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Lockdown Looms: Reggie's Birthday Party

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On August 3 last year, the positivity rate was 31.91 percent, the highest seen in the country. The number of daily cases remained high between May and August last year, and stayed low in September and October. Alexander’s parents were strict when it came to academics, and as a result, he devoted most of his time to schoolwork. Even when he wasn’t in school, he spent much of his free time reading rather than getting in trouble. His motivation for becoming a teacher was to inspire the next generation. Growing up, he did not have many teachers that looked like him and came from where he was from. Alexander wanted to be a teacher that kids could relate to. Maurizio Di Mauro, the director of Cotugno hospital in Naples, which specialises in infectious diseases, is trying to manage the situation from home after contracting coronavirus. He said all of those hospitalised for Covid-19 have pneumonia. As a result, Naples delicately balances on the precipice of not just a health but an economic disaster, something that can be seen in the narrow lanes flanking Via dei Tribunali, which epitomise the charm and contradictions of the city. There are the bars and restaurants that have flourished thanks to a boom in tourism; then there are the case bassi , ground-floor homes where multigenerational families live. The homes usually have just one room, and a door opening on to the street that provides the only source of air and light. The next day, the boy texted the professor: “I wish to apologise for anything I might have said or done last night.” The pro forma tone suggests it was sent to many people, and many times before.)

Mr Alexander tells the story through the eyes of a primary school aged child and gives credit to his friend Reggie for the inspiration. These announcements have been made in a haphazard way and whilst we have seen some relief with the extension of the furlough scheme until December, this is only a short-term solution. I RUV RINE!” My friend was concerned that he might be asking for medical assistance, until he realised that he was in fact passionately declaring: “I love wine.” Mr Alexander is hoping his book will be used by other schools and has already received supportive messages about the book from headteachers and librarians and the impact it has had on their learners.

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Many businesses are already in a very precarious position and forward financial support for employers and employees needs commensurate with the scale of restrictions imposed. Alexander says, “I think more personally to me for what I've taken away from writing the book is that anything is possible because writing this book has changed my life completely. One minute I was teaching, the next minute, I was on the biggest news stations here: BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, Guardian Newspaper. It literally changed my life overnight.” I think that for children to reach their full potential within education, it's important that there is a diverse pool of educators who are creating and leading the curriculum and who also understand the social-economical situation in which their learners are coming from,” Alexander says. Mark Fellows, manager at Old Ship Inn in Dorchester, was saddened by the news but is awaiting further guidance from the Government.

That may come after Christmas when the UKHSA predicts 250 cases will be in hospital – enough for a meaningful statistical comparison with the Delta variant. Mr Alexander, a teacher at an inner-city South London school, said: “I didn’t have a book that I could use to walk my learners through the Covid-19 pandemic and the strange new world around us: masks, social distancing, homeschooling, vaccinations, bereavements etc.The chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty told MPs on the Health Select Committee this week that tighter controls could only be justified when there was evidence on the severity of Omicron disease. By mid-May, pubs and restaurants are likely to be allowed to open indoors, though there could still be limits on groups, and social distancing will be in place. Alexander received praise for his book and the positive impact it had on school children in the United Kingdom.

Alexander also recalls the negative impacts of the pandemic he saw reflected in his students. He mentions higher levels of anxiety, gained weight, and countless hours online as the main factors that affected his students. Alexander says, “Children were looking at things online and not being happy with themselves because they're comparing themselves to the sort of forced reality that they're seeing online.” One of the reasons for the rise in infections is because authorities have lost control of testing and tracing. Hopefully this will also be a wakeup call for the many individuals who continue to blatantly ignore requirements - and businesses are paying the price for this. Everyone has to do their bit in this time of crisis.” This [complete shutdown] is scientific and the best approach now. But considering livelihood, the new measure is not too bad. It will partially contribute to slowing down the transmission."Although Banji had started writing other children’s books before, he felt compelled to finish Reggie’s story for his year 3 class – to whom the book is dedicated. Neapolitans respected the rules so well because they saw the terrible images from Lombardy, and they understood that if the tsunami arrived here, we wouldn’t have the hospital beds to cure them,” said Luigi de Magistris, the mayor of Naples. But even if the risk of serious disease is lower than in previous waves hospitals could still be overwhelmed because of the high rate of infections. Sky News understands that experts who produce advice for ministers believe there are now "hundreds of thousands" of infections every day, many more than the number of official cases recorded on the daily dashboard.

The important messages in the book are of kindness and resilience, patience, gratitude and adapting to change. Perhaps to Step 3, in May 2021, with a limit of six people meeting indoors, and the hospitality industry restricted to table service inside.

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Stephen Reicher, professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews and a member of SAGE, earlier told Times Radio that Plan B alone would not be enough to curb infections. I also suspect that these rules are not just for Christmas but the rest of my life, for there will long be variants – and always a crisis, be it another disease or a flood, to justify the reactivation of controls that this pandemic has invited. A precedent is set. The interesting question is when, or if, it can finally be broken. Coming Cavaliers The phase may also see families allowed to travel for short breaks around the UK, though with restrictions on household mixing. Fourth phase While juggling teaching and writing amidst a pandemic brought its challenges, Banji reflects on that period with pride. “By writing the book, I was able to turn a negative into a positive and inspire and motivate my learners in a creative way. It was a real career highlight for me,” he says. Laying the groundwork First thing we will do is another deep clean and I will look for things to do around the pub”, he said. “There’s always any opportunity to improve the business during these times.

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