Monday, 1 June 2020

Lockdown Day 70 - Peppers and reflection

I am sure these peppers have grown overnight! In the house we have several pepper plants grown from seeds saved from either our own or shop bought peppers - jalapeño and bell peppers. They usually still produce peppers well into the winter, and occasionally revive for a bit in the Spring. They will get a bit of tomato feed and a top up of compost at some point, but otherwise just regular watering. 

As I write this, today has seen more loosening of the lockdown here in the UK. Some schoolchildren have been going back to lessons with social distancing in place, although take up has only been around 50%. Markets can now open and small groups of people can gather in own gardens as long as two metres apart, among other things. There has, unfortunately, been a disregard of late for the rules in place, I have seen many people standing too close together, people visiting other houses, and reports on the internet of crowded beaches and tourist areas are concerning. There seems to be, as I write this, a levelling off of the downward trend in virus cases, and there are credible warnings from many health professionals, based on strategy and planning within hospitals, of a second peak of the virus in July and August.

Personally, we are sticking to previous arrangements at the moment, one of us working from home, one furloughed, one day a week for shopping, only going out for exercise into the countryside, either walking or out on a bike ride where we know we can be distant from others, and keeping older relatives safe. The most difficult situation for us is not being able to visit one of our daughters in Northampton on her birthday coming up, she has no garden and the lack of public toilets at the moment means we couldn't visit her in a park (and with no pubs open etc) as there's no way we'd manage for a 260 mile round trip!

I have no trust in the Government. Their failure to lock down early enough may well have resulted in 30000 preventable deaths, their misuse of statistics, the arrogance of Dominic Cummings, the spineless and sheep like support for him from many of the governing party, seemingly content to accept a string of lies, and the far too rapid loosening of restrictions. This means that we are looking out for ourselves and being careful, even when others don't seem to care anymore.

We are luckier than many people living where we do with countryside a couple of minutes walk away - we can often see cows or sheep grazing in a nearby field.  I am not sure how I would have managed in a flat in the inner city or indeed in identikit suburbia, miles from countryside. Or in fact how I would have managed with a lockdown like in some other countries with even tighter restrictions - in Ireland people were not able to go and tend allotments for a few weeks and many countries had strict limits on distance you could walk - but maybe the latter should have have been the case here, countries such as France and Italy are returning to normal, with fewer deaths, than here in the UK.

Even so, there's been days when I have felt down, felt like there is no end to this lockdown and indeed so much sadness for the countless families bereaved and the awful way that many people have ended their lives. There much be so much trauma for those caring for coronavirus patients in hospital and care homes, the doctors, nurses, care workers and other staff seeing death daily, repeatedly. (In a previous job - as a support worker - myself and a colleague discovered a client that had passed away in his sleep so I have a small insight)

With this blog each day I have tried to share the happiness I find in nature, in growing food, in the countryside, it is easy to get sucked into the rolling news and the scrolling social media, and what we all need I think is time out in the peace and quiet. Unfortunately, as more and more people go back to work and out for leisure time, that peace is slowly diminishing, the background hum of the traffic is coming back, people are leaving their trash in our natural world, disturbing wildlife and trespassing on farmer's property.

I'll be continuing this blog until my own lockdown ends, that is when I go back to work in a charity shop. I hope you have enjoyed the many posts I have put up, enjoyed sharing some nature experiences with me over these past couple of months and our progress in the allotment.

Stay safe
Michelle

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