Displaying items by tag: lockdown
Some children may be feeling excited about the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions. But it is also normal for children and young people to feel anxious about it. During lockdown they have spent long periods of time at home and are living with uncertainty about the coming weeks and months. Moving out of lockdown might be worrying, and some may find it difficult to adjust. Before the pandemic some were already suffering bullying, cyber bullying, school challenges, or relationship challenges. Coming out of lockdown for these more vulnerable children may cause them to fear meeting up with others at school. They may need some time to adjust to the new situation. Also some parents will be struggling to decide whether their child should go back to school at the moment. Pray that they will feel comfortable in deciding what is right for the entire family.
Before lockdown Chris enjoyed nights out with friends and going to football. Alcohol played a part in his life but was no problem. ‘I was in a good place before lockdown, I was keeping fit, swimming five days a week, doing well at work and in a good mind-set.’ His daughter moved out during lockdown, leaving him living on his own - isolated, anxious, uncertain about the future and growing increasingly depressed. Within weeks Chris went from being someone who enjoyed a drink to someone who needed a drink, and began experiencing withdrawal symptoms. ‘I wanted to cut down and stop, but I wasn't in control, that was frightening.’ But with help and encouragement of his family and a rehabilitation service he's been sober for over 70 days, determined to lay his demons to rest. Rehab agencies report a 500% increase in calls since lockdown.
The restrictions of lockdown fostered a community spirit in Britain, with feelings of solidarity and togetherness. However a campaign called Together, which includes the NHS, charities, media groups and employers among its founders, says this sense of togetherness is beginning to fragment and fray. It is organising a national public consultation on how to avoid new community divisions opening up. Analysis of the polling of 2,000 adults during May-June has led to the warning, ‘There's a risk that past divides are re-emerging as society starts to re-open. The shared experience of lockdown made many people feel more connected to their neighbours and local community. Now that sense of togetherness is starting to fray, but people would rather we kept hold of it.’ There are expected to be challenging months ahead.
In much of the world, coronavirus lockdowns are easing. In the UK some normality is returning with the reopening of businesses and public spaces. However, the four countries are at different stages of lockdown, as politicians in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland take diverse approaches from their English counterparts. At the same time the coronavirus threat is still very real. On 15 July Public Health England data showed there have been 291,911 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 45,053 associated deaths. Pray for a spirit of peace, prosperity and safety to rest on our streets as the new normality emerges. Pray also for God's wisdom to flow through Parliament, the Cabinet, MPs, civil servants and advisors. Also pray for the safety of people in Leicester who have to endure a second lockdown of shops and schools and reinstated shielding measures.
For months both adults and children, many of whom are working at home, have spent significantly more time online. Now the Internet Watch Foundation reports that images of child abuse images online have increased by almost 50% during lockdown. In the eleven weeks from 23 March its hotline logged 44,809 reports of images, compared with 29,698 last year. The Government has promised to draw up legislation to reduce online harm. The fastest-growing category of images being removed in recent years has been those generated by children after grooming or coercion. The updated figures are likely to renew the debate about how to keep children safe, after months of parents grappling to limit children’s online activity. There are now growing concerns that appropriate draft legislation will be delayed by the pandemic.
‘Looks like everyone in the UK is breaking the lockdown rules, then?’ said a person living in France in late May. In June, UK social media were ablaze with images of packed beaches and street parties. While we follow the developments of the pandemic in the UK, many of our conversations have included judgmental comments about other countries. Now a full local lockdown has had to be imposed in Leicester because of increased coronavirus cases; non-essential shops and most schools have been closed again. The loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants will also not take place there. See
The lockdown in most of Europe is gradually easing. Social distancing regulations remain in force, but there is no distance spiritually between us and our Father in heaven. We can continue to pray for Europe, and for Germany which assumes the presidency of the EU Council for six months from 1 July. Its government has announced a 130 billion Euro recovery package to strengthen and promote investment from businesses and municipalities. Please pray that in the coming economic challenges that there will be an attitude which serves and protects people’s lives rather than finances (Leviticus 25:35-37). Social unrest has intensified recently in Europe and globally. In times of crisis, social solidity comes under pressure and the divisions within society drive people apart.
The Department of Education (DE) is considering two-week summer schools in late July for pupils going into years 5, 6 and 7. No school or organisation will be obliged to run one; they are entirely voluntary and subject to funding being available and the agreement of the executive teaching unions. Schools will be asked how many pupils they could take on a ratio of one teacher per seven pupils. Possible financial support may be available to schools already running their own summer schools (for current year 4, 5 and 6 pupils). Other proposals being considered are extra online lessons in literacy and numeracy for pupils going into year 7 who need extra support, and virtual learning if they have IT access.
A priest in St Albans diocese is beating the ban on public worship inside churches while complying with lockdown restrictions. He will hold communion services in his church’s garden of remembrance. Canon Charles Royden has announced that he will be holding services under the ruling that allows an outdoor gathering of a maximum of six people. He is taking telephone bookings for five people to attend at half-hourly intervals in the church grounds on Sunday. He has already filled twelve services, from 9.30 am to 3 pm, and is taking reservations for the following weekend. Service duties will be shared with his colleague, Rev Dr Sam Cappleman. Canon Royden said the new rules say we can now share food and drink and enjoy outdoor picnics and barbeques. So the sharing of the holy sacrament is no longer prohibited. The possibility of catching Covid-19 from this practice is considered to be extremely low.
Nurses who have lived away from home since the early days of the pandemic to avoid the risk of infecting their families were interviewed recently. One says she fears that cases will begin to rise because members of the public, unlike medical staff, seem too eager to ‘move on’. Another said that her friend was admitted to her ward and it shocked her to see her friend fighting for breath and so ill. Thankfully she is now improving but the nurse said, ‘We are still admitting patients on to the Covid ward and I don't see much sign of it stopping. Some people tell us they have not been social distancing - they have been with relatives, or to other houses. I definitely think it is going to get worse before it gets better, because people just think that it is over.’ Pray for God to strengthen and comfort our frontline workers.