With the apparent arrival of summer our beaches have been busy, and are expected to stay busy with staycationers as the number of green list countries available for foreign holidays may decrease rather than increase as Covid cases rise in Portugal.
And cases of the Delta variant have been rising in the UK – and not just in the north – as Canterbury has been in the news with a worrying rise in cases.
The prime minister has therefore said that he is looking very closely at all the daily Covid data before decisions are announced on June 14 about ending the lockdown – or not. And for the time being the continuing restrictions mean everything is still far from normal.
Councils, for example, can no longer meet by Zoom and, following the recent elections, the county council only held a very brief and very distanced meeting – and Rye’s town council suspended its meetings from May 7 and will not be meeting again until June 28. And their meeting, which was to held in the Tilling Green community centre (TGCC), has had to be moved to Rye community centre after TGCC became a vaccination centre.
Everybody has been affected
Pubs and restaurants are open again – but not quite as before. Some tourist attractions have re-opened – but not quite as before. And masks are still required when you go out shopping.
And the news has been affected too, and that includes Rye News. Less things have been happening and those that have happened – have got a lot more attention. Interviews have got longer and more column inches have been devoted to a story which might have only got a paragraph before Covid.
And this is far from over yet. Vaccinations have been stepped up and about half the population have had two jabs – but some have not had even one jab yet – and annual top ups might be necessary – as they are with flu for those most at risk.
Covid flew into this country, as did the Delta variant, but our largest airport, Heathrow), has only just got round to separating arrivals from departures so our defences are still poor, even after these many months of lockdown.
The jab accelerator has been pushed down though
Jabs started slowly with GP centres like Etchingham organised by the local NHS, and you had to wait to be summoned. Your doctor would tell where and when to go – and my first jab was at Etchingham.
But the government sped this up by setting up a national online service as well which you could use to book a jab – but not at the GP-driven centres. So those who wanted more choice, or would not wait for their own doctor to contact them, used the online service – sometimes to distant places.
So even more centres were set up – both for the GP services and for the online choice – and my doctor sent me to Hastings for my second jab, and we have now got a chemist-led centre at Tilling Green.
But in the early days those who chose to go online, rather than wait to hear from their GP or go to Etchingham, did not have that choice – but the choices kept on growing as the months went by. But there is still a challenge of keeping local and national NHS records up to date about who had what jab and when – and who hasn’t!
But life is still far from normal
One of our few “News” story this week is about a new manager for Rye’s Heritage Centre, but when it will open – and what it can offer when it does – is still far from certain; and this is not a time for making dramatic decisions.
We have all gone through a lot – and missed out on many things and education in particular – and we are not yet (for certain) even in the recovery stage. So enjoy the sun, and take it easy – and take it slowly. The end is not yet in sight. And today’s decisions will need to be thought through very carefully.
Postscript: But Rye News does welcome all your news, however uncertain it may be. We do need it by Wednesday lunchtime though as a newspaper takes time to organise, we’re all volunteers, and some have jobs too. So that’s our deadline.
Image Credits: Nick Forman .