sheddi wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:10 pm
Hello everyone, good to see this thread is still active!
Here in the UK we're five (or is it six?) weeks into our latest national lockdown, with the end at least two weeks away. (Supposedly the Gov't will give two weeks notice of the schools returning,and we've not had that.) It's not quite as strict at the March 2020 one but schools and most retail businesses are firmly closed.
My two children (teens now, although the oldest was a pre-schooler whren I joined ZS, where has the time gone?) have been schooling from home all calendar year. The schools have been much better organised at giving lessonss via MS Teams etc. than I had expected; back in March-July 2020 they received essentially no schooling at all.
I'm splitting my time between the (socially distanced) office and home working. There are some things that require IT tools that can't be done from home; the corporate CAD and ERP platforms, for example.
Regarding COVID, the UK had a crazy spike in cases, hospitalisations and deaths through December and January. At the peak we had 80k cases and almost 2k deaths daily, in a country of ~65 million. The lockdown has brought those figures down a lot; cases are down to 10k daily, and deaths a little under under 1k.
Grocery stores are still open and well stocked. Mask wearing is mandated in most indoor spaces (not your own home) and, from what I've seen, is widely practiced. I would guess that of 20 random people in a store, 16 will be wearing masks effectively, 3 wearing them less ineffectively (eg. only over their mouth, leaving their nose exposed) and only one will be maskless. Young children are an exception; they aren't required to wear masks, more for practicality reasons than anything else.
One interesting side-effect of almost a year of COVID restrictions is very low rates of other infections. Rates of infection with two enteric viruses, norovirus and rotavirus, are at historic lows (see link
) while influenza has been pretty much wiped out.
On a personal note, the stockpile of canned and shelf-stable goods I purchased in February 2020 was largely not required during Lockdown 2020 and the similar stockpile I prepared for Lockdown 2021 was also unnecessary. Fortunately it's all stuff that we eat routinely as a family and so we ate through the 2020 stocks in autumn/fall 2020 and are now making a start on the 2021 one. Similarly the gasoline, diesel and LPG haven't been needed yet, although the winter isn't over and I might yet need to fire up the generator if we get a bad storm or some other event to interrupt the grid.
So far this calendar I've visited my office and the supermarket several times, the gas station and the pizza place twice each, and have bought takeout coffee once. And I think that's it for travel.
One unexpected finding last year was that, with there being much less travel, car batteries were going flat while the vehicles were on my driveway between uses. I've invested in an additional battery charger (a smart one, that can be left connected indefinitely) and it seems to be working well.
Finally, my parents and in-laws, all in their 70s, have received the first doses of their COVID vaccinations. My wife and I are in our 50s so, if everything goes as the national plan suggests, we should get our first shots by the end of March.