There’s been a surge in the number of people going to parks as lockdown relaxed.
Footfall in UK parks shot up in recent days and is now higher than it was on some days just before lockdown started on March 23.
More people also went to grocery stores and drugstores in recent days, as well as stations, but the rises were far less climactic, and overall, mobility data revealed park use has gone down from 24 per cent since late February, up to 4 per cent, on a seven-day rolling average.
It comes after the lockdown was eased in England from Wednesday this week, and it’s estimated to rise further on a sunny weekend, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this weekend with the good weather and the new rules, that he hopes people can enjoy being outside, but that we must adhere to the rules, keep an eye on our families and to not take chances.
There is, of course, an increase in the use of parks coming forward now and it’s expected that within social distancing measures, that will increase, and since Wednesday, people in England can now exercise infinite times per day and relax in the park or other open areas.
One person may now also meet one person from another household, as long as the group is only two people and they stay two metres apart, but constraints continue in Scotland and Wales and the government is entangled in a dispute over its policies to ease more lockdown restrictions from June 1.
Teaching unions say the date is too early to send the first children back to primary schools in England, and Liverpool has ordered schools to oppose the government and stay shut to most schoolchildren.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock maintained that we’re beyond the peak of the virus, as it emerged that more than 12,500 people living in care homes have now died from COVID 19, with the preponderance dying in their care home.
And we have a Prime Minister who sends out mixed messages, why? Because when the death rate goes up again, the government don’t want to take responsibility.
The problem with people is that they can’t seem to think outside of the box. Most of them are like sheep and they have to have pictures drawn for them, particularly when they fail to understand, and so now you have a nanny state.
But the government’s policies are not there to protect you, they’re there to hinder excessively with the personal choices that you make, down to the food that you eat, inadequate diet and unrestricted smoking.
Now we live in a deranged world of calorie counting, banning energy drinks for under 18s because our government are full of great ideas on how to protect people from themselves, and one of the earliest uses of the idiom in Parliament came in 1980 during a discussion on strategies to make the wearing of car seatbelts, for drivers and front-seat passengers, mandatory.
But former World War one fight ace, and Conservative peer, Lord Balfour of Inchrye contended with an unrivalled enthusiasm that seatbelts can kill, but his principal objection to the idea was that it was yet another state narrowing of individual freedom and individual responsibility, and where would it all end?
There are numerous deaths a year from lung cancer but there was no medical compulsion on the matter at the time, and regarding alcohol, there was legislation to restrict the amount and conditions in which alcohol was taken, which of course would conquer the misfortune of bones being broken and constitutions impaired by alcohol, but I can’t remember any medical people having lobbied for constraint there either.
Therefore, if we’re to have the term nanny state, why don’t we also go for compulsory wearing of life jackets for people who swim, sail and row in boats?
It’s clear that times have changed and also transformed us as human beings, and too frequently we hear about not drinking too much or eating too many doughnuts or enjoy the warm glow of our wood-burning Goves, I mean stoves.
And it appears that the mood of the public has been misread and who are getting increasingly fed up with being told what to do and how to live their lives, and the people’s backlash has never been reflected enough in the media.
And it’s mostly the underprivileged and marginalised who don’t get a voice and bear the brunt of food, alcohol and tobacco taxes, and banning things is a really simple thing to do, and it’s something that makes an immediate impact on people’s lives as politicians make a name for themselves.
Surprisingly few people choose to be overweight, but their options can be defined by their economic circumstances, with economic forces having made it more accessible and more affordable to consume high energy, palatable, affordable foods and have allowed us to be increasingly idle at work, at home and in between.
A typical junk food meal contains approximately twice as many calories as a traditional British meal, whether its pasties, pizza or pop, junk food is on the rise, and so are our waistlines, and remarkable investigation has revealed that junk food affects the brain in a comparable way to cocaine or heroin, commandeering the dopamine system in the brain that is associated with feelings of reward and satisfaction.
And that’s why we crave junk food, eating more until we’ve eaten too many calories, and chocoholics do exist and food companies know exactly the right combination of fat, sugar and salt to maximise the dopamine effect.
Some medications, such as those for Parkinson’s disease, alter dopamine levels, and dopamine levels decline as we age, affecting appetite, but dopamine does determine our passion for food.
And junk food appears to affect the bowels as well as the brain, and junk food significantly affects the bacterial population in our stomach – ten days of a junk food diet kills over 1,000 of the 3,500 species of stomach bacteria.
By the age of five, children in poverty are twice as likely to be overweight as their least deprived peers, and by the age of 11, they’re three times as likely. They’re also more likely to live in an area with more takeaway and fast food outlets, more likely to live in inadequate, unsuitable or overcrowded housing, and more likely to encounter a combination of family collapse, stress, mental health problems and financial difficulties, all factors which can weaken a parent’s capacity to make reasonable and compassionate choices.
In Britain today we have the highest taxes on cigarettes, the highest taxes on wine, and the second-highest levied on beer. Then tax in sugar came in and sugar was phased out of hospitals and stripped from confectionary and sports drinks, and what was it they called it? Health by Stealth.
England, if not Britain as a whole, was once a land where unless something was explicitly prohibited, it was allowed, but as time has carried on, government enthusiasm for banning, controlling and nannying has led us down a pretty shady path, where legislation exists at every turn and supposedly for our own welfare, but what I’d like to know is, when did the British people come to think that this was acceptable?
Because state interference in these matters proves that those in government consider themselves to be better than others, and control of sin products are there for our own good, but this betrays a supreme disdain and hatred for ordinary people’s freedom.
Because as far as our government are concerned, people need to be told, and they need to be educated, but that suggests that those they talk about are uneducated, and this is really not true, because there’s no way that smokers, drinkers and overeaters aren’t conscious of the dangers of what they do, as one can’t move for being reminded of it.
What many fail, or possibly refuse to acknowledge is that smokers and drinkers continue their habits because they really enjoy them, and believe the risk is worth taking, and I would think that a nation that recently voted to take back control could possibly be of a mind to cede personal responsibility for the amount of cake and fine wine it consumes to a bureaucracy, having just fought so hard to leave one.
Encroachment by government breeds discontent amongst people who simply want the freedom to live their own lives, and now we have our Loony Tune government telling people they can go to work and people cramming themselves onto buses, trains and tubes.
And then we have Boris Johnson clapping for our NHS, wondering if the cameraman has enough propaganda footage, but they won’t pay for those same heroes, but then that’s the typical Tories wanting something for nothing.