Lockdown Update: I Just Don't Feel Comfortable Jogging Now
Golfshake's Derek Clements shares his latest update from lockdown, describing frustrations, and why he no longer feels comfortable jogging in the street.
THANKS Boris. Thank you for causing utter chaos and confusion. Thank you for filling my local park with people I don’t want to go anywhere near. And thank you for giving people permission to throng to the waterfront where I live. Thanks for effectively giving them carte blanche to visit the countryside and the seaside without fear of prosecution by the police. In other words, thanks for nothing. I am not happy.
Because of the advice the Prime Minister gave last Sunday night, I have decided, on week six of my fitness regime, to abandon my jogging regime until this crisis is over. I just don’t feel comfortable being outside any longer. And I hate feeling that way. But the fact is that a huge number of people have now decided to abandon social distancing measures. If you doubt it, just take a look around you.
The PM told the nation that he wanted people to go back to work if it were safe to do so. What he didn’t make clear was that he actually wanted a phased return and he didn’t want it to happen last Monday - but he failed to say so.
I went out for my morning exercise on Monday and I was horrified. The roads were full of traffic and there were people everywhere. I guess half the population heard what they wanted to hear. The rest of us were left scratching our heads. I watched the news and my jaw dropped as I watched people piling onto crowded trains in London. How can you possibly achieve social distancing on the Tube? You can’t.
Are we still in lockdown or not?
You can say what you want about Nicola Sturgeon, but at least her message has been consistently unambiguous. “Stay at home unless you need to go out for food or exercise.” The Scots don’t like it but at least they know where they stand. Scotland largely remains closed for business - and sport.
And on Monday morning last week, Dominic Rabb contradicted himself three times as to what we could and could not do in terms of those we can meet up with. Excuse me, but if a senior cabinet officer can’t get it right, what chance have the rest of us got?
The PM indicated that it would be okay to start certain sports again, but the Government failed to tell golf clubs or the sport’s ruling bodies, causing chaos and confusion. And let’s not forget other sports such as tennis, that could easily resume while practising social distancing. Tennis clubs were also left wondering whether they could reopen their doors. It turned out that they could.
Let’s not kid ourselves - the government has an extremely difficult job and there is no chance at all that the population will ever agree that they have got it right. They have to depend on medical and scientific advice - and the problem is that our leading scientists are not in agreement as to the best way forward. There are those who believe lockdown should continue, while others advocate people mixing in order to achieve herd immunity.
But if the Prime Minister and his cabinet are going to be wheeled out to face the nation’s media they need to be giving us clear messages, and that has not been the case.
They want us to return to work, but they don’t want his to use public transport. Are they serious? A small number of people can get to work by bike or on foot, but the vast majority need to use trains, buses and the Underground to get around.
We have been encouraged to use our cars if we can’t get to work by bike or on foot. Where are we meant to park, especially in a city like London, where parking prohibitively expensive - if you can find somewhere to leave you car in the first place. The Congestion Charge is being reinstated, and you can be sure that parking wardens be will not be told to exercise some tolerance and common sense.
We are not just talking about London here - this applies to every major town and city in the country. For years they have discouraged us from taking our cars into town and city centres and now, when it suits, we have a spectacular U-turn.
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