A lookback at 2020 and What Social Distancing means for the New Year

A lookback at 2020 and What Social Distancing means for the New Year

Published: 19th January, 2021 in: News

Timeline of 2020

A global pandemic meant that many different events played out; disappointments, but also hope, a lot of ups and downs, and some curveballs and surprises. Here we will summarize the big Covid-19 events in 2020, from January to December. 

January 2020

4th January - WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province. 

30th January - the World Health Organization (WHO) declared this first outbreak of novel coronavirus a ‘public health emergency of international concern’.

February 2020

22nd February - The Italian authorities reported clusters of cases in several regions. The following week, several European countries reported cases of Covid-19 in travellers.

March 2020

8th March - Italy issued strict public health measures to start social distancing.

11th March - The Director General of the WHO declared COVID-19 a ‘global pandemic’.

23rd March - The UK is put in lockdown, with Boris Johnson stating people must stay at home and avoid social contact with anyone they do not live with. 

April 2020

3rd April - the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported worldwide surpassed one million.

May 2020

10th May - ‘Stay at home’ becomes ‘stay alert’ and PM sets out lockdown lifting plan.

25th May - 3,532,634 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out in the UK.

28th May - Test and Trace app is launched to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

June 2020

29th June - Following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Leicester, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces the reintroduction of stricter lockdown measures for the city,

July 2020

4th July - Restrictions ease more with indoor gatherings involving two separate households being permitted.

August 2020

3rd August - The month-long "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme begins, offering a 50% discount on meals at indoor venues, three days per week, with the remainder of the cost picked up by the government.

September 2020

8th September - Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, tells the House of Commons the "sharp rise" in COVID-19 cases is "concerning", and a sign that the virus "remains a threat". 

October 2020

7th October - Italy begins ordering mandatory COVID-19 testing on travellers from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

31st October - Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announces a 4-week lockdown ending on 2nd December for the UK.

November 2020

19th November - The Oxford University COVID vaccine is reported to show a strong immune response in those in their 60s and 70s, something researchers have described as "encouraging".

25th November - Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announces restrictions will ease for Christmas.

26th November - England's new tier system is announced, to come into force on 2 December. 

December 2020

2nd December - The UK's independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved Pfizer and BioNTech's covid-19 vaccine, with rollout set to begin next week.

20th December - Christmas plans are changed, meaning that people who were planning to see their families now had to change their plans.

30th December - UK approves Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine.

Looking forward, we know that for the foreseeable future we will be living in a similar way in 2021. With Covid-19 case numbers on the rise in the UK, we understand that we’ll be in lockdown at least until mid-February. However, with three vaccines now available, and two in distribution there is hope. You can read more about the Covid vaccines on our news page.

What can we expect in the coming months?

BBC News reported that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that they will have vaccinated “tens of millions” of people by April. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has also said that “every adult will have been offered the coronavirus vaccine by autumn”. This estimation is ambitious but promising.  

Though the future may be promising, with Covid-19 case numbers still on the rise, there has been some indication that further restrictions to the lockdown will have to be implemented. 

As guidelines and government restrictions regarding the pandemic changing on a frequent basis, please do check the government covid-19 guidance for accurate information.

Setting achievable new years’ resolutions for 2021

Though the vaccine has brought hope, there is still uncertainty, so it seems odd to make new years’ resolutions when we are unsure what we’ll be able to do in 2021 and beyond. With that being said, we have compiled a list of very possible new years’ resolutions for everyone, so you can feel hopeful about what the future holds.

Build a better budget

You can set some budgets in order to better afford bills and other expenses, maybe even so you could save a little extra money each month. If you are working from home, you can put money aside that you may  otherwise be spending on travel. If you usually enjoy your night outs, then you may be surprised how much you have been saving or could save with many entertainment venues being closed throughout this pandemic. 

Healthy Eating: Cooking one new meal a week

It is important to try and maintain a healthy body and mind, especially when people may be experiencing elevated stress. With our daily routines being disrupted with children taking online classes to home working, it is only natural that we may be finding it harder to keep up with healthy eating habits.

Weight Watchers carried out research into how 93 days of lockdown impacted our wellbeing. One in two people (48%) said they've eaten more, and one in three (29%) said they drank more alcohol - which could explain why 42% of us claim we've put on weight. Nearly one in two people (46%) have been less active since working from home. Our mental health has also taken a hit, with 44% feeling more anxious, and 36% feeling stressed. This is just one study showing how our diet has been affected over 2020. 

If you are looking to start eating healthy, then one good new year's resolution is to try preparing a balanced, home-cooked meal once a week. You could do this on the weekends where you may have more free time. This will slowly progress your cooking skills and help you explore new tastes! It’s a hobby that can be done in the comfort of your home, helping you adhere to government guidelines, while also looking after your wellbeing. 

Take care of yourself

We’ve all heard of self care, but if any time is the moment to do it, it’s now. It is important to take care of both your physical and mental well being. With most of us spending an unusual amount of time at home, it can become difficult to balance different areas of your life. For example, work and life balance is harder for many when their work desk is just in the other room. It is hard to ‘switch off’ work mode and restrain from checking emails even after hours. Another example which many parents will be experiencing is if your children are now taking online classes, it will be harder to work, complete household chores, and take time for yourself now that there is the added responsibility of your children’s learning. These are just some examples of how it may be harder to take care of yourself and wellbeing during these times.

Even so, it is very important to take time for yourself during these busier or unusual times. If you are working from home, it may be good to ensure that you have a work desk setup in a room you do not usually use frequently. This will help you focus more during work hours as you can look at it as your ‘work office’, and when your work is done then you can leave this room helping you to ‘forget’ about what you were working on and get back to it in your next shift. Another tip is to turn off devices and work phones when your work hours have been completed, this will help keep a boundary between work and personal life.

If you have children and are finding less time for yourself at home then it may be good to try and do little self-care tasks along the way. For example, take a hot bath when possible or encourage your children to join you in your usual hobbies (such as painting together, gaming, or meditating). 

You can treat your body with care with our Vitamins and Supplements, and use any of our Healthcare products to help you take care of yourself. These can be ordered from our online pharmacy and delivered directly to your doorstep, helping you adhere to government guidelines without compromising wellbeing and self-care..

Pick Up New Hobbies

With many of us having to replace our usual outdoor activities, this new year gives you a fresh chance to pick up the hobbies you have been thinking about! For example, if you have always wanted to get into something like painting, reading, or trying out a new video game - then early 2021 is a great time to dive in! 

The new year has kicked off with another national lockdown, so we are still spending a lot of time indoors so why not try out a new hobby? We’ve all said at some point that we need to finish that book sitting on the side or pick up that guitar stood by the corner of our room, so now’s the time to do it. 

Join an online club

Though we are in lockdown, there are still many online communities you can join. Whether it’s something you are interested in, or something new you would like to try, check it out and chat to some new people with mutual interests. 

All in all, we move forward from last year with hope, knowing that better times will come which should motivate you more to set out achievable new years’ resolutions for 2021. 

Please note that this article’s content was accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (13th January 2021). Please do check the government and NHS websites for the lastest, accurate guidelines.