Sunday, December 20, 2020

Tier 4


You've probably seen the news that southeastern England, including London, is moving into "Tier 4" coronavirus restrictions. There was no Tier 4 until yesterday, at least not referred to by that designation, but it's basically total lockdown. Non-essential businesses must close, we're told not to travel, and there will be no household mixing over Christmas.

Apparently the new variant of the virus that recently popped up in the UK, while no more lethal or severe in terms of illness, is much more infectious, which is partly why our numbers have been going up so much. The vaccines supposedly still work against it, but we certainly don't want to spread it around. School got out just in time!

For me and Dave, this doesn't mean much, except that any plans I had for short trips over the break are probably kaput. We weren't going to visit with anyone anyway, and we're experts at staying home. I suppose if anything it may call into question whether we'll be back at school in January as planned.

One of my co-workers flew back to the USA on Friday, and it looks like she got out just in time. (Hopefully not taking that new virus strain with her.) I wonder what this means for other families who had intended to travel. Looks like that might not be happening, although I don't know how all this will be enforced. If I had a ticket and showed up at Heathrow, would someone prevent me from boarding my plane?


Apparently there's also going to be "significant policing" during New Year's Eve. Again, Dave and I have no plans, so for us, no big deal. We have a mini-bottle of champagne that came with my most recent craft gin club shipment, so we'll probably celebrate with that.

Yesterday I whipped the house into shape, vacuuming and doing laundry. I also took Olga for a two-hour walk to the cemetery. I don't know how we spent that much time there, but we did.


Olga nearly wore out her barker challenging the squirrels!

Dave and I have started a new TV series called "Halt and Catch Fire," about the early days of personal computer development, and it looks promising. I'm also on Season Five of "Bosch," which Dave doesn't like for some bizarre reason that I can't figure out. He's funny about some cop shows. He didn't like "The Wire" or "Southland" either, and I loved both of those. We've essentially given up on Netflix's "Star Trek Discovery" series -- we're both Trekkies but I just don't understand what the heck is going on half the time!

52 comments:

  1. Such difficult and unpredictable times. Glad you and Dave have such a good life together... with Olga. What a time for your colleague to fly to the United States. We quickly tired of Bosch, although we pushed forward for a while. Can't even remember all the reasons we didn't like it.

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    1. I really like LA, so that's part of the appeal for me. My colleague's husband still lives in the states, so I'm sure she felt some obligation to be with him!

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  2. I was so upset yesterday when I found out about the new rules. It means I won't be able to see my youngest son, who I haven't seen for months, or my middle son and family, including the nearly 3 yr old can't be with us for Xmas and Boxing Day. And.....I shall have to cook a meal for myself and husband ! Daughter in law was going to be doing that!!

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    1. Sorry the changes had this effect on your plans! It's got to be especially hard for families like yours with small children, who change and grow so quickly. I wonder how many people now find themselves suddenly having to cook a Christmas dinner!

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  3. I hesitated to click on this blogpost in case it was infectious. Sensibly, I have now donned my mask and surgical gloves to check it out. Did you see people on the TV news rushing to catch trains out of London - heading north? I call them the death trains and I am not kidding. I felt very low when I climbed the stairs to bed last night.

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    1. Death trains! It's true! People are so short-sighted.

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  4. Stage four was invented by who? Boris government? It is pretty close to our midyear lockdown that lasted for a couple of months and completely cleared the virus from our state and country. Such a lock down should have happened months ago and the UK would now be in a far better place.

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    1. Yes, Tier 4 is a creation of Boris's administration. I heard that there's one case of this new viral strain in Australia. Argh!

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  5. That should also happen here I know several individuals who have COVID who did not follow CDC guidelines for not mixing households, wore no masks and did not distance over Thanksgiving...More examples of "I wanna do what I wanna do," without regard for anyone else. These are all educated folks, some elderly

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    1. I think some people, even educated ones, feel like we should just get on with things and take our chances. One of my neighbors was saying that to me not too long ago, and he's definitely in a risk group given his age.

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  6. I cannot wait until we live in a world where Covid hasn't taken over every aspect of our lives. Stay safe and healthy!

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  7. Oh dreadful, but welcome the lockdown club. Stay safe!

    We just finishes watching Twin, a great Norwegian crime thriller on BBC iplayer. Industry on BBC iplayer was also weirdly entertaining.

    I imagine it's not so much a question whether someone may prevent you from boarding but rather is the plane actually leaving. As of now, flights to The Netherlands and Belgium from the UK are shut down, Germany and Italy are about to follow and my guess is that be evening today, most of Europe will not allow UK flights. Ireland is in a quandary here but could well follow.

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    1. I wonder if other countries outside Europe will follow suit? I'll have to look for "Twin" and "Industry"! I haven't heard of those.

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    1. Yeah, I heard. And Scotland won't let any of us in!

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  9. And here we go. What is there to say?
    Be safe.

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    1. You too! All we can do is keep our heads down!

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  10. it's a good thing you don't mind being homebodies. and you do have the garden while so many others only have their four walls. a total lockdown will never happen here especially this time of year. the 'war on christmas' nuts will go ballistic.

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    1. We ARE very lucky in that respect. Having outdoor space is a huge plus. I feel bad for families with children who live in small apartments.

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  11. We are in three already, back up to four from St.Stephens day/Boxing Day.
    Doesn't change anything for us except for some smaller shops being closed...and the supermarket grabbing their business.
    Good to see you getting out..Pirate went out on the bike for an hour while I did eBay photography while the light was good..he said it was dry but very cold.

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  12. We haven't seen UK family since Autumn 2019...we are not complaining if that means we get to see them post pandemic

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    1. Yeah, that's exactly what Boris said -- we can't see them now so that we CAN see them later! At least you live in a place where you can get outdoors and have some exercise biking or walking without encountering too many people.

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  13. As my son Emil repeats ad nauseum when trying to accept the fact that he isn't allowed to come out to the farm for Christmas, though there are many who refuse to take this plague seriously and will continue to visit and travel, prolonging the suffering of us all: "Oh well, we can't control what other people do." Or as my husband says, "There's no cure for stupid." -Kate

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  14. Sounds like you will have a pleasant, peaceful holiday.
    I do wonder how they enforce all of those rules. Quite frankly, I don't even know what our rules are - I just stay home or wear a mask if I need to pop out to the store. Like you, I take a lot of walks but stay away from people when I do.
    Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

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    1. I don't really know all the ins and outs of our rules either. Like you, I just stay home!

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  15. I loved Bosch a lot. After we'd seen all six season, we were bereft. Allegedly a seventh is in production, and after that there will be no more. If you're on Amazon Prime, check out The Night Manager. It was pretty good.
    Other people are enigmas to me. The virus could be knocked down if they would stay home, wear a mask. It's just not that difficult.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad to hear another one is coming! I thought they were all finished. I'm recognizing some of the plots from the Michael Connelly books I've read!

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  16. Some people's spirit has turned into mashed potatoes. Squashed. Beaten into submission. They don't even ask for butter to make the ride smoother.

    What I'd like to know re the tiers: Where do borders end and start? Say you live in Berkshire (since close to London one of the counties hit too) at the border to, I don't know, a county in tier three - make that two. Will you dip your toe across the fence in the hope to not be caught by the local bobby who, himself, think about it, is in tier four?

    Anyway, it's all shite. For more reasons than the obvious. A friend of mine lives in Hertfordshire (stone throw from Windsor Castle). He refuses to see his own flesh and blood since it's "against the law". Long may he outlive his funeral. And anyway whatever happened to "Under Cover of the Night" (Rolling Stones)?

    The one thing I am beginning to find exhausting, Steve, is that our lives (and conversations) are largely dominated by the Virus. What would we have talked about in 2020 if that Virus had never materialized? And to think that, not that long ago, people would heave themselves into the office with heavy colds - infecting the one in the next cubicle.

    Tier Two greetings,
    U

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    1. PS, though not an afterthought: So lovely how you caught the church and the light filtering through the trees. I love Angels fullstop. And Olga embodies the spirit of living in the moment. If there is a squirrel bark. Now. Before muzzled.

      U

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    2. It IS interesting to speculate what this year might have been like -- what we might have talked about or done -- had coronavirus not appeared. Dave and I would have gone to Brazil, for one thing! Re. the tiers, I suppose living in border areas would be more difficult in some ways because of those arbitrary lines.

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  17. I did hear about the lockdown. That will impact the retailers in a big way. This is their busiest time of year. Over here, DJT & his cronies Flynn, Guliani, and Pwell are talking about Marshall law to keep him in office. The madness continues.

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    1. I feel so bad for all the shops and restaurants.

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  18. People here in the United States are still saying the pandemic is political. I just told my sister she need to make her grown kids stay home because they are still out there traveling around like nothing is happening. She is 74 years old with underlying health problems and her husband is the same age and on dialysis and has a pacemaker. One of her daughters are traveling all over and asked her when did she want her to bring her to Houston to see me. I told her to remind her that if she come here she will not be getting in. Please take this serious and I assume you and Dave are doing it. It is real. I am afraid to go out because these people are wearing their masks under their nose and chin. It's said and this is not a political stunt but real live pandemic. I will repeat myself. I tested positive in April, was hospitalized for 2 1/2 weeks. I can't tell you the symptons because I also had a blood infection. With my health condition I was blessed to only have been on oxygen and not a ventilator and made it home. I was following orders and did everything right but I had to go out to the store, doctor and dialysis. Some people know they are positive and don't care who they give it to.

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    1. I think young people in particular really struggle with all this. I mean, when you're young, you think you're invincible anyway, so the temptation is there to keep going out and partying and living as usual.

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  19. Olga Girl, You So Rock The Casbah - Bark On Girlfriend - Bark On

    Cheers
    P.S. Gave Advice To The OZ Comment

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    1. All her barking has actually become quite annoying on these walks. LOL

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  20. The new restrictions should get our attention. It will be a long while before any vaccines slow things down.

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    1. It will indeed be a while -- months and months.

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  21. We've canceled our Christmas plans. We had some ideas to make it safer, but have decided to not even tempt fate. I hope this tier 4 business works for you guys!

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  22. Even for those of us who are so comfortable just being home and hanging out together with our loves, these days are simply weird. Mutation of that virus is pretty scary. I'm hoping that we all get the vaccine soon and that we can come out from this hiding. Take care there and stay safe.

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    1. Mutations ARE scary but normal. As long as the vaccines still work. That's the important thing. I hope it doesn't become like the flu, where new varieties demand different vaccines.

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  23. If you have Netflix, check out "Midnight Diner". I'm a fan though Judy is not. Warning: it is in Japanese, with English subtitles.

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    1. OK, I'll look for that! I wonder if we can get it here? Some shows on Netflix in the states aren't available in Europe because of licensing.

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  24. I've been meaning to watch Halt and Catch Fire. Lately, I've been all about costume dramas, probably because they provide a reliable escape from my contemporary reality, but I think I've run out of costume dramas that can hold my attention so now I'm casting about for anything, really, that will hijack the incessant rambling in my brain. Be safe over there, my friend. We'll try and do the same over here.

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    1. Yes, try "Halt and Catch Fire." I'm incessantly rambling too. :)

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  25. I loved Bosch.

    We're doing a whole lot of nothing too. Yay. A two hour walk sounds very nice, except the barking bit.

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    1. It was a good walk, and we took another long one yesterday. Thank god we have woodsy places to walk!

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  26. Stay Well, that new strain is worrisome due to the contagiousness being 70% more, which is rather terrifying to try to avoid getting it. Good thing they say the mortality rate and Vaccine efficacy is still not affected for it. I do hope it doesn't create more Isolation and extreme hardship, especially for Imports of Essentials and Exports... people are surely miserable and suffering enough. We have Family in North Wales but they haven't said anything about it being there yet. Being stranded if you got out in time or traveled into England just for a brief say might be problematic, don't know what restrictions are in place but it seems Europe and Canada quickly responded. I'm glad your Holidays won't be affected much, ours either really, we're keeping it intimate and simple this year... whether or not the numbers start going in the right direction or keep a trajectory in the wrong one. Don't know when we'll rate getting the Vaccine, we have so many for them to give it to and we haven't been known for great distribution Nationally even with PPE.

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    1. "Intimate and simple" is definitely the holiday theme this year! Which isn't a bad thing, in some ways.

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