I wrote 2 blogs here in March 2020 about the Covid pandemic gripping the world

26/03/2020 Family & Community Spirit and 30/03/2020 Grandchildren 

What I write below are “My thoughts and my comments alone”

A year later and I write this blog, so much has changed in our fragile world. The thought that it would be a short term “inconvenience” has been proved wholly inaccurate, the cost in lives in the UK suggested by government of less than 20,000 has proved to be a very very poor guess, the impact on our children and grandchildren has been heartbreaking. Industry has been decimated, and the financial cost has been astronomical.

Many people have commented that approx 120,000 deaths in the UK is just a small percentage, and yes, I guess it is, but for the many who have been affected with family loss and friends loss, that “small percentage” doesn’t mean much. (UK Population approx 70,000,000) Being directly affected by a loved ones death because of Covid-19 is traumatic, emotional, and very sad. Many who have been affected will know the heartache of these loved ones passing away without being there, without being able to say “Goodbye”. Having to wait weeks and weeks to be able to bury or cremate and even then only being allowed small numbers……….To protect ourselves and our loved ones we must adhere to the rules that the government has set out, and for sure it has saved lives. Did the government act swiftly enough in the light of what action other countries took?

In my opinion I think we should have acted much quicker, quarantined our airports and seaports with strong access criteria. This is what many countries did, and they have benefited from lower percentage infections and deaths. Thailand with a population approx the same as UK, (70,000,000)  they had 26,241 cases and just 85 deaths Taiwan, an Island, with a population of 25 million had 960 cases and 8 deaths.  The UK was one of the last countries to have Covid-19 and yet we quickly became the highest infected country in Europe. Like everyone else I will have to wait to see what the outcome is when all this is looked at and conclusions made.

The NHS and every related ancillary business should be congratulated in the way they have responded to the enormous, almost breakable pressures they have been put under. Clapping on a Thursday for the NHS was a bold gesture and one that almost everyone got on board with, but in some ways I believe the government was paying “lip service” to all these people. I am not a member of the NHS, neither do I work in an ancillary business, and therefore would not dream of offering an expert opinion, but I know we owe a huge gratitude for what they have done, and also in some cases paid the ultimate price with their lives. Thank you

The parents that have stepped up and become “Homeschooling teachers” including my daughter, has been amazing. Children being out of school for a whole year, Students at University, going home for Christmas and not returning end of January 2020, and many who were unable to return from oversees still studying at home and taking Zoom lessons. It has been a very stressful time for parents of the young children and teenagers. Being in school builds relationships, builds friendships and instils the disciplines of learning. Their world has been turned upside down and we need to understand that those children who have been homeschooling have done an amazing job in keeping their studies going, and enduring the many distractions whilst still learning. Congratulations ! ………… To the Mums and Dad’s Congratulations!

With schools going back on Monday 8th March, I know both my school age grandchildren are looking forwards to it. Mia (15) will need to wear a mask and she will also be having regular Covid tests in school. Logan will be going back to school on his birthday, so am sure he will be happy to see his friends. There is no question in my mind that had masks been mandatory from day one in the UK, anywhere outside the home, we would not be in this situation and have had as many fatalities. I have personally worn a mask since the start, over a year, and am very glad I did and I was quite happy to do so. Having spent so much time in Asia and the Far East it has been a natural occurrence to see mask wearing every day, and I felt quite at ease wearing mine every day here at home.

Sadly many many people have lost their jobs and may never return to the workforce. Many areas of the economy has been so depleted that those business’s also may be lost forever. The furlough scheme, that has cost the country billions, I believe was far too discriminatory, leaving many millions of Zero Hour employees, self employed and contract workers to name a few, with no financial help whatsoever (and this I do know, being one of them) Many have enjoyed 80% of their wages whilst incurring none of the everyday costs of going to work and with the loophole that the government allowed, many millions were allowed to not only receive the 80% but also allowed to find other jobs and receive additional wages. Am sure there will be opinons on this in the aftermath.

For everyone who continued to work throughout this pandemic in the front line sectors and essential workers… Well done, and  Thank you.

Travel, has for some, not been a big deal, for others it has been a massive change to their lives. Me personally, I have travelled 3/4 times a year for as long as I can remember (being single helps) and I have found it hard not visiting friends all over the world. I had flights booked in early 2020 that was cancelled and re-booked, and so far it has been re-booked and cancelled 4 more times. British Airways and Cathay Pacific have not charged for any re-bookings which has been very good, and, I am scheduled to go to Taiwan and HK late November, when I hope we will all be flying again.

I personally would welcome the “Vaccine record” being biometrically attached to my passport. I think this makes common sense and also from a medical point of view is essential to keep the transference of Covid-19 and variants at bay. This pandemic is not over and we will I am sure be living with Covid-19 (and variants) for many years to come. Of course if people don’t want their personal medical details attached to a passport, then of course they have the choice not to travel. But… travelling and medical conditions have been with us for decades. Travelling to some foreign countries will not allow access unless you have had specific vaccinations, and proof thereof, which has been going on for decades.  So personally I don’t see the difference, and for those who think it infringes Human Rights? ….. Really? I cant see any reason why one would not want to have the vaccine record in their passport, as proof. Lets get this done :-)

You will be keeping yourself safe, and potentially saving lives, and that of friends and family? My daughter and family will all be having their vaccines to go on holiday later in the year and some destinations have already stated that access into the country without isolating quarantine will be allowed to travellers who have vaccine proof. That is great news for them and for the tourism industries.

The vaccine has now been given to approx 21,000,000 people in the UK, with a population of around 70,000,000 that is an amazing start to the vaccine programme. I had mine 2 weeks ago and am due to have the follow up on May 8th. No side effects and looking forward to having the follow up. But, having the vaccine doesn’t mean we can forget the restrictions, they are still in place and all being well will be phased out on specific dates through to July. We must protect the NHS and our families and friends and strangers too. Our lives will never be what they were but its up to us all to protect ourselves and each other……. We are all in this together.

So, what have I been doing?

I was working at Bristol Airport,  but some of you will know that I wasn’t furloughed as I had just changed to a Zero Hour contract, so effectively I was without an income, like many others. So the future didn’t look too rosy, but I had savings, which with some careful sacrifices I managed to take care of myself. There were many many others far worse off than me and I felt, and still feel for them. (I believe the government should have treated, and looked after EVERYONE.

I kept busy running my apartment, I did go fishing often (that helped a lot) and of course I was producing and presenting The Sunday Hour each week. I didn’t see family or friends, and was effectively isolating for months. I did see my family a few times when the lockdown was lifted, but as we know it didn’t last long, and back to lockdown we went. Summer came and went Autumn followed and I was able to gain employment at Hinckley Point C Nuclear Power construction site. I have been working there since October. That site hasn’t closed throughout the pandemic.

It is a great job, the safety measures against covid that are in place are excellent, Covid testing and PPE , anyone testing positive is taken off site and anyone who has been in close contact, the same. I had to self isolate for 14 days in early January, notified by Test and Trace that I had been in contact (No idea who) but came back to work after the 14 days.

Have not seen family since last un-lock down, so I work and go home each day. But with the power of Facetime , Zoom and Whatsapp video we keep it touch, and its been the same with friends and family around the world………. 21st Century Technology

In Feb 2021 I turned 66 (just a number) which meant finally I got my pension (State) it all helps …… So I am now officially a pensioner, BUT……… still fit, active and healthy….. and still working full-time!!

The future holds every possibility, the dream is still alive, we WILL come out of this, albeit to a different, changing world, but I am happy that God is with me , guiding me and my family.  We are healthy, happy and growing…….

Every day is a new day, life goes on, and with opportunities for the future  I am looking forward ……………….. maybe retiring to a nice warm climate where I can continue my journey producing and presenting my radio programme and help the poorer people of this world……….. Philipinnes

Kids International Ministries – Philippines Philippines. Me and the street kids Tondo, Philippines Missionary trip Easter 2016

Southern Leyte, Philippines

  

Stay safe, be mindful to others, stay healthy ……. God Bless you all.

 

Dedicated to my family: Kirsty, Rob, Mason, Mia and Logan…. and Coco family Beagle 

 

Psalm 33:4

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does

Exodus 20:6

May his favour be upon you

And a thousand generations

And your family and your children

And their children, and their children