It is recognised that coronavirus is low risk for children. The highest risk groups are the over 70’s especially those with underlying health issues. It may have made sense for these highest risk groups to have undertaken a self-quarantine for the duration of the peak of the virus, and then gradually get back to being in the world again, socialising and seeing grandkids once the peak was over and enjoying their twilight years.
The UK government actually downgraded the coronavirus on 19th March 2020, but that news was largely ignored by the mainstream media. It was no longer considered a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID).
It is curious that Japan had a death rate of 1000 due to coronavirus and the UK had one of around 40,000. Japan has double the population of the UK making this discrepancy in figures even more curious. They also have a very large number of elderly. Japan didn’t do a lockdown by the way and kept many businesses open. Though they did go full-on with the mask wearing and they did close the schools quite early on as well as being more stricter with flights into their country. Perhaps if we had adopted a similar approach, we could have avoided destroying our economy and had a similar outcome. Consider also that despite locking down – the ‘death rate’ attributed to coronavirus still seemed to rise and rise.
Despite this, in its wisdom to save us all, our politak-crats placed everyone under house arrest, ordered all schools and shops closed. It also made life more challenging for families with small children by closing all soft play areas, zoos and museums. This I can understand, but it went further and shut all the playgrounds.
So I wondered, just what exactly are families with small children supposed to do? Especially if they live in an inner city flat with no private garden.
By doing so, they took away one of the few safe spaces for children to play in – ie playgrounds. For toddler-age children in inner cities, who do not have the luxury of private gardens, local playgrounds are invaluable. Playgrounds are usually gated, so parents can relax while their small toddlers can run around, use the climbing frames, slide, swing and not disappear off out of sight or be at risk of cars on the many roads.
Here are some photos of our local playground:
Interesting slogan: “Together…”
And just to make sure the message is clear, the local Kouncil placed chains around the gates.
The message is clear: Playgrounds are DANGEROUS. They must be closed.
Everything is always “For your Safety”.
By the way, it is summer time, the death rate due to corona is dropping and there doesnt seem to be any flu-like illnesses going around – coronavirus or even the regular flu (if you can remember that it still exists), and yet the parks are still closed.
I have noticed two side effects of this policy. Firstly, with no playgrounds, nurserys or pre-schools and no friends or elderly relatives allowed to help out (lockdown rules), young babies, and toddlers are watching more TV than is healthy.
This lockdown also places more strain on already tired parents who now have to entertain their smaller kids without a break when they are bored of watching TV, and are somehow supposed to do home schooling for older kids. Lest they end up playing video games all day long.
Secondly, when you did go out for your one time/one hour of allowed ‘exercise time’, kids now have to play on the streets and local grassy areas which have not been closed off. There are some downsides to this. On grassy areas, you have to watch out for dog poo constantly because many idiot dog owners let their dogs crap everywhere and just leave it.
Also ‘social distancing’ becomes a joke, when you have a small toddler who wants to run where he wants to. You have to constantly keep your child away from other people. You can see the mental and physical tiredness in other parents with toddlers who don’t want to have to police their child’s movements, but are obligated by the social distancing rule to keep their child away from others (lest lives are lost).
You also have to watch out for cars. As there is less traffic on the roads, people are speeding more. I wonder if traffic accidents have increased?
I wondered if by forcing this lockdown and social distancing rules, other problems have occurred as a result. Like how in the Chinese revolution, Mao ordered the killing of the sparrows that were eating all the crops in order to increase grain production. However, this led to an increase in the numbers of locusts, which ate all the crops anyway, as they lacked a natural predator (the sparrows apparently), causing an even worse grain shortage. The law of unintended consequences.
My local Kouncil went crazy in the way they closed off the playgrounds. They were not taking any chances. In one park, they actually put large fences around all the fun areas. Here are some photos:
This is a large metal fence around the zipliner. Behind, there are fences around the swings. I assume this is because touching the swings and zipliner can spread the virus and hence is DANGEROUS. Unlike pin card machines, door handles, the poles in buses or even shared computers at work. It appears that Coronavirus likes metal surfaces or rope exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
Here is another zipliner chained up. The Kouncil really hates zipliners.
Then there are the slides. Deadly harborers of infection. This fencing took some creative effort. Our glorious Kouncil actually put a fence all the way around this slide, which is on a slope:
They also fenced off the skateboard park and chained up the tennis courts. We hereby declare that PLAYTIME is BANNED! Get back to your CELLS for your LOCKDOWN Small little prisoner people. Go and watch some more TV and eat your sugar.
And the tire on a rope chain. Alas no more swinging:
Fortunately, in their compassion, our glorious Kouncil left the children this medium-sized rock to play with. Ah bles-sed are the small mercies. This rock was not fenced off. Though, I do wonder if the Kouncil had thought about putting one around it.
Perhaps this means that coronavirus cannot survive on rocks.
However, the kids had had enough. Lacking the regularity of school, haircuts and fun for several week, the children eventually went feral. They organised themselves into gangs and roamed wildly across the land. And then a few weeks later…
They tore down the fences!
Anarchy in the Playground!
The skatepark and tennis courts had also been un-officially re-opened. However, I didn’t take any pictures of it because there were lots of teenagers in there, skating, playing tennis and roller skating and I didn’t want to incriminate any of them. Particularly as none of them seemed to be practicing social distancing.
As far as I could tell they were having fun in the sunshine instead of being at home watching Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel and eating sugary snacks, where they would be safe.
But, do you know what…?
No one died!
There has been no outbreak of coronavirus in the kids in the local area. No teams of hazmat wearing doctors brought into my local area setting up field hospitals with helicopters whirring above. No people dropping dead in the street like those videos from China. No mass graves being dug on the football field nearby. Although there were some other visitors there.
No none of that. Just kids having fun.
BUT WHO DID IT?
I investigated and discovered that a small gang of local teenagers was responsible for breaking the lockdown and tearing down the fences. Here is a picture of the local gang from the Guardian newspaper:
I met with one of the local gangs of kids who were responsible for tearing down this fence and interviewed their leader Ralph.
Me: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Ralph. Can I ask, why did you tear down the fences around the playground?
Ralph: The fence around the playground was symbolic. We tore down the fence because, it represented a prison. It sent a message to young children to get used to living in a mental and physical prison state from now on.
Me: But what about the risk of the virus. Isn’t there a risk of infection when kids are touching the swings and slide, or when kids are breaking the social distancing rules?
Ralph: What infection? I don’t see anyone around me coughing or sneezing. Do you? I haven’t seen anyone sick for weeks and it is the middle of summer. Besides I thought that is what our immune systems are for – fighting off viruses.
Me: But the rules are there for a reason, if anyone started breaking down fences, or breaking the rules of the lockdown and social distancing when they felt like it, there would be anarchy. Society could not function. Is that what you want?
Ralph: We do not want anarchy. But there needs to be a balance of risk. No one can live in a bubble for ever. Eventually, we must face difficult things. If we spend our lives fearful of all viruses, disease and death, we end up losing the point of living or damaging ourselves in other ways.
Me: Thank you Ralph.
DISCLAIMER: The views of Ralph and his gang are not shared by the author of this blog and website. The interview is presented for informational purposes only.
Update (June 2020): The fences were put back up. I feel there is a metaphor here.