I started my diaries on March 17th 2020 on Day 2. This was a Tuesday and the second day I’d kept the children off school. In fact, we had not been out all weekend so me and the kids have currently not left our homes for 21 Days today. I want to keep this as an accurate diary of the times spent at home so I’m going to add these two extra days on and call this Day 21. That’s 3 weeks of staying home.
I wish I could say this was accurate for the entire family but my daughter continued working for the NHS up until 3 days ago. And now Graham is the only one who leaves the house. Eldest son last went out on 14th March so he’s been home for 20 days, just one day less.
It still feels like early days. I’d love to be able to celebrate that we would be unlikely to get the virus now because of staying home, but it’s never going to be a certainty.
My daughter didn’t want to give up work, I didn’t want her too. But with the risk assessment from passing the virus on to our family her employer’s made the decision for her and she’s been given 12 weeks leave. She works for the NHS at the Children’s hospital and in a sterile environment. But, even though fewer children are affected badly by the virus, they are still carriers and it’s less likely that they, or any of the staff working with them, will be tested anytime soon. So for the safety of our family, my daughter is no longer working. And this has upset her greatly. All non urgent operations are being cancelled anyway, but she still felt like she was doing her part, and now she doesn’t. In fact, I could tell how upset she was when we went outside to clap for the NHS workers on Thursday as she doesn’t feel part of the ‘force’ anymore. And of course, I carry that guilt being the sickest person in this house.
Or should I say ‘innacurate information.’ There is so much information out there and it’s hard to say what is accurate and what isn’t. People are scared and being scared makes them spread things that may not be true. I have noticed these ‘fake’ information messages becoming fewer on Social Media. Maybe, there is someone out there stopping them spreading, or maybe people have grown scared or even clever enough not to spread them?
We don’t even know if the government are giving us accurate information. There was a big uproar the other day when The Secretary for Health, Matt Hancock announced on television that there was a shortage of reagents for making tests. This was immediately counteracted by the manufacturer of these reagents that there were plenty but the government hadn’t requested them. What/ who do we believe?
We are now required to use common sense to stay alive and safe during this pandemic. Work out what works best for you and stick to the rules. Stay home, stay away from other people, and if you, or any member of your family get sick this is a million times more important. Don’t just think of yourself, think of others.
Children are less likely to get sick or die, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t. This week we have seen more young people without underlying health conditions die. They may not be the same in number as the elderly or vulnerable, but it still happens.
I think sunny days are the worst. People are just itching to get outside, it’s natural. Especially in a country that doesn’t get many sunny days. We live in a city suburb and the urge to escape to somewhere more open spaced is very attractive. It can feel very enclosed and suffocating. However, even though a short drive would take us to the edge of the city and the country side, is it worth the risk of taking the car. What if we have an accident, the emergency services are already stretched to their limit. And as a family that has endured two quite bad car accidents in the past couple of years (one involving fire engines and trips to hospital in an ambulance,) it does make you think twice.
Then, what if everyone else has the same idea and social distancing becomes a problem? This is exactly what happened just a couple of weeks ago the last time we had some sunshine.
The message is clear, stay home! Or at the very least, stay local.
I am lucky enough to be registered already at our regular supermarket, Sainsburys, as a vulnerable customer. Which means, after a bit of a tricky start, shopping delivery has become a lot easier. I am getting a lot of substitutions and many things missing from the shop, but at least we have food.
Now we have only one person who needs to leave the house and that’s Graham. I wish he didn’t have to, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. The other day we lost 3 light bulbs at the same time which meant a trip to the local shop. He has also had to visit the post office, and the cashpoint as well as put a little petrol in the car (Yay, we are saving a small fortune on petrol though, there are some advantages!)
I have decided that we need to increase our safety and Graham will not only be washing his hands when he returns, he will be changing his clothes which will be washed immediately. It sounds crazy, but I’m determined to keep us safe.
We open our post then dispose of the envelopes and wash our hands.
We open the door to deliveries and the driver stands at the end of the drive to make sure we are picking up the parcel. There are no signing of devices required.
Repeat prescriptions are made online or by telephone and then the pharmacy is called in advance so they can be ready for Graham to pop in quickly and pick them up. We can’t have delivery because of the nature of the drugs on prescription. Although, I think that might now be allowed, I’ll have to check.
Maybe Interesting Times is a little tame as a description, but it’s a little nod to the great, late Sir Terry Pratchett.
These are indeed interesting times. The whole world seems affected by this crazy virus known as COVID-19 and no-one really knows what is going on. Some countries seem to have it under control and the number of cases are dropping, but that is very few and there are many more which are going to suffer much more. As we watch it ravage Europe, each country seems to get it worse than the last. Then there is the beginning of the attack on the U.S. How bad will that be? Third World Countries will find it extremely hard to cope.
How much of the world’s population will survive this?
As a family we are coping really well. I was ill a week before the official closure of schools so I decided to keep the kid’s off. It couldn’t have been COVID-19. I actually had a GP appointment and she checked me over giving me a diagnosis of a virus, but no treatment. I had a sore throat, tight chest and had lost my voice, and my appetite. But I wasn’t really that sick, I’d only gone as I’ve had pneumonia before and it started the same way. Luckily, I recovered. I had a relapse a week later but it wasn’t so bad. Now, I’m just back to my usual every day pains.
The kids have all had colds, but that’s all they’ve been. So much sneezing it’s been unreal, but they have all used tissues, binned them and washed their hands on a very regular basis. We have all had a few tummy issues as well, but sadly that’s another issue that we are used to.
It’s now the weekend, and officially the Easter holidays. It’s crazy but when I first started keeping them off school, Easter seemed like such a long time away, but it’s come around quickly. Will the Summer holiday’s arrive so quickly? We have had mixed results with school work. The girls have completed bits and pieces online and I managed to persuade Star to complete one of her art pieces. The Little Man has been working with me and we have worked hard but he’s still not caught up with everything that’s been set by the school.
Star needs structure, the proper teachers and needs to be in the right environment to work. The Little Man needs structure, encouragement and help. Boo needs more time to chat with her friends on her phone that she does doing work. They are all very different and I’m trying not to stress about how much they are missing, because a lot of kids will be the same.
We are all in This Together
Remember, be kind to one another. Be kind to key workers, to those that are keeping the country ticking over while this is going on. Be nice to shopworkers, delivery people, rubbish collectors, cleaners, carerers and anyone who works in our amazing NHS no matter what their job.
Be kind to people you meet if you have to go out, don’t stand chatting chatting, keep your distance.
We are all going to be touched by this pandemic, everyone is feeling the same. Those who are lonely feel even more alone, those in large families feel the need to escape even more. It’s tough for us all, so please, just be kind. Accurate information is hard to find so please don’t share things you are not sure of.