My thoughts are with, among very many other people, those who were supposed to be travelling on holiday to places to which the British government, which has presided over one of the highest COVID-19 death totals on the planet, now decrees unsafe. Most people who were about to travel will not now do so because of the near certainty of their insurance being invalidated and what will effectively be a 28 day quarantine period abroad and then here. It’s buggered up our holiday arrangements, too. We have already lost one family holiday and our second attempt this year to visit my partner’s father in Spain is certain to end in failure. Cases are on the rise in many places including France, so why aren’t they rising here?

The truth is they are rising here, but for “technical reasons” the government is unable to tell us by how much. Perhaps they were too busy removing 5000 cases from our record death toll to include them? And maybe that’s why the news is all about a small rise in refugees and asylum seekers coming across from France became front page news? Who knows?

It is understood that the rise of the virus in some countries, with no sign of increased number of deaths, is down to young people spreading it around other young people who are less likely to die from it. Is the rise in our new cases down to youngsters?

Travelling to the other side of town yesterday, there were large numbers of people ignoring mask-wearing regulations. Some were young but just as many were older and indeed old. Indeed many older people who were wearing masks seemed to be unaware that their noses and mouths were linked. My experience of shopping today in Morrisons in Weston Super Mare was very uncomfortable.

Most people were wearing masks inside the store but there was no social distancing whatsoever. The shoppers were predominantly older people – like me, really – and must have been under the impression that the virus had gone away. As we know, face-masks are of little use to the wearer but of great use to others. My impression, seeing people squeeze past each other, was that either people did not know that or they simply didn’t care.

Friends who have been abroad this year tell me they felt far safer away from Britain than in it. Social distancing was far better respected, the penalties for non-compliance with mask-wearing are severe and only the Brits were the ones carrying on as if nothing had happened. Standard.

It feels to me that we’re weary of the staying power of COVID-19 and many of us are going through the motions. We’re wearing masks but we’re also having them around our necks before and after. We’re not all washing our hands properly and my experience is some of us are not washing our hands at all, particularly men who have visited the pub toilet. Boris Johnson says things will be normal at Christmas, the numbers are going down and most of us are observing the rules, a message to folk who think if most people are observing the rules then why should they bother? After all, the rules didn’t apply to Dominic Cummings, did they?