Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. Seasonal Reflections: March (2)

Through 2020 – MARCH

If February was the month of white blossom, March is clearly the month of pink and red blossom and emerging Magnolia blossom – possibly a few weeks early according to some. The predominant flower colour is clearly yellow with Daffodils and Narcissi that were a rarity now are in profusion both in the garden and on road-side displays. They are supplemented by primroses and later in the month, tulips and some of the wallflowers. Buds were pushing out on shrubs and bushes all over the place at the beginning of the month and many of the small bulbs/corms have produced flowers already – such as the anemones, crocuses, hyacinths, miniature tulips – and, as the month wore on, the blues of the grape hyacinths and the forget-me-nots add to some of the earliest sources of colour. The yellow Forsythia is also making a mark in the garden but the flowers that are taking pride of place as they reach upwards while shyly pointing their flowerheads downwards are the Hellebores, doubles and singles with such amazing patterns of petal. The weather, as they say, has been mixed. It has been down to minus 1 or 2 and as high as 18 or 19. Rain featured a lot in the early half of the month but the last ten days have been dry and a fairly stationary anticyclone gave us a week of solid sunshine. The month got better as it went on but wind has been a fairly continuous feature with periods when it was constantly in the 40 to 50 miles an hour bracket. A gusty month!

The news has been dominated by Coronavirus to such an extent that many are giving up watching the hourly reports and then constant reports. It has been declared a pandemic but then so has the way the Internet has been both reporting and exploiting it with untruths – fake news abounded for a short while. Concerns moved from physical ill-health to the possible ill-health of the economy. Because it has been such an historic month, we had better try to plot how it unravelled:  

Notable dates in March were:

-  5th - the collapse of Flybe

- 5th - the day the first death from coronavirus in the UK was confirmed.

- 9th - the FTSE plunged by more than 8%,

- 11th - the Bank of England cut the base rate back down to 0.25% the lowest in history

- 11th - the Chancellor presented a budget with £30B to protect the economy from Coronavirus effects.

- 12th - the FTSE fell a further 10%   

- 13th – the Premier League 2019-20 was suspended.

- 13th – local elections planned for the 20th postponed until 2021

- 14th – UK death toll now 21 from coronavirus.

- 14th – USA now include UK in travel ban to the States from the 16th.

- 14th – panic buying is now emptying supermarket shelves.

- 15th – early warning from the Health Secretary for over 70’s of coming self-isolation

- 16th – death toll now reaches 55

- 16th – PM warns nation against all but essential travel

- 17th – NHS England announces all non-urgent operations postponed from the 15th April

- 17th – the Chancellor announces £330B loans guarantees for affected businesses.

- 18th – death toll exceeds 100

- 18th – Government announces all schools to shut on the 20th

- 18th – Glastonbury Festival anniversary cancelled.

- 19th – Bank of England cuts bank rate to 0.1% - the lowest ever.

- 20th – Chancellor announces government will pay 80% of wages, for employees not working, up to £2500 a month.

-  20th – PM orders all clubs, pubs & restaurants to close from the 20th except for takeaways

- 23rd – in televised address PM announces a UK-wide lock-down – people leave home only in exceptional circumstances – for food, pharmaceutical products etc., one exercise a day, work travel only if absolutely essential.

- 24th – death toll now 422.

- 24th – temporary hospital at Excel centre to be opened with 4000 beds.

- 25th – Parliament shuts down for a month.

- 25th – Prince Charles test positive for COVID-19

- 26th – Government announces self-employed with be paid 80% of profits up to £2500 per month

- 26th – at 8pm people all over the country clap the NHS workers outside their front doors

- 27th – the PM tests positive for COVID-19 and self-isolates at No.10

- 31st – UK death toll approaches 1800

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