Pressure Grows to reduce contact between people

Pressure is growing for more social isolation after a sunny weekend and Monday. We cannot change the virus and how quickly it transmits but we can control the amount of contact between people who could possibly pass it between themselves.
More Closure
Abingdon Library closed soon after my Saturday post. The Abbey House is also closed.

Many information desks can still be contacted by phone or email. Volunteers have started a new website called abingdon.help. They are starting to put together lists of how to contact various services and where help may be found.

There is also an email address to try and get volunteers to help people who are socially isolating in Abingdon.
More Closure
There will be a big shout for the NHS on Thursday to show appreciation for their efforts. With immediate effect from today (Monday 23 March) the Oxford University Trust will not allow any visitors to their hospitals – with a few exceptions.
More Closure
More non food shops have now closed in Abingdon town centre.
More Closure
Other shops have reduced their hours. There was a queue outside Savers who were later opening this morning. They had a stack of toilet rolls visible through the door.

The other large queues I saw in town were at Boots, and Santander (the bank). Those queues had more social distancing than the one outside Savers.
More Closure
The Market was also in town today and had food and flower stalls. Some prices had gone up.
More Closure
As the first week of schooling at home starts, a lot of school children will now be doing their school work with only telephone contact from teachers – or however different schools find ways to communicate with pupils. There is an initiative to get school children to put up rainbows or other pictures of hope.

10 Comments March 23, 2020

Virtual Church for Mothering Sunday

As people in Abingdon celebrate Mother’s Day today, the PM said the best single present for mothers was to stay away … the NHS could be “overwhelmed” if people do not act to slow the “accelerating” spread of coronavirus…
Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday
In earlier times, Mothering Sunday was about the mother church. People would return on that day of the year to their mother church. It could have been where they were baptised, or a local cathedral, or a large church in the main town. St Helen’s Church would be considered the Mother Church by many people in Abingdon, and those who have moved from Abingdon.

They couldn’t go there today because it was closed on the instructions of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday
For those with access to the internet the ministers of the parish of Abingdon-on-Thames had made Virtual Church for Mothering Sunday with some video recordings.

There were no church bells this morning, but here are a few pictures from St Helen’s Churchyard.
Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday
Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday
Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday

Virtual Church on Mothering Sunday
P.S Thank you to Tony who sent pictures of houses in central Abingdon. Church leaders had called on people to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. on Sunday 22nd, as a sign of solidarity and hope .

16 Comments March 22, 2020

First Day of Spring – almost

First Day of Spring
We used to think of 21st March as the first day of spring, but the newspapers had the 20th March as the Spring Equinox. Magnolia are in flower as seen here in Stratton Way. It has been a cool sunny day so far.
First Day of Spring
R&R has closed, but a lot of the other coffee places are still open, and serving takeaway coffee. People were chatting as they drank coffee, trying to keep some social distance in the open air.

There is now only one charity shop open in Abingdon. The rest have closed. Acacia UK were due to open soon but will delay the opening.
First Day of Spring
Queues for the Boots pharmacy start before they open and continue throughout the day. The queue sometimes manages to keep a social distance and then people, after a while, can get talking and forget the government advice.

Abingdon Library seems to be the only public building open. Libraries were not one of the services told to close yesterday. Some Counties have closed their libraries, but not Oxfordshire County Council.

17 Comments March 21, 2020

Gyms, Cinemas, Theatres, Restaurants and Bars told to close

There was another dramatic government announcement today.
Another dramatic government announcement
As a result gyms and leisure centres closed this evening. As have cinemas and theatres. The Abbey Cinema took the decision to close yesterday.

The White Horse Leisure Centre said ‘In line with Government instruction, we will be closing all of our Better Leisure Centres and Better Gyms across the UK at the end of Friday 20th March, 2020.’

‘The health and well-being of both our staff and valued customers is paramount. We have a social responsibility to everyone in the local community to take action to protect ourselves and others.’
Another dramatic government announcement
Restaurants also closed this evening. Some will still provide a takeaway service.
Another dramatic government announcement
The pubs closed. It was not like a normal Friday night and there were not a lot of people out. For people whose life revolves round the pub or gym it is going to be difficult.

Nobody knows when such businesses will reopen but the government will help by paying 80% of the wage bill so they have a better chance of reopening as going concerns.

Leave a Comment March 21, 2020

Community Larder Expand work and need help and money

Community Larder Expand work
At a time when the most vulnerable in our communities will need our support more than ever, SOFEA (South Oxfordshire Food and Education Alliance) is planning to expand its Community Larder network to provide free groceries to as many people as possible.

This means delivering hundreds of tonnes of packets and tins, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables to those who find themselves in need.

They plan to use their existing distribution network and expand it, so that they can offer food free to members of local communities.

To do this they need our support. They need able bodied healthy symptom free people to volunteer to help them with what will be a massive logistical exercise.

They have suspended membership fees to the Community Larder in order to ensure everyone who needs it can access free food. They have set up a Justgiving page and would welcome donations to help cover the cost of giving free membership. You can access this page through the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sofeacommunitylarder

They had planned to start supplying people in Abingdon and have brought this forward and will be starting tomorrow (Friday 20th March).

2 Comments March 19, 2020

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