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Mon, 22 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000
The pandemic has been dominated by the grim reality of what we have all faced this year – but residents have also reconnected
The pandemic has been dominated by the grim reality of what we have all faced this year – but residents have also reconnected.
Monday 22 March 2021 17:06, UK
As we were all plunged into lockdown 12 months ago there was no manual to follow.
Staying at home was something of a novelty.
On Springbourne, a quiet residential road on the edge of Frodsham in Cheshire, they got out and danced in the street with their neighbours at 11am each morning – and soon went viral online, prompting many others to give it a go.
“It was our way of shielding I suppose,” said fitness instructor Janet Woodcock who led the exercise sessions in the spring sunshine last year.
“We were here in our bubble, shielded from the reality, and the dancing was our happy hour.”
Through the course of 2020 the virus invaded everyone’s life in all manner of ways.
The bubble on Springbourne didn’t protect the residents from loss, heartache, sacrifice or stress.
But the year also redefined family life and what it is to be a neighbour.
The dancing stopped as the weather turned and new rules came in, but everyone has shared the lived experience of this past year.
“I want a simple life after this,” resident Emma Whittle told Sky News.
“I hope pace slows down.”
Last year had already started badly, with her father, Peter, ill in hospital before the pandemic struck.
After three negative tests he left hospital and then tested positive.
“Suddenly there were no rules that fit with your expectations of what was happening,” she said.
“He went back into hospital, and after another extensive stay, there were a number of phone calls in the middle of the night but he’s here to tell the tale.
“He only has a quarter of a lung, so how somebody with a quarter of a lung has come through and survived this, I will never know.”
Everyone has made sacrifices.
A few doors down Joanna Lowe was completing yet another complicated puzzle with her 40-year-old son Simon.
It has become their way of passing the time during the long winter lockdown.
“We did Venice last week – it’s quite addictive,” she laughed.
Ms Lowe is an optimist but, like so many others, has had to live with the pain of being apart from family.
Her 43-year-old daughter Clare was born with profound disabilities and has never been able to speak – she lives at a “wonderful” residential centre which is seven miles away.
“It has been difficult not seeing her,” Ms Lowe said.
“She’s a very tactile person and it’s a bit hit and miss with the Zoom.
“At first Clare didn’t really know whether I was on the ceiling or coming through the door.
“She could hear my voice but didn’t know where it was coming from.”
There has only been a handful of visits over the year but last Sunday the two were together for the first time since Christmas.
“It was wonderful… I’m booked in for the next four Sundays and I can’t wait,” Ms Lowe said.
Next door, sports writer David Anderson finally has his house back after home schooling ended.
“We have walked the highways and byways of Frodsham and spent more time than ever as a family.
“It is extraordinary how things that would have seemed so alien a year ago are now just part of normal life.”
The pandemic has been dominated by the grim reality of what we have all faced this year but people have also reconnected on roads like Springbourne.
They have been forced into it but nobody here wants their new-found togetherness to slip away in favour of how life was before.
Mon, 22 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000
What can you do from March 29 as lockdown restrictions ease? What will the new lockdown rules be? Here's the latest on England's roadmap plan including
The News Explained
Is cutting our troops the right thing to do?
22 March 2021, 12:01
What can you do from March 29 as lockdown restrictions ease? What will the new lockdown rules be? Here’s the latest on England’s roadmap plan.
The roadmap out of lockdown in England is approaching it’s second part on 29th March with some more coronavirus restrictions being lifted as well as the reintroduction of the rule of six.
Ahead of the 12th April – where the biggest set of lockdown restrictions are due to be lifted – the government will be removing another set of rules as they help England gradually return to normal outside of lockdown.
Related article: What lockdown rules are lifting on 12th April?
Related article: When can gyms reopen in England?
So what can you do from 29th March? What is the rule of six? Here’s what lockdown restrictions are being lifted as part of the roadmap should the government go ahead:
The second stage of part one of the roadmap out of lockdown means a few small restrictions will be eased to help control any further spread of the virus.
If the government is happy all four tests are met, from 29th March residents in England should be able to:
Up to six people, or two households, are now allowed to mix outdoors again.
Support bubbles are counted as one household and any children under the age of five are not included in the head count.
This also means private garden meets are allowed again.
The 12th April is step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown and has some of the biggest rule liftings.
From this date, England can hopefully see one of the biggest returns to ‘normal life’ with non-essential shops, hairdressers and barbers and gyms reopening.
Outdoor dining and drinking should also be permitted along with self-catering holidays in the UK opening for business once more.
Around one week before these lockdown restrictions are lifted, Boris Johnson and the government will assess Covid data and deem if this is safe to do so.
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