Tightening restrictions (or will we get to Cornwall?)

An odd, fragmented time here in the UK. The rule of six came in on 14 September, banning social gatherings of seven or more people (with certain exemptions, including for those hunting or paintballing). As there is no age limit on these rules in England, with everyone from newborn babies upwards counting as people (unlikeContinue reading “Tightening restrictions (or will we get to Cornwall?)”

The social dynamics of social distancing

This morning brings the news that lockdown restrictions will be tightened in England following an alarming surge in cases of Covid-19. The aim of the new rules, which feature a ban on social gatherings of more than six people, is, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to be ‘super simple’ to make it as easyContinue reading “The social dynamics of social distancing”

The end of summer

Today, in England, it’s the summer bank holiday, the last public holiday before Christmas. Although British Summer Time continues until the clocks go back an hour in October, for many people, this marks the end of the summer break and the point at which we start to turn our attention to the challenges of theContinue reading “The end of summer”

Best-laid plans: a lesson in chaos theory

There’s an odd provisionality to plans these days. Unlike the dog days of lockdown proper, when it seemed as though time itself had stopped and nobody who didn’t have to was making any commitments that would require them to leave their houses, people are starting to prepare for the future. There’s a difference, though, toContinue reading “Best-laid plans: a lesson in chaos theory”

A trip to the dentist

This week, I had a dental appointment. At the moment, in the UK, dentists are operating a reduced service. Routine check-ups are on hold, but emergency appointments are available and dentists can use their discretion to see patients who they judge are in need of a consultation. I phoned up my practice last week withContinue reading “A trip to the dentist”

Living in the eye of the storm

In recent days, I have received a number of anxious messages from friends and professional contacts in other parts of the world. How are we managing in the UK? they ask. Am I coping all right? Are things as bad as they sound? Their concern is understandable. The official UK coronavirus death toll now standsContinue reading “Living in the eye of the storm”

Five things that have changed in a month

So here we are: exactly one calendar month since the UK woke up for its first full day under coronavirus lockdown. To mark this milestone, here is a list of five things that have become normal in that time: Being grateful to supermarkets Although the rush of the early days of the lockdown has subsidedContinue reading “Five things that have changed in a month”

A new relationship with death?

Years ago, when my other half was working there for several months, I spent a week in Malawi, in southern Africa. The visit was thrilling and challenging in equal measure: in my short time in the country, I was bombarded with new experiences, new foods, and assumptions and ways of living that were very differentContinue reading “A new relationship with death?”