Letter from England – Land of the Free

My friend Christine sends me this celebratory post from sunny (apparently) Wiltshire.

‘Here in our Wiltshire village last Saturday afternoon, we celebrated our newly-won freedoms with a wonderful, crazy and very English ‘Flower & Vegetable Show’.

It was the happiest day, not just because the notoriously grumpy English weather decided to cooperate, but also because not a single person was masked, you could actually see everyone’s (smiling) faces, and there was not a single bossy-boots regulations-fiend in sight. So for me there is hope that we can escape this nightmare – all it took on Saturday was a simple majority of people behaving sensibly (in our case just not wearing the dreaded face-nappies) for everyone else to gratefully follow their lead.

Actually, a couple of people did arrive with their masks dutifully in position, but it took all of 10 seconds for these to be quietly removed and pocketed. It was as if everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief, shook themselves, and realised they were waking up from a bad dream.

Christine Battle’

Reality check: 7 day average of new Covid cases, 15/8/21 (the day after Christine’s Show)

UK- 28,296*

Australia – 395

*down from 45,462 at the time UK lockdown was rolled back, a month previously.

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