Last night, PM Boris Johnson held an emergency press conference to announce that London and much of Southeast England would be moving into Tier 4, effective at midnight. This came as a surprise to most of us, because as far as we knew, it was a 3-tier system. Tier 4 was a totally new level they’d just added. The new strain of the virus they’ve discovered here in the UK seems to be even more highly transmissible than the original coronavirus.
For some, this meant canceling their Christmas plans to get together with family or friends. For others, such as my friend Amelia, this meant a mad dash to pack up the car and get to Granny’s house in the countryside before midnight, when their family Christmas plans would turn back into pumpkins. So now instead of isolating for a few more days between the end of school term and mixing with extended family in other households for Christmas, many families will just go for it and hope for the best.
As we anxiously await the results of the election in the Divided States of America, here’s what else has been going on for the Walks Between the Commons.
Last week was the half-term school break. We’d had flights and a place to stay booked in Italy, but obviously that was cancelled. So the challenge became: How can I give the girls a normal-ish fun half-term/Halloween/4th birthday in a pandemic?
We started by borrowing a car from a very generous friend for a couple days, so we could do some day trips out of the city.
I chose places that were all outdoors, and which claimed they were capping the numbers of visitors allowed in and had staggered entry times and all the other measures attractions are having to take now to make them seem safe.
Well, it finally happened. We knew it would. Boris Johnson announced last night that London is going into lockdown for three weeks, effective immediately. If we are not essential workers, we are allowed to leave our houses just once a day, for the purpose of going to the grocery store or pharmacy, or for exercise such as walking, running, or cycling. Non-essential shops would all be forced to close. Playgrounds and outdoor gyms are now off limits (finally). People are not allowed to be out together in groups larger than two, aside from families.
Thank goodness they haven’t closed the parks entirely (though that could be the next wave of restrictions, if people don’t behave themselves this time). If they take away M’s ability to ride his bike around Richmond Park in the early morning, my husband will LOSE THE WILL TO LIVE. Continue reading →