Today I will start with good news: yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who returned to work after being infected with the coronavirus) announced that we had passed the peak of contagion, deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Of course, if we don’t take care of ourselves and start to neglect the government’s guidelines, those numbers can rapidly increase again.
However, quite gradually, the numbers have been falling, and this means the strategy of being all in social isolation is working.
Next week, it will be 6 weeks in lockdown, and it is the period when the government will review how and what will be done concerning this.
They will also announce, possibly on May 7th, “lockdown relaxation” strategies.
This does not mean on that date, they will or will not relax the isolation, but we will know next week the exit plan from this current situation.
Indeed, nothing will open immediately, as they warned that everything would be done with extreme caution.
Some rumours suggest that maybe some children of certain ages will return to schools, some stores that manage to make the distance of 2 meters between customers will reopen, but I prefer to wait and see precisely how it will be with 100% certainty, to tell you.
I’ve read a very interesting article on BBC News (here), which shows how the population is behaving and what they think about the “lockdown”.
The majority, around 48%, accept the lockdown, 44% accept it but are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, and only 9% are those who are not following the guidance and think it is an exaggeration of the government and people in general.
Also, more interesting (and I will include myself in that percentage) is that over 60% will not feel comfortable using public transport or going to bars and restaurants when the lockdown is eased. And I believe that this fear will only end when a drug or vaccine is discovered.
Behavioural scientists have warned the government that extended periods of restrictions would make it difficult for people to keep obeying the rules. However, experts were impressed by the British public’s adherence and respect for the new rules.
The constant request to stay at home, protect the NHS and thus save lives seems to have been effective with extensive and consistent support.
One of the controversies that I had mentioned before was about the fact that in the statistics, they were only showing deaths in hospitals, not counting those in nursing homes and residences.
This week they managed to create a system, and now the statistics showing daily are with the total number of positive cases and deaths in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, as expected, the number of deaths increased to more than 27.500 (more than 5,000 here in London), more than 177.000 people with a positive result and more than 15.000 are admitted to hospitals.
Despite all these deaths, no patient was left unattended, without ventilators or hospital beds. With Nightingale hospital without high demand (I wrote about it herehere), an idea would be to transfer the most fragile elderly people there.
That is because if they get infected, the body deteriorates quickly and sometimes there is no time to reach the hospital alive.
However, they are examining this, because it can affect the emotional and physical state of them, especially those who have dementia and Alzheimer.
Several stores were in a difficult situation before the pandemic, and many were almost bankrupt or in administration, because lately,customers started to make the majority of their purchases online, directly affecting the stores of dozens of chains across the UK.
Famous stores like Oasis and Warehouse will be closing because of the crisis caused by the virus. Others like Debenhams, Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, among others who were already in crisis, will hardly be able to maintain themselves. And even the gigantic John Lewis will close some of its stores around the country.
This is just the beginning of a substantial economic crisis, not only here, but worldwide.
Hundreds of beds in hotels and charities have been made available to homeless people to shield from the coronavirus. However, it is known that many are still without a place to protect themselves and to have something to eat, as they survive on the food and money the people give to them, but as the towns are empty, they are not managing to have the little they used to have weeks ago.
As many of these homeless people have dogs, these animals were taken to another institution (Dogs on the Streets), where they will be cared for until their owners can pick them up.
One thing that I think is great and that I learned over these 16 years that I’ve been living here and today I got used to doing a lot, are donations.
There is always an institution, a person, a family, a hospital, raising money for noble causes, and it is incredible how generous people are.
And in this moment of crisis and chaos that we are experiencing, these attitudes only intensifies…
I see more people helping than asking for help, more people who are in difficulty and yet helping others. It is so inspiring!
And look, I am not only talking about financial aid but attitudes of pure love, of pure empathy with others.
I realized that I’m lucky to live in such a good country and I don’t know when or how, but if to get it through this frightening time depends on altruistic attitude, I’m sure we will get out of this soon…