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

Through 2020 - July

Last month we noted that two things seem to feature largely this year – the weather and the Pandemic. This month the weather has been similar to June and not so outstanding as we have seen in earlier months but yes the vagaries of the Pandemic have taken a particular turn – easing.

Weather: I am suspicious about temperatures – my own keeping them, using an electronic thermometer hanging free in the shade, and also the weather forecasters! The thing about this month this year is it’s uniformity. Even if we assume my thermometer reads a degree or so high – and I don’t see why it should – the temperatures that I note in my diary each day (purely for interest not for science!) show a fairly steady picture. Low twenties (below 25 let’s say) was the norm but with a 26o on the 5th, 29o on the 13th, 31o on the 18th, 29o on the 22nd and 23rd, 27o on the 29th, 31o on the 30th and 36.4o on the 31st,. i.e. 7 days above the mid-twenties into the thirties. There must be something about Fridays because the following Friday (7th Aug) registered 38.8o  with me! And yes, the 31st was claiming a record high as the hottest day of the year so far.

Nature: As far as fruit and veg are concerned, July was a continuation of June. Beans continue to be picked, miniature sweet orange tomatoes in abundance, the thornless blackberries have produced in super-abundance. Multi-coloured beetroot are starting to come to full size and are wonderful both on salads and roasted. In the air, a second brood of blue tits has appeared while the goldfinches that were causing so much noise have largely scattered themselves elsewhere. Butterflies and bees are back in large numbers and as usual the lavender is the focal point for the bees. Dahlias in full bloom dominate even more.

Nationally: July was ‘further easing’ month of restrictions starting to be lifted for the Pandemic. The UK Government taking issue with China over Hong Kong also came up, and so we simply focus on these two issues for this month:

1 July – China: UK Government denounces China for imposing national security laws as a violation of treaty with UK that was supposed to give political freedoms for fifty years.

4 July – Pandemic: a major easing of the lockdown in England – subject to modified physical distancing conditions – allows the reopening of bingo halls, cinemas, galleries, hairdressers, hotels, pubs, restaurants and theme parks.

6 July – Pandemic: The government announces a £1.57bn support package to help UK theatres, galleries, museums, and other arts/cultural venues during the economic downturn

6 July – China: China warns the UK not to interfere with its new laws and to stop "making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs."

8 July - Pandemic: Chancellor unveils a £30B spending package aimed at mitigating the effect of the Pandemic on the economy, and a temporary rise in the stamp duty threshold

9 July – Pandemic: Boots and John Lewis announce job losses as a result of the pandemic, with Boots cutting 4,000 jobs, while John Lewis says it is shutting down eight of its stores, putting 1,300 jobs at risk

11 July – Pandemic: Face coverings in shops and supermarkets become mandatory in Scotland

11 July – Pandemic: Further easing of the lockdown is introduced in England, as outdoor pools and water parks are allowed to reopen, while indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres can reopen from 25 July

13 July – Pandemic: The remainder of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 comes into effect, allowing the re-opening of nail bars and salons, spas and beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo parlours, and body and skin piercing services, subject to the usual precautions

14 July – China: UK mobile providers are ordered to remove 5G equipment by Chinese firm Huawei from networks by 2027, over security fears

17 July – Pandemic: PM announces further easing of lockdown restrictions, with plans for a "significant return to normality" by Christmas. The new rules allow people to use public transport for non-essential journeys with immediate effect, while employers will have more discretion over their workplaces from 1 August.  From 18 July, local authorities will have the power to enforce local lockdowns.

20 July – Pandemic: Clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford suggest that it appears to be safe, and trains the immune system to produce COVID-19 antibodies

20 July – China: Foreign Secretary announces that the government will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong "immediately and indefinitely" over the national security law

25 July – Pandemic: Face coverings worn in shops and supermarkets become mandatory in England

25 July – Pandemic: Following a rise in COVID-19 cases in Spain and concerns of a second wave, the UK government and the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, announce that travellers returning from Spain will be required to quarantine for 14 days from 26 July.

25 July – Pandemic: Public Health England warns that being obese and overweight puts people at greater risk of severe illness or death as a result of COVID-19

25 July – Pandemic:  Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities in England reopen in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown

27 July – Pandemic: The UK's Chief Veterinary Officer confirms that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, has been detected in a pet cat – the first known case of infection in an animal in the UK

27 July – Pandemic: The government announces a ban on junk food advertising before 9pm for the whole UK, along with restrictions in England on how foods high in fat and sugar can be promoted in-store, and new rules for displaying calories on menus.

29 July – Pandemic: The government signs a deal with GSK and Sanofi to provide 60 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine. This follows three previous deals with other companies, taking the UK's potential vaccine availability to 250 million doses.

30 July – Pandemic: The isolation period for those with coronavirus symptoms is extended from seven to 10 days, in line with guidance from the WHO

31 July – Pandemic:  A further easing of the lockdown in England, due to begin on 1st August, is postponed for at least two weeks, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases.

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