A not very good review of a pretty rubbish year, 2020.

Having a special interest in chest infections, it was about 55 weeks ago when I first heard of what was to become the Coronavirus.  It took until January before the first hints of it were dismissed in the mainstream awareness and it wasn’t until February when the western world became more properly aware of what was going on in Italy.   We were told it came from someone eating a bat from a wet market in Wuhan although there seems plenty of evidence it was circulating around any time from the end of summer in 2019.  . Life carried on as normal for the rest of the world for the next few weeks until the virus gradually spread around the entire world.

On January 31st after years of saving, I moved house.

On 1st February I was robbed in my new house, 2 days later I order my sofa and armchair for my new house.

On 6th February I was pushed under a tube train and walked almost 5 hours with a partially fractured leg before collapsing in St Barts. I give the doctors a tour of the hospital from my window. One pops out for a break and returns to say “wow, I’m right”. This is my last full days work of 2020.

Move into Watford Premier Inn for 2 weeks as bathroom and heating is sorted out. As everyone panic buys toilet roll, I don’t even have a toilet.

March 17th last pre-lockdown hug, move into house properly.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson started a 3 week lockdown on the evening of 23rd of March 2020 🚫 This was then extended on 16th April for a further 3 weeks

On the 5th April he was admitted to hospital after 10 days self isolating with the Corona Virus 🧪

On the 6th April he is in intensive care with deteriorating symptoms 😷

The Queen addressed the nation at 8pm on 5th April 👑, one of the few times in her life she has done so as it is suggested that USA President Donald Trump thinks injecting disinfectant could be a cure! 💉 😳 Prompts warning statement from manufacturers not to do this!

Excel now known as NHS Nightingale and will be a hospital for up to 4,000 patients, most of whom are on ventilators. Similar venues being used in cities across the country. Opened by Prince Charles at 11am on 3rd April 🏥

Community support groups established, to support the vulnerable, elderly, immunocompromised and people in enforced isolation due to exposure, in their community – told not to go out for 12 weeks🧓🏻👴🏻

From Thursday 26th March at 8pm and every Thursday night thereafter, we all stood united on our doorsteps, balconies and open windows and applauded and cheered for all our amazingly brave NHS staff 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 who so courageously and selflessly battled on to try and save as many lives as possible ❤️

Petrol ⛽️ price close to home 🏡 was £0.99 Was this an opportunity to go green, only time will tell.

Schools closed on Friday 20 March. 🏫 Remote learning in place 🎓

Self-distancing measures required ☹️

Tape on the floors at grocery stores ❌ and others to help distance shoppers 🛒 (2 mtrs) from each other.

Limited number of people inside shops, therefore, lineups outside the store doors 🏬

Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed 🚫 People who can work 👩🏻‍💻👨🏻‍💻 from home 🏡

Parks 🏕 trails, entire cities 🏢 closed or restricted to locals only in their bubble.

Entire sports ⚽️ 🏉 🎾 seasons cancelled.

The Olympics & Paralympic’s, where athletes would have made their mark and additional Euro 2020 were postponed to 2021. 🔵⚽️⚫⚽️🔴

Concerts 🎫 tours 🚌 festivals 🤹🏻 entertainment events 🎭 cancelled 🚫

Weddings 👰🏼🤵🏻 family celebrations 🥳 holiday gatherings 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 cancelled 🚫

Only very few people allowed to attend funerals & social distancing rules must be adhered to ⚰️ 😢

No masses – churches ⛪️ are closed 🚫

No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, then 10 or more.

Now…. Don’t socialise with anyone outside of your home bubble ⚗️

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and all other TV networks are on in every home daily now 🎬

Children’s outdoor play parks are closed 🎡

We are to distance from each other. Shortage of masks 😷 gowns 🥼 gloves 🧤 for our front-line workers.

Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill 🤒 in many parts of the world.

Refrigerated trucks for the dead outside hospitals in the USA 🇺🇸 Italy 🇮🇹 Spain 🇪🇸 China 🇨🇳 and more. Temporary Morgues set up in the UK 🇬🇧

Panic buying 🛒 sets in and we have limits on toilet paper 🧻 disinfecting supplies, paper towels, staple foods 🥗 hand sanitiser 🧴 Flour is hard to get because the packaging comes from China 🇨🇳 and borders are closed 🚧  All things Gluten free vanish.

Manufacturers 🏭 distilleries and other businesses 🏢 switch their lines to help make visors, masks 😷 hand sanitiser 🧴 and PPE 🧤

Fines are established for breaking lockdown rules 🤑

Stadiums 🏟 and recreation facilities overseas open up for the overflow of Covid-19 🦠 patients.

Public Park 🏕 areas turned into caravan parks for stranded tourists to self isolate 🚐

Press conferences daily from the PM 👱‍♂️ and other government 🏛 officials. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths ⚰️

Government 🏛 incentives to stay home. Barely anyone on the roads 🛣

People wearing masks 😷 and gloves outside 🧤

Essential service workers are terrified to go to work 👮🏻 👩🏻‍⚕️ 👲🏻

Medical field workers 👩🏻‍⚕️ are afraid to go home to their families 👨‍👧‍👦

Boris and Rishi promise no-one will be left behind or without. I become excluded for overpaying my taxes and doing more for the NHS than just clap for it, officially being discriminated against and treated as a criminal by my own country.

A 99 year old WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore raised an amazing £29 million for NHS charities walking 100 lengths of his garden before he turned 100. His target was £1000. People from all over the world donated to his cause. 💂🏻‍♂️🎖🏅💷

We have a beautiful Spring. The roads are empty, there are no aeroplanes. No noise… heaven 🙂

202,660 deaths globally so far as at 25th April 2020

20,319 of them in the UK 😢

53,418 in the USA

This is the Novel Coronavirus 🦠 (Covid-19) Pandemic, WHO declared March 11th, 2020.

Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor of Boris Johnson famously breaks his own rules and drives to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight is ok.

June get my first hug and proper interaction for 3 months.

Travel restrictions and having to quarantine for 2 weeks when returning from some foreign holiday destinations and this could change daily.

July – The heat that never ends. BBC in London at midnight, the temperature is still over 30 degrees outside.

4th August I headline the national news on Sky and receive 4,400 messages of thanks and support and people tell me I have saved their lives. Messages arrive from 5.59am from dozens of countries. I can hear myself on neighbours tv and radios. I go on the bus and people are watching me on their phones.

9th August appear on BBC 3 Counties Radio

12th August appear on BBC 5Live national radio with Nihal

My sofa and chair finally arrive!

20th August (I think) appeared on BBC 5Live with Dotun

25th August An Irish builder comes to the door and sees me with long hair and house clothes and asks if he can speak to my parents! I feel rather like Timothy in Sorry! (I’m 46 years old mother!).

26th August spent 5 hours on top of The Shard with a friend and then sit on the Dickensian steps of St George The Martyr at 10pm eating just a packet of crisps all day as weird people walk past looking at us like we are weird.. A few minutes of happiness.

11th September have a meeting with Oliver Dowden, the fourth most powerful man in Britain.

13th September invited for behind the scenes tour of BBC News Studios in 2021

14th September Secret Gardens of the City of London becomes a number 1 best-seller for 3 weeks straight and on and off for rest of the year.

Three tiers of regional severity issued. Tier 1 Medium risk, tier 2 very high risk, tier 3 extremely high risk.

30th September ExcludedUK March. Third and last hug of 2020 🙁

2nd October my first speculative article becomes the Travel Feature for the Independent Newspaper for several days.

5th October go to Uffington with Dave. See Waylands Smithy, the ancient Ridgeway road, white horse and castle. Car breaks down and we get the AA rather than wait until midnight for the Viking Elf to repair it.

30th October my second article is featured in the Independent.

Second lockdown in UK November 2020 moving back into tier severity December 2020.

November 2020 several Ye Olde England Tours are rated the best in London

Vaccines arrive in UK in December – The Army deployed to help vaccinate the public starting with the NHS and people over 80 years of age.

Pubs and restaurants still closed.

18th December 2020 – UK has had 1,948,660 cases to date, and 66,052 deaths related to covid-19. 😭. Worldwide figures are 75,371,570 cases and 1,670,455 deaths.

Three households could form a temporary “Christmas bubble” to meet together indoors from 23-27 December 🚫 cancelled plan!

19th December, PM announced tier 4 for London & the South East with Wales going into lockdown. A new mutation of the virus, 70% more transmissible then the previous strain with 6 in 10 new cases, stops the UK for the festive period.

21st December The same sort of people who panic buy, squash onto beaches, don’t wear masks, riot in London, go crazy because ‘Christmas is cancelled’.  A bit of me wishes the virus could be more deadly and particularly targeted or at least that many could know a bit of real-hardship.

1 day of mixing on 25th December. No travelling between tiers 1 through to 4. Like every day for almost 11 months, I spend it alone and miss people, knowing whenever the virus goes I still won’t have anyone to spend Xmas with in 2021 🙁

28th December, my birthday. Boris feels sorry that I’ve had no income for 11 months and unilaterally pays me £50k compensation and then I wake up to find my bathroom roof has leaked from a bad storm and I have to contact the police to report online hate and harassment!

31st December remember all the people who sent me food, clothes, money, repaired my heating and roof for free and why I never celebrate New Year as each is always rubbish 🙂 maybe this time they will believe me.

1st January 2021 in the year where millions have died from a lung disease, for the first time this century I have gone an entire year without any trips to the doctors, hospital, emergency medical centres or had any antibiotics. In a small way, I am blessed 🙂

Why, you ask, do I write 📝 this status?

One day it will show up in my memory 💭 feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted 💕

We have so much! 🙌🏻

Be thankful. Be grateful 😌

Be kind to each other – love one another – support everyone 🥰

We are all one. This year woke the world up for the better! ❤🧡💛💚💙💜🖤

What a crazy year 2020 turned into!! We now all wait anxiously to see what 2021 holds for us but of course I won’t be celebrating New Year as I always find each one to be as rubbish as the next.  Maybe after all the parties at the end of 2019, a few more people might agree with me!

On the plus side for me at least, life probably won’t ever be harder, poorer, lonelier or #Excluded and despite it all I probably achieved more things this year than many do their whole lives.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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5 Responses to A not very good review of a pretty rubbish year, 2020.

  1. Joanne says:

    An excellent and very a accurate account of this year ! Chin up Stephen , you have made so many friends who think a lot of you , keep going…


  2. Pingback: A not very good review of a pretty rubbish year, 2020. – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  3. Veronica Hall says:

    Thank you Stephen I want to say SO enjoyed your posts. Very sorry that your life has been not so good but just to say wish you a very good 2021 .. my husband & I and friends will certainly book one of your tours if London … I suspect a waiting list warmest regards

    Veronica & Steven (Hall)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Let’s hope that 2021 is less hard on us all.

    Meanwhile, please go on documenting. Facts are so valuable especially when there is so much rubbish opinion around. Like gold. Sarah Abraham

    Liked by 1 person

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