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THE COVIDIARIES - Day 11 - Friday 27th March

As I write this diary I am digesting the news that, not only have a further 181 people died in the UK, but also that our PM, Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary, Matt Hancock have, today, both tested positive, this in addition to yesterday’s news that Prince Charles had also been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. This vile disease does not discriminate and the need for social distancing remains crucial.

The Batchelor boys and I are doing fine. I’m proud to say that Tom continues to work the night shift in Tesco alongside our very own Choir “Groupie”, George Scott – Nicky and I were both delighted to receive flowers last week – Tom admitted that they were free, I wonder whether George also did? Josh is adjusting to being taught in a virtual classroom, it’s vital that he keeps on top of his studies because we understand that there won’t be time in the GCSE course to “catch up” with the curriculum for those who haven’t carried out the set work over this period of home schooling.

Andy is, questionably, classed as an essential worker and now travels every other day to teach Qatari Air Force students in helicopter handling and operation at Newquay Airport. He has had a successful week campaigning for his company to issue PPE and testing kits, both still to arrive, but at least the management, in their isolated, home working bliss, are now taking notice. It is virtually impossible to maintain the two metre rule in the back of a helicopter, yet until now, no precautions had been taken.

At 20.00hrs last night we opened our front door to join with our neighbours for the “Clap for NHS Workers” tribute here in Fremington. I was astounded by the number of people clapping and cheering to show appreciation for the frontline healthcare workers that have been putting their lives on the line while they help to fight the outbreak in the UK. I couldn’t have anticipated how emotional this would make me feel, people pulling together instead of apart in an ever shifting world. Sarah expressed her gratitude to Jo for continuing to care for her father and regularly giving him the hugs he so looks forward to! Vanessa is grateful for the carers looking after her mum.

Mostly, I feel that I’m coping “OK” with our situation and to be honest my life hasn’t changed as much as most. I work from home anyway, so ordinarily spend much of my time here, and I love being in the home we have created. Saying that there’s not much I wouldn’t do for a Caffe Nero skinny cappuccino (with sprinkles) right now. We’re fortunate to have space. We each have our own areas (no, mine isn’t just the kitchen) where we can retreat to for a bit of quiet “me-time”. Katie posted a series of coloured hearts as a way of thinking about how you’re feeling. A red heart (Rachel S was the only person to post this) indicates “I’m doing great” (maybe it’s time to retire Rachel) there are several in between with the black heart at the bottom of the list – “someone please reach out to me”. The majority indicated “I’m OK” (blue heart). Katie – please post this again in a week’s time to see if there’s any change. It’s really important to keep talking ladies, share your feelings, there is always someone listening on our Choir page.

Knowing that I was due to guest write this entry today I asked everyone to think about the positives to come out of the situation we have found ourselves in. There are three overwhelming trends:

Family time – it seems that we are all enjoying spending enforced time with our families (and pets, Lara and “Banshee” mentioned by name), preparing and eating meals together, chatting and playing games. Even those families who cannot be together are making more of an effort to keep in touch via FaceTime, WhatsApp and telephone. Knowing that our loved ones, at home with us, elsewhere in the Country or oversees, are safe and healthy is the most important thing to us all

Location – we all agree that we’re tremendously blessed to live in such a fabulous part of the Country and are all able to take our “daily exercise quota” in some beautiful areas without having to drive (which is fortuitous, as this is now forbidden)

Weather – Seemingly endless blue skies, wonderful sunsets and crisp cold mornings have all helped to ease us through this first week of staying at home as Rachel H said “spring has not been cancelled” and the birds continue to sing and go about building their nests. We have all appreciated being outside for our daily exercise in this beautiful weather and our gardens have never been so well maintained, lawns are manicured and bushes immaculately trimmed! For Beth, being outside, whilst making essential calls to HMRC and the bank for advice about her Childcare business has lessened the blow of such a worrying time for her

Rachel S and Sue T seem to be planning a head to head in piano play offs – we’ve yet to see your effort online Sue – has Colin been busy?

Tracey, Jenny, Karen (and kids) and Beth are enjoying getting out to run (only once a day though)

· Karen has been “life modelling”!!!

· Shona’s treating every night like a weekend and familiarising herself with alcohol, any alcohol

· Katie is grateful and relieved that her surgery went well and she is on the road to recovery with her husband home on leave to help out

· Pennie is taking comfort in her church and her beliefs

I’ll end my diary entry now, and for those who are still reading, stay safe and look after each other. I’m looking forward to seeing you all on Zoom again on Tuesday.


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