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Is It Safe To Come Out Yet?

Today sees one of the many changes in guidance regarding Covid, so I thought would be a good time to write about the pandemic. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with facts and figures – we’ve heard/seen them all on the news etc!

If in England, if you are double jabbed and have a negative result, you no longer have to isolate if you’re in close contact with someone who is confirmed positive for covid.

There is so much unknown about the current climate, and that’s part of what’s so confusing and distressing for everyone.

I don’t know about you, but when this first came up at the end of 2019, I thought it was just a bad cold and people were over-reacting. Little did I know at this point that it would spread across the world and grind everything to a holt. Who’d of thought it would still be ongoing now.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to have gone slow yet quick, and all merged together.

Everyone reacts to times like these differently. Nothing prepares you for it. We’ve never experienced anything like this before in our lifetimes, and fingers crossed, won’t have to again when everything is ok.

#CovidAnxiety

We saw schools, workplaces and shops close whilst we came to terms with what was happening and drew up an action plan. An advantage of this was spending more quality time with our immediate families/households. Or finally getting round to doing those jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off for ages. How many of you re-decorated or did work in the garden?! We enjoyed a slower pace of life, which I think some people needed to be honest. Escape the pressures and demands of working life.

Whilst these are now back open we are still adjusting to a the new normal.

What was once seen as something worn by medics (and even then not all the time), face masks are now a staple item that most adults did and some still do wear in indoor public areas. There has been a big boom of crafters creating these in all different designs and sizes etc. Who wants to have a standard blue one anyway lol?! Whilst I don’t like wearing it, I know it’s important and (hopefully) not a long term thing. It also brings a bit of comfort that you and others are doing your bit to help fight the virus.

This doesn’t mean however that those not wearing them aren’t/weren’t. Some reasons aren’t obvious, and those people shouldn’t be judged – like an invisible disability, you don’t know everything just based on what you see.

Another advantage or maybe disadvantage to come from all this, is I think employers and employees are learning the benefit/hindrance of working from home. No more commuting can give you back quite a bit of free time which we wouldn’t have had otherwise. No more paying for petrol/public transport either and less fuel emissions.  Although there’s a fine line trying to find a home and work life balance if it’s all done in the same space.

With social distancing, we also have less human interaction. We spend a lot of our time in the work place with our work colleagues.  This can be the only form of conversation for some. We have also been restricted when it comes to seeing friends and family, who play such an important part of our lives and act as our support network.

When out on walks, I’ve noticed people being friendlier and saying hello etc J maybe this is something that we should try and keep up. #PermissionToSmile is a Birmingham-wide campaign, backed by local organisations and the city council. It encourages friendliness and rekindling community street-by-street, helping to address social isolation and reduce the call on public services. I’m sure they’ll have seen an increase in support recently.

#PermissionToSmile

Quite often the bad things outshine the good, so I thought I’d look at some of the positives. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

1. Pollution is dropping

#ClearWatersOfVenice

Because of the worldwide lockdowns and increased numbers of people staying at home, the levels of air pollutants and warming gases are down almost 50% compared to this time last year. This has given nature a chance to fight back! Residents of Venice are noticing a vast improvement in the quality of the famous canals that run through the city, which are running clear for the first time in years, and fish can even be seen in the usually murky waters. This has been down to a drastic drop in water traffic means sediment in the canals has been able to settle.

Cancelled flights and less commercial and industrial activity during lockdown means reduced air and light pollution around the world. This means we’ve been able to enjoy some spectacular night skies, and the Northern Lights have even been visible in more places.

#NorthernLights #AuroraBorealis

2. Community Spirit

We have seen the whole country pulling together. Keyworkers have been helping to keep the country running, while neighbours have been helping those isolating. We’ve also seen people out on the streets, clapping for carers.

Fundraising has been going strong too. Despite the difficult times, Capt. Tom Moore raised a phenomenal £32m+, all by doing laps in his garden! And he is definitely well loved around the nation – he got 150,000 birthday cards! The generous people at British Airways gifted him and his family a holiday to Barbados. I can think of no one better who deserves it.

#CaptTomMoore

 3. The Nation’s Shops Pulling Together 

Lots of high street favourites such as Pret and Greggs, offered freebies to hard-working NHS staff and vulnerable groups. Supermarkets also showed their support by offering discount, and having specific shopping times. A lot of them also gave their employees a bonus for working through these difficult times.

#ThankYouNHS

4. Koalas are being released back into the wild

At the same time the dreaded C-word was starting to fly around, Australia was battling wild fires. One of the worst-affected areas was Kangaroo Island in South Australia –renowned for its biodiversity, and in particular, the koala. About 50,000 of the cuddly creatures lived there before the fires but it’s now feared as few as 5,000 are left, with much of their habitat destroyed. WWF have described it as ‘one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history’

#AustraliaWildFires #SaveTheKoalas

I’m happy to say though that they’ve been able to start re-releasing rescued koalas back into the wild. 

5. Mass Volunteering

Shortly after a government plea, over 500,000 people volunteered to deliver food and medicine to vulnerable people, transport them to appointments, and speak to isolated people on the phone. These amazing people are the NHS Volunteer Responders.

#Volunteering

6. Africa was declared free of polio

Back in August, the World Health Organisation delivered the news that there had been no new cases of the polio virus recorded on the continent of Africa since 2016.

#WorldAid

Sometimes it feels like there’s a lot of doom and gloom around us. I’ll be honest, I don’t really watch/read the news for this very reason. Ignorance is bliss!

I do however follow The Happy Newspaper on Instagram/Facebook. They release a quarterly newspaper which celebrates all that’s good in the world from the previous 3 months

It’s a great little pick me up – How can the thought of penguins wondering around a museum not put a smile on your face 😊🐧

#TheHappyNewspaper

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