Entering No-Man’s Land – Lockdown, week 10

Sun 24 – Sat 30 May 2020

I say ‘no-man’s land’ as that feels where we are in terms of coming out of lockdown. The government is saying that we can start to get back to doing normal things albeit with ‘common sense’. However each day there are still thousands of people becoming infected and about 300 dying. Inevitably, the lack of specifics means people do their own thing. For instance, no strict rules on wearing masks and the tracing app not ready.

Who has let us down more – government or their scientific advisors?

And you can’t help but feel that this rush into opening things was guided more by political consideration rather than listening to the scientists. Mind you, the way the latter have generally played the role of lapdogs at the daily briefings has reinforced the perception that we are in no man’s land and undermined people’s confidence in ‘the science’. Separate press conferences from politicians and scientists may have been better.

The schools dilemma

progress being made

The complete confusion we are in is put encapsulated by sending kids back to school. I feel the dilemma many parents will face next week. To send their children back or not? Though some will be forced into having to send the kids back as they need to work.

But I honestly can’t see the advantage in opening schools for 6 weeks before closing for summer. Surely better to leave it till Sept when we will know so much more? The worry must be the children themselves becoming infected but also especially them asymptomatically carrying the virus back to infect other family members.

Books and Reading

As always in life, I get through things by reading. 2 books completed last week and both very different to each other 🙂 Don’t forget I keep details on all the books I have read here.

‘Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To’ by David Sinclair

So I had this on my kindle which meant I could read whilst on my daily walks. Generally I prefer fiction and have a big soft spot for sci-fi / fantasy / horror. However I also like to dip into non-fiction and particularly ‘popular science’.

An interesting book that sees old age as not inevitable and a ‘disease’ in its own right that can be cured. This will happen through genetics, life-style, nutrients, and medication. And Sinclair takes the view that an increase in older people living longer will have a beneficial impact on society. It’s slightly rose-tinted glasses but it has also made me rethink my own approach to getting older making it more positive. 🙂

‘The Silence of the Girls’ by Pat Barker

Pat Barker is another brilliant contemporary female author I deeply respect. Her ‘Regeneration’ trilogy is wonderful, I really must reread it at some point in my life. Ah, to have the time to read books again…

This book takes an incident briefly mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and expands it. Barker makes the Trojan war into something quite everyday though with some divine interventions thrown in. She creates new aspects to the war such as hero Odysseus being someone quite unpleasant and Trojans dealing with the fatal fact that they know they will lose. It also focuses very much on the way women are often the bigger victims of war.

Work Life Balance

Busy, busy, busy

As we move into no man’s land after the certainty of the lockdown, work continues and it’s busier than ever. In a weird way I envy those who are furloughed. Guaranteed salary but without having to work. Yes they might be being paid a bit less and may be laid off once furlough ends. However do any of us really have job certainty post-lockdown?

The usual mass of meetings and one to ones via zoom and phone-calls with zoom, slack, workplace, etc sitting over this as well. Thurs was particularly busy with stuff back-to-back. Interestingly it was supposed to be a half day of work but that went out the window.

Couple of useful external things. Catch up with the new CEO of Coalition for Global Prosperity. And agreement to become a member of the Connection Coalition – an initiative to build on the good things that have come out of the coronavirus crisis.

A day off

The second May bank holiday last Monday. Great to have a day-off (I did nothing 🙂 ) and a short working week. Though that did lead to things being crammed into 4 days which may explain why it was so busy.

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run and recovery


Just one jog-run last week. A quite slow 4K on Sun morning. I deliberately took it easy not to aggravate the ‘injury’ I had around my left-side lower back, hip, and abdomen. Pace of 6.45 mins per km. I had planned to do another jog-run midweek but didn’t feel in the mood plus I thought it could give my ‘injury’ further time to heal.

Walks and weight

I have been really pushing my walks each day. Part of my aim is to reach the daily steps total on my new health monitoring watch. I can also keep a check on the number of calories I have used and try to match that with my calorie intake. Weight seems to be stable rather than on a downward trend. 🙁

Personal Development

Gutenberg and other languages

Main PD achievement last week was watching the second excellent webinar on using Gutenberg in WordPress. Getting ideas for things I might change on my website. The other main thing achieved last week was doing my language learning. Unfortunately not as much time devoted to it as I had hoped. Primarily to do with more time spent on work stuff and reading.

Art and Culture

The joy of short films

Not much action here apart from watching some short LGBTQ+ films. One in Portuguese and one in Chinese. Both good, generally I do love short films and even regarding full-length movies, I tire with stuff lasting more than an hour and a half. I am missing galleries and museums. Hopefully they will open soon (probably much sooner than my beloved gym 🙁 ) though with controls on numbers able to enter I expect.

Family and Friends

The sacrifices we are making

No-man’s land means I am still no clearer when I can go back to stay with mum. Obviously she is still safely isolated but I never expected to be with Dave in his little flat with no outdoor space for 10 weeks. But I’m worried that if I return home then I may pass on infection to her and everything will be wasted.

I know these problems are affecting so many people. But we see people breaking the rules. Then kids will be back in schools and shops will be opening shortly. No wonder we all still feel so confused and feeling like we are in no man’s land. I do think if we end up in another lockdown then I may have to stay with mum next time but it would be hard not to see Dave for a long period. 🙁

The Week Ahead

  • A jog-run on Sun morning and it might be my only one of the week – must not beat myself up if that is the case
  • Daily walks must happen and keep an eye on what I eat
  • It’s going to be another busy week at work though I have booked some external learning seminars. Work needs to have a development angle rather than just being permanently busy.
  • My boss gave me a big piece of work on Fri evening that is going to take a lot of time next week
  • Very much looking forward to a brief catch-up with my old colleague Dan Sutch on Tues
  • Currently reading 2 new books, one of them is for the Velvet Page book club on Thurs. Really hope I’m not too knacked to join the zoom gathering as has happened the previous 2 meetings
  • 3rd Gutenberg webinar on Thurs, this one is about using the payment and selling tool WooCommerce

And Finally…

What is acceptable to do for your family

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