|River Thames from Rainham Marshes.|
Approaching 7 months from the start of the National Covid-19 Lockdown, and after a few months where it began to look like the country might have things under control, it now begins to feel as though we’re heading back to the way things were back in March. Wales has today announced a 2 week total lockdown beginning on Friday, and parts of the rest of the U.K. are now under “Tier 3” Very a high risk restrictions. Here in Essex we’ve just been moved into Tier 2 (High risk) by Essex County Council - something which is mystifying the residents of this part of the county as our number of cases per 100,000 is lower than a good many other areas of the U.K. where the restrictions are still at Tier 1 - Medium risk - level. Ironically enough excluded from the Essex-wide T2 restrictions is Thurrock - as a unitary authority they were able to “opt out” in spite of the fact that they have the highest figures of anywhere in the county. It’s no wonder people are finding things confusing!
Other areas of the country that have moved into a tier 2 have been reassured that if their numbers drop, a return to tier 1 will follow - for us in Essex though things are not so clear-cut as our numbers are already well below the level that was originally suggested as the one likely to trigger the increased of risk designation. As things stand, we’re not allowed to visit friends or family indoors, whether in a private home or meeting up in a pub or restaurant, although the guidelines are at pains to reassure us that we CAN meet with you to 6 people from outside of our own household in a beer garden, or park - very helpful at this time of year! Essex CC have given no clue about how long they expect this state of affairs to last - meaning that we are facing the very real prospect of Christmas being effectively cancelled for the majority of people - for many the last straw after a really tough year.
Here, things continue much as they have been. I am still furloughed, and still with little idea how things will pan out when that ends at the end of this month. MrEH continues to work from home, with occasional trips into London to his office - when he travels out of rush hour times where possible, the Underground is quiet during the day, but approaching as busy as ever in the evening rush, at least. I made a trip to Lincolnshire a couple of weeks ago to see pals and watch the Reds final couple of practises of the season - and also squeezed in two trips to the rather wonderful Dambusters Inn - goodness knows when I will next get there! I’m maintaining the routine of running three times a week plus lots of stretching, and also trying to add in some strength training also - a habit I desperately need to get back to. I managed just one airshow in the end this year - Aerolegends ran a successful a COVID-secure show at Headcorn Aerodrome at the end of September, perhaps a blueprint for how things may need to be done more generally next year, we will see...