Small pleasures in chaos

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Even in autumn, in a Hastings park, Nature gives us a sense of freedom

In the midst of the collective existential dread around now, I experienced some moments of calm last Sunday, November 29, but first, the chaos as I see it.

The epidemic in which, along the way, the government made bad decisions. The test and trace contract was given to private companies who did not manage to get it up to speed, but made enough profit to give their shareholders a good bonus. And tracing and getting people to isolate is badly lacking, because many people cannot isolate and stop working as there is no immediate financial help, and the salary is their survival.

Small businesses are struggling with the yo-yo lockdown and many may not survive beyond Christmas, which will increase the unemployment to an unprecedented level, while MPs are happy to consider taking their 4% wage rise.

Alexander Park/Hastings

But I hope the government learns a lesson and rolls out the vaccine through local GPs, hospitals or clinics.

And, worse to come, Brexit. We hear the country voted for it (but no, only about 53% voted) and all right it needs to be done, but it would be worth taking more time to get the right deal. No-one knew the implications in 2016 which are now becoming apparent. The ‘oven ready’ deal promised a year ago still has a big question mark, with many companies trading with the EU unsure what sort of paper work is needed by January 1.

I know it has not been an easy year for most people, and decisions during a pandemic are not simple. But I want to hail the NHS. Even with the Covid-19 pressures I was lucky, and so was a friend, to get our operations done during this difficult time and last Sunday Bexhill Hospital gave appointments to catch up with eye problems. I have a mole on my retina which needs checking every six months, but this has not been done for some time – the department was very well organised, and felt safe with people waiting, well distanced.

On my way back I stopped at Alexandra Park (above and top) where the cafe was open for takeaway. It was a lovely day to sit on the bench and enjoy nature, watching families playing with their children. It’s a beautiful spot for everyone.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .

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