Day 1 - Symptom Free


21st March 2020 It's my birthday - 61 which is an odd one and didn't think it would be memorable but probably will be now.

Social distancing with this Corona virus pandemic has come to mean elbow nudges, staying at home and lots of virtual hugs. Oh! and must add, prosecco with breakfast is now allowed and likely in the coming weeks to be compulsory! Did I mention it’s my birthday!

The sun is shining and the daffodils are out which is very apt as it is the vernal equinox or the 'First Day of Spring.' My mother adage was 'to be sure the daffodils all came out on the day you were born' she probably didn’t say 'to be sure' but as she only had 'Irish blood' and called the ‘English illiterate,’ I’ve used a bit of poetic license with the Celtic connection there.

Key workers are now Deliveroo and Amazon delivery drivers, which is a sign of the times, oh yes and not forgetting the doctors and other care workers!

For my birthday, my friend S arrived with bulbs in a flower pot. We shouted to each other, me at the door, her at the other side of the garden. A passer-by was slightly bemused with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' played by S on a mouth organ! The Happy Birthday song has been used lately as a washing your hands timer, but don’t try doing this holding a harmonica. S had been to Italy recently so lots of air kisses and I disinfected myself completely after she left, as can't be too careful. My hands are red raw with sanitising and I am now reduced to using the 90 percent vodka I found at the back of the cupboard from a party in the ‘80s. I am hoping the fumes alone will scare off the bugs and indeed anyone else who strays into my protection zone. An alcohol aura for adults, so beware!

I got a second hand exercise bike from pre-loved website (other recycling sites available obvs!) The previous owner had broken her neck in a freak accident involving a horse and hosepipe, I didn't ask! She no longer needed this spin machine and although I had to dismantle my car to transport it home, it has now taken pride of place in the spare bedroom. I have put up a notice on it which reads: 'This is not a clothes horse!' as I saw my partner, who has filled up every chair in every other bedroom, eyeing up this machine for his trousers, inside leg 29', so probably got the height right there! It has not had much action yet, so let’s just say intentions are good but legs muscles are weak.

I have got a surgical face mask somewhere, which I bought for the 'bird flu' pandemic years ago, do you remember that? I recall going to meetings held by Local Authority officials, with public health responsibilities, who were revelling in having a role at last. Not many pandemics in NW England!

During this pandemic I have been taking my temperature regularly several times a day.  I am using a thermometer in the shape of a teddy (last thermometer left in the shop) and am hoping it works accurately. I am not quite sure what my temperature should be, but as it hasn't registered boiling yet, I am carrying on with caution! Stocks of paracetamol have also run out in the shops and its brother ibruprofen has now been relegated so sits in bulk on the supermarket shelves, unloved and dejected. However, I am stocking up, as never know when you may need a ton of joint relief. Talking of joint relief, I am sure someone was smoking a reefer yesterday. I was pottering near my garage and could smell it on the breeze. It smelt medicinal and think the herbs might do some good. Just putting it out there!


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