Laurence Andrews

What a strange and troubling weekend. Things look like they’ve taken a turn for the worse in what is being described as a perfect storm between a new strain of Covid-19 and Brexit. The recent surge in cases has been attributed to a new, more infectious strain of the virus which has taken hold in the South East. Subsequently, in the last day or so, most European nations have halted inbound flights from the UK and France has closed its ports to all ferry traffic.

Victoria and I are both sitting at home, under the newly-announced Tier 4 lockdown restrictions absolutely stunned by the news. Never in our lifetimes have we seen anything like this - frankly it’s all rather frightening.

The change to the lockdown restrictions has meant that even our limited Christmas plans are now cancelled. There will be no seeing any family from Cornwall nor those family members who are closer to home either. Frustrating, but in light of the circumstances, understandable - ultimately, we’d rather everyone was safe and Medway is very much a hot-spot at the moment. We’re making the best of it, we have reinstated the bar in the conservatory and have set up the dinner table so it’s all ready. Most of the Christmas presents have found their way to the right places already, through a mixture of door-step swaps and MyHermes deliveries. Let’s just hope that Zoom is up to the job of video calls on the big day, because everyone will be going live on Christmas morning.

The situation with international transport is a big concern, no lorries means no food. We are of course incredibly reliant on fresh produce from the EU and without it, it’ll be more than loo roll that’s missing from the supermarket shelves before long. Hopefully this is a small blip, rather than something more lengthy but I can’t help but be concerned that at this time of year and with just over a week until we leave the EU that many hauliers/manufacturers are just going to avoid the whole situation. We’re very lucky, we have plenty of non-perishable food at home and should be able to ride things out in the short-term. We could probably hold out for a couple of weeks before we’d have to resort to rice and beans.

Later today we’re both going to take our first non-symptomatic Covid-19 test. This is the special Medway-only testing that has been setup by the army to try and get a handle on things here. We’re going to the centre which has been setup in Chattenden Community Centre as it’s closest and they had the most slots available. A few relatives have taken the test already and report that it’s all being run very well, you get the result back in about an hour.

Now, back to work… four days left!