Not being someone who sets much store by celebrating birthdays or religious festivals, last night the supposed weirdness that many of my family and friends have commented upon at marking the commencement of the New Year under the constraints of a Tier 4 lockdown or worse would have passed me by but for the fact that – having retired to bed at 8.30pm – I happened to awake again at ten minutes to midnight and thus by accident “saw the New Year in” for the first time in nearly a decade.
Hearing the muffled sound of sporadic fireworks going off outside, I went to my bedroom window to open the curtains and observe the spectacle but frankly it was disappointing – the person down on the tow-path attempting to make a gesture of defiance and/or possibly hope at what 2021 might bring was somewhat half-hearted in his efforts and it showed.
By chance earlier this week – on Tuesday to be precise – I had noted a piece in a newspaper reporting that eighty years ago (on the night of 29th/30th December 1940) the Luftwaffe had launched a raid on London in which between 130 and 150 HE-111 bombers dropped approximately 24,000 high explosive and 100,000 (smaller) incendiary bombs as part of the Blitz.
See here for a link to a separate report of the incident that appears on the website of a ‘military interest’ website – SECOND GREAT FIRE OF LONDON
I’m not making a comparison here between then and now, simply the point that most causes and effects are ultimately relative.
Judging by the recent Government press conferences – and the daily reports of both new Covid-19 infections and deaths within 28 days of being infected – we are current facing an ongoing major and growing public health crisis that is going to get worse before it gets better – I shouldn’t imagine that anybody in authority or indeed the general UK public will be in the slightest surprised if before long we get a report that over 1,000 people have died from the virus in a single day.
I’ve also got a hunch that I’m not the only person in the UK who, having been “coasting” somewhat against my will over the past week because of the traditional annual ‘shut-down’ between Christmas and New Year, will be looking to crank into action on any number of tasks or projects requiring my urgent attention when the country reopens for business next Monday morning.
The only problem being, of course, that – given the Covid-19 restrictions the country is now operating under – I strongly suspect that, with “working from home”, a ban upon non-essential travel and millions of files not necessarily being where they might be for best effect, “getting things done” any time soon will be a slow, laborious and frustrating process.