Not so long ago, I was eyeballing the Covid case numbers in France and comparing them unfavourably with the UK and inwardly begging my in-law country people to sort themselves out. I was always vaguely optimistic they’d turn it around in time for us to be able to travel this summer.
Welp. They did, I guess. Just under 25,000 cases in the last seven days, although (worryingly) that represents a 63% increase on the previous seven days. Delta driven, no doubt. Meanwhile, the UK also “turned it around” — in the wrong direction. Over 211,000 cases in our last seven days, which is 31% more than the previous seven days. Fucksake!
When it comes to the causes of this *cough*football*cough*, I can’t help thinking that this third (or is it fourth) wave was entirely avoidable. When I see people in pubs enjoying a maskless pint with close friends (as in, too close, less than two metres close) in advance of the next big game, I do not share their joy or excitement. I just think, Animals. As in, We gotta get out of this place.
The difference between third this third wave and the first is that I actually know people this time around who have had it. I also knew people (my wife’s brother and his entire family) who had it in the second wave, but they were in France, whereas the people I know who have (had) it are people I work with. Given that I’ve been working in a school and encountering hundreds of people every day, it seems remarkable that, until now, the virus seemed like a distant and theoretical thing, something that was happening to other people, mostly in inner-cities. And apart from the students, the people I know who have had it have had two jabs, and they’ve felt rotten too. None of this asymptomatic stuff.
So, yeah, have your football tournament, but don’t then whine to me about the “risks” of the government’s “reckless” plans for July 19th. Imagine how much more relaxed we’d all feel without the football. Bollocks to the football.
A bunch of parents were called into school on Friday to pick up their kids who were having to self-isolate. And there some of them stood in the car park, about 50cm apart, maskless, chatting away like it was 2019 and they hadn’t just been called in from home to collect someone at risk of catching a deadly virus.
It’s been a year since my wife saw her parents, brother, friends and other relatives. It’s fair to say that, however the rules affected me, she’d have been getting there by hook or by crook. On paper, I’m allowed to travel as the spouse of a French citizen, but in this case the paper isn’t metaphorical. There is a lot of admin to do, a lot of boxes to tick, and a lot of expense to go to.
None of which guarantees they’ll let us on the train, and I won’t believe we’re going to make it until we’ve made it. We’ll be turning up on Friday with signed declarations, evidence of double vaccination (and hoping they won’t baulk at the particular vaccine brand/batch), and – hopefully – evidence of a negative and wildly expensive covid test. Because the free ones we’ve been getting through work are utterly useless when it comes to travel, which makes you wonder why they aren’t utterly useless for school/work testing.
Anyway, where do I stand on this July 19th stuff? By all means, acknowledge the incompetence and corruption of this government throughout this pandemic, but don’t prevent me from going to France, where I’ll be safely distant from busy town centres, shops, pubs, restaurants, infected students, and drunken galoots in England shirts.