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  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 94 Italy Beckons

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 94 Italy Beckons

    Is there light at the end of the dark tunnel we have been finding our way through since the coronavirus pandemic started in China two years ago? The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spread more rapidly with daily record breaking numbers of new cases but it is also proving to be milder than Delta, its predecessor. Scientists are predicting the world can live with this milder variation - provided there are no more mutations that could be more serious. As travel is becoming easier I get ready to lead a skiing holiday in Folgaria, Italy.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 92 New Year in Brighton

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 92 New Year in Brighton

    This week, the ninety-third week of the coronavirus pandemic record breaking numbers of new cases are recorded in the UK – the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic nearly two years ago. These are due to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. No further restrictions for the New Year are imposed in England whereas the other three nations, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced new restrictions on Boxing Day. All major public celebrations in the Uk to welcome 2022 have been cancelled.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 92 Isle of Man for Christmas

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 92 Isle of Man for Christmas

    This week is the second Christmas during the coronavirus pandemic and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has triggered apprehension regarding the sudden introduction of more restrictions in addition to the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport and in public places. The whole of UK is set to celebrate Christmas but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland take a different view from England regarding New Year and announce the imposition of more restrictions from Boxing Day that will restrict New Year celebrations.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 91 Omicron Threatens Christmas

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 91 Omicron Threatens Christmas

    For a second year running Christmas is under threat again due to the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden and very swift spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 which was soon found worldwide. England was quickly engulfed by this easily transmissable strain with numbers increasing rapidly. Face masks on public transport and it shops came back followed by the introduction of COVID passes to enter crowded venues and mask-wearing in cinemas and theatres. The threat of some form of lockdown still hangs over us within a week of Christmas Day.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 90 Booster Campaign

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 90 Booster Campaign

    Just as we thought we were emerging from the restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 and the Delta variant the rapid spread of the Omicron variant threatens a second Christmas. Some restrictions are coming back and the red list has been revived in the UK. At the end of the week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announces all adults, over the age of 18, are eligible for booster jabs three months after their second jab. The deadline, the end of this year, is ambitious and means more vaccine centres open for longer periods. But the military is being brought in to help.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 89 Omicron Hits UK

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 89 Omicron Hits UK

    We are now in week 89 of the coronavirus pandemic and our worst fears are realised. A new variant of COVID-19, Omicron has been discovered in South Africa. The UK immediately re-introduces mandatory use of face masks in shops and on public transport. Travel restrictions are in place once again even for the double and triple vaccinated. We are encouraged to stick to our plans for Christmas but subject to a final decision on 18 December regarding social inter-action and travel during the festive period.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 88 Restrictions Re-Imposed

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 88 Restrictions Re-Imposed

    Travel restrictions have been eased and Christmas plans are well under way during week 88 of the coronavirus pandemic. Then a new variant of COVID-19 is discovered, Omicron, feared to be more infectious than the Delta variant and able to evade vaccinations. Face masks in shops and on public transport are re-introduced and all arrivals in the UK from any country in the world have to self-isolate before obtaining a negative PCR test. The Red List is back and five African countries are the first to appear on that list. Arrivals from those countries will be subject to hotel quarantine for ten days at their own cost. Meanwhile Europe is in trouble again with some countries going back into lockdown as new cases start surging once more.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 87, Days Out

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 87, Days Out

    During Week 87 of the coronavirus pandemic the UK government continues to encourage all those eligible to get their COVID-19 booster. The debate about the meaning of fully vaccinated has started – will it now mean three jabs? Nevertheless, the threat of a Christmas lockdown or the re-imposition of restrictions such as the wearing of face masks in public places and social distancing still hangs over us. There are concerns about the health of our Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II who has been ordered to rest for a month and only perform light duties.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 86 Winter Skies

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 86 Winter Skies

    During the 86th week of the coronavirus England enjoys a mild start to the second winter of the pandemic. New cases and deaths are still relatively high but the important statistic is the effect this has on the NHS and the number of hospitalisations. And, so far this is manageable despite an increase in the number of double vaccinated people becoming ill and dying. Elsewhere in Europe new spike are appearing and Austria attempts to impose a lockdown on those who are not fully vaccinated.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 85 Fireworks

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 85 Fireworks

    A Second Bonfire Night during the coronavirus pandemic – where has the time gone? When the first lockdown in England started way back in March 2020 we thought it would all be over in two or three months. Nineteen months later we are celebrating a second Bonfire Night in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Christmas shopping is in full swing despite warnings of shortages. Life is improving all the time and international travel is much easier for the double vaccinated. A booster programme is well under way and I got mine as soon as I was eligible. And, I am still volunteering at vaccine hubs. Life will probably never be the same as it was pre-pandemic but it is getting better. I am still finding plenty to enjoy in Dorset where I have stayed since I was locked down here all those months ago.

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