Gef’s 2020 Yearbook: March to April


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On March 16, Chief Minister HQ sat behind a table and told residents that ‘the 2020 Isle of Man TT is cancelled’ and it finally became clear that we would not be spared from Covid-19. Just three days later, the first case was confirmed on the island and by the end of March, we would be ordered to stay at home as HQ and the Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney signed into force the Emergency Powers Act. 

Despite this, we also managed to get a lot done in March as MHKs picked four MLCs to sit in Tynwald for the next five years with Kerry Sharpe and Bill Henderson voted back into their seats, with newcomers Peter Greenhill and Robert Mercer joining the show.

Airline Flybe also became the latest business to collapse as a result of the pandemic, with the company failing as a result of crippling debts and a massive collapse in air travel.

In the UK Boris caught Covid as the UK also plunged into lockdown.

Meanwhile the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed and the world’s financial markets began to fall at a rate not seen since the financial crisis of 2008.

But across Europe, residents of all nations came together at 8pm on Thursday nights as we stood in our gardens, on our doorsteps and hung out of windows as from Madrid to Maughold we applauded the emergency service workers and medics who were battling the virus.


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Unfortunately the island found itself united in grief at the start of April as HQ and Sir Richard announced the death of the first manx resident from Covid.

We were also all concerned as HQ tested positive for Covid.

But there were signs the lockdown measures were starting to work. Gone was the hour limit to daily exercise as households could go outside for as long as they wanted, providing they only stayed within their group.

Construction workers were also allowed to go back to work, as well as gardeners and other outdoor professionals where social distancing could be carried out.

In a tragic twist to the brightening picture, the gov took over Abbotswood care home as cases of Covid continued to grow, 20 residents of the home ultimately lost their lives to the virus.

Off island the world was seemingly going further out of control as the UK was rocked by the breaking news that PM Boris Johnson had been taken firstly into hospital and then transferred into intensive care as he fought Covid. This came as New York had a higher rate of the virus than any country on earth and global cases hit one million.

Elsewhere rumours were swirling that North Korean leader Kim Jon Un had died and officials at the Pentagon released three US Navy videos which provided evidence of UFOs.