Some thoughts on covid 19 restrictions

ASs some regulars may know I sometimes have a few health problems that at times restricts my access to the countryside so many of the restrictions that we have endured, and are still enduring, do not feel strange to Chris and myself. My immune system is pretty shot up at times so I'm quite good at avoiding numbers of people, I'm maybe not as anti social as it seems, and I've never been a lover of shopping unless its books. When we were recommended to shield in our own homes we actually realised we could walk the riverside fields with permission from the owners and had little chance of meeting anyone so we felt quite happy there. When restrictions eased we have four small nature reserves within a couple of miles of home with plenty of space to avoid close contact but still both watch birds and talk about birds with others doing the same, quite a little anti social bird club we are. There has been good birds aplenty and as winter has drawn closer the wintering Thrushes arrived we have been doing counts on them. One of our local reserves has got a wonderful Starling murmuration,60,000 birds at least, which we managed to social distance the grandsons to. We have found by visiting the busiest of the reserves late afternoon most birders have gone home and we enjoy the spectacle of birds going to roost. We do miss visiting our local moorland but they are outside the 3 mile radius we put on ourselves, they will still be there when all this is over and we settle down to our new normal. Because I am in that at risk category we seem to be swimming in hand sanitiser but Chris keeps an eye on what I get up to. I just hope other folk are coping as well as us and getting the support we have been getting, take care out there we will beat this lot somehow.

Pete

Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I'm pleased you and Chris have managed to find ways of coping/dealing with everything.
    I had to tell the eldest not to come home for Christmas because I felt our numbers were going to explode and sadly I am right. I'm doing my best to keep out of everyones way as my other daughter is a pharmacy worker and too many of my associates are venerable.

    Best wishes Pete, keep well and lets hope for a better 2021

    Caroline

    Cin J

  • Hi Pete, like with you and Chris, Mike and I have been avoiding shops, getting home deliveries for essential food, and mainly sticking to our local residential area which has 400 acres of parkland mixed in with the Manchester science park; we have found it easy to social distance and the last three days we were in complete lockdown after Mike had his Covid test prior to this morning's operation. Even not going out of our front door we seem to have occupied ourselves with reading, cooking, crosswords, etc., and the days went unusually fast. This year although we've had an invite to my cousin's house for xmas day we have decided to stay put with the vaccine now on roll out as the spikes in infection increase and we think it makes more sense to maintain caution and hope that we get some sort of normality (whatever that will be) by summer next year. We haven't seen the amount of wildlife and birds of course but the local mere had a good number of waterfowl on it including those mandarin ducks we saw a couple of weeks ago. The nature reserves will still be there for safer times and when travel can begin again both home and abroad. I hope everyone can still have an enjoyable Christmas but in the safety of their own home; good times will come again I'm sure and all I want to do is kick 2020 into touch with steel capped boots LOL
    We hope you stay as well as you can with a compromised immune system but glad you have been able to get in some safe walks and talks. Hopefully the vaccine will be offered to you soon; it is one bonus I feel I get for being over 60 ! stay well everyone and let's celebrate the beginnings of a better year ahead - cheers.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Its' a bad time for everyone Pete, I am in that at high risk category too, sadly I live alone and so does my X girlfriend that I am moving in with soon don't be alarmed we do know each other very well we have a Son who is 35 years old now and we have been in touch ever since, I am at this time clearing the house of 30 odd years of stuff and its not easy sold and give away lots no Camera's :) but have made some good money sadly a lot will be going to the tip like a lot as already, a Polish chap knocked on the front door this morning asking about the scarp metal at the side of the skip I have in the front garden I told him to take it and if he wanted a job taking down the green house and clearing the shed out, job on it took him and 3 others about 4 hours to do it not bad for £150 it saved me the hard work a get out of breath just looking at it with having COPD so thats another big thing of my mind the only other is the attic and I have a chap who want a lot of the stuff up there he has already taken a lot of stuff and paid me up front he still needsto pay me from some RC engines he took last time but he has had the virus and has to isolate, can't see me seeing him now till after Christmas.

    Jim

    My Pictures

    My Fbook Group

  • In reply to James:

    James, I find my COPD worse at this time of year when we get cold raw days and the inhalers get on overtime, livingalone must be quite hard in these difficult times.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi Pete, good to hear you're coping well & managing to live reasonably well within the guidelines. We are lucky in that we aren't very "sociable" so don't have loads of friends to ignore, we have no familly here, so apart from being unable to visit our favorite places (outside the 1km limit) we haven't really been affected. I've never been keen on shopping so adapted easily to "Click & Collect" from the nearest supermarket & have made friends with the girl there who selects all the good stuff with good dates, no complaints there. The hardest part is that Ron has had 3 eye operations this year with numerous (around 18) visits to specialists & anaethetists so we have had lots of times when we were more exposed than usual. It's been hard for Ron as well because I haven't been able to go in with him to help with the french, which he understands very well, but less when the doctor mumbles through his mask (he always does mumble). Hopefully, the operation last week will be the last, & just one more appointment to go. We just look on it all as a challenge, us against Covid, & hope we win.
    Stay safe all.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • @ Hazel, sorry to hear about Ron's numerous appointments and operations for his eyes, having poor eyesight that still needs sorting I can empathise with him and Covid has only made it more difficult when attending hospitals and appointments. Just when we want to be with our loved ones as they go through the various medical appointments/procedures we are not allowed to accompany them. I had to wave cheerio to Mike on the doorstep of the hospital and wish him well rather than keep him company in the waiting room before he went in for the operation. Feels so alien and Ron had the additional challenge of understanding the French spoken through a mask. Hope all gets sorted and we get into a better new year with more hope on the horizon. Good luck, wish Ron the best from us. X

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Yes, it's been a tough time for all of us, Pete, especially those of us in the vulnerable category due to age and other conditions. Glad you've found a way to get out to local reserves for a bit of birding.
    I live alone and found it hard when the initial lockdown was imposed in March just to get food. Fortunately, we had a local "street champion" who would do shopping and collect prescriptions etc. Now things are much easier and I get food delivered.
    The hides on my local reserve were all closed on the initial lockdown. After the restrictions were eased during the summer they introduced a booking system for entry to the hides restricting the numbers to just four people and with a strict cleaning and sanitising regime which each visitor had to carry out. Frankly, it was all too much of a performance so I didn't bother. It's all getting locked down again as we are going into Tier 3. I think psychologically too the constant bad news about the virus has been so demoralising that I've found I don't even want to go out especially now the winter is with us.
    It's not all gloom and doom though. I'm in the vulnerable category because of age and because I lost a kidney to cancer 8 years ago I was first in the queue to get the vaccine. I had it last Tuesday and will get as second jab after 21 days. I think that this may be the light at the tunnel which everyone.is hoping for. It's going to take a while before it can be offered to everyone so until then folks take care, this virus is still rampant.

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • Thanks Hazy, it is horrible not being able to go in & help with the admin, questions & instructions. Ron had to have a Covid test too for the last one, thankfully negative. It certainly wasn't as bad as it looks on the TV.
    Well done TJ on getting the jab. Ron is in the high risk but I'm not in any hurry for it, there aren't many cases around here & I keep handwashing & quaranteening everything that comes in the house.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Good grief for a lot of people things have just got a whole lot tighter and their Christmas has been cancelled as well. We are lucky so far and staying in tier 2 so since our daughter and family have moved locally we will be able to at least to give the three grandsons their presents and stay a short while but no big family meal to err on the safe side. Last Sunday was the youngest grandsons 4th birthday and because we could meet outside we stood in the garden under our brollies to sing happy birthday to him but eating turkey may be a bit different. Stay safe out there

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Pete, I share your thoughts and frustrations, for all of us its been very challenging this last nine months or so, and no real sign of a let up any time soon, vaccine or not.

    Like yourself and Chris, and others, I too have had to find alternative ways to watch wildlife, and I'm lucky, we have a decent sized garden (minus a hide....) where Mrs PR and myself are able to enjoy watching nature go about its daily business.

    Incidentally, Mrs PR has suggested that the old playhouse house our son (now almost 24) used should be removed and a garden shed put in its place, as a hide....

    The end of October, Mrs PR had a vital op on her spine, with the most serious part just below here skull, and with me disabled we've had to rely on online shopping, which infuriates me, with fruit and veg delivered with hours left on the use by dates, or worse, battered and bruised.

    To add to all that, where we live, just on the edge of Tier 3 restrictions pre Lockdown 2 and now in Tier 3, I've been reluctant to visit the local reserves because all types are getting to these places and taking away from the tranquillity.

    Keep the cheerful chin up, one day it will calm down and we'll all be able to visit the reserves again, and I'd like to think that some of the newer reserve visitors appreciate how delicate nature can be and join us.

    In the interim, stay safe, its hard, but it'll be worth it.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler