Monday, April 13, 2020, Day 29, Week 5, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

Global Cases 1,862,584
Global Deaths 114,982
UK Cases 84,279
UK New Deaths 737 Total Deaths 10,612

The beady-eyed amongst you, and anyone who reads this every day (AS IF!), will notice that I’ve missed a day and jumped from Saturday to Monday. Don’t worry, it was deliberate. As I’ve said before, I’ve been writing this retrospectively, talking on Monday about what happened on Sunday and so on, and it’s beginning to irritate me. So, as we enter our second month of isolation at the tail-end of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, it seems like as good a time as any to start writing in real time.

I don’t really know why I started doing it that way. I think it was my mild OCD kicking in. At the beginning, everything was happening so quickly that I wanted it to be an accurate record of developments as and when they happened, and a record of what the impact of it all on the day to day lives of an ordinary middle aged couple would be. I planned to take notes  on everything that happened on one day, and then write about it, at my leisure, the day after.

But, as time drags on it’s beginning to feel like wading through treacle. The daily announcements of numbers of dead and diseased are made. The same questions are asked and the same speculative non-answers are given. We do less and less everyday as we sleep-walk through the limbo of waiting. There is nothing of real interest anymore to note down one day and write up the next. Nothing except waking, waiting, reading, waiting, thinking, waiting, watching, waiting, talking, listening, waiting, sleeping, waiting eating, waiting, drinking waiting, waiting, waiting. The reality is, that all we are really doing is waiting.

It is slowly beginning to sink that we might be waiting for much longer that most people. We could be waiting for a very long time, months maybe even years.

This thing isn’t going to go away overnight. At the end of the 12 weeks that M has been advised to shield himself for, we aren’t just going to walk out of our front door and pick up where we left off. We won’t be able to travel, go to pubs, restaurants, the cinema or the theatre, or resume our face-to-face business activities and spend time with family and friends, until we know it is safe for him to do so. Otherwise, what would have been the point of doing what we are doing now?

I made the mistake of reading an article last night, about the Spanish Flu in 1918. Mainly to see how long it lasted and how it ended. Admittedly, there were multiple factors at play that do not apply now, not least of which was the fact that much of the world was in the end stages of a devastating world war! Science was not as well developed and most people were not as  “healthy” to start with, as they are today. Nevertheless, I was appalled to read that the virus took two years to run its course, in three waves with a second wave was more deadly than the first. By the time it was over, estimates suggest that it killed between 50 and 100 million people.

It’s highly unlikely that this virus will be anything like that, so much is different and so much has been learned since then. However, there are war and famine ravaged places in the world, where experts are afraid about what might happen should the virus take hold there.

The most likely exit scenario for M and I is, that when they develop a reliable antibody test, we may be able to interact with people who have proven immunity, in our home or possibly even in theirs.

The only way we will be able to properly break our own isolation, is when an effective vaccine is available and M can have access to it. That may not be until the Autumn this year at the earliest.

We are pretty good on our own. We’re pretty good at waiting. We don’t really get bored or fed-up. We enjoy each others company. We can always find things to do. But, I am aware that we are being very unproductive as we wait. Let’s be honest, we are being quite lazy and self-indulgent.

We’ve decided this morning, that this month we are going to try and be better at waiting, to find a way to be more productive. We both agree that we need to be more disciplined and structured in terms of how we spend our time. I have a couple of writing projects on the go that I could easily finish if I just put my mind to it. M thinks we should spend more time on the business, developing our off-the-shelf workshops, writing articles for the news/blog and exploring what we can do virtually.

So, from tomorrow, my new routine should look something like this:

Spend a day a week focussing on one of the following:

  • Wait for Me – the second edit of my first novel
  • Rachel’s Story – the biography project
  • Keyways Consulting – (our business) workshops and news/blog articles
  • General Writing – short story competitions, Writers Group homework and critiques, my blog etc.
  • Ad Hoc activities such as Accounts and Admin etc.

My new daily schedule should look something like this:

  • Up, showered and dressed by 9!
  • Write this blog between 9 and 10 while M does his workout.
  •  WORK between 10 and 12
  •  Lunch 12 till 1
  • WORK between 1 and 4
  • Bike Ride or Walk 4 till 5
  • Cool-down, rehydrate and watch the news between 5 and 6
  • Cook between 6 and 7
  • Eat between 7 and 8
  • TV
  • Bed

I’m not going to be ridiculously rigid about it, but it should mean that I get a good amount of work done in two chunks before and after lunch each day.

On Saturdays we are going to do some cleaning and jobs around the house and garden, rewarding ourselves with a “lazy” day on Sundays.



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