up a repaired laptop. The queue to get in revealed no social distancing and very few masks over faces. Why?

    Enough of my moaning …. I wish you and yours a beautiful festive period and the hope that next years trip goes ahead.

  9. It is all a Mad World isn’t it. We only planned to bubble with friends on Xmas Eve, the first time with anyone else since a summer out side one socially distanced BBQ. However, here we are in the new tier four!
    Then my son decided to get a bit tipsy on Friday night and fractured his nose. So my relaxing pre Christmas weekend was a worry of dressing cuts and icing at 2am and then two consecutive mornings at the hospital! He has to go back and have it broken and reset after Christmas.
    But I am a thankful we are still (fairly) healthy and working and just keep everything crossed for a better New Year. So many will have a a very sad Christmas having lost loved ones.
    Wishing you and yours a peaceful, food filled Christmas and a much happier new year. We too have fingers crossed for mid May.

  10. Wishing you and all your family a relaxing and peaceful Christmas and New Year. 🎄

    (Fingers crossed you get away in June!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.