2020 comes to an end
So here we are: the last day of 2020. What a strange year and what a strange point we have reached with the virus. Yesterday the Oxford Vaccine was cleared for use in the UK by the medicines regulator. On the same day new cases exceeded 50,000 and there were 981 deaths of people within 28 days of a positive test for covid 19. So a strange tension between the hope that comes with the roll out of the vaccine and the tightening of restrictions to try to prevent the NHS from being totally overwhelmed by the increasing demand. Here in Wales we have been in virtual lockdown since just before Christmas with an easing just on Christmas Day to allow a visit from only one household. Yesterday it was announced that many more areas of England would go into Tier 4, not quite national lockdown but very close with all non essential retail closed and hospitality businesses open only for take away food. It feels as if we are at a hugely significant point in the story of this virus. If we can prevent huge numbers of new cases we may be able to get on top of the pandemic through vaccinations but at the moment the logistical exercise of rolling out the vaccine is hampered by the sheer weight of work arising from the huge number of live cases.
So staying home, not seeing people, trying to restrict the transmission of the virus is the only thing to do right now.
Here Christmas was an odd mixture of normal and not. Our older daughter and her family were not able to come and we spent an hour or so with younger daughter and family outside, having a big bonfire, on Christmas morning. Afterwards I cooked a full Christmas meal, even though it was just for the two of us. We like Christmas food and I had bought it all, the turkey, the stuffings, the pigs in blankets, the cake and the pudding, so why not cook it and have the full works! We finished eating the turkey only yesterday, with some in the freezer, both legs uncooked and some turned into the mixture for turkey and leek pies. We talked to all our family and played Zoom Bingo with some of them on Christmas Day.
And today is New Year's Eve. It has snowed up here.
It is very beautiful. We walked up to the top of the hill this morning and the world was white and glistening in the sunshine. Do you remember the beautiful spring which we had as we plunged into the first lockdown? I found much comfort from the beauty of the natural world then and I found myself thinking again that the world remains a beautiful place. I'm still missing my family and friends and long to spend real face to face, hugging time with them all. In the meantime, waiting for the vaccine, I will take my comfort from time with Ian, from sunshine on snow, from the pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other. On we go!