Yesterday I commented on the news that my local area was due to go up to Tier 2 and noted that a wider lockdown wouldn’t surprise me. Am I influential? This morning, the news is full of reports that Johnson is expected to announce just such a thing early next week!
If I was truly influential, my plea would be that we could have a bit of notice for such a thing. I shall be unimpressed if we only get a day or two’s warning of a deeper lockdown. Out here on the ground, people are trying to plan ahead so as to do things safely and well and it will be frustrating if those arrangements are scuppered.
For example, at church we are planning to have our first Sunday morning Holy Communion since early spring on Sunday 8th, an appropriate day for remembrance. We’ve worked out how to do it safely but we’d have picked an earlier date if the church might be closed by then because, for all that it won’t be quite the same because of our safety measures, we’ve missed that important, communal celebration.
If I was in charge, I’d have announced an early October trigger point in late September that would have fixed an English lockdown that would partially coincide with half-term (and half-term would have been extended). That opportunity has been missed but, if we get a lockdown without at least a couple of weeks to allow the nation to prepare for it, I contend that would demonstrate a gross negligence of forward planning from the Government.
It might be needed but last moment changes are not the way for a nation to avoid the icebergs that surround us. I recollect that, earlier this year, the Government made an argument against allowing generous assessments of exam grades because pupils who benefited now might end up being promoted to positions for which they were incompetent in future. Touché?