This is a very important day in many countries. It is the Assumption of Mary and is celebrated with fireworks and general festivities in France and most Catholic countries. However in present circumstances I am not sure what will happen. A virtual party perhaps.
I drove back to Croydon today and the journey was not a call for celebration. The Dartford Crossing had massive delays so I drove the other way round the M25 past Heathrow, but the traffic was very slow so I lost an hour overall. Lots of caravans, trailers, bicycles wobbling on the back of cars: staycation rules. Plus torrential cloudbursts to guarantee a typical English summer.
I have just been talking to a young friend, a single girl who is trying internet dating. And I thought about how young people are going to meet each other and make friends, when they are not going to work, not seeing anyone on a bus or train, social activities of many types are constrained: she feels enormously isolated and lonely, and I can totally understand why. Flirtation from behind a mask and at a distance of 2 metres is never going to be easy. She said rather desperately, will no-one get married or have children any more? It must feel like that. Travel is becoming increasingly limited. She has relatives in France and Germany but is fearful of going there and having to quarantine on her return. Or becoming stranded abroad. We have seen today the panicky pictures of families struggling to get back from France before the quarantine rule descends.
Another friend tells me of the letter she has received from her son’s primary school, saying that from September there will be no breakfast club, no after school care, and the day will end at 2pm. How will working parents manage? Grandparents will be called upon, but then in many cases they are themselves an at risk group. Or there will be a mass of unregulated carers, attempting to plug the gap. I fear we still have a long way to go to get things back on track.