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On this day in 2020

MONDAY 23RD MARCH 2020

46 deaths making the total 335.
There are a total of 6,650 people with COVID 19.
 
The usual 5 pm briefing by the Prime Minister has been postponed as they are having a COBRA meeting. (COBRA stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) it is a euphemism for a top-level security briefing and is used for war meetings and the like by the British Government Cabinet members. There is to be an announcement by the P.M. at 8.30 pm.
 
8.30 pm Announcement to the Nation by the Prime Minister:
‘This is a national emergency.’ Mr. Johnson declares.
Emergency measures are to be put in place.
It will require a substantial national effort. If too many people become unwell at the same time, the NHS can’t cope.
There are new emergency measures which will be enforced:
1)      Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
2)      Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
3)      Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.
 
These measures are effective immediately. They will be reviewed after three weeks.

STAYING AT HOME
People must stay at home apart from the following reasons when they can be in a public place:
·       Shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
·       One form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
·       A medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
·       Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
 
CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS AND PUBLIC SPACES
Last week the government ordered certain businesses – including pubs, cinemas, and theatres – to close.
The Government is now extending this requirement and the following must also close:
·       All non-essential retail stores – this will include clothing and electronics stores, hair, beauty and nail salons, and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
·       Libraries, community centres and youth centres.
·       Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
·       Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
·       Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
·       Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses.
 
STOPPING PUBLIC GATHERINGS
To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people.

There are only two exceptions to this rule:
·       Where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
·       Where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

Also, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms, and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals that can be attended by immediate family.

The penalties at the moment for noncompliance are fines of up to £1000, but they start at a weak £30. The police will have the power to disperse groups.
If people persist the police will have stronger powers

The PM closes by saying that the way ahead is hard, many lives will sadly be lost. We must ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.’

WE ARE NOW MOST CERTAINLY IN ‘LOCKDOWN.’
 
Family Life.
I decided to twin my exercise with a call in at the food shop in Netherfield town, so I went for a walk. We need some more hand sanitiser and cleaning stuff.
There is a hell of a lot of cars driving around; it is like Piccadilly circus. Where are they all going at 10 in the morning? On the walk, I noticed that the park was empty apart from one family, a mother, and two small children. She stood looking on and watched as they climbed all over the metal, potentially disease-ridden, apparatus.
The Co-op store in Netherfield was sufficiently safe to go in. Not too many people, and I was pleased to see that they had spacing in the queue to the tills. Sadly, no sanitiser and no cleaning stuff, however.

Quote of the day:
‘Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.’ – George Bernard Shaw.


TUESDAY 24TH MARCH 2020

87 further deaths in England.
422 total deaths in the UK.
8,077 cases of people having the virus in the UK.
332,930 cases worldwide, with a total of 14,510 deaths. (Up 1,727 in the last 24 hours).
65 countries are in lockdown. 40 countries are in partial lockdown (specific areas).
 
We wake up to see pictures of people crammed together on the tube in London. This needs to be addressed by Transport London and get it resolved and limit numbers on coaches.
 
There are inevitably going to be some teething problems. There is confusion. This morning Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, said that estranged parents should not be moving children between homes. He has since clarified this, and it means that children under the age of 18 can be moved between homes. This impacts on me. I will think about whether this is sensible or whether we should skype and telephone. I cannot guarantee that my daughter’s mother and partner are being stringent in their activities.

There is further confusion about construction workers and whether they are classed as essential. At the moment, it appears that they are.
These are issues that will no doubt be reviewed, and when the government is moving so quickly, there will be ambiguities.
 
Some tragic stories are circulating. One in Spain is that they have found a care home abandoned, with elderly patients left to their own devices, and some old folks were found dead in their beds.
 
I got a text this morning from the NHS and separately from the government merely saying, ‘Stay at Home.’ There was a link for further details.
 
YouGov has done a snap poll, and 93% said they support the lockdown.
66% said it would be easy to follow the new rules for three weeks. (It will be much longer). 29% said they thought it would be hard.
39% think the police powers are sufficient, and 39% think they are not.
 
Deaths are doubling every two or three days in Italy and Spain. If this happens here, then we will be up to 1,000 deaths a day very quickly.

PROJECTION:
87 deaths by 24th March (Today)
174 deaths by 27th March 2020
348 deaths by 30th March 2020
696 deaths by 2nd April 2020
1,392  by 5th April 2020
 
5 pm briefing. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The government briefing is seeking a quarter of a million volunteers – ‘NHS Volunteer Responders’ is a new group. These volunteers are to ‘shield’ the most vulnerable who are to stay in their homes for the next three months. This will be things like talking to them on the phone to check in and cheer them up. Deliver essentials to their house, such as food and pharmaceutical products. Delivering items between NHS locations.

The request for retired NHS personnel to return to help has so far resulted in 11,000 people stepping up to the plate. This is fantastic news. How wonderfully dedicated these people must be.

The government is utilising final year medical students, so in addition to this, there will be the mobilisation of a further 5,000 medical doctors and 18,000 nurses. Incredible numbers.

The military is building a new NHS hospital. The government has sequestrated the massive Excel Exhibition Centre in East London. It is to be called the Nightingale Hospital and will have two wards with 2,000 patients in each, all with ventilators. A total of 4,000 beds with ventilators. Grimly there are also two large morgues being built in the hospital.
The government is also allegedly looking at doing the same at The National Exhibition Centre in the West Midlands, which is even bigger than the Excel Centre in London. This is only speculation at the moment, though.

There are still issues with NHS staff getting the appropriate safety equipment (known as PPE – Personal Protection Equipment) to wear, and they are risking their lives. This is frustrating and cannot be allowed to happen; the government is prioritising this, but it needs to happen now.
 
Family Life:
Callum says he feels okay but still has a persistent cough.
Katie, who is my son, Andy’s partner, has asked for us to sign a petition for the government to support freelancers. All the support is to PAYE earners, and yet people like Katie, who is a music teacher and operatic singer, suddenly have no income and no support. I signed it. Hopefully, something will be done soon to help them.

Quote of the day:
‘In Venice in the Middle Ages there was  a man called a codega – a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets.’ – Elizabeth Gilbert.


The above is an extract from: Coronavirus 2020 Vision - The Road To Freedom Day - The Complete Diary and Events of the COVID-19 Pandemic.





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