Christmas Plans

From: william (WILLIAMA)13 Dec 2020 22:57
To: ALL1 of 33
Teh people here aren't noted for lengthy and enthusiastic discussions of the festive season, but it's been a wild and wacky year with a strange old Christmas looming. 

The MIL lives in a fantasy world where there will be an old-school French celebration with dozens of family from near and far chowing down on the oysters, lobster and duck. We have persuaded her that this won't happen and it will be me, Mrs WilliamA, our kids, her and the FIL. It's possible that their son, Mrs WilliamA's brother may show up, in which case somebody will be eating their drumstick in the garden.

What are people planning?
From: milko14 Dec 2020 13:22
To: william (WILLIAMA) 2 of 33
it has been a difficult one to organise and I still don't really know.

We saw Mrs Milko's family yesterday, in their respective gardens at a distance (they aren't big Christmassers so its not that big a deal to see them on the day). My family have made suitable arrangements (booting my brother out to his wife's family, essentially) so that we may fit in their 3-household bubble along with my sister's family. In theory then, we'll go there but it doesn't necessarily feel like a great idea!

We had a backup plan to see some local friends on the day but decided to cut them loose - they're childless so seemed fairer to let them plan with some other similar types we all know, rather than be victims of our indecision and then have to have the whole day dominated by my son anyway if we did go. It would've been really fun though.

So our alternative is we stay home alone together, which is of course not a bad way to do it albeit a little similar to every other fucking day this year since March.

Plus points of going:
Positive psychological wellbeing benefit for my mum in particular, but also The Boy as he'll be able to see his cousin and grandparents which is a rare thing this year.
I guess it'll be good for me too once I've resigned myself to it?

450mile drive each way is never fun. Will probably do it at night to avoid traffic.
If someone gets the covid we will be sad at best, and bereaved (or dead!) at worst.
We have to pay someone to come feed the cat.
The cat has never been left alone for more than a day so will be mighty pissed off about it I should imagine. We'll keep her indoors throughout so as not to lose her, which will also be vexing I'm sure.

I dunno. Cases are pretty low where they are, pretty high where we are. We can stay reasonably well isolated once the school shuts on Thursday afternoon. We've changed our minds a couple of times already and I really don't know what we'll do.
From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Dec 2020 15:40
To: milko 3 of 33
It's difficult to be decisive about anything. My daughter's plans to come home are on a knife-edge now that Johnson is thinking (if that's what you call it) about putting London into Tier 3. Or maybe parts of it. She'll be really upset.
From: milko14 Dec 2020 17:11
To: william (WILLIAMA) 4 of 33
Is that because she's in London and would not be able to come out? I'm guessing that they will put us in Tier 3 but I'm sure it'll not impact that 5 day period. And then we'll all be in Tier 3 again straight afterwards.
From: patch14 Dec 2020 17:44
To: william (WILLIAMA) 5 of 33
My mum's having Christmas Day with just her partner, and then will be seeing various members of the two families and their kids at different points over the next few days. Which almost feels a bit sad if it wasn't for the fact that she seems relatively happy (if understandably disappointed) about it, and at least she will be seeing everyone eventually while making some effort to keep everyone separate and safe.

The fact that I'm on the other side of the world means I can't do much about it other than a Skype call, so there's not much point worrying about it. Personally, we're off round a friend/colleague's house for a barbecue on the day - we'll put up with their kids for as long as we can manage before we decamp back to our own child-free and peaceful house.

Because we're not living under any real restrictions any more (apart from international travel) over here, I honestly can't imagine what it must be like for people in other countries. I kind of imagine that it must be the polar opposite of what we have, but then I hear that pubs are still open as long as you're eating, and people are effectively allowed to move around as much as they want but only in small groups (presumably the virus can't see groups of less than, is it 6 people?) and not all meeting at the same time.

Doesn't that just make the restrictions a bit pointless? Surely the virus will still spread to everyone, just on different days.

From: ANT_THOMAS14 Dec 2020 18:53
To: william (WILLIAMA) 6 of 33
May be technically or morally breaking the rules. Not sure which. Been bubbling with my girlfriend at hers since late April (who is /still/ furloughed), so I guess we're technically a single household now. Either way, she's going to her family, which will be a max of 3 at that side. And I'm going to one of my brother's with my parents, so that's 3 on that side, I think other brother and his girlfriend are going to spend it together at theirs. They did originally have a meal booked, but literally no idea what's the situation with that. I guess splitting our household is wrong, but we've decided to do it reluctantly for a few reasons. I've hardly seen any family during all this, which includes my 1.75 yr old nephew who is growing up very quickly and I feel I'm missing out on being a part of his life. Girlfriend can't comprehend not seeing her brother or parents over the period, which I get.

We've gone back and forth multiple times about what's right and best. Then there's the possibility that she could be called in to work over the Christmas period, which could throw plans up in the air anyway, so God knows. Between us we've been very well behaved when it comes the to rules in general and the only time we're really around anyone would be in a supermarket. I'm WFH full time again, so my risk of getting/having it is low, as is hers.

God knows how relatively medium/large sized families are doing things. In one sense I'm thankful I don't have any grandparents to worry about during all this.
From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Dec 2020 22:46
To: patch 7 of 33
Exactly right. 

But then, the whole management of the disease in the UK has been driven by a series of incompatible requirements: appeal to the core activist base who barely believe that there actually is a pandemic; appeal to the money men who won't allow the flow of public funds into their pockets to be slowed by anything so trivial; try to appear at least partly sane to the majority of the electorate (optional aim); don't allow Johnson to look either indecisive or less-than-caring. Actual control of the pandemic, prevention and care of those infected is down to the public sector, which gets by with the normal level of funding while eye-watering mountains of cash are poured into private enterprise. By that I mean, very private - as in, the money vanishes in unknown and unexamined ways with no observable impact on anything other than the wealth of the recipients.

And, yes. It's all a bit pointless, because the virus will spread over Christmas, because a little bit of prevention just means it will be marginally slower - but of course, faster than if we were still locked down. 

Your Christmas sounds wonderful.
From: milko15 Dec 2020 10:55
To: ANT_THOMAS 8 of 33
I think (but don't know!) that if you go to your respective families for the 5 day Great Virus Armistice then you're technically fine, reset on the 28th and all is back to normal. If you split for just xmas day for example and then come back together, then doom be upon ye, for ye just made a 6 household mix.

It's all a bit silly really, obviously it's the same mix either way.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)15 Dec 2020 12:39
To: ALL9 of 33
I tested positive a week ago last Thursday and me & Mrs.D have been in quarantine. I just got out yesterday, she's in for three more days (even though she tested negative). We put our christmas tree in the hall so we can both see it. This all has nothing to do with anything.
EDITED: 15 Dec 2020 12:40 by DSMITHHFX
From: ANT_THOMAS15 Dec 2020 17:50
Positive with no symptoms? Hope you're both okay.
From: ANT_THOMAS15 Dec 2020 17:59
To: milko 11 of 33
And now experts are saying we shouldn't be mixing at Christmas anyway, and that it's a very bad idea.
I think the fact that a vaccine is rolling out people think we're home and dry, when in fact we're not even close and any rule relaxing will result in deaths.

A case of how many extra deaths is deemed "acceptable" since it's just a stat now.
From: milko15 Dec 2020 21:49
To: ANT_THOMAS 12 of 33
And now an anxious wait to see what changes they actually decide on this week, if any. I suppose in typical Tory fashion it will come via leaks and rumour so they can modify it according to whatever howls the press make during the week. 
From: Manthorp16 Dec 2020 07:41
To: william (WILLIAMA) 13 of 33
I'll be doing the normal walk on Christmas Eve with my kids and their partners to give each of the Doubler Stones on Addingham Moor a bottle of beer. Although it's four households, as it's outdoors and known to be a tad breezy up there, I'm content that it's Covid-compliant.

Christmas day will be at Charlotte's, with her son and daughter. Our Christmas meal was going to be at a local restaurant, but unless Kirklees drops from tier three to two, that's not going to happen. If things stay the same, the restaurant has proposed a (cheaper) Chritmas meal in a box which we'll go for.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)16 Dec 2020 13:36
To: ANT_THOMAS 14 of 33
We seem to be ok. We had a mild flu in mid-November, MrsD had a a persistent cough after so her doctor said we should get tested. She's been on antibiotics which seem to have cleared up her cough.
From: milko18 Dec 2020 11:47
To: milko 15 of 33
Wales have made it two households max by law, so I guess that's us staying home with just us and the cat. I'm relieved we're finally able to just know what we're doing. Somewhat apprehensive about how cooped up my wife and boy will feel because they're frankly quite annoying together after a few hours at home with no big things to do!
From: ANT_THOMAS19 Dec 2020 19:50
To: ALL16 of 33
That fucked up anyone's plans?
From: Linn (INDYLS)19 Dec 2020 20:07
To: ALL17 of 33
Just read about further lock downs over the pond and fears the virus is mutating to become faster spreading. Not sure of the truth of that. Im just outside a major city that is in lock down (Toronto) and cases seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. Big family event is tonight on Zoom. Charades are a Christmas tradition with my extended family. So, can't let that tradition die - Zoom charades could be a good laugh or a big bust. We shall see.     
From: milko19 Dec 2020 21:13
To: ANT_THOMAS 18 of 33
They’d already been done for when Wales chopped the households max to two. So it was more an extra nail or two in plans coffin. It maybe almost stopped my parents from thinking it’s just the Welsh first minister being a cock - except that no of course it didn’t. 

I already know at least one set of people planning to ignore it and do a three household bubble on Xmas day in London. 
EDITED: 19 Dec 2020 21:13 by MILKO
From: Chris (CHRISSS)19 Dec 2020 23:14
To: ANT_THOMAS 19 of 33
We'd not entirely decided what we were doing. We were possibly (Sian a bit anxious about it) meeting up with my parents and sister's family. But the 2 households thing in Wales took the pressure off that.

Instead we'll be opening the wine as the kids unwrap their presents and spending the day just the 4 of us. So today's news hasn't affected us. Unlike lots of people who are now last minute shopping and /massive/ queues outside shops.
From: Dave!!20 Dec 2020 15:37
To: ANT_THOMAS 20 of 33
Yeah, a bit. We were going to have my sister and dad up to visit. My sister lives by herself and is in our support bubble, so that part can likely still happen (although she'll be traveling from England to Scotland). My dad's visit though will not be happening now.

Of course the bigger annoyance with all this is that we had not posted presents because he was supposed to be visiting, so now we'll have to try and sort something else out.