Thursday, March 26, 2020, Day 11, Week 2, of Self Isolation.

Global Cases 537,017
Global Deaths 24,117
UK Cases 11,811
UK Deaths 578

Woke at 4am again but managed to go straight back to sleep until 7.30am Great! It makes such a difference to how the day pans out if I get a decent nights sleep.

We had another yoga session. I enjoyed it a bit more this time because I was more psychologically prepared.

Spent the morning writing. I worked on this journal and my biography project again.

I did a bit of reading. I’m reading a Dean Koontz at the moment, called Breathless. I haven’t read a book by him for many, many years. I used to love his work when I was young. I’m not sure now. He’s clearly very successful but the writing style is very “best-seller” and not my cup of tea to be honest. The plot is interesting however, and I’m going to persevere.

My friend messaged me in the morning to say that, just as she thought she was over the virus, it seems to have come back with a vengeance. She’s having chills and aches and pains again and has had to go back to her bed. There are lots of accounts like this circulating. People who have had it for a week and seemed to get better before being hit again and again by waves of new symptoms. One guy in our village, who has been sharing his experience in social media, is on day 16. He’s had good days and bad days and now seems to have lost his sense of smell and taste. When people get it badly, it seems to be a really nasty little bugger!

M has still not had a letter saying he is in the “highly vulnerable” group. but, as his nurse said, we shouldn’t put any store on that and carry on doing what we are doing. I’m not sure I’d want him to be “officially” in that group anyway. The guidance is far more stringent than what we are doing. It suggests that we should be living in seperate rooms, using separate bathrooms and cooking separate meals. No way are we going to do that! I’m confident that what we are doing is enough to protect him.

I popped round to our local Tesco for a few bits. Things had improved considerably since my last visit. A lady at the door was regulating who came in and out and making sure we all kept 2 metres apart. They provided alcohol and tissues to clean basket handles and there was a security guard outside. At the counter, the floor was marked out with tape to ensure the cashier was protected. I put my basket down and stepped back behind the line while she put the stuff through and packed it. Then she stepped away while I paid with contactless and picked it up. It all felt very calm and well-organised. Still no bread so I bought some yeast to go with the flour I got from my Ocado delivery!

When I got back I used some of the yeast and flour to make some cinnamon buns!

IMG_4956[20611]

It’s yet another sunny spring day! We went out for a bike ride again in the afternoon. I can feel myself getting fitter already! We’ve only been doing a couple of miles or so, down to a nearby pub and back. Next week I’m going to ramp it up to a five mile circuit.

M cooked and after dinner we went outside the front door for the NHS Clap.

At 8pm, the country was encouraged to go outside onto doorsteps, balconies or at open windows and clap and cheer to show our support for the NHS, and all the carers, working so hard and putting themselves at risk for the rest of us.

I was dubious about whether people would do this in our street. Our neighbours on the left, are both hospital doctors with a young family. A divorced GP lives opposite us with his children. They weren’t going to come out an clap for themselves? The couple who live on our right keep themselves to themselves in normal times. He chats to M from time to time and, by all accounts, she has been in lockdown for weeks. She is a diabetic and has had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome over the past few years. She’s very fearful of catching the virus. I haven’t set eyes on her for weeks. Another hospital doctor and his family live further down, and next door to them are a family who only moved in a few days ago.

So, when we opened the door and stepped outside at 8pm on the dot, and the sound of clapping and cheering echoed round the village, my skin tingled with emotion. Windows were opening all down the street. People were hanging out of them, cheering and clapping. As expected, our immediate neighbors didn’t come out, but a lot of people did.

Yes, it was for the NHS and the care workers, but it felt as if it was about more than that. We are all shut up in our houses and generally only speaking to people on the phone or by video call. When we go out shopping and to exercise, other than a smile, we tend to avoid interactions of any other kind. We are all dealing with this situation pretty much in isolation. This felt different. It felt as if we were all in it together somehow, all connecting emotionally for a moment, in the middle of the most bizarre and frightening experience we have ever had, and hopefully will ever have, in our lifetimes.

For me though, clapping for the NHS was a tad ironic from a country that has failed to support the health service and its staff for years, happy to vote in governments time after time,  that underpaid and undervalued its staff and underfunded the service. It’s not enough! Just saying.

The big news of the day was that the government has announced its support package for the self-employed. My basic understanding is that, through HMRC,  people will be paid 80% of their average profits of the last three years, if these profits are under up £50,000 if their income from self-employment is their main income. I probably won’t get anything, as I only set up as self-employed a year ago and my pension (although small) has been my main source of income as I have tried to build up my business. M on the other hand should be eligible for some support.

London hospitals are reported to be experiencing a tsunami of COVID-19 cases. It sounds as though the worst is very much still to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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