I Want To Stay In

As the lockdown in the United Kingdom enters its sixth week there is evidence that the public resolve to adhere to government guidance to stay at home is wavering. Footfall and traffic figures are steadily creeping up again. At a time when the number of hospital deaths from COVID-19 passed 20,000 yesterday. That’s not including the number of deaths in care homes and the wider community which are estimated at adding up to 30% to that already depressing figure.

I watched news reports from London yesterday and was shocked by the number of people out and about. One reporter was filming from a street in East London which was packed with people queuing outside coffee shops and making their way to and from a local park. Other footage showed members of the public sun bathing and openly flaunting social distancing instructions. It’s baffling and frustrating in equal measure. What is so hard about staying at home?

I understand many are struggling financially and need the lockdown to ease so they can return to work. I am fortunate that both my job and salary are secured in the present situation, it’s not so easy for others. This was a weekend scene, however, and I’m pretty certain the large majority out and about were not doing so for employment reasons. Sitting sunning yourself in a park is not work.

I also understand that not everyone has a back garden or open area where they can relax. I feel particularly sorry for those living in confined urban environments such as tower blocks. The parks should be open for such people to exercise; to walk, run, cycle. Unfortunately, picnics and lounging around drinking alcohol are not permitted. It’s tough but it’s a sacrifice that must be made for the greater good. We all need to do this in order to stop the disease from running rampant through our society.

It’s been disheartening to see a growing movement for ending the lockdown on social media; those who are openly defying it because they regard the threat of infection to themselves as negligible. This is the height of selfishness as they appear oblivious to the threat they pose to more vulnerable members in their community who they might unwittingly infect. It goes beyond ignorance and misinformation, although some show a shocking lack of knowledge on this most critical of points.

This pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. This post is focusing on the latter but that should not detract from the many stories out there of selflessness as opposed to selfishness. There are those who are willing to, and have, given up their lives to stop the spread of the virus. Why, then, are others incapable of staying indoors and putting their need for a haircut above the greater need. It puzzles me, angers me, frustrates me. Why?

As for me, I’m an introvert and homebody at heart. It’s not a massive challenge for me to stay indoors, to read, watch television and potter about the house. I run or walk the dog as part of my daily exercise and I’m grateful to have a garden and live in a rural area. Hand on heart, though, I think I would behave in the same way wherever I lived and whatever my circumstances. It’s not difficult for me which is why I struggle to understand the actions of others.

I want to stay in. I’m no hero, I’m not writing this to gain followers, likes, or free pizzas. I’ve been asked to do something within my capability in order to save the lives of others and I’m doing it. I’m as flawed, weak and vulnerable as anyone else. Yet, I’m doing it. So, why can’t everyone else? It’s a question I might never know the answer to, maybe I don’t want to hear their responses. For I fear they will do nothing to ease my concerns, but instead further increase my disillusionment at the actions of these selfish sun worshipers.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

31 thoughts on “I Want To Stay In

  1. It was a nice day (finally) here in Buffalo, NY & I was sitting on my back porch for a spell … my neighbors on one side were barbecuing a pork shoulder & had friends over for drinks, my neighbors on my other side were having a doggie play date with their friends (& their dogs, of course) … behind me, I could hear kids playing basketball … in another yard, I heard grandparents with their grandchildren. The traffic in the neighborhood seemed to be totally normal for a Saturday afternoon … lots of muscle cars, motorcycles, especially Harleys & racing bikes (what we like to call “organ-donors”). I could see joggers & people walking their dogs. Honestly … if you didn’t know that we were all supposed to be staying home, you would never know that!

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      1. Actually as of today, it’s 61,367 in the US. That still doesn’t equal the totals for any of the last couple of years of flu deaths in the US. That’s one person in every 5000 here, and it drops dramatically if you take the totals for New York City out of the equation. Extremely dense population there; around 65,000 people per square mile in Manhattan. In my current county we have a population of 200,000 (roughly) and only 8 deaths. That’s a 1 in 25,000 chance of dying from it.

        We’re at the point people are not just stir crazy, but more afraid of slowly starving to death and becoming homeless than they are a bug that only kills 7% of those worldwide who are even known thus far to have caught it.

        Just trying to show you the logic of the other side. 🙂

        Food for thought though; if a couple of people in a park are maintaining social distance and then some as in your picture, are they any more of a danger than you going out jogging or walking the dog? Probably not. Bigger groups I agree with you on, but we can’t shoot anybody outdoors who needs a little fresh air and is being reasonably safe. 🙂 😉

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        1. Thank you. It’s interesting and healthy to hear a different perspective. My thoughts? The issue isn’t exclusively about not dying oneself, it’s about catching it, spreading it and infecting a more vulnerable person who may die from it. The American death toll is horrific but would be much higher if lockdown conditions had not been put in place by state governors. With regards the photo, those people are not adhering to government guidelines by sitting in the park whereas I am when I take my daily exercise.

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          1. Sorry I was slow responding here. Moving complications have been horrific also. 🙂

            I understand and appreciate your perspective. I myself have sort of a middle ground view on the issue. Reality is we do know that the social distancing guidelines help, but not exactly how much. Ergo my point with the two people in the park far away from everyone was that they’re not really hurting anyone any more than your jogs or dog walking are. Just because the government has an arbitrary double standard there doesn’t mean it’s correct. Again, I agree with you that larger groups are a bad idea though, as is bouncing from small group to small group. Too great a risk.

            The American (and elsewhere) actual infected totals will be interesting to see when this is all over. California, it turns out, had the disease floating around months earlier than originally believed. Californians developed an immunity early on it APPEARS, which is when the current death totals are so low despite the state’s extremely high population. It’ll be a while until we know the full truth on any of it. 🙂

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  2. I liked “free pizzas”! But yeah, we all have to work collectively. The people in the grass looked like they were not around others, so that’s good. Maybe they live in the same high rise apartment together. But I agree with you, and I do see things I think are out of bounds and hard to understand, also.

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  3. We are beginning to see the same trend here. People believing that it is not as bad as the Government is making out. There have been no major outbreaks but I believe that that is due to the swift action of our provincial government and the decision to close non-essential businesses and other restrictions. I know most don’t agree with me but I am a fatalist and as much as I am wanting to be optimistic and believe that it is going to be this easy but there is that part of me waiting for the other shoe to drop. I too am seeing more traffic, more families and couples are out shopping together. The other day I left for work and a group of women were having coffee at the picnic tables in the lot next to us. They were not six feet apart. I shake my head. I go to work and I come home. That is it. Unless I have a package to pick up otherwise home I be. And like you it is not a hardship for me. 🙂 Have a great day.

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      1. Doing the best we can. Tember is a little antsy as he is only seeing myself and his dad right now. And there is a terrible boy smell beginning to emit from his bedroom that needs to be eradicated. I am keeping a smile on my face and laughter in my heart. Stay safe as well. 🙂

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  4. I believe the key word in this post is SACRIFICE. Many in today’s world are unwilling to sacrifice self-interest and instant gratification for the good of others…and it’s no wonder – look at the leaders we have elected as role models. Thanks for staying in, Stephen, it’s the right thing to do. Like you, I am an introvert so this is not very difficult.

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  5. Because I’m eerily fascinated by this disease, I’ve been looking at the metrics – the age groups who are hardest hit in my area, the daily new cases and so on. Most of the cases are between 20 and 39, and males outweigh females. Am I surprised? Not really – the street racers have been going wild, people just blow through stop signs, and in stores people just push their way to whatever it is they want. It’s hard to cope with. This is our new normal – and we’re going to have to suck it up because this fall is going to make this look like a cakewalk.
    I appreciate that many people are worried about being able to afford food, rent, medical care and all the funny little things money can buy. We are working to make that more stable, although not from the government. It’s my deep wish that we are more aware of simple pleasures, and living with anticipation, thinking about the world community, instead of “What’s in it for me?”

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  6. Those people who don’t do what you think they should be doing – the sunbathers etc: can you be sure they’re wrong and you’re right? If you have a rock solid argument backing you up, just explain it to them. Tell them they’re risking people’s lives. They’re as rational as you or me. If you’re right, they’ll do the right thing. But if they don’t agree with you, maybe your reasoning wasn’t as rock solid as you thought: maybe they’re not spreading the virus. Or maybe you didn’t explain it very well. Is your government definitely following the right course of action? If it is, and if it explains the reasoning, people will be supportive. And finally, compliance is unlikely to be 100%, so try not to stress about it. It may still work well enough if most people comply most of the time.

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  7. People don’t understand that the more we adhere to the stay at home orders, the sooner we will get through this. I only leave the house for food and medication. I even walk the dog around the block at odd hours.

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  8. As someone who lives in east London I have seen an increase in people out and about, more so teenagers with their mates. Drives me insane. Lockdown will continue for another 6 weeks until these selfish people stop doing what they want

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  9. I believe some people just can’t stay in for a long time. Lockdown over here in Mauritius is nearing the fourth week and many are going out for a walk or just to go out. I see them on tv and I try to understand. Why doesn’t the invisible enemy leave us alone?
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts .
    Stay safe.

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  10. Six weeks of lockdown here in the USA and we’re declining in a few states now according to sources. Friday, states will begin to slowly reopen. My family and I have hunkered down and I’ve had extra time to work on my projects and completed a lot of them. Looking on the bright side here. 🙂

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