COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN!
The sun has shone so much through spring all the familiar sounds on Alston Moor were amplified, with peewit and curlew calling, snipe drumming and ewes with lambs in the fields, and, but slowly and tentatively these long days things are opening up again. We are most fortunate up here to have space to get out in, and there’s a good community spirit. Moorlands Candles are back in production and following Government guidelines, and some of those furloughed are back at work. We are taking orders but processing them could take a bit longer.
With the spread of covin-19 virus around the world, the Government could have chosen to let the pandemic run it’s course, keep the economy going and count on ‘herd’ immunity. This would have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people. Instead, it elected to slow the spread through social isolation, enabling our stretched NHS to cope. We did have warning from across the world, but were not prepared for the scale of the epidemic and the need for testing, proper protective equipment for key workers in health and social care, and ventilators for victims. It was warming to hear the street applause for the NHS on Thursdays ,and an awareness that it is still valued after 10 years of cuts and privatisation, and that we need to pay more tax to keep our NHS and Social care free for everyone.
Financier and Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman told the world on CNBC TV that ‘Hell is coming’ and made $2.6 billion betting on the stock market plummeting! It’s not surprising that in this situation some greedy people will seek to profit. Flying around the world was so normal for the privileged, but do we wan’t to bale out Richard Branson and go on and build more runways and capacity when this is over? Do we need to fly in so much rather than grow our own crops? Roads are quiet and air pollution down in cities around the world. Are we thinking whether we need to travel so much? Do we need so much stuff? Can we have more international co-operation, stop invading countries and get rid of the wasteful expense of nuclear weapons at last? Can we look at a society where everyones work is valued and rewarded equally, the cleaner, the manager or the Company Director.
Enforced distancing has been strain for many. Couples who were used to be in separate work environments, with no pub to escape to. Old people who already felt isolated and who’s only phone calls are from scammers. Not to be able to touch nor embrace, when physical contact is essential to being human. The time has flown by, but enough for some to to write, paint or play an instrument, and the young who live on line can survive this. Some will find time for DIY, reading, playing games and plotting new futures, but for others it’s the same old drudgery. We have to get out if we can, to exercise, sow seeds and experience nature as spring and summer blooms. For many there is a big void with most sport events and festivals cancelled. Life was different, and we learnt what was important. Still look out for the neighbours. Solidarity! Keep well. Ted Thompson
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