i must say how much I am looking forward to the end of ‘lockdown’. Following the disastrous local tiered system of restrictions that preceded ‘lockdown’, we are now moving to, er, a new tiered system. And in South Gloucestershire we are in Tier 3. I am so looking forward to being able to do all the things I haven’t been able to do for the last four weeks. But first, a list of what we can’t do in Tier 3:
- You can’t mix with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, indoors, or in private gardens and pub gardens
- You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
- Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can reopen (if Covid-secure)
- Hospitality venues – such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway services
- Spectator sports cannot resume
- Indoor entertainment venues – such as bowling alleys and cinemas – must stay closed
- People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
Well, I can play golf, something that’s always a pleasure in the depths of winter and I can get my hair cut. I can go shopping, which I absolutely hate even at the best of times. I could just about tolerate a shopping trip if it culminated in a pub visit or two, but a bus into town and a bus home, in between dodging thousands of people, many of whom will inevitably be carrying the virus does not particularly appeal. And even if the pubs were open, would I really want to go in them? I feel unsafe enough in supermarkets where social distancing has become obsolete. And that’s without table service, an understandably smaller selection of drinks and the sheer cost of going to the pub (I can buy four bottles of ale from Morrison’s as part of my home shopping delivery service for only slightly more than the price of a pint in town). So, hang on. Very little will be changing in my life.
I can see a few problems in the government’s new rules. You can’t meet anyone you don’t live with unless you go shopping. I am no virologist but I can’t help thinking that when the shopping centres of Bristol reopen, they will soon be rammed and turned into giant petri dishes. I can envisage gridlock and long queues at Cabot Circus and the Mall. Although you can’t sit down for a bite to eat, you can all cram into hundreds of shops. Unless I am very much mistaken, by the time Santa Boris, as he wishes to be known, has allowed us to spend Christmas together, COVID-19 will already have infected vast swathes of the population. In the New Year, Johnson will be standing at a lectern, flanked by two grim-faced experts who unlike him actually know what they are talking about, telling us to lockdown until Easter. Does anyone honestly believe that this won’t happen?
Whilst the last lockdown was anything but a lockdown, we will get more of the same in January, with added restrictions. If I am being truly honest, I just think that we really should lockdown until such time as the vaccines arrive and real life can resume. As things stand, Johnson and his awful government are making up the rules as they go along.
Call it a lockdown, call it a tiered system; the truth is that it’s two cheeks of the same arse. I’m happy to stay at home until the vaccine gives me back my freedom. Apart from trips to the barber and the golf course, that is.