Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber. I really liked it and, now, I’m over half-way through the second book in the series, Mortal Arts.
I thought that I’d write a description of the three-tier system that England was using in the last couple of weeks to lock down the hotspots in the country. But, before I got that done, they changed policies again. Now, England locked down the entire country.
A four-week lockdown was approved by Parliament on Wednesday, so all of England will now be playing by the same rules. The three-tier system created a sense of unfairness for cities that took the economic hit of closing restaurants and pubs.
The lockdown rules mean that bars and restaurants are open only for takeout, shops that don’t sell essentials will be closed, and people will only be allowed to leave their homes for a short list of reasons (like shopping for food or exercising). People who can work at home are expected to do so.
The previous lockdown in the spring closed school at all levels, construction sites, and manufacturing businesses. This lockdown will allow those entities to remain open.
All this applies only to England. Wales and Northern Ireland already enacted somewhat similar lockdown restrictions. Scotland instituted a different hotspot restriction method.
On Wednesday, the UK saw its highest number of deaths, 492, since May 19 when there were 500. The UK recently joined the list of nine countries with more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Republic of Ireland locked down two weeks ago. They reported good news on Wednesday — their R-rate dropped below one. Their plan was to stay in lockdown for six weeks, but they will review that after four weeks, possibly easing restrictions if things look good.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, our hospitals are near capacity and begging for mask mandates in more places. We have a mask mandate in St. Louis County and City. Our governor, who has essentially ignored the pandemic, was re-elected. No one is talking about anything resembling a lockdown, here, even though our situation seems more dire than in the UK.
What have you read or learned about the British Isles in the last week?