The Financial Strain of the Coronavirus…

I hope that you all are doing OK? And staying safe, and my prayers are with all the people that are suffering and may have lost a loved one. I’ve not seen my parents for two full weeks now, the door to their house is locked, as they look after my granny of 93 which would be a big bonus for the virus- yet we are going to fight this virus to the core, and just not allow it to touch her (God willing). So although I haven’t seen them all I know that they are staying safe, and staying indoors for the for-see able future.

Not only has this pandemic affected us mentally because we feel so helpless and have a lot of anxiety for friends and family around us whom we can do nothing for, it has also put people in a financial strain.

It has really affected everyone, regardless of your income in different ways. Working in a utilities environment before the saga Evan became big, I was talking to my customers who were contemplating closing their businesses, these are small businesses who barely make ends meet, and they are stuck in giving up their dreams. Self-employed who do not get sick-pay are stuck, key workers who get paid very little in the first place are having to go out there and face the risks involved, but have to work to support the country. Low income workers who generally cannot stop working because they can’t afford life.

Also people who are working from home have their own challenges, having the kids at home, trying to home school and keep them busy whilst doing their own work, the added mouths to feed daily, three times a day and in between. The energy bill increasing whilst being at home, the extra food that is needed although the ‘prices’ have doubled…… (Breaths out) it’s all overwhelming. This virus is out for us all, regardless of income, age, sex, religion or colour. We are all in the same boat.

Now that I’ve gone through the bad part- i’ll focus on the positive. This post is not to talk about how bad we have it, this post is to help you and provide you with the information you need in order to get through this, and there is a lot of help and support out there,

Home Owners

Most mortgage lenders are providing a 3 month payment holiday (do check with your mortgage provider). I just need to advise that this is a payment holiday, the bank does not pay for you- once your payment starts up again it will continue with the normal interest payment you initially agreed. So if you are a home owner and are struggling this may help you for a couple of months. Have a quick check online or call up the bank.

Help for Renters

There is a clause to be put into place for renters alike- that they will be protected from eviction for 3 months. Do speak to your landlord and keep communication open between the both of you. Do also keep in mind that this is a payment holiday and you will be asked to pay in full once situations change. Like with Home owners it doesn’t mean that you will not need to pay. The money will still be owed.

Here is a webby for more information: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/renting/renters-eviction-laws-coronavirus-covid19-a137476.html

Help for Businesses

The ‘Job retention Scheme’ has been put into place for business owners, which enables small businesses to keep staff on in these precedent times, HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages up to £2500 per month per person, to avoid people being made redundant. This is for 3 months initially, but depending on how things go may be extended.

Self Employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support the self-employed who have lost income due to the Covid-19. The grant will allow you to claim a taxable 80% of your profits (maximum £2500) for 3 months. Once again this may be extended if necessary.

The government has also advised that it will delay the next set of self-assessment tax payments to January 2021, allowing people more time to pay tax bill

There is a lot of information on this webby for all self employed: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/?utm_source=MSE_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=24-Mar-20-50599068-805&utm_campaign=nt-hiya&utm_content=6#selfassesment

Sick Pay for Employees

Employees off sick with Covid-19 are eligible for 2 weeks statutory sick pay (SSP). Employers can claim for this and will need Employees to get an isolation note from NHS 111

There is a lot more information for nursery businesses, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses plus more available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Citizen Advice Bureau

I have attached the citizen’s advice bureau webby here https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/

If you would like to know more about your rights, how to go about getting the help needed or applying for the help and what further can be offered to you in these precedent times.

This is a tough time for a lot of us, but remember your mental health is the main factor in whether you get through this period. Don’t get too overwhelmed with the changes that have been thrown to us overnight. In all honesty Boris J really has done a lot for his people. Im impressed. Might be changing parties if it continues this way (*sorry pops*)

Just remember guys, fortunately we have homes and we have roofs over our head and we have food in our fridges. We are already doing well.

Hopefully the plan for the next blog is to keep you updated on a lot of free resources that are available on the internet for the bored kiddos!

Hope that you all are keeping safe, staying indoors and washing those hands!

Love and regards

M11bna

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Lockdown…..Day One… Getting to grips with Reality

I’m sure everyone was glued to their TV monday evening at 8.30. It felt surreal, felt like we were watching a movie, this doesn’t happen to us, this happens to others…on TV, …. yet there he was – Boris Johnson speaking to us all, about this deadly disease out there in the world, out to consume us all, and we have stay in to prevent catching it and possibly passing it to the more vunerable….. I really can’t wait to wake up and laugh and tell everyone my dream …. Maybe I’ll write a blog on how real it felt?

What does the Lockdown mean? Well all non- essential shops/ places are to shut down completely…..we are only allowed out for trips to and back from work (I am homeworking). Shopping trips only if necessary. Only 2 people allowed out at a time. Social distancing of 1.5/2 metres to be put into place. No visits to families houses, no gatherings anywhere apart from funerals. This is for 3 weeks, and should things get better, we may get a more relaxed approached. However if this is not adhered to- we will be fined. And if people still don’t listen, then the lockdown will be more harsher and go on for longer.

I’m trying to pinch myself to try and wake up for real. Can I see the end of the tunnel? No. I really can’t. I hope that this works, I hope that people listen. I hope this nightmare ends, and I can wake up and complain about going to my normal job daily…. It was so much more easier and simpler.

This also means we have the kids at home, and in isolation for what seems like forever. This is going to be tough on us, and keep in mind this is also going to affect the kids.

My boys are more in the older/adult section, yet I dont want them to become lazy, so I am trying to arrange a routine for them, so that firstly they dont become lazy, secondly they dont get too bored (and potentially run out of house) and also because I dont want the virus/ media affecting there own mental health.

Im generally thinking that this is a chance to get to know them, like, you know really get to know them….. they might actually be good people? you never know? ill give them a chance.

Holidays usually mean getting up late for my boys, especially because im at work, they like to laze in, and get ready half hour before I finish, and pretend they were up all along….. (like I was born yesterday). Lucky for them. I’m home working (although I’m not managing really well in all honesty) .

I’ve not got a timetable up yet, ive been in abit of a daze past few days, cant seem to get things done, but I know what I want in it, it’ll consist of educational aswell as life skills, like cooking, cleaning, fixing, maintaining…. Usually with school and mosque they miss out on that part of life. And not to forget reading and praying aswell….I Just need to get the balance right so that they don’t get overwhelmed by it all.

Schools are sending out emails regurarly, just keep an eye on your mail, as are people on facebook, I have loads of teacher friends on facebook who are providing worksheets and help online, which I think is a very generous thing to do.

There is a lot of educational resources out there. Alot of companies are also giving out free monthly subscription to educational websites, I’ll keep you all updated as I go along.

But first I’ll get back to drawing up a routine.

But its not just the kids that we need to worry about, remember to look after yourself. Kids can easily sense and pick up on things, if you are suffering they will pick it up, especially because they are going to be around us ALL of the time.

Im thinking of drawing up a routine for myself also, I cant get lazy (I have been wearing the same top for 3 days now because im not going out) I want to do things that I normally dont get a chance to do, like the grey areas in the house that we always avoid… (or maybe not. ill see about that one). Try out new recipes, buy a jigsaw puzzle, go back to your love of drawing, or painting, or writing, or reading…..and generally focus on the positives.

Take this as your time to get to know yourself.

This will be a mentally challenging time for us all, with our luxuries and our lifestyle its a daunting experience. Its just been day one, and Im already feeling suffocated, but I try to think of it this way ‘We are not being told to go out to war, we are being told to sit in the comfort of our houses and get to know one another’

I hope that you all are doing well? And I hope that you are all keeping safe x

Stay safe, Stay indoors, wash hands, and look after each other.

Love and regards.

M11bna

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Coronavirus, Schools, Employment, Keyworkers, Elderly and Tougher Measures Update

Should I create a tab of its own? Im not so sure, Im thinking I dont need it as hopefully this bugger will leave us soon, I pray it leaves us.

I have alot of content non-corona related but it just feels wrong to be putting my pre-corona life out here. Its so strange how its just come in and taken over, and aged us all in the process aswell.

Im over my moping and anxiety now- and im writing this head on. We will get through this people, and we will come out of better and bigger then before. Lets focus on the positives

Lets talk about whats happened since the last post- which was just a couple of days ago- but this coronavirus is really hitting us hard, it feels like a months.

Schools:

Schools are now officially closed. (for some…. very few… actually minute amount of people, this is a positive) no, no, really im glad that they closed the schools, as parents now we have to ensure that the little (although one of mine is very large) buggers stay at home. This is going to be a challenge, but I have got a blog coming up on how im going to be managing them. I think all parents need to understand that kids will be home till September!! thats a long time, try and place a routine for them, so that they dont get lazy, also remember this is not something that affects us only, our kids will also have anxiety over this. Make sure they are talking and make sure you address them of the changes. This is tough on them too.

Having said that schools are still open for parents who are keyworkers.

Who are “key workers”?

  • Frontline health workers such as doctors and nurses
  • Some teachers and social workers
  • Workers in key public services including those essential to the justice system, religious staff and public service journalists
  • Local and national government workers deemed crucial to delivering essential public services
  • Workers involved in food production processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • Public safety workers including police, armed forces personnel, firefighters and prison staff
  • Essential air, water, road and rail transport workers
  • Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including postal workers and waste disposal workers

If you fit into any of the above category, the schools will provide a place for your child if you have no other form of childcare. I do need to emphasise that this does not mean education will continue, it just means that there is childcare available for you.

I found this website to be very helpful in undestanding the schooling structure going forward. Have a look if you want to know more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51972793

Social Gathering

Places of social gathering are told to shut!! Finally! that means Afternoon Tea will be at my place, on my own, in isolation….. if I can buy the ingredients that is considering people think that they are going to die of starvation and buying 20 bags of flour! It also means more cooking in the house, so that means more recipes and also potentially more ways to improvise meals with the stocks we have in our house….. and since we all in the house, get the kids to join in, teach them some life skills!

Employment

With this pandemic a lot of businesses were at risk of closures and thus leading too unemployment . Boris has come through and advised that the government will pay 80% of salary to staff for who are kept on by employer. This will eliviate alot of pressure of business owners who were in a position of relieving staff due to the pandemic.

At the moment this is only for 3 months, but it has been confirmed that they will ‘extend’ if necessary.

Could not be more prouder of my Prime Minister at this moment in time. (*sorry Dad think im changing sides now*)

If you want to know how this will be done, heres the webby: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51982005

Elderly and Vunerable

1.5 million people catergorised in the elderly/vunerable group will be sent out letters/text messages to advise to stay at home for 12 weeks. These people are the people considered ‘At risk’ and therefore should adhere to it

Boris Johnson has also advised that “Medicines will be delivered by community pharmacists, while military personnel are helping to coordinate plans to deliver groceries with local councils and supermarkets”

More on this here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-latest-news-italy-uk-nhs-boris-johnson/

Tougher Measures

It has been indicated that ‘tougher measures’ will need to be put into place, as social distance and isolation practises are not being followed so we are anticipating a ‘Lock down’ and all because of foolish and selfish people out there who seem to think that this is a joke. To all those people I say ‘Thank You’ for making this a joke, its a pity that the Coronavirus doesnt strike you first. The world would be a better place. (#sorrynotsorry)

Seems like Boris will not be paying a visit at 5 today. Will miss his face.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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The Virus that made the World Stand Still

I started off this year with a blog stating that “Be selfish, Be You” and in that blog I stated how 2020 was going to be my year, I was going to make changes, I was going to change the world…… yet the world had different plans.

Today we are at standstill, and all because of a virus?! not just any virus, but a beast of a virus who is threatening humankind, and the worst part is….. nobody knows what to do.

At the begginning of the year we all make so many plans, we sit thinking of what we want to achieve, where we want to travel, what changes we will make to better our lives, we evan contemplated WW3 with the issues between Trump and Iran…… but NEVER did we contemplate this.

Im trying to stay positive, Im trying to keep an open mind, but honestly I feel overwhelmed. Im tired of all the conspiracy theories, I dont care if it was man made, I dont care if china make money from it, or if america make money from it, I dont care if shares are low and we need to buy now to be millionaires later, I dont care if its been introduced to wipe out 1% of the world…… All I care about is thats it here and people are going to die, people possibly around me, people I love, people in my family.

so lets concentrate on that instead.

With Wars in countries, with Brexit, with inflation we have people to blame, we have scapegoats, we have our own theories, our own understandings of the processes involved….. Here mother nature has taken over and God/Allah has shown us his power. We are mere mortal souls, no matter how rich, or how poor, no matter how much money you have, no matter how much power you have, no matter Who you are… we have nowhere to go, we have no where to hide. We are in this together…… and we are terrified.

Can I tell you my biggest fear? My parents. Im sure alot of us feel this way…. its hard knowing that should they be infected, we cannot evan hold their hands at a time like this. We cannot go to see them, they will have to suffer alone. And if worse come to worse (and I really hate thinking of this) that they may go to the grave alone…….That breaks me.

Coming from an indian background/community we are brought up being together at all times, families live together, eat together, laugh together and also cry together. So how will we suffer alone? how will we allow others to suffer alone, how will we get through this?. Our whole ethos will change, our upbringing, our understanding of how to live has all come to a stand still.

And still we are singing ‘Happy Birthday’ whilst washing our hands, (*rolls eye*) I did say that I would only put positive things on the blog, and that is still the case, but I wanted to emphasise that ‘Life seriously is not in our control’, what we think, what we plan can be taken away overnight, as it has right now.

The worst is still to come for us in the UK, with the death toll at 177 today, the schools are now closed, places of social gatherings like bars, clubs, pubs and evan mosques are now closed. Yet our borders are still open, a containment by the people who feel they need it is being performed, yet everyone else walks freely.

This will go down in history as the “Happy Birthday” virus and generations after us will laugh that we thought washing our hands was the answer.

Hope that all of you are keeping well and looking after yourselves.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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What to Make of The Coronavirus and Boris Johnson

I spent yesterday in a panic and anxiety, we knew that the Cobra meeting was going on, and holding our breaths of the outcome.

I went into more of a panic when Ireland declared that they will be going into lock down from that day on. It dawned on me at that point that I was silly in laughing at all the people buying toilet roll in the masses. I needed toilet roll, not just for the lock down but also generally.

4.30 couldnt come quicker, and for the first time in my life I wanted to see Boris Johnson face.

I finished work at 1.30 and headed straight to the Lidl round the corner, it was a dead town, not only were there no people, the shelves were empty. It felt very surreal, very isolating, like out of a twlight or horror movie. I kicked myself once again for laughing at all the people bulk buying in stores.

Then Good Old Boris came on…… now the thing is I know alot of people are not happy with what he has said, and yes- I agree to some effect….. but in all honesty, I think it may just be the right decision.

From “containing” the coronavirus to “delaying” it.

Ive had alot of people asking me what this means, basically…. its contained: meaning that there is a restriction put on anybody coming into the country. Flights coming in are now not in operation.

Delaying: We have a problem, its not going away, (the worst is probably still yet to come) and therefore we have to put measures in to try and Delay it so that it gives the scientists a chance to come up with a resolution/ vaccine to kill the virus.

To delay the Coronavirus we are being asked to do a number of things as follows:

Schools/Education

It was explained clearly that if schools were closed what are the chances that kids would isolate at home? and that is a very true and honest point. It probably could be done for a week at most, and then… well I know I would probably be the first one to run out.

Schools are NOT closing. Everything continues as normal.

This is not to say that they will not close in the near future, It is being suggested that if can delay the virus by the preventing measures we have been told to follow, we can prevent the closures of schools, but it all depends on how fast the virus will travel.

Individual schools that have issues, will be dealt with individually. Apart from that everything continues on the school front as normal.

Self Help

It has been advised that the best way is to look after yourself, so if you feel a cough or a temperature, self isolate in your own home for 7 days. We have to help ourselves in order to help others, this is really important. If in doubt just self isolate. You could save lives.

Hand Washing (yes I roll my eyes every time I hear this!) but the emphasis on this is so BIG, please dont take it lightly, hand wash as regurarly as possible. Try and do it everywhere you go. It will help you and others around you.

Crowds/Gathering

Try and stay away from gathering and crowds as much as possible as if a person is infected the pick up rate at a crowd and gathering would be alot more. Be Careful and Be wise. Im not really sure why Boris Johnson didn’t put a ban on this. I think this will be the next stage.

Elderly

It seems that the Virus has a liking to the older generation and this has really upset me. My granni at the age of 93 being a target, and the most vunerable. Although its not very clear what they will be doing for the elderly. He did say that they are aware of the virus attracting the ones with low immune systems and elderly and they are looking into the preventive measures for this.

If you do have a elderly person in the family, or are looking after one. Remember the best way to look after them is to also look after yourself, restrict going out, and also people coming in.

For more ways to help and keep informed of the coronavirus heres a webby:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Ok…. So why no Lockdown?

So far we have had 596 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Of the 596, 10 people in the Uk have lost their lives to the virus, more than 20 of them are in intensive care, and the remainder so far have been in isolation and hopefully will overcome it.

It is being suggested that a further 10,000 people are infected, and we are being told that we are 4 weeks away to get to the point of were Italy is now. In Lock down.

The ‘Delay’ process is being put into place so that hopefully if we follow the rules, we will get a couple more weeks. In no way or form is Boris Johnson saying that The Virus will go away. What is being said is that we can try and prevent it coming sooner. Hopefully enabling the scientists to find a cure.

We are not going into lockdown because its such a long time, and will people conform to the rules in this long period of time? If we educate ourselves and put these preventive measures into place, we can hopefully slow down the amount of people being affected.

Although a lockdown wouldve been the perfect solution, Im with Boris on this one, Just a weekend inside the house with the kids drives us insane, how would be manage weeks and possibly months. The country without a lockdown is in a state of turmoil. It is not good for the mental health of people, we need some sort of normality, and Boris is giving us that…. for the time being.

I hope that this will slow down the process, and I hope that we all help each other at a time like this, because we need each other.

(btw, Leicester people who are buying toilet rolls in the hundreds….. you guys do know that toilet roll are made in Leicester. we dont need to bulk buy! Calm down! *rolls eye* * winks*)

Love and Regards

M11bna

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