Covid-19

As 2020 began I was noticing things falling over – Brexit was at the end of January – and the first ripples of the Covid-19 pandemic arriving over Chinese New Year. Building with the gales of February and then washing over the UK in March, by April it was clear that Boris Johnson had been reckless with his own health and that his government (chosen for loyalty to Brexit rather than competence) had been equally complacent with the nation’s health. Who would ever have believed that the UK would endure more C-19 deaths than any other European country and the most damage to the economy?

Disbelief

In mid-March the government was dithering about a lockdown while businesses and other places open to the public were already empty. Central London was strangely quiet and I never thought it could be 4 months before I would again venture into town. I remember thinking that the woman’s visor, mask and gloves seemed a ludicrous overreaction.

Lockdown in Dulwich

In spring “leafy Dulwich” is at its verdant best and its residents took to lockdown with humour. Sourdough bread and new puppies featured in “middle class lockdown bingo”, every Thursday front doors opened to express gratitude to key workers and especially the NHS, and the streets were decorated with discarded face masks and gloves.

A brief respite

Summer brought a brief respite when you could meet people again, even hug, and central London protests resumed. By winter, Britain had produced its own more virulent “UK Variant”, Johnson was wishing the country a “Merry Little Christmas” one week and then cancelling it the next, and yet somehow Britain seemed to be leading the world with its vaccination programme.