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The five days of Christmas

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Eric9Points 19 Nov 2020

A survey today asked how many days of relaxation of lockdown would you want if each day of freedom meant another 5 days of lockdown afterwards.

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/arts/survey-results/daily/2020/11/19/6353b/3?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=daily_agenda&utm_campaign=19_Nov_2020_3

40% of people said they didn't want any easing of restrictions and selfishly, that would suit me. I can't see why more than 48 hours is necessary and even then restrictions on pubs and restaurants should stay in place.

Post edited at 18:51
2
 baron 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

I’m with you. Cancel Christmas or risk killing people. Doesn’t seem like a difficult choice to me.

3
 aln 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

Cancel Christmas and avoid the relatives works for me! 

 kaiser 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

What would Jesus do?

He's the birthday boy after all

 Dave the Rave 19 Nov 2020
In reply to kaiser:

> What would Jesus do?

> He's the birthday boy after all

Feast for 5000 or the last supper around a big table with a wooden chalice? Then they could make a blockbuster film featuring the cup of Christ. 

2
 pec 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

I think in reality most people will do whatever they want regardless of any rules or advice issued. They are already despite us apparently being in a lockdown again.

3
 Jenny C 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

Limiting it to two days would massively reduce the number of people you were able to have contact with and in turn the potential spread of infection. I am sure I'm not alone in being happy to sacrifice office parties and the Pandemonium of new year if it means a proper Christmas Day with my immediate family.

I suspect like many we have been already discussed options for Christmas if the lockdown is still here. Part of me would be happy to ignore the rules and meet up anyway, I've obediently followed the rules for months and deserve one day of proper family time - except that I do also have a genuine fear of bringing the virus into my parents home.... 

10
 Morgan Woods 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

Surely all this talk of "saving Christmas" is misguided. How about doing what it takes to get on top of the disease?

1
 jkarran 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> The five days of Christmas

It has a ring to it

Jk

In reply to jkarran:

I’d say it has a certain aura.

In reply to Eric9Points:

Makes no difference to us, for the last 15 years the Mrs and me have locked down at Christmas. 

Last year was particularly good, we watched the sun rise sitting in the hot tub then took the dog for a walk in the woods, came home and went for a snooze and had bacon sandwiches (dry cured streaky) for dinner and watched a few movies. 

1
 aln 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Dax H:

> Makes no difference to us, for the last 15 years the Mrs and me have locked down at Christmas. 

> Last year was particularly good, we watched the sun rise sitting in the hot tub then took the dog for a walk in the woods, came home and went for a snooze and had bacon sandwiches (dry cured streaky) for dinner and watched a few movies. 

No sex? 

2
In reply to aln:

> No sex? 

you need to learn the modern euphemisms! 

In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Feast for 5000 or the last supper around a big table with a wooden chalice?

Sorry, large gathering are not allowed.

Last supper - yes, unfortunately it will be for some.

1
 aln 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> the modern euphemisms! 

Ooh, is that your new band? 

In reply to Eric9Points:

It depends what the relaxations and restrictions entail. 5:1 is a depressing ratio but it itself doesn't mean very much - we need to know what the measures will be.

The other thing is 5 days is kind of meaningless. It's not how many days, it's how many different people you can meet. For example, if my brother and I go to stay with our parents for two weeks (that's 4 people from 3 households), to my mind that's a lot worse than 1 household meeting a different household every day for 5 days.

2
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> you need to learn the modern euphemisms! 

I love a bacon sandwich but you can’t beat the real thing. 

In reply to Eric9Points:

> 40% of people said they didn't want any easing of restrictions and selfishly.

Not selfish at all. The selfish people are those who are recklessly going to mix households in a covid-unsafe way over Christmas whatever the guidelines/rules/law is. Because of them the government(s) have no choice but to make it officially sanctioned in the hope that some sort of lid can be put on the carnage. It seems we are all going to pay for this with strict restrictions for most of January in order to pick up the pieces.

I think this is the first time I've felt actually angry rather than just frustrated or sad since the pandemic began. I've done my bit sticking to the restrictions (if not always to the letter, certainly virtually always to the spirit of them), I live on my own and am not in an extended household and I've accepted travel restrictions and as of tomorrow it will be illegal for me to go to the wall. My Christmas, at most, will be a small socially distanced family gathering in a garden. All so that my and others' efforts can be undone by people behaving covid-recklessly at Christmas. And then I'll be expected to make the same sacrifices again because we'll be back to square one in January.

Quite frankly, f*** Christmas. There's a pandemic FFS. Surely it would not be too much to forego it in a reckless form this year. Why couldn't we have a special holiday in the spring to replace it when, hopefully, this wave will have passed, the weather will almost certainly be better for outdoor gatherings and a vaccine might even have mitigated things a bit?

For the first time I am seriously tempted to ignore the guidelines and maybe even the law in a responsible way - go to the hills outside my council area on my own or with others with next to zero covid risk and perhaps go to wall observing the covid-safety measures which seem pretty good to me. Even if I end up getting fined - f*** it.

3
In reply to Robert Durran:

You do not need to see anyone outside of your own household to have a good Christmas. We haven’t for a number of years. I wander through the hills, a nice meal and good bottle of red; and a spare thought or six for those less well off.

If I was you, sod the rules and go for a wander you are not going to harm anyone; but still enjoy a bottle of red. 

1
In reply to Eric9Points:

I think today's headline on the front page of the Express sums up all that is comtemptible about this government and its sycophantic wing in the media: "BORIS BATTLES EXPERTS TO SAVE CHRISTMAS". I am utterly disgusted.

In reply to Eric9Points:

If we're doing it, I would go for noon on 24th to noon on 27th, purely because that is the shortest possible period where it can accommodate those using public transport, being as it pretty much shuts down on 25th and 26th.  That avoids it being "regressive", i.e. those who can afford cars can visit and those who can't can't.

Post edited at 09:14
2
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think today's headline on the front page of the Express sums up all that is comtemptible about this government and its sycophantic wing in the media: "BORIS BATTLES EXPERTS TO SAVE CHRISTMAS". I am utterly disgusted.

It sums up all that is contemptible about the Daily Express, certainly, which seems to be seen as second to the Mail in being evil, but is in many ways actually worse.

I very much doubt Boris put it that way, however stupid he can be.

Post edited at 09:14
1
In reply to Misha:

> The other thing is 5 days is kind of meaningless. It's not how many days, it's how many different people you can meet. For example, if my brother and I go to stay with our parents for two weeks (that's 4 people from 3 households), to my mind that's a lot worse than 1 household meeting a different household every day for 5 days.

I think you've got that backwards?  If you go and stay with your parents that's a self contained "bubble" that would all be infected but provided you treated it as that (i.e. if one tested positive, the whole thing self-isolates) the impact would be relatively low.  If you visit a different household every day for 5 days, that's a much wider spread if you were infected on day one.

It's essentially a slightly bigger version of the single-person support bubble thing.

The key to it, really, is there being no overlap between these "bubbles".

Post edited at 09:13
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It sums up all that is contemptible about the Daily Express, certainly, which seems to be seen as second to the Mail in being evil, but is in many ways actually worse.

The Express is far worse than The Mail these days, which is saying something! In fact I think the Telegraph is probably worse than the Mail now and certainly more dangerous - intelligent peple I know read it and actually get taken in by its shit.

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Quite frankly, f*** Christmas. There's a pandemic FFS. Surely it would not be too much to forego it in a reckless form this year. Why couldn't we have a special holiday in the spring to replace it when, hopefully, this wave will have passed, the weather will almost certainly be better for outdoor gatherings and a vaccine might even have mitigated things a bit?

We've got one - Easter - I did think the Government should consider pushing the idea of "have your family Christmas at Easter", which is a bit religiously incongruous but most people don't celebrate the religious aspect anyway.  Most likely, the way things are going, the need for restrictions will be much lower by then as a lot of people will have been vaccinated.  Perhaps it will be possible by then to have something like a "rule of 8 except kids", which would allow the vast majority of family Christmasses which tend to be "parents, 2.4 kids plus grandparents" in style.

Or maybe if they felt Easter was a bit soon to be "safe", perhaps one of the May bank holidays.

I would say no office parties this year nor similar, but those are far less important than family/close friends.

Post edited at 09:19
 mattmurphy 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Politically it’s a very sensitive subject (despite it being incredibly stupid to relax restrictions).

I don’t think Christmas has been “cancelled” in the UK since Cromwell was in power. Does Boris want to be perceived to be the first politician in c.400 years to stop families celebrating?

Those wanting to mix at Christmas seem to be members of the “why can’t I hug my grandchildren” brigade - I.e. thick, but likely to vote in large numbers.

I suspect we’ll see some relaxation of the restrictions - Boris won’t want to criminalise his support base for doing something they’d do anyway. Having said that, I hope any relaxations are extremely limited (maybe permitting two households to mix for 1 day would be a sensible compromise).

1
 The Lemming 20 Nov 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> It has a ring to it

> Jk

Very nicely done.

 cb294 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> We've got one - Easter - I did think the Government should consider pushing the idea of "have your family Christmas at Easter"...

This is exactly what I told my parents last night. They are in their eighties and have additional risk factors. They already have a nice leg of deer in the freezer for the planned family Christmas diner with children and grandparents, but I suggested to keep it there and start the new traditon of "Easter Venison" in April 2021 instead, by which time they hopefully will be vaccinated!

CB

1
In reply to mattmurphy:

> Does Boris want to be perceived to be the first politician in c.400 years to stop families celebrating?

Of course not. He's a despicable, unprincipled, populist.

1
 deepsoup 20 Nov 2020
In reply to mick taylor:

> I love a bacon sandwich but you can’t beat the real thing. 

https://www.jesusandmo.net/comic/guess/

 Eric9Points 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I used the word selfish because I'm aware that Christmas means much much more to some people than it does to me. Or you I guess.

Some people have much closer family ties and regard Christmas as the day of the year that those ties are reaffirmed. Especially this year. 

 Graeme G 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I used the word selfish because I'm aware that Christmas means much much more to some people than it does to me. Or you I guess.

> Some people have much closer family ties and regard Christmas as the day of the year that those ties are reaffirmed. Especially this year. 

This^.

Xmas isn’t just about family getting together, for some it is about everyone getting together at the same time. For my mother that is now rare but still hugely important. Sitting alone in sheltered housing on Xmas day will just be miserable.

In reply to Eric9Points:

> Some people have much closer family ties and regard Christmas as the day of the year that those ties are reaffirmed. Especially this year. 

Maybe, but they should do it in a responsible way that isn't going to kill people and condemn all of us to more weeks of strict restrictions. I don't think it would be too much to ask that they wait a just a few more months for a hug.

2
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I very much doubt Boris put it that way, however stupid he can be.

Yes, I think you are right. The Express is just making stuff up to make Boris sound even more stupid and populist than he is in order to make him even more popular with its stupid readers.

In reply to Graeme G:

> Xmas isn’t just about family getting together, for some it is about everyone getting together at the same time. For my mother that is now rare but still hugely important. Sitting alone in sheltered housing on Xmas day will just be miserable.

Fine, but if people aren't going to do it in a covid-safe way don't expect me to accept my covid-safe activities in January becoming the collateral of the restrictions which will then be needed to prevent the potential resulting wave of death.

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

Express headline in mid-January: GRANDPARENTS KILLED BY XMAS DINNER.

In reply to Neil Williams:

Sorry yes my last sentence was the wrong way round.

Post edited at 21:53
 veteye 21 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Does Boris want to be perceived to be the first politician in c400 years to stop families celebrating?

> Of course not. He's a despicable, unprincipled, populist.

Plus he wants the shops to have greater revenue than if lockdown continued. He obviously wants to be Mr Popular with all. 

I think that the idea of a minimal relaxation for a minimal time will possibly a compromise that might in general be adhered to: Whereas lockdown throughout the period may result in some fools just saying sod it for a longer time with more fall out overall. So I would go for just 25th and 26th being opened up, but only slightly: yet Neil Williams idea about public transport is probably more reasonable for all. (Noon 24th to Noon 27th).

Post edited at 08:38
In reply to veteye:

> I think that the idea of a minimal relaxation for a minimal time will possibly a compromise that might in general be adhered to: Whereas lockdown throughout the period may result in some fools just saying sod it for a longer time with more fall out overall. 

Yes, I think even a principled government such as we have in Scotland has no choice but to ease restrictions over Christmas because people are going to behave irresponsibly anyway. I've no idea how the psychology would work to do so in a way and to an extent which would minimise the damage to hard won gains against the virus.

1
 Lord_ash2000 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think they have to unlock over Christmas, at least for a few days, simply because a large portion of the people will simply ignore any rules stopping it and the police aren't/ can't going to enforce it anyway. Imagine the news with reports of police bursting into a family Christmas dinners, breaking it up and fining people for celebrating.

If the public on mass revolt against lockdown restrictions then the government loses its common perception of authority and people in large numbers will just start ignoring any future restrictions they try to impose. 

At the end of the day none of this can be forced on us, lockdowns can only work with consent there sent enough police, courts or cells to deal with even a small percentage of people disobeying if revolt becomes normalised.

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> I think they have to unlock over Christmas, at least for a few days, simply because a large portion of the people will simply ignore any rules stopping it and the police aren't/ can't going to enforce it anyway. 

Yes. I accepted that it my earlier post. It is going to be an act of national madness. An officially sanctioned festival of intra-familial mass murder. Hug a granny at Christmas. Watch her die and bury her in January (covid restrictions on hospital visits and funerals permitting). I wonder how many families are going to bitterly regret their gatherings of death - all the more so because if they had waited just a few more months, a vaccine might well have spared them from grief.

Post edited at 08:37
2
 Fat Bumbly2 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Or half a film ripping the proverbial about a bunch of numpties trying to find it in Perthshire

 Tringa 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

Agree. I can see there might be situations where there is a strong emotional/health reasons for family or friends getting together at Christmas - eg the imminent death of a family member.

I have no stats to support this but I reckon the vast majority of Christmas get togethers involve people who have no pressing need to meet up, they simply want to get together with others.

That is understandable but given the virus is still widespread in the nation and it appears we might have a vaccine(or vaccines) available to all in the next few months would missing out on one Christmas get together be that onerous?

We have seen and had reported on here what a strict lockdown in other parts of the world can do to case numbers and deaths, so why relax things and add to the risk, especially when we are told the major rote for the spread of COVID19 is in the home situation?

Dave

 Blunderbuss 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes. I accepted that it my earlier post. It is going to be an act of national madness. An officially sanctioned festival of intra-familial mass murder. Hug a granny at Christmas. Watch her die and bury her in January (covid restrictions on hospital visits and funerals permitting). I wonder how many families are going to bitterly regret their gatherings of death - all the more so because if they had waited just a few more months, a vaccine might well have spared them from grief.

A lot......the individual risk per family of this happening will be a small fraction of one percent......but multiply that by millions and many families will be losing loved ones 3-4 weeks after Christmas.

You do wonder what emotional impact this will have on them...

 RobAJones 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Infection rates in 10-19 year olds are still rising (10% last week, presumably due to schools being open), In the 20-29 group rates are nearly double that of some older groups (although they are coming come, presumably due to lock down, what effect will uni students returning home have on this?) The mixing of extended families/generations at Christmas seems reckless to me.  If a decision is made open hospitality ..???

 Eric9Points 22 Nov 2020
In reply to RobAJones:

> Infection rates in 10-19 year olds are still rising (10% last week, presumably due to schools being open), In the 20-29 group rates are nearly double that of some older groups (although they are coming come, presumably due to lock down, what effect will uni students returning home have on this?) The mixing of extended families/generations at Christmas seems reckless to me.  If a decision is made open hospitality ..???

I hope by Xmas we should be back to Summertime levels of infections, at least in England. Not sure about Scotland as the rate of infections has been dropping very slowly. However if in a month's time if we are back to where were in July I can't imagine politicians cancelling Christmas.

Just imagine families being told that they can't have a day together because they can't be trusted to stick to the rules. Utterly insulting and outrageous thing to say to the majority of people. If it were me I'd lift restrictions sufficiently and for long enough for people to travel across the UK to visit their relatives possibly adding additional precautions on public transport. An example might be testing everyone entering a station using the new one hour test that's been rolled out in Liverpool. If you test positive you have to go back home. I'd also be very clear that the country is trusting people to behave responsibly and follow the rules so we don't end up in a longer lockdown.

Post edited at 11:26
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 Floor board 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

No one seemed to kick up a fuss about Eid being cancelled.

Cancel sodding Christmas, it's just one great commercial con anyway.

1
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I hope by Xmas we should be back to Summertime levels of infections, at least in England. Not sure about Scotland as the rate of infections has been dropping very slowly. However if in a month's time if we are back to where were in July I can't imagine politicians cancelling Christmas.

Looking at the graphs and seeing the rate at which we came out of the first wave with as strict or stricter restrictions, July's levels by Christmas would seem wildly optimistic. Maybe September's at best? And remember that it was in September that the scientists were calling for a circuit breaker - and instead we are going to do the opposite and give the virus a boost.

> Just imagine families being told that they can't have a day together because they can't be trusted to stick to the rules. Utterly insulting and outrageous thing to say to the majority of people. 

I agree that it would probably be politically very difficult and futile anyway to tell families not to be together at Christmas. But what do you think the rules are actually going to be once two or more households are under one roof? Social distancing and mask wearing? Realistically, it's just not going to happen and it probably isn't practicable even with the best of intentions.

 Eric9Points 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I think even a principled government such as we have in Scotland 

I don't want to derail the thread but honestly Robert, your standards must have slipped terribly if you regard this government as one of principle.

Have you been following the Salmond enquiry and the utter contempt shown by the government towards parliament? The WM government would never have got away with it.

Are you aware that elderly people are still being sent back into care homes when that have tested positive for Covid? That makes my blood boil.

Sleaze, ineptitude and an arrogant indifference to the truth.

I can only imagine that you must be comparing the government in Holyrood to the current government in WM and making a comparative judgement, not an absolute one.

In reply to Eric9Points:

> I can only imagine that you must be comparing the government in Holyrood to the current government in WM and making a comparative judgement, not an absolute one.

I'll concede that my perspective may have been distorted by the comparison. Any sane person would prefer Sturgeon running things to Johnson.

 RobAJones 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I hope by Xmas we should be back to Summertime levels of infections, at least in England. Not sure about Scotland as the rate of infections has been dropping very slowly. However if in a month's time if we are back to where were in July I can't imagine politicians cancelling Christmas.

I hope you are correct about the levels of infection but think that is optimistic. Best case, I would say, is that, if current measures are extended by two weeks (not likely) then infection levels could drop by 75 % in a month. We managed to do this in April, but that was a stricter lock down. That would also assume I'm wrong (quite possible) and cases in secondary school students don't continue to rise. I agree our politicians are not going to cancel Christmas, they have a habit of delaying difficult (I was going to say unpopular but not according to some surveys regarding Christmas) decisions, which hasn't worked out so far.

> Just imagine families being told that they can't have a day together because they can't be trusted to stick to the rules. Utterly insulting and outrageous thing to say to the majority of people.

Don't know what the rules will be, but if they involve similar rules to work regarding socially distancing, not sure many will be able to stick to them.  How many people are going to be allowed in a house? We often have 20, no way we could socially distance inside, even for a few hours. 

If it were me I'd lift restrictions sufficiently and for long enough for people to travel across the UK to visit their relatives possibly adding additional precautions on public transport. An example might be testing everyone entering a station using the new one hour test that's been rolled out in Liverpool. If you test positive you have to go back home. I'd also be very clear that the country is trusting people to behave responsibly and follow the rules so we don't end up in a longer lock down.

I think you are correct, that some forward planning might help. Some Academy Trusts have already announced they will close a week early. If this time could be used for the pupils  to work/self isolate at home for two weeks, last week of term, first week of holiday. Some of my friends have basically did this in the summer before visiting grandparents, I did it over half term before visiting  my 90 year old auntie. 


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