Lock down, listen and learn

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Acting Editor Charlie Harkness attempts to hold back rising flood waters - but a virus is a totally different kettle of fish !

As more and more of us are expected to stay at home because of the pandemic sweeping this country – and much of the rest of the world – and some of us are expected to stay there for many weeks, we are having to learn new ways of living, and organising, our lives. And there will be changes….and that includes Rye News.

Last week a new banner appeared at the top of Rye News for Rye Mutual Aid and many, if not all, local households should have had a leaflet through their letter box telling them what help is available – if needed.

And some new rules and regulations are being introduced by government, while others are suspended, and some you will hear about on TV and in national papers, while others appear here in Rye News.

Under the banner on our home page (the first page you see when visiting the Rye News site) there is a news box containing coronavirus information and sources of accurate, up to date information, but it means the sports box has vanished from the top of our home page.

How can we keep fit ?

However we all need to keep fit, and even if organised sport has been shut down, there may be other things we can do to keep fit and Nick Forman seeks your views and ideas in this issue in the Latest in sport section at the bottom of our home page.

And there are some interesting ideas in the column on the right hand side of our home page (on mobile devices this appears at the bottom), including a jigsaw and some books, though it is likely everything under the What’s on heading will have been cancelled, and it would be wise to check whether that is the case.

Our Culture section is usually about places to go and things to read, see, listen to and enjoy, but most of the obvious places have shut down.

Rye College’s Milligan Theatre often houses such events, including the Wurlitzer concerts, but hall hirings were cancelled last week, even before the schools themselves were told to close for all but pupils in certain categories, and five Wurlitzer concerts taking place between now and September have been cancelled.

How do we entertain ourselves?

The Rye Arts Festival has also been cancelled, and the Kino cinema has closed, so all the culture we are used to may or will have vanished – and libraries too etc etc have shut.

Stories in our Latest in culture section will therefore be different as there will be no events, and we will have to learn how to entertain ourselves, perhaps with quizzes, and probably come to a great extent to rely on what is on screens – whether they are televisions or computers or, indeed, phones.

So, as our Culture section becomes more about how we entertain ourselves, our Latest in living section will be more about how we look after ourselves which could include gardening, or even home baking, but many more ideas and thoughts may emerge. However some ideas are already emerging.

There will still be the Latest in news, but it may be more limited locally as councils (and many other organisations) go into shut down mode with more constrained services, and many organisations stop meeting and cancel events.

And you can volunteer

However volunteers will still be needed – whether it is to support the NHS , or whether it is to support those at home alone, or less able to care for themselves. And, indeed, Rye News continues to need volunteers – to write stories, send in photos, write comments, and generally make Rye News a useful service to the local community – even if you are just at home on your own.

I fit slightly into that category of “home alones” as I am nearly 80 and have had asthma since birth, except it has now become COPD – a lung disease – though I think it’s still asthma.

So I’m at home for three months I am told (though I have not actually got an NHS letter yet saying that – just a text saying from UK_GOV saying “you must stay at home”) , and one of my children (35), a supermarket worker, has caught the virus, or so the NHS thinks (as he’s not been tested), so he’s isolated too – but not in Rye.

Virtually all of us will be affected one way or another, as will Rye News, but we will do our best to keep you informed and keep you in touch.

Charles Harkness, acting editor.

Image Credits: John Minter .

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