Some views from the ‘streets’ with Alan Dearling
Each week, sometimes each day, brings new words into the public vocabulary. The Covid pandemic now has added the Delta variant. Live and more transmissible from India. Areas of the UK have been designated ‘high risk’, with surge testing and new vaccination centres springing up overnight.
But, uncertainty is the ‘watch word’. The public along with many politicians and scientists are increasingly divided. At odds, loggerheads, almost ready for fisticuffs and manning the proverbial, or, even real, barricades.
Here are some points of view. Opinions. Battle-lines in the Covid sand. I’ve changed names, but the sentiments are real, emotional. And raw.
George: I was negotiating the lease to open a new restaurant – a cocktail bar. I had interviewed staff. It’s really, really hard to get staff…no security in hospitality. The lease has hit problems with the owner and lawyers. Not just Covid. But it’s now not going ahead…very sad and especially so for workers.
Joanne: There’s no incentive to go and get the PCR test. Lots of ‘sticks’ and ‘no carrots’. I can lose pay, possibly lose my job if I was found positive. And everyone in my household would have to isolate. There’s been about 15 plus staff at the local centres each day, but only about 30 a day folk getting tested.
Gina: A girl, under age, from my school tested positive and then went to the local night club. They stayed open late…more cases were reported. Two year groups and staff had some positive cases and now the whole area has been designated as a Delta infected hot-spot. Hundreds isolated.
Tim: I won’t take time off work at the garage to get the vaxx. I get ill every time I get a jab. I’m not taking off possibly days off work… I can’t afford to be on the sick.
Ned: I’ve believed that Covid is a total hoax. I’ve been posting about it, sharing conspiracy theories and jokes. Now my brother’s been found positive with Covid. He’s been on a ventilator. They’ve just switched it off…brain damage… I’m lost…
Jim: Sorry, well I did catch it, so a week and a bit on oxygen, loss of vision and a stroke. And now, five months on, am still struggling to breathe. I don’t think it’s a joke!
Ade: Me too, two weeks in hospital with blood clots, still got fatigue issues a year later.
Sandra: I work as a manager in social care. About 12 staff in two teams. Many have refused vaccinations. I’m waiting on my employers and the government to decide if the public safety is more important than personal freedom. Staff will definitely leave if they have to have the jab.
Anton: I’m a musician. I put on gigs. I’ve been able to put on socially distanced gigs inside. Table service…And am due to put on a thousand-person, 3 Day festival in July. Just after the 19th. But we don’t know the rules for tests, vaccinations, travel, insurance and Brexit rules for performers from places like France. The punters and the performers need to know. It’s a complete mess. Other festies like Noisily have postponed to 2022.
The Magician: Not sure what to do about live gigs, or, what to think. The anarchist ones are likely to happen, but those that need a licence – who knows?
So… Across the UK we’re not exactly locked-down, but we’re far from back to whatever ‘Normal’ might be. Lots of restrictions, curtailments, rules and regulations. Vaccines remain the devolved governments’ Holy Grail. The ‘Way Out’. Meanwhile, Covid cases are rising at an ever- faster rate in the UK, and seem likely to outstrip the rate per 100,000 population for most of Europe. Likewise, there is a concern that hospitalisations are creeping up too.
The Covid pandemic public are not yet at the same Terminus as Boris. Maybe they never will be!