hostile environment

Red alert, day 18. Lockdown, day eight. Suffolk has 100 confirmed cases and Tower Hamlets has 195 confirmed cases according to today’s updates. The PM’s puppetmaster Dominic Cummings has self isolated. The UK has 22,141 confirmed cases (of 134,946 tests), and as of 5 pm yesterday 1,408 patients have died. One of these was an ex-BBC presenter whose spouse, also a journalist, I have met, so it is now just a degree of separation away.

Tighter lockdowns are rumored to be coming: the suspension of walks for people without dogs, compulsory masking for food shopping (Austria is already doing this), and then you can’t leave home for anything, food will be delivered. I haven’t been taking advantage of walking rights lately. Too scared.

The UK is arranging flights to repatriate citizens stuck in faraway places, Dominic Raab said in today’s briefing. The Home Office has decided it can continue to carry out right-to-rent and right-to-work checks by video with document scans. These are part of the government’s “hostile environment policy” for immigrants. Yes, it’s really called that and dates back as long as I’ve been here.

A van Gogh painting was stolen in the Netherlands from a museum shut for the pandemic.

Annals of Covid-19 hacking: An Australian scientist trying to make a device to keep people from touching their faces inhaled some powerful magnets and had to go to hospital.

The Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre is cancelled. The local paper managed to write a whole story without saying when the Fayre is normally held, but it must be around Advent or the beginning of December. That’s the furthest ahead cancellation I’ve seen so far. Pretty sure we can say goodbye to Ipswich Music Day, Pulse, and maybe Spill, unless they go online.

Posted on by Diana ben-Aaron
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