Got up yesterday and moved my recuperation bed to the garden chair as still sunny and warm. The WhatsApp group was pinging all day. We have four NHS hospital doctors on our close of seven houses so some of the neighbours' children decided to make rainbow posters which seems to be the symbol of hope and support at the moment. I think the LBTQ group may have claimed this already, but hey we are all in this together right! One of the doctors is taking it into the ICU department to cheer everyone up. Felt good to be part of a positive action and this continued later in the day as at 8pm I got out my pan and wooden spoon and hung out of the bedroom window. In fact, all the neighbourhood were out clapping, cheering and even letting fireworks went off, felt like a sober New Years’ Eve! But it was actually very moving and felt tears welling, but that's what four days of isolation does for you!
Clearly this is a time for reflection and people are reconnecting and reassessing their lives and values. Bring it on, and about time! Look at the blossom on the trees, breathe the better unpolluted air and appreciate the simple things of life. But still 7% of the population aren't engaging with the lock down and carrying on as normal. What effect this will have is unknown but over the last twenty-four hours, one hundred plus people sadly died with the virus. This escalation will continue if people don't observe social distancing we are told. I saw a police patrol car yesterday, the first for years, presumably checking people are complying with the two-meter rule, which is quite difficult to control to say the least. With such sunny weather, people are lulled into thinking it is ok to go to the coast as it feels like a holiday break. But reality kicks in when police road blocks stop them and turn them back. Strange times indeed.
My partner has a proposal, a good one as it goes, that this worldwide pandemic could change our global approach to living. He suggests that every month a group of non-neighbouring countries worldwide (so twelve groups in all) close down in this 'isolation mode' with no industry, flights, work, school, buying non-essential buying, sports fixtures and unnecessary car use. For the 'down time month' the respective Governments will fund people to live and this will be the country's contribution to climate change reforms. Radical perhaps but isn't the survival of the planet for future generations worth it.
Just a thought - does no-one have SAVINGS anymore! Most people seem to live hand-to-mouth, perhaps in the new world order this will change too. The treasurer minister last night brought in safety net measures for the self-employed. Similar to employed people but based on tax returns and profits up to £50,000. Unfortunately, with the 'black economy' of course not all income is recorded and lots of people are paid 'cash in hand, no income tax, no VAT' so these people may not be eligible. The Government insists that there is always the flawed Universal Credit safety net and if you are prepared to wait for hours, days and join the queues of thousands on the phone, best of luck with that one ... you are now at position 10,566 please hold! Online no better apparently!
There are also moral dilemmas arising. Does one disease have a higher priority than another? Discuss? At the current time, with limited resources and key NHS staff being pulled onto the front line to deal with Covid-19 virus patients, but what about all the other sick people? A friend's sister has Stage 4 Cancer and her recent appointment at the hospital has been cancelled. This situation can be multiplied throughout the country, leaving cancer patients feeling quite rightly, worried and isolated which cannot help with their illness. This is a dilemma for clinicians, as they must weigh up benefits and risk and for many vulnerable patients going to hospital is just too high risk and therefore should be avoided. But if hospital care is essential then patients trust that their needs will be paramount. Difficult times, difficult decisions.
How am I? Yes, still feeling wiped out which isn't me as usually doing everything at a hundred miles an hour. The cough is still there annoyingly and now my ribcage is now hurting when I cough. It is such a weird one! Still in quarantine! My partner is still isolating from me and when we go upstairs I turn right, he turns left. He has earned his ‘Carer of Year’ award, in this household anyway!
Stop press Boris and Matt Hancock have tested positive for the virus, please tell me WHY can members of parliament be tested but frontline NHS staff not! Just a thought, is it a ruse as both men not doing so well at the daily press conferences and this has given them seven days off to hone up their responses. Not sure who the deputy PM is – according to Google – there is no deputy but Dominic Raab is the highest ranking cabinet minister. Over to you Dom!