Latest Restrictions

Well – here we go again with another set of COVID restrictions. It is almost like history repeating itself and this is certainly a touch of déjà-vu. We have been here before. And once more, I feel the government has been too slow in stepping up to agree with more stringent lockdown rules in order to keep us all safe. I know they need to balance it all with the economy and keep schools open, but I was disappointed not to see all of us moving into a higher restriction tier. I saw on our local news this evening that there is a great deal of concern in Kent – where I live – because the infection rate has doubled during this last week. And they said some local authority leaders have written to Matt Hancock requesting for their areas to be placed into a higher tier. So we will be seeing some more changes happening from this Friday. That is for London where the rest of my family live and maybe for Manchester and certainly Lancashire where a few of our own Bachelors Fan friends live.  As for those of us living in the South, we will be living under the same set of rules as from before last weekend.  The rule of 6 and a 10pm curfew of pubs closing both remain. Con has been living in a further lockdown since August where he is forbidden to host anyone in his house or garden. Nothing has changed for him.

It is the fault of our people this disease is still spreading. The government do try to address it all but peoples’ behaviour go against all of the plans that are set out for us. I was horrified to see televised street parties taken straight after curfew. Then we had the people from Liverpool filling the streets in a big party as soon as their pubs closed on Tuesday night. The same thing happened on Friday night in London. Then we hear of people flocking on beaches for raves which the police have to break up. And then last weekend I saw reports on Facebook that people were clearing the shelves in the local retail park area near where I live as they did some panic Christmas shopping. The roads were busy, just like the week before Christmas and there were long queues of traffic waiting to park in the car parks there. These people obviously do not follow the news that well because if they did, they would have realised the lockdown measures in our area would not have included the closure of any shops or retail areas. And there they were, not social distancing and possibly spreading the virus more.  When will people ever learn that this is a dangerous illness we are fighting against?  Face masks should be worn, and social distancing needs to be practiced at all times.  I was always in the frame of mind that online lessons should have been planned for university students right from when everything closed in the spring so they did not have to go back to their campuses in September and spread the virus more making it so much worse nationally. And they would have remained in the comfort of their parents’ homes rather than being holed up in small rooms in the University Halls of Residence with nothing good to eat and not being able to do their laundry.  So what if they miss out on proper university life. It is only for one year – we hope. Better to be safe than sorry. I know of someone whose 20-year old nephew is very ill with the virus which he caught at a university campus in Scotland. He was a strong and fit athlete until he caught the virus. It is a lottery. It just goes to show that youngsters could be as equally ill with it as an elderly person. In addition to all that, I did read that people who have blood type O are less likely to catch the virus and as that is the most common blood group – it seems a lot of us have some hope of remaining safe. But that does not mean we cannot be careful when we go out. And I read that mouth washes may be good to kill the virus too – although they say it has not yet been tested. It is worth considering.

Con and Dec spoke of the pandemic during the last Zoom meeting we had. They certainly have a good handle on it all. Dec has been wearing face masks since the news of virus first emerged in China back in January. And he always sat at the back of the room away from other people at his Toastmasters meetings. I wish I was as bold as him and started wearing masks myself then. I knew from the start in January how terrifying this illness is.  I wanted to wear face masks then myself but was told people would think I actually had the virus. I always thought from the start – like Dec did, that to wear masks would stop the spread of the virus and would protect ourselves as well as other people. It took a while for the scientific advisors to cotton onto that fact.  Dec said he always washes his masks when he gets home. He used to wear protective gloves, until someone at his local hospital told him they are dangerous and carry the germs everywhere and they put you at risk when you remove the gloves and they do not stop you from catching the virus. And the best way to protect yourselves is to keep washing and sanitising your hands. Con backed that up by saying his son Michael said it is best to keep washing your hands and to make sure you do so as soon as you get home. And he said his daughter Carole always takes sanitiser out with her and washes her hands constantly with that. And I do the same.  I saw a lady on TV who was very ill with the virus and she said she had been living in isolation and she could not understand how she caught it. She must have touched something that was delivered into her home with the virus germs on it. So it is best to wash your hands as soon as you have handled anything coming into your home and discard the outer packages before touching your face.

Then there is the subject of the flu jabs. It is said that could prevent you from catching the virus as it causes your immune system to set up signals to fight off any coronavirus germs. Although it isn’t 100% guaranteed – it may not stop you from catching the virus – but you may not get it so badly and that may save your life. Con said he had a flu jab on the Thursday before the last meeting and it made him feel quite unwell the next day. Then he said he was ill that night and then felt better the day after that and better still on the day we had our meeting. So it is important to have a flu jab if you can. I am booked to have mine on 24th October. I do feel frightened and concerned because the last time I had a flu jab in 2013, it gave me a bout of flu followed on by bronchitis. And since I suffer with my chest it makes me more nervous. Especially as Con said the flu jab made him unwell. But I know of other people who have had the jab and were fine.

The news reports also mentioned that trials are being carried out with BCG jabs. Remember the TB jabs we all had at school around the age of 15? They say these jabs could stop us from getting coronavirus too. As it is a safe and well used vaccine since the 1920s, wouldn’t it be good if the current trials with it works. We could all have the BCG jab and then we could all lead near normal lives until such a time that a proper Coronavirus vaccine has been approved and found to be safe enough to be rolled out to the entire population. But we will see. I know I had to have the BCG jab two years running and I remember clearly that I was not ill with colds or bronchitis for a few years around that time. My attendance record at the Grammar school I attended was 100%. So that could be saying something about the BCG vaccine, Watch this space…. And hope…   And there may be some improvements with the method of Coronavirus testing. I will be watching that space.      

As previously mentioned, the boys have a good handle on the pandemic situation and they are both looking after themselves very well. They are both extremely careful when they have to go out. Con often mentions a show they may have coming up soon and with the pandemic getting bad again, Dec always says “Don’t hold your breath. It may not happen” And it seems that Dec is right as it does look as though we could be heading for another national lockdown of some sort quite soon. But while I am talking about the boys looking after themselves, I dug out a newsletter from June 2001 when I spoke about the fact that men do not normally iron. And here is what they say about it regarding themselves :-

Over the years of touring and living out of suitcases it has become necessary to fend for oneself. Although there was always the “Wardrobe Mistress” at the theatre, when it comes to personal clothes it was sometimes necessary to wash and iron shirts. When we were appearing at the Central Pier in Blackpool in 1964 the great invention then was the “Drip Dry” shirt which did not need ironing. This saved us a lot of problems at the time. The laundry service is usually quite good at most hotels, or if you do not have time for that, most hotels have a laundry room where you can fend for yourself. It can be a pleasure putting on a freshly ironed shirt, especially when you know you have ironed it yourself.

So there you have it. Con and Dec are both 21st Century men. So is my husband now. He has taken to doing his own washing and ironing since we have retired. (I am semi-retired now my work has more-or-less ceased since the start of the pandemic). Pity he didn’t do that while we were both working as I had to do it all for both of us then. When the boys mention the “Drip Dry” shirts. They must have been the Bri-Nylon shirts that came into fashion during the 60s. I seem to remember the grown-ups complaining that they felt too hot to wear during the summer months.

Moving onto another subject now we are halfway through October. I noticed that the children are getting ready for Halloween – even though they are not likely to be trick and treating this year. Especially as we may be in a lockdown by then. We tend to think of things that scare us at this time of the year – and things that go bump in the night.  I found another newsletter from September 2000 when I asked Con and Dec what scares them the most. And even though they both love dogs, here is what they said:-

Con immediately said stray dogs scare him. The fear stems from the fact he was bitten by a stray dog when he was a child. He said that you can never tell what their temperament may be if they are wandering around loose. They may not be sufficiently house trained and are apt to biting and attacking people and other animals. Con hasn’t a problem with house trained dogs as he says, you can always tell that they are fine. And he has had dogs himself.

By co-incidence, Dec’s answer was also dogs. Dec liked to keep fit at that time by going out on a lunchtime jog each day. (He now goes for sedate walks along the South Downs taking his radio with him so he can listen to the news at the same time). With his jogging in the past, he used to come across many people who were taking their dogs out for walks at the same time. Some of the dogs ran free. When they saw Dec jogging they used to make a beeline for him thinking he was playing some sort of a game. The dogs used to jump up at him and he did get bitten on occasions. Dec said it was ludicrous to hear the owners say each time, “My dog has never done that before”. Never pre-judge a dog’s temperament. Luckily Dec was never badly injured but a chunk was taken out of his track suit trousers once. Dec does however love Oliver’s family dog, a springer spaniel named Toby and he joins them for walks when he visits Oliver and his family.

The boys spoke about preparing for Christmas in the last Zoom meeting and Dec showed a video film of his annual Christmas Eve tradition where he always – since the age of 4 – visited cafes for a naughty cream tea. His father used to take him to those cafes through his childhood. This is something he revels in so much nowadays that he has fun by getting into a mess with the cream. Sadly it is looking like he will have to buy some cakes and do the deed indoors this year. He also showed us a clip from when he took his granddaughter out for a cream tea at local hotel.  Dec said he likes to take his grandchildren out in turns for afternoon tea. As I watched the playback video of the meeting afterwards, my husband looked at it over my shoulder and said that Dec won’t be doing any of that this year. Sadly so much has been cancelled this year. It has been a non- year to speak of. There have been no live Bachelors shows for us fans to see and it is so lovely that they conduct these Zoom meetings each month for us. To help keep us going while we are all housebound. Con spoke of his annual childhood Christmas tradition when his mother used to take him to Woolworths every Christmas Eve to buy some last-minute things for Christmas Day.

Not only do we have Christmas on the horizon. Both boys have birthdays coming up. Con’s will be 18th November and Dec’s will be just before Christmas on 23rd December. The question remains as to what will Christmas be like this year?

I can’t wait for midnight on New Years Eve when I intend to say “Good Riddance 2020” and throw this year’s calendar in the bin. A friend told me she will go further and set fire to her 2020 calendar then. I won’t do that. I don’t want to risk my house going up in flames. But how will 2021 be? Better – I hope.

3 thoughts on “Latest Restrictions

  1. Thank you Lynne, another very interesting blog. How do you do it, can’t ever write an interesting email!! See you tomorrow on meeting Sue xx

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Am hoping on third time lucky – 2019 saw the deaths of both a friend and my Mum so I was pleased to see the start of 2020. How wrong could I have been…………….


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