New Normal?

We have friends who have rushed to return to the terraces of their favourite cafes and restaurants. Others who have leapt on a plane to Corsica - believing everyone on board is “safe” even though cheek by jowl and masks removed to eat. Others go dog walking with friends. In the UK, friends book holidays to small hotels in Devon and go to concerts.

We are doing none of this. Though we sometimes talk wistfully about visiting our favourite restaurant in Agen at some point, but have no idea if they are open or are taking bookings.

In 14 months we’ve had only two people inside our house - an emergency plumber and an emergency builder. The only other people who have come onto our land are the post woman, delivery drivers and someone who at some point will do some repairs on our pool terrace.

We have shopped, visited the pharmacy. I have been to the vets more times than I care to remember. OH has occasionally gone to the GP for his prescription renewal. Being vaccinated has been the highlight of this year.

With questions over each new variant. I begin to think this will be our new normal for the foreseeable future.

Are we being too cautious?


You may be able to start relaxing things a little - your favourite restaurant sounds a good idea.


Not at all. Our situation mirrors yours and I despair at the rush I am seeing to fling headlong into another crisis.


I think it really depends upon your state of health.
I have unidentified nodules in my lungs, so I am cautious too. We have had meals in our garden last year when we sat at opposite ends of the table and other meals in a well ventilated room all well spaced out.
Our friends are now all fully vaccinated, as are we and I will be making a reservation for an outside table at our village restaurant as soon as the fourteen days have passed since our second jab.
I think you have to do what you feel comfortable with, maybe having vaccinated friends round in your own garden, or theirs, might be a safe start.
I have not been in a supermarket since the first wave of Covid.


I agree, only a very few, less than a dozen, incursions, into our garden and house since this thing started. My wife has only gone out for the 3 monthly doctor visit and I venture once a week for the shopping. I have done a few, very few, dog journeys all masked up and very cautious at handovers. Nobody at all comes into our garden unannounced, the presence of our Dobermann/Beauceron fierce looking black and tan dog who is very deeply vocal prevents anyone going further than the gate bell. The fact that he loves people, and not in an eating sort of way, is neither here nor there. The postman, who knows him, does pat him when he jumps up at the gate, but he doesn’t come in. :laughing:

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It is a very personal decision and choice, which you have to base on your own health and attitude to risk. Nobody should criticise any decision as long as you stick to the rules/advice of the day.

Last March, with the first wave, had I been in the UK I would have been advised to “shield” because of my suppressed immune system and other minor engine and body work faults (including many nodules…). So I did, and didn’t go anywhere except for walking the dog in our 1km zone. OH did the shopping, my medical appointments were by visio, and the nurse came to the house rather than me go to medical centre.

However I realised this was not good for me mentally, so when that first confinement stopped I decided I couldn’t put my life in a box and close the lid. We have followed all restrictions but have done things that are allowed.

We have had gîte clients from last June onwards, and my pilates class outside, we went away for a 3 week cure in October where I bobbed about in mud with others, we have had friends round and been round to friends houses, and we have just been away for a week’s holiday where we ate on restaurant terraces. Throughout I am careful - sometimes double masking, and always washing or cleaning my hands regularly.

But we have not left France, travelled back to the UK, or had family visit us. Nor indeed been up to Paris which we would normally do from time to time to liven up our minds.

This is a link to another point of view

It is fine. Exactly like you, we have had no close personal contact with friends or neighbours for 15 months. Our second doses are due next week and then we will wait at least two weeks before venturing out to a terrace or to meet up with people. I think we will always have a mask ready to wear. Having been ultra careful for 15 months already, it is not worth risking a restaurant or holiday just yet !

I do sympathise with you. It is so complicated to know what risks to take and when to shut the door firmly. I helped my mother move house in early October last year, going back and forward was not fun and I self isolated in her house before the moving really got going. I would say it was something I definitely needed to do to be with her when she moved out of a home she’d been in for fifty years. But I was also very aware of the risks I ran bringing all those potential aeroplane microbes into her house.

I also worry about my children, not because of the covid (three of them have already had it) but the lack of support I am able to give them (two are studying in the UK and one is due to start an MA in the UK in September). They seem to be coping but I know they also find it difficult having us so far away and as the adult (more or less) I realise that even when they think they are fine they can make judgement errors due to their lack of experience.

We have all gradually adapted to an international lifestyle, learnt to organise ourselves around it and suddenly slamming the doors can be problematic.

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We’ve both been vaccinated, Brittany and Cotes D’Armor has low incidence so we think that within reason…some social distancing staying on the terrace after 9th will be ok.
Luckily neither of us have serious medical issues…only a bit of gout and mild diabetes.
After all life is a risk, there are other diseases and even driving can leave you with an unanticipated hospitalisation
Getting back to near normal for the good of social relations, mental health, and the economy now seems a sensible direction of travel.
Life’s to short for reasons other than covid to only drive with a red flag in front of the car!

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Not much has changed for me - I go to work where I am in fairly close contact with upwards of 1000 people every day, do my shopping on my way home now the curfew is later, go to the market at the week-end, see friends occasionally - that’s it.

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Cases are rising again in the UK, mainlythe Delta variant, cant call it Indian because we want a trade deal so musnt upset anyone :roll_eyes:
But hospital admissions are not rising and neither are death rates.
They still dont want to publish death rates for cancer, heart disease etc for fear of giving any balance to their control.
Pretty much looks like things can return to normal. No point in having 2 jabs if they dont do anything.

thats unfounded cynicism and unwarranted Brit bashing…the designations were changed by WHO…nothing to do with HMG for once

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I have to disagree on two counts John.

Firstly bashing the bastards currently in power is not “Brit bashing” it is bastard bashing (and thus totally legitimate IMO :slightly_smiling_face:) Secondly if, as John W points out, Johnson had put public health above his desire to lick the bottom of the odious Modi then the UK wouldn’t have a problem with the Delta (formally correctly known as Indian) varient.

Finally, IMO this anonymising variants bullshit is the WHO once again bowing to politics. We need to know where these variants are coming from and attributing blame to the leadership of those countries if appropriate.


Given the penchant for having a name for every day in the year… Should we propose a Bash a Bastard day
Is it @Mat_Davies who normally arranges polls :thinking:


A days not long enough


All I said was that the renaming was a WHO decision and not in anyway connected to the UK wanting trade deals. Fact!
It is so easy to be wrong when trying to be cynical

I hope I didn’t offend you John. I just like seeing blame go where it’s due.

yes, but why change a system that has been OK for a long while? What does the change achieve now that it wouldn’t have done before? After all “Spanish Flu” came to Europe from the USA with the GIs and no-one has bothered about that!

Here, here.
“By their actions shall ye know them” - and then “bash” as justified!

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This is true.
But the WHO deserves more scrutiny.
It has some very peculiar funding and appointment arrangements and has a string of very strange decisions to explain.
Three Letter Acronyms are anonymous and not always quite what people are encouraged to assume they are. E.G. who pulls the strings at the World Bank or WTO and for whose untimate benefit?

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