[Magdalen] Safe?

Roger Stokes roger.stokes65 at btinternet.com
Wed Aug 5 09:50:38 UTC 2020

Here in England life is gradually opening up again in fits and starts. 
August is traditionally a quiet month with schools shut and people often 
like to get away. In the past few weeks the government has introduced 
some exceptions to its blanket "don't travel abroad unless absolutely 
essential" which has severely impacted travel agents. For many places 
still self-isolation is required on return to the UK though enforcement 
is likely to be limited. Even within the UK the various devolved 
governments have adopted restrictions but a major concern has been 
people flocking to the beaches and other places of natural beauty while 
ignoring social distancing. More shops and other facilities are now able 
to open again if they can do so while observing health restrictions. 
Masks are mandatory in shops and on public transport. Most people seem 
to comply but some don't.

The government is concerned about the effect of reopening schools next 
month, which they say is a priority, and further relaxations are not 
likely until after that has happened. There is even talk about rolling 
back some of the relaxations that have occurred. That would not go down 
well. Official advice on how to reopen schools safely is scanty and the 
latest came out after schools had finished for the Summer, including 
advice to discuss with staff what their vacation plans were and the 
possible need for self-isolation on return. Brilliant timing (not). 
Obviously the details have to be worked out at school level but the 
general impression is that the guidelines do not take account of 
practicalities in almost all schools.

Some areas of the country are "of concern" because of high rates of 
infection locally, and restrictions have been reimposed in some. Here in 
Bedford there was local concern some weeks ago and there was a deep dive 
into why rates were higher here. The official report was published 
yesterday. It says that the vectors of infection seem to have been in 
households and visitors to households rather than community facilities. 
Now that report has been released the Borough Council will presumably 
consider whether it is OK to reopen swimming pools, gyms and other 
leisure facilities here as has happened already elsewhere in the country.

My local parish church had services for the first time on Sunday and I 
went. As with bars and restaurants we had to sign in and give a contact 
phone number and there  were other restrictions such as separated 
seating and no singing..Communion was the bread only and the queue for 
that got a bit confused at times. I will be presiding at a couple of 
other churches later this month and I wait to see what they are doing to 
be Covid-safe.


On 04/08/2020 16:55, Ann Markle wrote:
> Thinking of my Magdalen family, spread out all over the world, and hoping
> and praying that all are safe and well.  This virus is no joke, and the
> spikes and resurgences scare me a little.
> Ann
> The Rev. Ann Markle
> Buffalo, NY
> ann.markle at aya.yale.edu

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