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Christmas, is the 5 day relaxation worth it ?


Spartacus

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Are we really sure that we should be allowing the rules to be relaxed for 5 days over Christmas, with numbers going up in Kent, Essex and London (as well as elsewhere) ?


I know we all want to celebrate and be with family, but shouldn't the Chief Medical Officer and government be advising people not to travel or see family and have a quiet Christmas in their own household group?


The vaccine(s) are being rolled out and we've made it through restrictions, cancelled religious festivals and lockdowns so why throw it away now for the sake of a commercial celebration ?


Sounds a bit bah humbug but a smaller quiet Christmas may be the perfect gift to your loved ones this year and not giving the gift of Covid. We can still celebrate but in smaller household groups and next year when it's all over have that big blow out Christmas gathering again.


What are other people's thoughts ?

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I agree Nigello , we shouldn't need a big Government figure to say it, however as big Government figures have told us it's okay to relax the rules two things will happen.

A) the majority of people are sheep and will mix over Christmas as they won't think through the consequences.

B) when we are in the third wave at the end of January, the Government will be blamed for not stopping Christmas gatherings


So whilst we shouldn't need them to say it, if they don't then the backlash will happen when granny or grandad don't make it till next Christmas.

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Wales has now said it's going into law that only 2 bubbles can meet at XMas - which mucks up the PMs statement at PMQs and breaks the "unity" between the nations.



Scotland and Wales are hearing rumours that Gove has been tasked with undoing devolution - so they're understandably a bit annoyed at this government - not that it's linked of course.

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Christmas for us is usually seven households mixing for a big xmas feast. We won't be doing that this year. Everyone is staying in their own household, apart from the two family members that live alone. They will join a household each, in their bubble. That is a small effort to make for one year. Boxes of presents have been sent to everyone and we'll have a zoom xmas present opening shindig as well as copious 'our xmas dinner is better than yours' photos going back and forth. It will be different, but it won't kill us, and we'll make up for it next year hopefully.


That should be perfectly possible for every household to do, but we know they won't. Government knows that people will still meet up with friends, travel all over the place in the days around xmas to drop off gifts, and took I think the decision that encouraging sensible behaviour was going to be more effective than demanding it. Who wants to be the government sending Police to people's homes over the Christmas Break?


My impression is that most people are indeed going to be sensible. In London at least, you can see evidence that people have shopped early, possibly endeavoring to isolate a little in the days leading up to that five day period.

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I have lived on my own since 1985 (35 years)


Between 1993 - 2012 I did spend Christmas Day with my mother.

She did not eat or drink much and it was a mainly dry affair.


I have no family.. My mum died in 2012. I have no brothers or sisters.


I have spent the last 8 years on my own on Christmas Day.

I do not see anyone or speak to anyone.


This year will be no different for me.


Foxy

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One of the benefits of lockdown was reconnecting with my sibblings through Zoom, in a weekly quiz. Who needs to go down the pub and get legless on a Friday when you can have a pizza, glass or two of wine, a natter and some fun. Xmas falls on a Friday so this will be a shorter get together rather than the full two hours. We are not estranged but one lives over the pond and the others 120 miles away so it works well.
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I think the 5 days should be reduced to 3 - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (or substitute Christmas Eve for Bank Holiday Monday) We are having family over on Boxing Day only otherwise it will just be the 2 of us. We will be following guidelines re SD and making sure plenty of fresh air is circulated. Meals will be buffet type so no sitting at a dining table. We have not seen our grandchildren since August and it is especially hard not to see the 4 and 6 year old. Neither of us have Zoom but are in contact by phone and emails.


If the government were to cancel Christmas - too many people would ignore the advice and still meet up in larger numbers as a show of defiance.

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The Health Secretary (just now) talking about personal responsibility rather than enforcing restrictions.


I'm not sure that works in all cases - but I do know it's easier for us that can order in beer and food. You can't really cancel Christmas, it's still there but different.

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Pugwash Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Neither of us have Zoom but are in contact by

> phone and emails.



If you don't have zoom, but have a smartphone and internet use, use whatsapp instead for a video call.


I agree on the three day thing personally but think the five days relaxation has been set to allow for traveling. You can't travel to most other areas under the tier system, so the days before Xmas Eve and after Boxing Day are needed.

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Blah Blah Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> It does, but for calls longer than 40 mins, you

> have to pay for a subscription. Whatsapp calling

> is entirely free.


I think for arranged calls where you invite others to join a zoom meeting you are correct


But from experience if you do a direct person to person call then there is no time limit

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JohnL Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> The Health Secretary (just now) talking about

> personal responsibility rather than enforcing

> restrictions.

>

Personal responsibility is I can go to a Covid secure pub and have a beer.


This is the usual sh-tshow. Stay home kids. By the way I agree.

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Blah Blah Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> It does, but for calls longer than 40 mins, you

> have to pay for a subscription. Whatsapp calling

> is entirely free.


For calls longer than 40 minutes on zoom you just stop the meeting briefly and then start it again, if you don't want to pay the monthly subscription (which is about a tenner).

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The new variant (not correct to call it a new strain) appears to be more infectious and is driving up infections in the SE quickly. Hospitals across the UK are at 90 per cent capacity as it is, so the question is one of a potential surge as people travel from the SE travel all over the country spreading this more infectious strain, leading to a January crisis for the NHS. That is what government is having to consider.


Personally, I think that surge is inevitable, and will not be surprised to see a hard lockdown in Jan/Feb. It is worth remembering that the first lockdown was to drive down spread and infection rates from a high R number, to below 1. The policy since has been about managing the R number and trying to keep it below 1. But that has resulted in the R number staying at 1 or thereabouts, over bringing it down further. As a result, the present surge has not gone down significantly enough from the extra November restrictions (I won't call it a lockdown because it wasn't in reality), 400+ people are still dying every day on average, and any surge is going to come on top of that. The peak of Flu intake is also about to hit, although that might actually be lower this year because of social distancing.


The data shows that infection rates in schools among teenagers especially, are the issue at the moment. Hence the scrambling to get rapid testing facilities set up over the Christmas break. So the best advice for Christmas would be to keep teenagers away from vulnerable and elderly relatives, and to restrict travel from the SE to other parts of the country. I suspect it will emerge as advice, over any actual restrictions.

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