I’m reading a lot on Twitter about the COVID-19, and one thing that has come up a couple of times is ‘Journal it. Write down your experiences for posterity.’ So that is what I’m doing here. At the moment, my experiences are mostly my own thoughts on what’s happening to other people.
I’ve decided to stay at home as much as I can. That has meant telling the charity shop I volunteer with that I won’t be in for the foreseeable future. I’m 58 and have asthma which – under normal circumstances – is kept under control by steroids. What we’ve got here are not normal circumstances. Given that I spent a month off work three years ago because of a chest infection that triggered the asthma, I am trying to be careful about having contact with other people. Relatively easy if you live on your own. However, since I live on my own, I have to choose when to spend time with other people. Not volunteering twice a week cuts down on that. So does not seeing friends. Staying at home finishes it off.
My human contact is social media, and phone calls.
That’s it. I’m glad I’ve got the cat for company, particularly at three in the morning when the worst thoughts crowd in.
The UK government doesn’t really seem to have a grasp of the situation, or rather it has looked at its options and chosen the cheapest, which is ‘do nothing’. What is clear is that many people don’t consider doing nothing to be a choice, and they’re quite right in that. What people decide to do, however, ranges from panic-buying bog-roll to cancelling enormous sporting events. There is a lack of leadership. There are signs that individuals and communities will organise themselves far better than the government has.
I’ve just read an article, translated from Italian, that sets out the stark choices facing the medical profession already: given that there are more people needing intensive care than there is intensive care to go round, how do you choose who gets the care they need? The answer is, you look after those most likely to survive. This is a frightful situation. I don’t know if it’s happening in the UK yet.
I haven’t got elderly relatives to worry about, thank goodness. Just myself. Realistically, when I catch COVID-19 – it’s not an if, it’s a when – my prognosis won’t be great because of existing health conditions. I just hope that if I need hospital treatment, there’s space for me.