Lockdown part 3….Week 8

Well, I feel as though I should eat my hat after the government’s announcement on Monday regarding easing of lockdown restrictions. I was pleasantly surprised that the focus was on our social activity in terms of being allowed to meet people outside, to be able to sit and have a drink with them, leading up to being able to sit in people’s gardens and meet more than 1 person.

For me this is what I have missed the most and felt frustrated when in previous times pubs and restaurants have remained open (where although social distancing is in place you don’t know who you are sitting in an enclosed place with or whom they have mixed with) yet we were t allowed to see friends/family etc.

Just knowing it won’t be long before I can legitimately drive my girls to the seaside or countryside will feel liberating and very exciting. I’m not sure how I feel about visiting farms etc when they open again in April. Part of me is desperate to go as we missed out on this last year but part of me is hesitant as I imagine places will be busy particularly to begin with when everyone is desperate to go out. I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of being somewhere crowded even if it is outside. I’m hoping places will still have measures in place to make it feel safer but only time will tell.

I have felt the general consensus amongst people is a mixed feeling…excitement and relief to get back to some sort of normality, mixed with anxiety about what lies ahead and if easing lockdown will cause a surge in cases. I guess we just have to take one step and a time and do what feels right for ourselves.

I feel as though since Monday’s announcement some people have decided that if certain measures will be relaxed in so many weeks’ time that it doesn’t make any difference if they take it upon themselves to start now. I find this very frustrating. As much as I’m not a massive fan of our government I believe we have been given dates for a reason and that Boris didn’t just say we can meet one other person outside to sit on a bench from 8th March or whenever you feel like it!

It feels as though some people have forgotten that the dates we have been given for further relaxations of rules is based on vaccinations still being given at the rate intended, that evidence shows that vaccines are reducing hospitisations and deaths in those vaccinated, that infection rates don’t risk a surge in hospitalisations and that risks are not fundamentally affected by new variants of the virus.

Maybe people believe that if they have had their vaccine (baring in mind that most of those who have, will have only had one of two), then they can’t catch the virus or spread it. Surveys from December showed that 29% of people admitted that they would adhere less strictly to the rules and I imagine that figure has increased lately.

I appreciate people are desperate for life to return to normal but fear if we don’t stick to the rules that are in place things could quickly spiral again and we’ll be in a full dock down again before we even come out of this one.

I’ve stuck to the rules 99% of the time despite wanting to go places and escape the same walks etc because I know how quickly things can snowball if the virus is spread.

Yes, I’ve had my vaccine, but it’s not been 12 days, yet which is when they say it becomes effective, aside from this they aren’t clear about if it prevents you being able to carry the virus therefore exposing others.

I know I’ll have to tip my toe in the water at some point and I will but I’m in no rush to throw myself straight in the deep end when restrictions are eased.

I’ve read that there has been a massive surge in holiday bookings, understandably, yet to my knowledge we haven’t been given information on practicalities related to any restrictions in place such as quarantine, testing etc either in the UK or abroad. I know that many countries still have quarantine in place for visitors, some countries require you to be tested prior to leaving the UK and again on arrival, others are only allowing people not to quarantine if they can prove they have had both of their vaccinations. There still is lots of if’s, buts and maybes which will hopefully become clearer as time goes by.

I’m in the fortunate position where I don’t need to send my girls back to childcare on the 8th March and decided a while ago that I wouldn’t. Partly because it would only be for a few weeks before the Easter holidays, partly because I want to see what the impact is on schools reopening first and partly to enjoy them that little bit longer whilst I can. All being well and if the R rate doesn’t go through the roof, I’ll send them back after Easter.

It’s hard to believe that in a few months’ time lockdown could be completely over.

During our 7th week in lockdown, as usual we have done lots of arts, crafts and baking this week. The girls made chocolate fridge cake and savoury breakfast muffins this week with quite a few ingredients ‘disappearing’ in the process!!

We’ve done lots of spring and Easter arts including bunny and chick handprints, finger painting sheep and lambs and mosaic Easter pictures. (I decided to replace the handprint heart in our window with a spring theme instead which is now in place – my eldest daughter loved creating the display – I’ve put a picture of it at the end of this post)

On Friday it felt like spring had arrived…we had a crystal-clear blue sky; the sun was shining, and the birds were singing away. I hung my washing outside for the first time this year (which felt exciting…its bizarre what things excite you as you get older!) and I got our garden furniture out.

It reminded me of the first lockdown when I could leave the door open into our garden and the girls would play outside for hours.

They decided to fill their paddling pool up and splash in their wellies after much persuasion that it wasn’t warm enough to go in in bare feet!! They also enjoyed it when I apparently made it snow with washing up bubbles! We also got our sand pit back out and they had fun building sandcastles. Whilst sitting outside, feeling the sun on my face, I closed my eyes for a few seconds and it almost felt as though I could have been on holiday!

The girls even had a teddy bears picnic outside (we love picnics and find any excuse to have them inside or out!).

Everything seems so much brighter when the suns shining…Hopefully we’ll get more sunny days like this.

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