Since May 11th those people lucky enough to live in England have been able to take day trips to places as far away as can be reasonably visited in a day, so, for example, were I to be staying with my father, I could drive to the coast and YES spend a day sunbathing on the golden sand of the South Kentish coast. From the 11th MAY!

But I don’t live in England, I live in Wales where for some reason that isn’t being explained, the advice is different. In Wales the only lifting of restriction that was of note on the 11th May was that you could go out more than once a day… Thank you Welsh Ass and thanks again for your fine leadership in the current round of restriction lifting… Not…

Let’s deal with todays news point by disappointing point… But first let’s highlight something that is reported on the BBC News pages that might blow your mind and is something that I’ve been shouting about since Covid Day 1… The Welsh Government has been advised that the virus survives “only for minutes outside but for hours on indoor surfaces”.

The shameful treatment of those living in Wales, like the edict of some Dark Ages overlord, forcing us to fear venturing further than five miles from our settlement, deserves railing against.

Here are todays changes that are all we get for the next three weeks…

  • Members of two separate households in the same local area will be able to meet outdoors, maintaining social distancing and “strict hand-hygiene”
  • The two households can meet in private outdoor spaces, such as gardens 
  • Weddings and civil partnerships can take place if the bride or groom is terminally ill

What world does Mark Drakeford live in? A walk through Bute Park or along the Cardiff Bay Barrage, since the start of the virus and certainly since May 11th, clearly shows to anyone with eyes that the majority are out with a friend, that picnicking and sunbathing has been commonplace, that groups of cyclists or groups of guys playing football are seen on EVERY visit. All Drakeford has done there is to legalise what is already beyond his control to control.

I’ve stuck to the guidelines throughout, almost… I must admit to walking with a friend on two occasions, of course with a 2m distance between us and no hugging… Many from other households have been hosted in the gardens and houses of friends or family members. I’ve observed this. Again, Drakeford is only legalising that that is already widespread practice.

And I should bloody well hope so. The most distressing thing I’ve heard about the behaviour of the government policy makers and medical professionals implementation of such is disallowing parents to see their dying child. Shameful and unforgivable. Who do these people think they are?

And so back to The Welsh Government has been advised that the virus survives “only for minutes outside but for hours on indoor surfaces”. I’ve been shouting this to all that would listen since day 1. Virus’ die under solar radiation. Virus’ don’t much like salt either. And yet we are being forced to avoid the wealth of fabulous beaches that we have on three sides of Wales during this glorious run of daily Canarian blue skies and air temperatures.

Close the boarders and keep the English out, I’d have not much of a problem with that. That would assuage fears of an exodus from England to Wales for a day out at the beach… The continuance of treating citizens of Wales so differently from those in England seems to be the wielding of devolved powers for the sake of wielding them. The R Number is about 0.8 in Wales and is just 0.05 lower than in England at 0.85, really it’s about the same across the UK. So… Why the difference of approach?

I therefore say ‘Let us retain our mental and physical health by allowing us to travel to exercise and importantly to go visit the places that kill virus’, the beaches.

Or perhaps it’s better for us to have a stream of single household visits until we are so fed up with that we just start having larger gatherings. After all, you have been able to play golf or buy or sell property for some time now… It would appear that the wealthies key interests have been looked after and the wealthy that have broken the rules remain un-punished. You have been able to get on buses and trains and buy a coffee in Cardiff Bay and pizza in Bute Park and today I went to B and Q and bought a load of pic and mix screws and nails… And don’t get me onto the discrepancy of UK Gov 2m rule and WHO’s 1m. Or the total uselessness of face masks…

Such craziness I never thought I’d witness outside of a comic satire or dark dystopian novel.

Join Us!

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published

25 comments

  1. I am with you. I am totally heartbroken at the fact that I am being discriminated against in such a public manner. My daughter lives 12 miles away and my husbands family 30 miles away. So my neighbours who live close to their family can meet but we cannot see ours. In two weeks time we permanently move to Italy and we will not be allowed to say goodbye. My mother in law is 88 years old. Either everyone can meet their family or no one. I have written to Mark Drakeford and contacted the BBC. Absolutely outrageous and discriminatory behaviour by WA

    1. That’s such a sad story. Personally, if it were me, I’d just go and if I were stopped I’d give the reasons as stated and if the police still wanted to pursue me I’d not tell them I were leaving the country and I’d take the fine notice and carry on my merry way…

      1. You should definately meet your family before you move to Italy, if you get a stopped and fined don’t pay it and if you go to court , it will be thrown. The risk of you being stopped is very minimal, but a risk that is very much worth taking.

      1. I’d like to know how. It’s one thing blindly supporting a political decision but another to understand and constructively contribute. If you have evidence that Wales is a special case in regards to the other nations of the UK and is so special that it’s people are worth more than people in other nations around the world then you might just be able to convince me that I am wrong. And please, if you want to contribute, do so with information that backs up your position rather than just a statement that really doesn’t mean anything.

  2. Maybe they a re trying different things in different areas to see which works best. I always wondered why they said to stay in, when the virus has less chance of surviving outdoors. And of course the Government would never do anything to harm us. WOULD THEY ?

    1. I don’t like being involved in an experiment being conducted by elected representatives with an eye on their legacy or future income… And you’re right, their slogan of Stay Safe – Stay Home has always run counter to the best advice… There are so many deep holes to go down if you choose…

  3. I for one do not agree! I saw the state of the English beaches last week when people flocked there,I wonder how many people got infected that day! Maybe you should sell up and move to England when this crisis is over if your not happy with how the Welsh Government are dealing with it. I have every faith in Mark Drakeford to do the right thing for the people of Wales.

    1. You don’t understand how virus’ work I’m afraid and are misguided by having faith in government. Tell me how being in the sun and salt water is likely to aid the spread of the virus when ALL medical doctors and virologists say that sunlight kills virus’. Also tell me how forcing people into the same city centre parks is any better than letting us fan out into the mass of natural locations we have in Wales? And even if Mark Drakeford is correct, which he isn’t, are you prepared to carry the burden of saving a few Welsh lives at the expense of millions in the developing world? I am not alone in saying that blood is not on my hands…

    2. Can only agree with the writer of this blog. There is absolutely zero risk from being outside in the open air. Does this incredibly intelligent virus have the ability to leap metres on the beach but not a few feet in a an ‘essential’ off licence.

      If it was as you think everyone working in a supermarket would be dead by now. As hardly anyone under 55 has died ov CV19 (and they mostly had comorbidities) why has the whole population had their civil liberties removed (probably illegally under The Human Rights Act)

      More on our own blog about this

      http://lizburton.co.uk/wordpress/everyday-stuff/still-under-house-arrest/

      1. I’ve long being saying this is an illegal lockdown and a few weeks ago came to the conclusion that the handling was all wrong, that all resources for care and isolation should have been thrown at those regarded as ‘the vulnerable’ and the rest of us should have gotten along with our usual business. No economic crash, no increase of starvation in developing countries, no immeasurable debt stacked up for the youth of today to be paying back for the rest of their lives, no increase of death by non covid causes (thinking suicide, non treatment of illness etc). Great blog by the way and when this is all over I wouldn’t mind coming over and having a lot round your place with my partner as we have a similar plan in mind 🙂

    3. None.
      Wales Government have been bragging about their fantastic R rate in comparison to England. Take a look at latest their worse than England and Scotland and in Northern Ireland they can go camping very soon. Drakeford has relied on scaremongering exaggeration of the likelihood of a spike etc. All these sacrifices for absolutely nothing. People in Wales are being deprived of their families and he still hasn’t abandoned the 5 mile limit!!!

  4. A couple of points. First. Fresh air therapy was used as effective measure against the Spanish flu of 1918 and continued to be used until the late 1960s. But we were not allowed out.
    Second. There has been far too much rumour and disinformation about all aspects of this pandemic, including the use of ppe, its mortality rate,its infection rate, and many other aspects. None of us known the truth and never will.
    Three days ago I went fishing for the first time since this began. Under cover of darkness, I headed for my nea6beach, 12 miles away. Approximately 20 other people were there,all distancing and behaving themselves. All of us furtively glancing over our shoulders, expecting the wrath of the law to be upon us at any moment. Why? Just being out for these few hours made me feel better than I have for the last three months.
    I am not suggesting that we should all just carry on regardless. But we should be allowed to utilize all that makes us feel alive.

    1. I totally agree it’s a stupid rule . I live alone here in Wales I have no family and I was desperate to go to the sea so much I thought my head would explode ……so I bloody well did and the power of good it did me stopped me from doing serious harm to myself

      1. Good on you. I’ve mostly stuck to lockdown rules but of course I’ve stepped outside a couple of times, driving just a tad further than ‘allowed’ to set the dog free on a beach for example. But for me the rules have never made sense and the problem with rules are twofold. 1. if they don’t make sense they will not be followed and 2. rules are made for breaking. The free festival movement of years ago had no rules and large communities came together and in the main all was good or if not was swiftly sorted out by those in the community. Hawkwind deliver festivals of up to 2000 with no rules and people simply behave better, because they are empowered to do the right thing…

  5. You have to remember that Cardiff/Newport/Swansea are the centre of power in Wales. Self-centred, unconcerned about the rest of Wales, inclined to hate all things English.

    Andy Burham is ccorrect, we need to localise Lockdown. Here in the rural North I see no strangers except when I go shopping in England.

    And we still have no settled interpretation of some of the important statistics.

    1. Hmmm… I’m not with Burnham as I keep on saying that the lockdown is the cause of more deaths than if we had just carried on as normal. The real question to ask is why is the UK 3rd worst regarding death per head of population, sharing that distinction with Italy, when we had a lead in and heads up that this was coming. And conversely why is Sweden that had no lockdown faring much, much better than us? Those are questions we ought to keep on asking

      1. If you lock down you do it hard and super fast we waited too long .if the welsh government and stopped borders into England and locked down I mean locked down don’t go our at all in early Feb we wouldn’t be this mess now . They are using their little patriarchal power heads to instill ideas that make no sense now and have no effect . Kids in valleys having raves people forced to stay in cities which are still polluted he will have blood on his hands

        1. My thoughts exactly from the start of all this. I remember saying to my partner that it was a waste of time, trains and buses running, all sorts of shops open, builders working away… If I were the UK’s Dictator I would have said you all have two days to go out and stock up on essentials, after ensuring that the supermarkets we well stocked, and then that’s it… passes issued to essential workers to travel and be outside and the rest on a two week no going out quarantine. I think that would have done it. It’s also strange that no state globally did that until it was too late… It’s almost as if they want us to be ill…

  6. On the flip side… I live in England, just south of Birmingham and I’m watching people around me getting ready to go meet their families, arrange tea parties in their gardens and meet friends. I have isolated pretty much all the way through going out only to walk my dog, choosing the quieter lanes and to go food shopping, avoiding crowded supermarkets. Am I planning to meet my family… No! They live in Rhyl, I have missed Easter egg hunts with my granddaughter. We usually spend May bank holiday together at a festival. The later May bank holiday we go on adventures in Wales for a long weekend with her. I have missed all these this year. It is her birthday the second week in July and the way it’s going it is doubtful I will get to see her blow out to he 6 candles on her cake other than over a video screen. My granddaughter is my world and although this isolation is necessary it is heartbreaking, we had such plans, had made promises which I have had to break. I have no idea when I can see her in person again and at the moment would sell my soul for just one if her cuddles.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that but I’m sure you’ll be allowed in Wales by July. There is no justification for Wales being a special case and I am positive that this closing down of the borders of Wales is illegal. Certainly most legally minded are clear that the rules aren’t laws and are general guidance, so going for a surf in Rhyll might get you a fine but I think visiting your family, now, would likely be OK – do check with someone in the know though if you decide to make the journey but as I say, I am positive Wales will be opening up at the next review in two and a half weeks time.

  7. Spot on. The 5 mile rule has no basis in science and even as crude proxy for social distancing it is flawed. It is staying APART not staying local that reduces transmissions- which is why we still have food arriving safely in Tesco but an epidemic in care homes.
    Indeed staying local – especially as restrictions ease – will make things worse. Where will We be most at risk – St David’s centre or St David’s Head; Roath Park or the Rhinogs!

    I’ve come to the sorry conclusion that Covid 19 is the biggest Threat to outdoor access since the Kinder Trespass. There are ungenerous but load voices in some rural areas claiming that outsiders will bring forth a plague – they are wrong in fact and shabby in sentiment but politicians have become fearful of them. Meanwhile the national parks comply meekly and we all suffer as a result
    See here for my takes: http://www.viewsfromthebikeshed. blogspot.com

    1. Totally, and I have people kicking off saying walking isn’t political. Our right to rom has been trashed and if inroads are to be made into that hard fought for ‘concession’ now is the time it will be being discussed, behind closed doors of course…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *