Wednesday, 17th March, 2021

[Day 366]

It seems strange to start off this blog with ‘Day 366’ but I thought I would stick with the absolute number of days since we started this blog rather than using any other numbering system. Today is always a delayed start for us as we have to complete our shopping order ready for delivery from Waitrose tomorrow morning but we got going at last. At last, though, we got under way and caught up with some of our church friends after our way back from collecting the newspapers. They informed us (but I think I already had a note of it) that bookings for our church services was going to start tonight, organised by Eventbrite, so that is something I must get organised later on tonight. Having seen one set of friends we cut across the road into the park and saw our University of Birmingham friend who was wondering where we were, as were a little late this morning. We chatted about this and that, thinking about how we were going to get our social lives organised in a week or so. For a start, our friend will be resuming a lot of his tennis activities as soon as these reopen on March 29th for outdoor sports but I suspect that my Pilates classes, being indoor, will have to wait a little longer. Last time we were ‘in between’ lockdowns we had a Pilates class with only four in it (one in each corner of the room) whilst our instructor occupied some open space near the door so we may go onto a similar regime this time around. Another friend who is a wheelchair-user hove into view and, as promised, I just happened to have another bottle of damson gin in my rucksack ready for her to enjoy.

We knew that this afternoon, we were going to have a ‘Zoom’ session with some of Meg’s cousins. So after lunch, a snooze and a paper read we were ready for the Zoom session which involved Meg’s cousin, her daughter and son-in-law in one house in Derby whilst another daughter and son-in-law were at their house in Cheltenham. We had a rather jolly time with quite a lot of discussion about how the nature of work would evolve in a post-pandemic world. We all agreed that the nature of work would alter radically and it may well be (I conjecture) that a pattern will evolve of 1-2 days in the office (around the water cooler!) to maintain social contacts and those things best handled face-to-face and with a corresponding 3-4 days working from home (if you have the space) I suspect that those who can, released from travelling time to/from work. may well decide to work 10 hour days and then see if it is possible to have a four day ‘working’ week and a three day ‘week-end’ or leisure time at least. The ultimate irony in all of this is that for the foreseeable future, one’s leisure time is likely to have a large internet component to it.

Tonight, when our ‘Zoom’ session had finished, I decided to consult our church’s website to see what arrangements there would be for services this weekend. To my delight, there as a clickable link to the Eventbrite booking system which worked like clockwork and I managed to get two places booked for myself and Meg at the Saturday evening service without any difficulty. I presume that we have to show the QR codes that have been sent over the email to secure our admission into church on Saturday and I wonder if we will be scanned in – much like the coffee ships before lockdown. We have a new parish priest ready to take over the parish so we are all rather curious – I thought I might take along some damson gin for him to enjoy but I suppose it can always double for communion wine if pressed into service.

There is a massive row going on in Europe at the moment with vaccines at their core – it really does look as the supply of vaccines is being ‘weaponised’ and is to be used in the developing contretemps between the UK and its EU neighbours. It looks as though supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine are going to be severely limited throughout the whole of April – so the long-term hope that we may start to think about vaccinating those under 50 seems to have evaporated. As always the argument is a complex one and hinges upon who promised what supplies of vaccine to whom and when and a lot of this is subject to legal agreements as well. But it appears that the government target of vaccinating all of the 50+ section of the population is still a government objective. Meanwhile, more than 25 million of the UK population has now been vaccinated and the point must be approaching (quite soon? within a day or so?) when we hit the milestone of 50% of the adult population having received at least one dose of the vaccine.