Covid19UK day 78

UK Covid figures 30th May cases 271,222 deaths 38,161 recovered N/A

UK Covid figures 30 May

I’m starting to go stir crazy. Cabin fever. I’ve been up to the allotment this morning – although that’s its own form of stress at the moment – and I go shopping each week, but that’s the limit of my journeys out. Even dog walking has dropped to a minimum as it’s so hot all the time.

I’d like to go out. But not enough to risk my life for it. Because everyone else will be out. They’ll all be crowding into the shops, cluttering the beaches, taking up space. And I don’t value my space enough to demand it, against everyone else’s needs, and I don’t consider my need important enough (yet) to take the risk of getting close to other people.

So once again I’ll spend the weekend sewing, although this time it’s aprons rather than scrubs, and I’m more in control of the project. And I’ll try to get some writing done. And once again I’ll go nowhere.

At least I got out running twice this week – as part of an online running group, we’re doing a virtual relay race, with each team having one runner a day running as far as they can in 19 minutes (for the Covid19), with a tally being kept of total distance per team, so that’s getting me out and exercising more than I have been. I must keep it up now.

I barely look at the death toll anymore. The government have got their wish – it’s ripping through the older generation, those retired and living on pensions, so at least they won’t have that financial burden when the brexit wave hits us. And they’re lifting restrictions so that more people can get back to work, even though that means that the virus will spread quickly again and more people will die.

I feel insignificant, unvalued, powerless.

I feel like I’m strapped into a plane heading for the side of a cliff.

And the USA is just a complete nightmare. I can’t imagine what it must be like over there. Our leader is incompetent. Theirs is dangerously out of control.


Covid19UK Day 75

UK covid cases 27 May 265,227 deaths 37,048 recovered N/A

UK Covid figures 27 May 2020

There’s a batch of cheesy biscuits in the oven. There’s a homebaked loaf of bread waiting for lunch. I’ve finished my box of scrubs apart from labelling for size and packing them up – a friend did two sets and has a third to work on.

I have bags of donated material in the kitchen for aprons for the school, and I’m picking away at that in breaks, so far just working out my strategy and what material to use.

I’ve been through my old patterns, and am considering using our old bedding to make another shirt – I made one before, as my first proper project when I got my machine, and it’s done apart from button holes and buttons but it’s a little messy. I’d like another go, now that I have so much more experience.

The world is starting to wake from its nap. The daily numbers are falling. The Cummings fiasco has many people abandoning the rules completely, and I feel their frustration, but I don’t feel the danger has passed yet. We’ve yet to see what the effect will be of the opening up of more facilities, and with the schools due to open more next week and shops to open a couple of weeks after that, there’s still a long way to go.

But personally I’ve come to terms with things, I think. Yes, there’s a risk of serious illness or death. But that’s a risk we face every day anyway, and thankfully we’re able to avoid the worst of the risky situations. I went shopping yesterday, and I bought a dress while I was there. I don’t think I’ve worn a dress since I was in maternity dresses – and not even then for my third pregnancy – but I’ve been thinking about it lately, and decided that there’s no point in staying stuck in my rut because I’m too worried about making a change. So I got a sundress, and I wore it for the rest of the day, and it was cool and pleasant and comfortable.

And so we go on, and I feel that the pandemic has maybe made me a little bolder, a little more conscious of my life passing by and a little more determined to make the best of what time I have.

I’m doing more writing, and trying to focus on using my writing as a coping mechanism for stress. I’m claiming things for myself more, rather than always giving way to others. I’m hoping to use this time as a kickstart to a better version of my life.

But I won’t be going out in crowds anytime soon.


Covid19UK day 72

UK covid cases 257,154 deaths 36,675 recovered N/A

Uk Covid figures 24 May

Time has ceased to carry meaning. The days churn on but the weeks don’t change. We’re into week 11 now of our lockdown – 10 weeks after the official lockdown. Arguments are raging as to how far it’s safe to go on easing restrictions. Government officials seem to think the restrictions don’t have anything to do with them anyway. It feels like half the country is desperate to get out there while the other half is still content to remain isolated.

Yesterday I did a volunteering duty for the local council, delivering supply parcels to vulnerable residents. It got me out and about and visiting various areas of the town, as well as driving into Canterbury for the first time since that very first shopping trip a couple of months ago, at the point when the shortage was of toilet paper rather than breadmaking ingredients.

I’m still ploughing my way through these scrubs, with two more full sets to do and two sets of trousers to finish off. I’m collecting in aprons for the school next door, and eagerly looking forward to the point when the scrubs are done and I can join the apron makers.

It’s half term next week, and then supposedly more of the kids are back in school. There are divided opinions as to whether it’s safe. As far as I’m concerned, it’s too late now – if lockdown had been earlier and tougher, we might have been able to stop things in their tracks, but now it’s embedded in the community and whatever we do will lead to problems – whether that’s due to the disease spreading and causing more deaths, fear of using the opened-up resources or stagnation because the businesses can’t operate.

We seem to operate on the belief that society should be fair and just, and our leaders accountable, but I don’t think things have ever been that way – rulers have always been able to misuse their power. There has always been a gap between rich and powerful and poor and weak. Despite the fact that there are plenty of resources in this world for everyone, there are still those clinging desperately onto whatever they can gain at the expense of those around them.

All we can do is work in our own small corner. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Although sometimes all the candle does is emphasise the depth of the darkness.

It’s a bank holiday weekend, so I’ve still got tomorrow to spend as I wish, although these days that tends to translate to spending at the sewing machine. Why am I always so quick to offer my services to others, and reluctant to take time for myself?

Writing group tomorrow night, so I need to spend some time on looking at the submissions, although this will be the smallest of the groups I attend, so it should be a fairly short meeting. And I need to start focusing on using my writing as my escape. This means giving regular time and effort to it, and accepting it as important.

I also want to increase the exercise. I’ve signed up to a running project that means that on Friday I need to get my running shoes on for the first time since that last parkrun before lockdown.

And at some stage, I need to either hack off my hair myself or get hubby to do it for me. If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
it were done quickly.

In other words, if I’ve made up my mind it’s got to happen, what’s the point in waiting? I’m not going to be rushing off to the hairdresser as soon as they’re open, anyway.


Covid19UK day 69

UK Covid cases 248,293 deaths 35,704 recovered N/A

UK Covid figures 21 May

I think I might have got the count muddled over the past few days! But tomorrow will mark 10 weeks since hubby announced he was working from home, and since the PM suggested people avoid places like pubs but failed to officially close them. The official lockdown came the following week, but we stayed home on that first week voluntarily.

Numbers have settled now – the numbers of new cases seems to be slowing, and the death rate is dropping. But with things easing and people relaxing and going out more I can’t see that will remain the case. Thankfully, we’re in a position to continue with the isolation for the most part, so can at least avoid being part of the problem.

I’m still sewing scrubs in my spare time, and collecting material donations for aprons for the local school. I’ll be onto sewing those as soon as this box of scrubs is done.

I’m still attending writing group meetings every week – a different project each time – so have at least a regular commitment to writing. Yesterday I finally posted the last chapter of my Lucifer fanfic, although it’s supposed to be the first of a trilogy, so I’d like to start working on part 2.

Generally, I need to make the most of my time. I have a lot of work on the books at the moment, which should keep me busy during the day, and all the baking, sewing and writing will fill the rest of my time.

I did some exercise this morning, the first time in ages I’ve managed two sessions in a week, so I’m pleased over that. Changing the first session of the week to Monday before shopping instead of on Tuesday seems to have worked.


Covid19UK day 68

Uk covid cases 246,406 deaths 34,796 recovered N/a

UK covid figures 19th May

There’s a fresh loaf of bread cooling on the side. The dog is enjoying glorious sunshine in the garden, after having an early morning walk. There are definitely upsides to life under lockdown.

But there’s still a lot of uncertainty. In some ways, it’s getting harder. At the beginning of lockdown, we were just riding it out. But now discussions are being held on how to move forward – how to create our new world that exists alongside a dangerous virus.

It will be different. So much of the old life took for granted the ability to move among others, to meet in large groups, to enjoy freedom. But now a lot of that risks exposing us to an infection that behaves very differently with different people – some don’t even notice they have it, or have very mild symptoms, while others are seemingly infected despite precautions and are affected very badly.

I would love to be one of those researching this, trying to figure out what the common thread is, what makes the difference between a fatal infection and one that is barely noticeable.

Instead, I’m working from home as usual, but with others from the household around me all the time, and analysing every small cough – was that just a ticklish throat or the start of something nasty? Every excursion has to be considered – do I need that badly enough to go out or can I wait until I have other things I need to get too? Am I desperate to do that, or does the risk outweigh the benefit?

I can understand the pressure, the urge to get out there because it’s been too long. I can ride it out. I can still accept that the risk is too high. But people around me seem to be relaxing their guard, to be deciding that their need to get out overrides government guidelines, or caution.

They’re discussing the death rate on the radio, saying it’s probably much higher than reported. It’s impossible to tell, especially since the government is fudging the figures – still no recovery figures available. Mind you, since many people report that symptoms continue for weeks, and there are reports that the virus leaves people more vulnerable to strokes and heart attacks, maybe they never do really recover.

But once this is over, we need to have a proper enquiry, to see what was done wrong and what was done right.


Covid19UK day 67

uk covid cases 243,695 deaths 34,636 recovered N/A

UK Covid figures 18th May

Again, a couple of days off from blogging from me. There just doesn’t seem to be anything new to say. We’re still plodding along. Arguments are still raging over whether schools should start back in a couple of weeks. I’m still sewing scrubs – 3 3/4 sets sewn so far out of the box of 10. Then I’ll be moving onto aprons for the staff at the school next door.

I went out this morning to do the weekly shop – I changed my routine, so instead of exercising on Tuesday, I exercised this morning and am planning to do it again on Thursday. So it was exercise, shower, breakfast and then Tesco. I need to exercise more – I’ve done no running at all since that last parkrun at the end of March. That was the 500th parkrun at that venue, so a big celebration. It felt very strange, like I was saying goodbye to it all for a while – it was fairly obvious at that point that things would have to be suspended.

The queue for the shop was long again, and it was glorious weather. The shopping itself was peaceful – limited numbers allowed in the shop, and everyone (mostly) keeps moving, so it’s quite calm in there. Occasional messages put out about social distancing, and members of staff wandering the shop holding up “2 metres apart” signs. Others outside cleaning and distributing trolleys and managing the queue. I’m surprised that the staff moving around stacking shelves aren’t wearing facemasks, but they do have plastic screens at the checkouts. It looked like the phone shop was open again today, and the drive thru at the local KFC is open again, although not MacDonalds.

People are starting to return to work, although it’s recommended that they only use public transport if they have no other choice. Most of the buses passing here are empty, but I think it’s a different story in the cities.

I’ve started to become a lot more conscious of my change of attitude between things I do for others – eager to help out, always looking for something I can do, feeling fulfilled – and things I do for myself, like invoicing for work, or choosing activities I want, or claiming things for myself rather than leaving them for others. I find it really hard to do things just for myself, especially if it also involves saying no to others.

I nearly had a meltdown over lunch. I got back from shopping well after midday, sorted out putting the shopping away, got myself a jacket potato with tuna and cheese, leaving hubby to make do with a pot noodle (his choice, something quick and easy that he can do for himself) and sat down to play my game, Sims 4, which takes ages to load and so I’d loaded up between bits of lunch prep. Two mouthfuls into my food and the trip went on the power, which meant resetting the switch, rebooting the computer and reloading the game. I was finishing my last mouthful of food by the time I could finally play it again. It’s the little things that can prove the last straw, the difference between coping and losing it completely.

No writing group tonight, as novels 3 bagged the Monday and the zoom channel, but we have editing group deadline ready for the meeting on Wednesday, so I’d better get editing.

I’ll be going up the allotments later on to do some more watering. Matters are still bubbling up there, with no immediate solution in sight, but I’m not going to let them keep me away from the one place where it’s just me, where I can be away from family and away from home responsibilities.

UK Covid cases 108,692 deaths 14,576 recovered N/A

UK figures 18 April 2020

covid-19 figures 18th march

UK figure 18th March 2020

Covid19UK day 64

UK covid cases 15 May 233,151 deaths 33,614 recovered N/A

UK Covid figures 15th May 2020

Eight weeks ago, hubby was told to work at home for the next couple of weeks at least. I can’t remember – I think he might have been working from home that Friday anyway. But he’s been working from home ever since.

I’ve been plugging away at work, varying in my ability to focus with him here, but my new noise-cancelling headphones seem to be helping. I haven’t been doing as much writing as I’d like, but I’m doing other things like sewing scrubs and baking.

We now make tea regularly in the teapot, which means one teabag per round rather than one per person. I’m slowly building up my stockpile of food again, because I’ve a nasty feeling we’ll just get over all this and then fall into brexit, and because it never does any harm to have a float of a couple of weeks’ worth of food and supplies. At least this trial run has shown me what’s useful to have!

With news that the schools are being encouraged to take pupils back very soon, we’re starting to turn focus towards making aprons for staff. And the daily fail has upset a lot of people with their headline today suggesting that teachers are desperate to get back in the classrooms but the big bad unions are standing in their way.

There’s things we’re legally allowed to do. There’s things we would like to do.

And then there’s what’s safe to do.

And at the moment, a lot of things in either or both of the first two categories are not in the third.

I’ll keep on the way I have been, staying away from public places as much as possible, being self-sufficient as much as possible, working and using my free time to make things that contribute to society.

But I’m dependent on so many people around me to be sensible – those working in shops, those shopping at the same time as me. As a society, we’re tightly entwined, and it’s vital that we realise and accept that, rather than looking out just for ourselves.

If we all help each other, then by extension we’ll all receive what help we need. But if we insist on our rights and not our responsibilities, then we’re spreading trouble. In many ways.


Covid19UK day 63

Uk figures 14 May cases 229,705 deaths 33,186 recovered N/A

UK Figures 14 May

Another day off blogging yesterday. Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since this all started. It was another week before things were officially shut down, but for that week hubby was working at home and I was avoiding the gym. There’s a big difference between what’s allowed and what’s safe, and that applies more than ever.

Many people returned to work yesterday, despite the new cases still occurring in high numbers and regular accounts of more deaths. If the virus is under control, it’s barely under control, and opening up again will lead to a massive increase in cases again. They’re talking about the younger kids returning to school next month, which is absolutely ludicrous. Trouble is, some will have little choice but to comply.

I got my box of 10 scrubs to sew (I was expecting 5!) so I’ve got plenty to keep myself occupied. I’m still visiting the allotment every other day, unless there’s been rain to water the plants, and I’m still trying to get on with work. The biggest obstacle I face to that is my concentration span. I now have noise cancelling headphones, which help block out hubby’s conference calls, but I still find myself regularly getting up from my desk, wandering off, starting something and then half an hour later finding it again half-done.

Some fast food restaurants are opening for drive thru or delivery, but I’m not that desperate for fast food that I’d get some at this stage. And this is where part of my diffidence and lack of drive comes in – I’d like to be out exercising, but with a risk from being outside, I’d rather stay in than add to the number of people out, because I don’t feel my need is important enough. I’ll always assume that someone else’s need is greater, and so keep away and miss out.

At this point, considering the risks, missing out isn’t such a big deal, but why do I always feel the need to put others before me? Why do I never consider that my needs are important too? I had a moment in the supermarket on Monday, when I was standing back waiting for someone else to make their decision at a shelf, and I had to remind myself that yes, they did have a right to stand and make up their minds, but so did I – I don’t need to automatically rush and move on because I might be obstructing someone else.

I don’t understand how anyone can back our current government and their handling of this. The PM is blatantly lying, avoiding answering and employing distraction tactics. They’re repeatedly missing testing targets. They’re releasing restrictions when they should be held on for longer and they’re bringing in new restrictions where they should have been brought in weeks ago – only just talking about restrictions for people entering the country.

I’m beginning to recognise the underlying anger. I’m upset that my youngest has had his time at university interrupted. That my middle son is separated from his fiancee, who lives in France. That eldest, who had finally started working full time, has had his work interrupted. He’s possibly returning to work soon, although I’m not sure when they’re intending to open the libraries. At least he’ll be able to work at the local library, and not have to catch the train a few stops up the line.

I don’t have any tutoring work at the moment, of course. This does leave me free to work at home, but I have hubby here, which is occasionally proving distracting. He, of course, is now working from home, and thankfully his firm seems to be very understanding and there is no pressure at all for them to return to the office.

The good news is that it sounds like the post-production on Lucifer is going ahead, so maybe we’ll have some new content soon. And with the season split into two, and strong rumours of another season to follow, there’s plenty to look forward to. The Lux convention has been rescheduled to next June, so over a year to wait, but at least it’s something positive and hopefully something that will actually be able to go ahead.

In the meantime, I’m comfortable with wearing a face mask when I go to Tesco, and I’m watching with interest to see whether it’s made mandatory when out, as it is in LA. You’re recommended to wear one on public transport, but I don’t tend to use that much – especially with hubby working from home, so the car is available!

And now I really must get on with some work.


Covid19UK day 61

UK Covid cases 223,060 deaths 32,065 recovered N/AThe shopping trip went smoothly yesterday. It’s actually quite peaceful, with a quiet, uncrowded store, no queuing at the tills (and very little queuing outside yesterday) and most things in stock. I wore my face mask – I was pleased to put it on, as it was rather cold and windy outside!

They even had some bread flour, and some huge bags of bread mix, but no separate yeast. As I already have flour and yeast from the bakery, I didn’t get any more.

It’s still a struggle to fit everything into the bags at the end of the trip – I’m doing by myself with one trolley what was always previously done by 3 or 4 people with two trolleys. But at least it’s doable.

Hubby seems set to work from home for the foreseeable future, which keeps him safe – but I have made him buy me a set of noise cancelling headphones, as he’s constantly on conference calls any concentration is struggling enough as it is!

Eldest son is waiting to hear – as he works at the library, he’s not sure when he’ll be going back. At least he can transfer to the one in town rather than the one he was based at, which was half an hour away by train.

Writing group last night. The novel I’m presenting to that group is very nearly finished, so I need to start working on another. And there’s the editing group next week (different novel) and the other novels group the week after (yet another novel). So theoretically I’m doing a lot of writing. I did write a first draft of the last chapter of my Lucifer fanfic, so I need to edit that and get it out. Then at least that’s off my conscience, although it’s supposed to be the first of a trilogy.


Covid19UK day 60

Covid uk cases 219,183 deaths 31,855 recovered N/AYes, I had a day off yesterday. I was awake from 4.30, and it made itself apparent in my mood. The news of a rescheduled date for the Lucifer convention didn’t help, even though that’s over a year away now – I find it very hard to look forward and try to figure out what life will be like. I cope better when keeping my head down and concentrating on the immediate future and my immediate family.

The waffling non-guidelines given last night don’t help. What absolute twaddle. Our PM is killing our country, and he’s doing it by sacrificing the weak and the poor. He’s abdicating his responsibility, and leaving it up to us to decide what we feel like doing, whether that’s helpful or harmful to others. This second wave will come and it will sweep us off our feet.

But enough of that. Back to my immediate surroundings. My feeling of fear when I heard what was planned to happen in the near future suggests that I do care more than I thought. My problem is that I have spent so much of my life being diffident, allowing others what they want, believing that I only existed for the benefit of others and what I want doesn’t count, that I find it hard to even consider fighting for anything for myself. I always feel the sacrifice is too great, whether that’s strained family relationships or upsetting others further afield. If I don’t put myself forward, I can’t be accused of messing things up.

I need to change that mindset if I’m to get through this. To stop accepting whatever is thrown at me, and believe I don’t deserve better. To start working out what exactly I do want, and then to start working towards it, whether that gets in others’ way or not.

I had a relaxing long weekend, on the whole – I spent time at the allotment, I tidied up my work area, I played the piano a little, I even did some writing. Today I need to go shopping for the week, as I haven’t been for around 10 days, and I need to prepare for writing group tonight. And I need to get some work done, as well.

The weather has turned cold and blustery. Maybe that will keep people inside, if the instructions from government won’t.