Boom! And, from tomorrow, my local area is into the English COVID-19 response tier 4 (along with most of the rest of the country). The news wasn’t entirely unexpected but it would have been nice to get a little more notice.
Personally, it doesn’t make a huge difference as I wasn’t going out much anyway. I’ve just checked and all my library book due dates have been automatically extended to the start of February (although that may have happened before today – I was expecting 7 January so I haven’t been checking that frequently. However, it does make a difference to planning for church.
Communal worship is still allowed but the step up in restrictions means that we can no longer allow people to stand round in distanced groups of up to six once they get outside. That’s going to take some thought and so we’ve decided not to run a live service this Sunday morning. In this instance, we already had almost all the bits we needed filmed. Our online service and video-chat catch up afterwards will proceed as normal and we’ll review when we have our first staff meeting of term next week.
A little more notice though, please, Mr Government. Many of us can easily take this turn in our stride but we do have people who struggle to participate online or who really benefit from at least one weekly opportunity to leave their house for something not entirely utilitarian. We’ve got precious people to look after and we’d really like to see a bit more effort on the planning and contingent thinking side from those who make the big decisions.