105 days, 2520 hours…

This is how much time we have all spent in lockdown in Wales. It’s been really really reeaaalllyyyy hard! But now, lockdown measures are starting to be eased more drastically than we have seen before.
The ‘stay local’ guidance in Wales has been lifted and outdoor visitor attractions open from today (06/07/2020), self-contained accommodation like caravan parks and holiday homes will open from the 11th of July and pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants are set to open outside on the 13th if the R rate of COVID-19 cases continues to fall.

What even is R rate???

R stands for reproduction; the reproduction rate indicates a disease’s ability to spread. Still confused? It’s okay, so were we! The ‘spread’ is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to on average. So basically, we want the R rate to fall below 1.

What does an R rate below 1 mean?

This does not mean that a person cannot infect another person; it just means that the number of cases will begin to fall.

Where are we now?

The current R rate at the time of writing in the UK is between 0.7 and 0.9. We need to keep it down!

How do we keep it down?

SOCIAL DISTANCING!!! As we begin to embrace the new normality of a ‘post-lockdown’ life, we need to keep in mind that in Wales, a social distancing guideline of 2 meters (6 feet) is still in place! The ONLY people that we can be less than 2 meters away from are our direct members of our households.

What does this look like in every-day life?

…Keeping two meters away from other people in public, now that seems obvious, but what we want to highlight in this blog is that it’s going to be a little weird. Humans are social creatures, and so we love to be close to people, now we can’t just high five our friends or shake hands and we will have to buy our shopping from someone standing on the other side of a plastic screen for the foreseeable future. If that isn’t weird compared to how we used to live I don’t know what is! But, it doesn’t have to be! We have spent 9,072,000 seconds working together as a nation to protect everyone from COVID-19 and we will continue to do so!

Should I wear a mask?

One thing that scares people about post-lockdown culture is wearing masks, but remember, there are places around the world where wearing a mask is a normal part of life, and to not wear one would be considered weird. Besides, some people consider masks to be pretty fashionable, my mask that I wear when I’m out in public has a funky pattern and I’ve just got another one with dachshunds all over it! The Jury is still out on exactly what the benefits are for wearing a mask so I won’t comment on that here as the facts are always changing, but what I want to say is that if you want to wear one and it makes you more comfortable and confident in public then go ahead!

There are regulations in England that may be adopted by Welsh government that make masks mandatory in some instances like on public transport (again these change all the time too!) but I think they’re pretty cool!

What to take away…

It is okay to be scared, worried or confused about how this easing of lockdown measures is going to affect us all and our lives, but you should feel a sense of comfort in that we are all going through this together and that as a nation we share the goal of eradicating this virus and growing as a result. Again, it’s hard, but we all need to try and embrace and normalise these changes and think of the positives rather than always focusing on what we now can’t do.

Think about that for a second, what can you do now that you weren’t able to do pre lockdown? Whether that is something to do with how you have used these past 105 days, or what the rise in online resources has given you access to that you didn’t have before, let us know on social media @platfform4yp (pretty much everywhere) and we would love to feature your responses in an upcoming blog!