OPINION: Safety first as my family enjoy a cautious, outdoor summer

Ruth Davies and family

It's the safety of outdoor places like the garden for Ruth Davies and her children this summer, rather than busy indoor venues - Credit: Ruth Davies

Freedom was wanted and dreamed of for so long. 

As a notion it’s brilliant of course, to be able to choose where we go, when we do it and for there to be no restrictions. In reality however, with soaring numbers in virus cases, it makes me very anxious for I really don’t think it was the right move at all.

It’s not new for me to disagree with the decisions of a government I didn’t vote for but disappointing all the same. 
I don’t see how our prime minister can have looked at the figures and gone ahead.

We saw fans in their droves attend sporting events like the football, hanging out in Trafalgar Square revelling even without tickets to the actual game and the repercussions have impacted positive cases without a doubt. 

This was all before the so called “Freedom Day” and yet here we are, a couple of weeks on, going about life as if all were completely normal. 

How? It’s not normal, not when it means more people with the virus.


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I personally know more people with a positive case right now than I ever have before and this time children are included making my angst go through the roof. 

Some of the children I know have been quite poorly while some of the adults, double vaccinated adults, have been bed ridden for days. They’re the lucky ones of course, the ones who haven’t needed hospitalisation.

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It’s summer, most things are outside, other illnesses like pneumonia and flu are lessened. 

The pressure on hospitals is down from that making way for admissions of Covid cases and it seems like we’ve gone 'Ok, let’s take this opportunity to fill a few beds now, get a bit of natural immunity and then we can go full lockdown a bit later if needed'. 

'If' being the operative word for the inevitability of that to me seems like it should be replaced with 'when”'. 

And all the while we still have very vulnerable people both in and out of hospital who still need us to help shield them.

Frankly, I’d rather have continued now with the lessened restrictions in place and got on with things in a way we were already doing so well at. 

Now is the perfect time to be hanging out in gardens instead of houses, eating outside on beach fronts rather than in restaurants and wearing masks as we supermarket shop.

It really wasn’t feeling like a hardship and as everyone’s throwing their masks in the air like we’ve all just graduated Covid school, the writing looks very firmly on the wall of another winter in lockdown.

The onus has firmly been placed on us as individuals, baton passed from authority to layman and while I hear a lot of "Boris has a tough job, I wouldn’t want to do it," the point is no one voted for me or you. 

We aren’t the ones who have to face this tough job our constituents chose for us because we put ourselves forward saying we had the ability. Johnson does because he did and yet once more is shirking his responsibility in favour of being “just one of us” wanting what “we all want” and giving it to us so that he can curry favour and win friends for future elections rather than stand firm and say no. 

This is a man who knows how to win elections without even the support and backing of his entire party. He knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m just not buying it.

So, we all have to keep our own little patch as safe as possible with no guidance in place or assistance from others.

What else can we do while we finger cross and hope?

I’ve chosen to keep wearing my mask when I go inside anywhere. I’ve chosen to stick to outdoor activities when I can and in preparation for a holiday where I will be with older family members have turned down work which would have taken me to London, on public transport and potentially put me at risk.

Risk of possibly passing something on and risk of having to isolate meaning not getting on holiday in the first place. 

It’s a shame but I feel it’s necessary and when I found out a comedy gig I had tickets for, which had been long in the booking and moved once already, was to go ahead with 600 people, no masks necessary and no social distancing, I made the difficult decision to not go. 

I would have lost money but morally I couldn’t do it and it was a risk too far for my family. Disappointing but the right choice for me. As it happens the gig was cancelled at the eleventh hour anyway because a performer had “come into contact with a positive case” (go figure) and that’s my point exactly. 

If we all start mixing indoors then the current one in 100 positive cases is only going to get higher. I’d rather live a bit more later on and keep sacrificing now than completely shut down when the inevitable happens.

My children want to do all the things this summer but for now they’ll just have to accept what comes with the least risk. Beach days, park visits and garden fun. 

I just want everyone to be safe and I want to do all I can to ensure that. For us and anyone else around us.

Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk

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