Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Day 16, Week 3, of Self Isolation.

Global Cases 861.113
Global Deaths 42,382
UK Cases 25,150
UK Deaths 1,789

381 deaths in the last 24 hours, one of whom was M’s distant cousin. Biggest number so far.

I felt a bit down when I woke up this morning, but I dragged myself into the office and wrote my diary. I tidied my desk, phoned my Mum and wrote a to-do list for the rest of the day. If reading this is like watching paint dry, just imagine what it’s like living it?

The news is all about ventilators, testing and the lack of personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers on the front line. What’s going on? They can build massive new field hospitals all over the country, build thousands of new ventilators, and introduce financial support packages, the likes of which we have never seen before, but they can’t get our doctors, nurses and carers the basic equipment they need to protect themselves from infection, or test enough people to be able to manage this fight effectively.

On testing, our case fatality rate is working out at about 7% at the moment which is way higher than the suggested 1%. Of course, that’s because our denominator is rubbish and probably at least 6% smaller than it should be. An early “rough and ready” trial suggested that 85% of NHS staff, self-isolating at home because they or a family member had symptoms, tested negative and could have been at work all this time! I despair!

The GREAT news of the day was that M’s sputum specimens came back clear from pseudomonas! YEYYYYYY! He is now ready to start his long-term prophylactic antibiotics – if he can just get through to his consultant to issue the prescription. That’s proving a challenge at the moment, for obvious reasons. I just hope he gets it before he gets another infection. I know there are other big problems and pressures on the NHS right now, but if he gets another infection, or has to go back on the inhaled tobramycin, it will put even more pressure on the system. Fingers crossed we’ll hear back from them tomorrow.

There’s also a lot of talk about the loss of smell and taste as a symptom of the virus. In lots of younger, fitter people this might be their only symptom and they are happily going round spreading the virus because they don’t know they’ve had it. The sooner we get the antibody test, the better, in this respect. We could have had it and not know, and are locking our selves in the house for 12 weeks for no reason! Unlikely of course, but not impossible.

My friend and fellow writer, A, turned 70 today. She celebrated quietly at home with her husband (as if she had any alternative). I sent her an ecard and one of our friends bought her some gifts on our behalf and left them at her doorstep. A is also a brilliant proof-reader and editor. She is currently working on my novel, Wait for Me. I finished it in 2015 but have learned so much about writing since then that I want to re-write it. I’m doing it a chapter at a time and sending them to her as I finish them. On Chapter 4 of 15, at the moment.

We went on a bike ride, cooked dinner and watched War of the Worlds (the new series on Fox) and Kingdom (the 15th Century Korean zombie series).

Before I went to sleep I checked on the Ocado website again to see if I could get a slot. BOOM! Straight away it came up saying that we have Priority Access! There must be a register somewhere that they can check for “very vulnerable” people. Anyway, I’m well impressed! Placed an order for Thursday evening.

All in all a very good day!


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