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THE COVIDIARIES - DAY 33 - 18th April 2020


Thank you to the lovely Estelle and Jane for continuing with our diary observation.

I have been rather tied up with himself the last couple of days, but we are finally turning a corner thanks to my wonderful daughter-in-law, who until recently was a senior A and E sister. She must be the world expert on painkillers and fortunately the doctors have been very responsive to Patrick’s, “My daughter-in-law, an A and E sister, suggests ???, what do you think?” So as of yesterday he is rattling around with twenty-six pills in his stomach in a twenty four hour period, of which only two are not painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Naproxn, tramodol, paracetamol, codeine, diazepam, (plus omnepraxole and amlopodine). I cannot believe he is on “Mother’s Little Helpers” a la the 1966 Rolling Stones’ hit song.

To cheer him up daughter-in-law sent him a parcel with two dozen layers of newspaper wrapping and in the it was a garden gnome to paint. He has just started painting it, something he would not have been able to do over the past three days. He says thank you for all your good wishes. Sorry, forget to say, the diagnosis over the telephone from the doctor is sciatica; a bad dose is the nearest a man will get to the agony of labour according to daughter-in-law.

Managed to stop the postman and get a photograph for Katie’s ”Thumbs up for the Postman,” but only wished I had made more of an effort not to look like the local bag lady. I find that day in and day out I am donning the same tatty clothes as I am going to be – gardening – feeding the horse – going for a walk – clearing out the garage, loft, cupboards – housework – cooking – ironing – laying the fire – chopping logs - and I could go on. Why would I bother to make the effort when I am not going to meet anyone? I suppose next I will be wondering how long I can go without washing my hair or plucking my eyebrows When this is all over I will open my wardrobe door and it will be like a new collection of clothes it will be so long since I have worn them. I will not even start on footware; my walking boots and plimsolls (one for Sue and Pennie) are so comfortable I could wear them to bed.

I spent a large part of this morning with one of those Christmas crackers gifts, the small kit to mend your glasses, the one you were going to throw out but stuffed it in the kitchen drawer that has the title of ‘I do not where to put this.’ See Monday 13th April’s diary. The nose piece that keeps the glasses on your nose had lost the screw, but I had found the piece of plastic. Having lost one pair of glasses at the beginning of coronavirus and knowing the attrition rate of lost glasses that I have, I knew I would have to manage fairly intense screwdriving tactics. Alas, with the screw in tweezers held by my left, shaky Parkinson’s fingers, the magnifying glass in the right hand there was nothing left to control the glasses and screwdriver and I had to call in reinforcements. My drugged up husband, who is presently away with the fairies, came to the rescue and an hour later we had managed a botched repair. A month ago I would never have thought of writing a whole paragraph on the missing screw to my spectacles!

I am really enjoying the silence, something we never hear up here. Our garden and house is permanently invaded with the sound of traffic on a non covid day, and now at the weekend there is nothing to hear but the birds, the trees creaking and the rustle of the leaves. The colour in the garden is more pronounced and the smell more enhanced that usual. Now whether that is the lack of pollution, or that our senses are becoming more attuned to nature as we slow and become more aware of the basics of life I do not know.

Books, always my favourite subject. I have just finished Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. As an ex-teacher I always feel I need to keep abreast of what the youngsters read. Before that it was Adam Kay’s ‘This is Going to Hurt. Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor,’ which was hilariously funny. I recommend ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. Well worth a read is ‘D-Day’ by Stephen E Ambrose (him of Band of Brothers fame), although non-fiction it reads like a novel and just in case we go back to Normandy, as a choir, it is mandatory historical reading. I also love revisiting my childhood companions, the ‘What Katie Did’ series and ‘Little Women’. Slow going but beautifully written is anything by Louis de Bernieres, especially ‘Birds without Wings.’ Patrick is on Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher,’ and David Baldacci, all action thrillers.

It is great to hear that the army of care workers, those that work on a pittance in our care home or tend the sick and elderly in their own homes are finally getting recognition for their sterling service in our communities. We would be unable to function without them so why are they often treated as second class citizens? They are to get priority shopping slots just like the NHS workers, which is vital as they so often are not shopping for themselves, but for those for whom they care.

Shocking news that the Church of England is not allowing priests into the hospitals to tend to the dying and seriously ill, despite many clergymen feeling that it is their duty to do so. No clergy and no last rites, not a thought to dwell on.

I have never been at a loss to find something to write about but I am starting to suffer from writer’s block and I think it is because the days are so repetitive and relentless. Also, my sense of the amusing and the funny is waning. I need a little bit of ziss in my life. However, I had to laugh while queuing at the chemist yesterday. Notice on the door, “2 persons only” and then below, “only 2 people allowed in at a time.” This was an officially printed Lloyds poster. When did person become a plural I asked myself? Bridget would say, “Does it really matter?” Yes, it bloody well does.

“Careless walk, cost lives” (Sara M. Fraser) came as a suggestion as a slogan aping WW11’s “Careless talk cost lives.”

Finally! Some crystal cut clear information found by Patrick on the internet. Follow the rules and all will be fine.!


Clarification of the lockdown rules:

1. You MUST NOT leave the house for any reason, but if you have a reason, you can leave the house.


2. Masks are useless at protecting you against the virus, but you may have to wear one because it can save lives, but they may not work, but they may be mandatory, but maybe not.

3. Shops are closed, except those shops that are open.

4. You must not go to work but you can get another job and go to work.

5. You should not go to the doctor's or to the hospital unless you have to go there, unless you are too poorly to go there.

6. This virus can kill people, but don’t be scared of it. It can only kill those people who are

vulnerable or those people who are not vulnerable. It’s possible to contain and control it, sometimes, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

7. Gloves won't help, but they can still help so wear them sometimes, or not.

8. STAY HOME, but it's important to go out.

9. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarkets, but there are many things missing.

Sometimes you won’t need loo rolls but you should buy some just in case you need some.

10. The virus has no effect on children except those children it affects.


11. Animals are not affected, but there was a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

12. Stay 2 metres away from tigers (see point 11).

13. You will have many symptoms if you get the virus, but you can also get symptoms without getting the virus, get the virus without having any symptoms or be contagious without having symptoms, or be non contagious with symptoms...it's a sort of lucky/unlucky dip.

14. To help protect yourself you should eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand as it's better not to go to the shops, unless you need toilet roll or a fence panel.

15. It's important to get fresh air but don't go to parks but go for a walk. But don’t sit down, except if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant or if you’re not old or pregnant but need to sit down. If you do sit down don’t eat your picnic, unless you've had a long walk, which you are/aren't allowed to do if you're old or pregnant.

16. Don’t visit old people but you have to take care of the old people and bring them food and medication.

17. If you are sick, you can go out when you are better but anyone else in your household can’t go out when you are better unless they need to go out.

18. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house. These deliveries are safe. But groceries you bring back to your house have to be decontaminated outside for 3 hours including frozen pizza.

19. You can't see your older mother or grandmother, but they can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver

20. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours ... or four hours...or six hours... I mean days, not hours. But it needs a damp environment. Or a cold environment that is warm and dry... in the air, as long as the air is not plastic.

21. Schools are closed so you need to home educate your children, unless you can send them to school because you’re not at home. If you are at home you can home educate your children using various portals and virtual class rooms, unless you have poor internet, or more than one child and only one computer, or you are working from home. Baking cakes can be considered maths, science or art. If you are home educating you can include household chores within their education. If you are home educating you can start drinking at 10am.

22. If you are not home educating children you can also start drinking at 10am.

23. We should stay in lock down until the virus stops infecting people but it will only stop infecting people if we all get infected so it’s important we get infected and some don’t get infected.

24. You can join your neighbours for a street party and turn your music up for an outside disco and your neighbours won’t call the police. People in another street are allowed to call the police about your music whilst also having a party which you are allowed to call the police about.

25. No business will go down due to Coronavirus except those businesses that will go down due to Coronavirus.

Hope that makes things clearer for you?

Sarah

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