The Covid-19 Diaries: Day 6

First Weekend under Lockdown

Truthfully, today’s been like pretty much any other Saturday for me as I love nothing more than pottering about the house and garden on my days off, enjoying the peace and quiet in my own little kingdom where (mostly!) I am the boss.

I imagine it will have been much harder for those who like to maybe hit the shops at the weekend, catch up with friends, maybe watch a football match and have a few cheeky ones down the pub. Or for those that would normally be at work on a Saturday or visiting family.

This could be a real opportunity for us all to find different ways of entertaining ourselves, indoors for a change, if we’re not used to doing it. So far today I’ve cleaned out the garage, watched the live-action Lady and the Tramp Disney film, played a board game, played a bit of PS4, had a few rounds of German and Spanish on Duolingo and knocked out a blog post. Maybe time to just chill in bed for a bit and watch the Netflix documentary series everyone’s talking about, Tiger King.

I’m actually feeling really grateful today that, even in the middle of a global historic event, the like of which I don’t think I’ve seen before in my lifetime, it is still possible to have a normal, relatively uneventful day. Yes, there is still this awful virus sweeping the world, harming and even killing those it comes into contact with and sadly, it’s likely to still do so for some time yet. We cannot change that – other than by following government orders in an effort to minimise its reach.

For now, I’m happy to take the quiet, uneventful days where I can as it’s in doing so that I hope to have the strength to face the harder days that I’m sure are to come, if and when this disease affects me and those I care about on a personal level.

Now, if only I can remember how much I’ve enjoyed this family time today the next time they are all driving me mad!

The Covid-19 Diaries: Day 5

Coronavirus Infiltrates Downing Street

Breaking news today was that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, have both tested positive for Covid-19 after displaying symptoms of the illness, with England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, also said to be symptomatic. Probably not a great sign for the rest of us then.

On a personal level though, today was a far better day with it being results day for the further education law students I teach across A-Level and Degree Level qualifications, all achieving a 100% pass rate and a good portion of those actually obtaining distinctions. Proud tutor moment!!

Today was the first day of the year when I actually took my yoga practice outdoors into the back garden to make the most of the glorious sunshine. Feeling the warm sun whilst listening to birds singing makes it such a different experience to indoor yoga that I’d quite forgotten how much I’d missed it through the colder months.

Finished knitting the Easter Bunny for my eldest, Chloe all ready to make another one for Mia tomorrow.

My husband, Lee, went and did the weekly shop and had to do the whole queuing outside and being restricted to a certain number of items once inside. Nothing over the top mind – it just seems having chicken nuggets and chicken burgers is frowned upon currently! All in a good cause so I’m sure we’ll make it through the week without the burgers!

The lockdown restrictions are now noticeably being enforced with someone Lee works with having a family member fined for being outside inappropriately. Hopefully, the message starts to get through but I don’t know. Unbelievably people are still having BBQs on Winter Hill in Bolton, leading to a fire up there today, which our already overstretched emergency services had to then deal with. I’m almost praying for a change in the weather just to keep the selfish ones in.

We’ve big plans for tomorrow – clearing out the garage! To be honest, one of the real positives of this situation is that it’s forcing us to crack on with jobs we’d normally procrastinate about just to stave off the boredom. I’m a real homebody anyway with too many hobbies to fit into one day as it is, but I think Lee and the kids are already starting to climb the walls.

Myself, I’m quite ready for the Rise of the Introverts…

The Covid-19 Diaries: Day 4

Clapping for our Carers

Yesterday I said that I hoped today would be quieter and it was. When I went for a walk this evening after finishing work, it was eerily quiet. I don’t know if it was just because I didn’t take the dog with me tonight (who, frankly, is starting to look as though she’s been walked within an inch of her life), so it was just me and my thoughts, or it genuinely was quieter than it has been the last few days.

As I started my walk, I saw a police car doing the rounds which isn’t that common a sight where I live. And even though it was my one and only time out of the house all day, I felt nervous and guilty to be out – especially without the dog. Whenever I did see anyone else out getting their daily dose of exercise, we were crossing the road to keep our distance. I even saw a delivery driver dropping off food at someone’s house, gloved up, mask on. It all made me feel incredibly sad. This lockdown thing suddenly feels real.

But there were positives in my day too. On my walk, so many children (ours included), have painted or drawn rainbows and put them in their windows as a symbol of hope. Then, just now, as part of the Clap for our Carers Campaign for our fantastic NHS workers, looking after so many of us now in our hour of need despite the significant risk to themselves, all my neighbours, me and my girls, everyone up and down the country on our doorsteps or at our windows/balconies, to say a heartfelt thank you and to stand in solidarity with them as they work tirelessly to pull us through this crisis.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/26/thank-nhs-tonights-clap-carers/

So whilst the novelty of lockdown wears off and the serious reality of the situation begins to dawn on me, I do feel very emotional this evening. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by this feeling so as I type I’m listening to Disney songs and planning on knitting a bunny – it is almost Easter after all.

If Disney’s finest and bunnies can’t cheer me up, maybe there is no hope!

The Covid-19 Diaries: Day 3

On Lockdown – with a Mouse!

If I thought Day 2 started strangely with a text message from the Government, Day 3 of Lockdown was about to knock my socks off. One minute I was sat chatting away to my 8-year old daughter, the next minute she was screaming “Mouse, mouse!!” as we both screamed and jumped on the couch – talk about a wake-up call.

Luckily, later on when we checked some traps we had put down when we thought we might have a little visitor a few weeks ago, there it was, large as life, ready for the husband to be a hero and release it safely into the wild. I’m still not 100% comfortable being sat in the living room on my own – just in case it had a friend!

The good run of weather has continued so after getting the usual times tables, Education City app, reading and spellings out of the way, the kids were more than happy to sunbathe in the garden. Time for a science lesson – I know they’ve been studying vertebrates and invertebrates so we made a list and they poked about the garden together looking for different bugs. It was on the list of things to do sent home by the school so she can build on this topic tomorrow by drawing and labelling a poster about her findings. Still learning but keeping it fun.

After school, a couple of parents had come up with the idea of a video call between the children in Year 3, using Zoom. It was actually really nice to hear how excited they were just to touch base with each other again. For the first 5 minutes or so all you could hear was them shouting “Hi!” to each other 🙂

Then, finished work to find out that the Prince of Wales has been diagnosed with Coronavirus – this thing really could alter the course of history now the heir to the throne is infected. Crazy times.

So what with mice, plagues and historical moments all happening at once, today had something of a biblical feel to it to say the least.

I’m looking forward to a quieter day tomorrow…!

The Covid-19 Diaries: Day 1

Surviving the Outbreak

As I write this, technically the UK is not yet on lock-down, although an announcement on tougher measures is expected within the next 30 minutes. Personally, I welcome it. Some people simply cannot or will not follow basic, straightforward advice even when it is for their own good.

I count today as Day 1 of Covid-19 as, for me, this was Day 1 of “home-schooling” whilst also working from home.

I’m lucky enough to work from home at least 3 out of 5 days of the week anyway so that side of things have been easy enough for me. What I have seen change in, however, is how my contacts are having to quickly adapt to an ever-changing situation, many of whom were not equipped to begin working from home at all, never mind with the speed that the urgency of the situation requires. That of course is affecting my job as every meeting I’ve got booked in is quickly being cancelled on me even though I’m ready and able to go ahead remotely. For now, I’ve plenty of work to be getting on with that, actually, a few cancelled/postponed meetings are really, in the grand scheme of things, a bit of a blessing in disguise.

Home-schooling though – that’s a whole different breed when combined with me actually trying to work as well. My eldest is 18 so obviously not an issue; the 8-year old is generally pretty easy going too but needs a fair bit of guidance on tasks. We’ve put together a weekly timetable based on a homework grid issued by the school so today we had:

  • Walk the dog (just like we do before school every morning – bit of exercise to start the day!);
  • Times Table Rockstars (app recommended by the school);
  • Reading (Mia actually chose one of my books from when I was a kid, Tales of Mr Pink-Whistle by Enid Blyton);
  • We tried another school recommended app – Education City – but that wasn’t accessible, presumably because we were all trying to access it at once!
  • Instead looked at Rocks & Minerals with Mia before packing her off to the garden to see what different rock types she could find – igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic!
  • Spellings – had a look to see what typical Year 3 spellings we could focus on this week and decided on the -ing suffix words e.g. “come” to “coming” and even threw in “accidentally” to keep it interesting, clapping out the syllables to try to help with this one!
  • My Maths app – money: adding pence and pounds;
  • Be Kind story on YouTube followed by writing a song/poem or rap! Think I impressed her with my rapping skills!

Obviously plenty of breaks and lunch and snacks thrown in for her. For me, I had to fit this in round my working day which then meant a late finish for me. Luckily her dad will be off work from Wednesday for a few days which will be a big help.

There were definitely times today though that I felt like breaking down, so if you’re feeling that way too, you’re not alone.

I’m not easily freaked out by things like this and I know that if we all follow the advice, stay home as much as possible, wash our hands frequently throughout the day, exercise and look after each other, we will all pull through this. But it’s scary. I don’t remember a time in living memory for me that something affected the world on this scale. More frighteningly still, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen governments looking so scared – and that’s what makes me most worried, because we know there’ll be things that they aren’t telling us.

And for good reason – just look at how daft we behave when we are frightened, hoarding and panic-buying! It reminds me of the film, Men in Black, when Will Smith’s character asks Tommy Lee Jones’ character why the government doesn’t just tell people about the aliens, saying that, “People are smart”. Tommy Lee Jones’ character corrects him saying:

“A person is smartpeople are dumb”

Agent K (Men in Black)

Mob mentality and scarcity fear takes over when people are afraid as we have seen across the world since this pandemic really took off.

I don’t know what is worse right now – mob panic or the ignorant few who flout the rules and are out socialising despite clear and basic guidance not to.

I’ll try to add a daily post each day; if nothing else, it will be interesting to look back on one day as we are living a moment in history that will not easily be forgotten for some time. Let’s make our future selves proud guys 🙂