Coronavirus at Christmas
A press conference on Saturday afternoon, the 19th December. Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers announce that the spread of a new strain of the virus is causing great concern. This strain appears to be considerably more infectious so while the illness itself seems to be no more (or less) virulent, if it runs unchecked we shall have a huge increase in case numbers with the inevitable impact on hospitalisations and fatalities. So fiercer restrictions are put in place in much of England and significant changes made to the arrangements for Christmas, reducing the period in which restrictions are relaxed from five days to one. Here in Wales there is the immediate announcement of another lockdown, again with some very slight easing on Christmas Day, but otherwise a lockdown to mirror the severity of the one we had here in spring: no travel, exercise from home, no household mixing.
It was not unexpected. Cases had been suddenly rising in the South East and in South Wales and the news about the new strain perhaps explains that. There had also been much uneasiness about the relaxations for Christmas anyway but the news of a much more infectious variant of the disease made changes to the rules almost inevitable. We had been hoping to see our older daughter and her family, with whom we have bubbled recently, for a couple of days of fairly restrained celebrations, taking advantage of our holiday cottage which means that we would not have needed to share a house overnight. I think we had all begun to wonder if this was wise and the new announcements have simply made the decision for us. We were cheerful and resigned with each other on our facetime call as Emma and I agreed that we could have Christmas at Easter, hopefully vaccinated and protected, but as I looked into her face and she into mine I could see that we were both sad. Would our eleven year old grandson mind, I asked her. I knew he had been looking forward to it. He will be disappointed, she acknowledged, but he has been worrying about the virus and the possible vulnerability of both us and his other grandmother, so he will like to feel he is keeping us safe.
Yesterday I went walking by myself, down the hill, up the station path and into Caerwys by the churchyard. I wasn't going anywhere or doing anything in particular, just walking, looking, feeling my breath shorten and my legs working as I climbed the hill.
One day at a time. There is much to do here as we move closer to moving out of our house but I can't get excited about it today. Tomorrow I will. Today I will read and crochet and be glad to be here. Bring on the vaccine.