Coronavirus Around the World – UK
Coronavirus in the UK – A Postman’s Viewpoint
OTL City Guides are designed to be the go-to for all kinds of lifestyle information. However, we never thought we’d be sharing stories about life during a global pandemic like the effects of the Coronavirus in the UK.
Unfortunately, lifestyle these days seems to completely revolve around the Coronavirus COV-19 crisis. While so many of us are cooped up at home, it can be easy to forget that we’re not the only ones going through this, so we’ve asked writers from around the globe to share their experiences.
This post is from our City Guides go-to writer for things to do in London and the UK. This time, though, Rob is sharing his personal experience about what life is like in the UK during these days of the Coronavirus crisis. For stories from other locations, be sure to visit our Coronavirus blog, as we’re gathering global perspectives.
Living with Coronavirus in the UK
By Rob in Stafford
Hello there, my name is Rob, and I reside in a town called Stafford in England. I am a postman by trade, and like everybody else, at the moment, I’m living in a world dominated by COVID-19 or Coronavirus as everybody seems to know it as these days.
In the UK, as we speak, we are approaching (hopefully) the peak of the pandemic, but things have changed dramatically from the way we were living even just four weeks ago.
Everything Changes in a Month
This time last month you could go and meet your friends to partake in any social event you wanted, children could go to school, everybody who worked could physically go to their workplace, and sporting events were occurring daily with crowds of people all over. Life was what you would call normal.
Then Coronavirus started to take effect.
Essential Outings Only
At the moment in the UK, we are under a lockdown that has been put in place by the British Government. What this means is that schools, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, and many other businesses that are classed as ‘non-essential’ have been closed down, with citizens being advised they are only now allowed out for a few very limited reasons which are:
1) To go shopping for essential items
2) For medical reasons
3) For one form of exercise per day (should be no longer than an hour where possible)
4) To go to work, if you cannot in any way work from home.
On top of these restrictions, our police forces have now been given the powers to fine people who are in breach of these regulations, with fines able to reach up to £960 for repeat offenders.
It’s a little bit mad here at the moment. The weather is starting to pick up and become warmer, and plenty of people are starting to feel the strain of being stuck at home for coming up to three weeks, but it must be said that the vast majority of people of taking notice of the guidelines and are doing what they’ve been asked for to do their bit to help combat the virus.
That said, there are still some idiots (and that’s being polite) who think they’re above the rules and that they can do what they want, and it will be because of these people that the restrictions are left in place longer than they would have needed to be.
Key Workers only
From a worker’s point of view, you’re only really allowed to be out and about at work if you are considered to be what has been termed as a ‘key worker.’ A key worker is someone whose job role is essential to keeping the country going in this difficult time. Key workers include supermarket staff, off-licences, medical facilities, delivery drivers, and postal workers, amongst others. As a postal worker myself I have to say it is very strange seeing hardly any vehicles on the road, or people out and about in the streets and I see a lot of people who are isolating in their homes. I always make sure I give them a wave or a thumbs up to make sure they’re alright.
From a shopping point of view, when the Coronavirus first hit, it went crazy. People started panicking and started clearing the shelves of the basics (toilet roll, dry pasta, and rice, fresh meat, etc.), selfishly leaving nothing left a lot of the time for other people (I know of someone who stockpiled 120 toilet rolls – why?!).
At the moment, it seems to be returning to a bit of normality where there are things like that left for everyone to buy and share around, which is reassuring for a lot of people. Most of the big supermarkets around here are now running special hours for medical staff and the elderly to do their shopping first before opening the doors to everybody else.
Effects in the countryside
Another positive (if there can be any positives of Coronavirus) is that because there are lots fewer vehicles on the road and just people around in general, the nature in the country is coming out to play.
An example of this is Llandudno in Wales, where lots of goats tend to reside up on the hills. They are now taking over the town and have come down from the hills because there are far fewer people about. In other areas, water quality is improving, many species of birds and other creatures are a lot more visible than usual, and even the air quality is getting better, which is great. It makes me question if this outbreak might help people re-evaluate the way they live and act.
Looking ahead now, it’s been announced today that the current lockdown measures aren’t going to be looked at until the end of next week, at which point they may be relaxed (I highly doubt this) or continued. It’s definitely going to be a roller coaster ride, and I personally think the restrictions will be around for at least another month and may even be made even tougher like has recently happened in France with a restriction on the times you’re allowed out to exercise.
Tough times don’t last; tough people do
The key workers in this country are amazing and are doing their best to keep things moving and keep people connected, and our NHS staff are working their socks off to help save many, many lives, sometimes without the correct equipment to keep them safe.
It’s a collective effort from everyone, including those staying in their homes, and once this pandemic has been brought under control, I hope that everybody has a new outlook on life, and their behaviours towards each other and the environment are much improved. It will be nice to see all venues and workplaces re-opened and seeing friends and family able to be with each other and going about their everyday life in a normal fashion.
Tough times don’t last; tough people do.