Coronavirus Diaries: Week 4 – Impact

Monday 6th April – Sunday 12th April 2020

Previous installments

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Monday 6th April – 5373 deaths – health impact

The health impact of this virus is evident for all to see. It does not discriminate in any way.

BoJo Bulletin: Yesterday Boris was admitted to hospital “as a precaution” as he is experiencing prolonged symptoms. This evening, he is in ICU as his symptoms have worsened.

We are all equally at risk of contagion if we put ourselves in harm’s way. So why the **** are people still ignoring advice to stay at home? I do not want to go even to the top of my road if l don’t have to. Every foray outside increases your chances of being in contact with an infected person. I just cannot fathom why people were sunbathing, picnicking etc at the weekend. Since when have those pastimes ever been classed as exercise?

In my garden

I’m fortunate enough to have a garden and I do understand how hard it is if you have exuberant children who are bouncing off the walls all day. But people need to understand the difference between getting some exercise and fresh air (for mental and physical health impact reasons) and sitting in a park with a group of friends. That is socialising, not distancing. It’s really not hard to grasp. So, we can only then come to the conclusion that these people have little care for themselves or others.

If, God forbid, Boris doesn’t get through this, it will have a profound social and emotional impact on this country. Maybe more people will be shocked into following the advice. Maybe.

Work impact

Today l ran my first free online antenatal session for pregnant women who need a bit of support right now. I think it went well. It’s harder getting engagement and participation than when you are face to face but l will keep working on ways to improve the offering.

Off to bed now as lm feeling tired. Not sleeping so well at the moment = health impact

Tuesday 7th April – 6159 deaths – social impact

Today was an uplifting day but also a difficult day.

Uplifting me were all my amazing, talented and supportive networking colleagues, without whom this incarceration would be infinitely worse. You help keep me motivated to do better, to be better. You make me smile when the going is tough and you raise me up when I feel like I am sinking down. Thank you all – you know who you are – well, you do if you are reading this, and if you aren’t reading this, where are you? 🙂

Dragging me down were 2 things:

Continuing health issues – very frequent migraines and tinnitus over the past 3 weeks have made it more difficult for me to work and today I completely missed a work meeting because I had to go to bed. It’s a continuing battle with the migraines, one which I have fought every month for the past 25+ years. On the plus side, I am otherwise healthy, so I can count many blessings.

Pure vitriol on some social media groups – the target: Boris Johnson.

Granted, I am not a fan of the man. Without going into masses of political detail, I cannot condone what the Tories have done to damage public services in the past 10 years. What we need is a balance between fiscal responsibility and public duty. Neither Labour nor Conservatives can offer that. But what shocked me was some of the evil comments I saw regarding the current health status of the PM. Whatever you think of him, he is a human being and it was horrible to read some of the posts wishing him ill. Boris needs to get better and use his experience to make changes for the good of everyone in this country.

Some suggestions are being made that the social distancing -such that it is- is beginning to impact the infection rate. That curve appears to be flattening – great news – but PEOPLE, that does not mean you can start to go out again. The death numbers continue ever upward, but we know there is around a 3 week lag before we should start to see them fall again.

People living in the city of Wuhan have been allowed out for the first time since 23 January – almost 11 weeks of lockdown – and a proper lockdown, not the namby pamby excuse for a lockdown that we have managed in the UK. It will be extremely interesting to see what happens to the infection numbers next. Let’s hope we do not see a second wave.

Wednesday 8th April – 7097 deaths – emotional impact

Today was a terrible day for 938 people and their families in the UK who were killed by coronavirus. This is the highest daily toll so far and we know that it is probably in the region of 30% lower than it should be due to the deaths occurring in the community which are not part of the recorded totals. The emotional impact of this virus is horrific. There are reports daily on social media from doctors, nurses, patients and families about the toll this hideous virus is taken on the people whose lives are being affected. Sure, all our lives are being affected, but my inconvenience at having to stay home is minuscule compared with the horrors being faced on a daily basis by our brave and dedicated frontline workers. They are all heroes – every one of them. Please show your ongoing appreciation tomorrow with #ClapForTheNHS at 8pm. But we must also thank the thousands of other keyworkers who are so important in keeping this country running – those who provide services such as food deliveries, supermarket and pharmacies workers, teachers, childcare workers, police, fire brigade and all the many other services we enjoy in our civilised environment. The emotional toll on all these people is great, and getting greater. To those people, we owe a huge debt of gratitude as well.

The idea that we are reaching the peak over the coming days gives us some hope to cling onto and I really hope that the vast majority of people make sensible choices during the upcoming holidays to stay home and protect themselves and others. Any more jaunts to the seaside could see us all on a much stricter lockdown next week.

Well, I’m off to my bed now after delivering 2 online antenatal sessions today which were both well received. Tomorrow I look forward to a Zoom networking meeting followed by a 121 with another marketing consultant.

In the evening I will be going live on Instagram at 8pm to do a demonstration of baby CPR and dealing with choking for @NWmums. Do join me if you can.

Thursday 9th April – 7978 deaths – physical impact

I’m starting to really see the physical impact of this time on lockdown when it comes to my body. Too much time at my desk and too much chocolate, coupled with very little exercise is not leading to a beach body, I can tell you. I’m still incredibly nervous about going out even for a walk because I’m still not right. I’ve had a persistent cough now since mid-January and it seems to be getting better for a day or two and then it comes right back. I haven’t bothered with a doctor because frankly, right now they have more pressing things to be concerned about. But what I do know is that my immune system is already somehow compromised, so I don’t want to take any unnecessary risks of catching COVID-19.

I’m going to start doing some yoga this weekend as I really need to address the fact that my bottom pretty much looks big in everything!

BoJo Bulletin: BBC just reported that Boris is out of intensive care and doing better. I really hope this is true – it’s super hard to know what’s fact and what is not. A friend who knows someone who works in ICU at St Thomas’ hospital said that Boris was on a ventilator when the press reported that he had not been – who knows what the truth actually is.

I found an uplifting video on Facebook earlier of a 94-year-old man being discharged having recovered from COVID19. As I watched it, I thought, “That looks like Barnet Hospital” and sure enough it was. Great job #BarnetGeneral. You rock.

Today I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be productive, although I did attend a very good networking meeting of Athena St Johns Wood group as well as a great 121 with Sarah Clay of Sarah Clay Social. I look forward to working with you in the future Sarah. Finally, I did my first Live on Instagram and I actually enjoyed it. I didn’t think I would because I’m not a natural in front of the camera, but the demo and Q&A on first aid went down well I think. I’m looking forward to the days when I can start doing face-to-face courses again. Happy days.

So, the long weekend is almost upon us, but a stranger Easter holiday we have never had. I hope to God people are sensible and don’t descend on the parks and the beaches again. #stayhome #protectthenhs #savelives

Until tomorrow…

Friday 10th April – 8958 deaths – personal impact

Today I decided to give myself a break from the computer – I really needed it. I felt burned out yesterday but when I stop to think about my situation and compared it to the many others who are sacrificing some much of themselves to help others during this crisis, I felt ever so guilty. My life is a picnic in comparison to the frontline health workers dealing with the hundreds of patients being admitted to hospital every day. My life is super simple compared to those families who are coping with the death of a loved one, without the prospect of a proper funeral to say goodbye. I have NO right to feel even the teensiest bit sorry for myself, because, in my world, all is well. My family are home and are staying home. Both teens have been amazing and have taken this lockdown seriously from the get-go. We are in a safe little bubble, but still, my heart is broken.

Broken for those lives not lived. All those stories that will never be written. All those journeys that will never be taken. This pandemic is robbing so many people of their futures – not just those that have lost their own lives, but the families left behind trying to make sense of it all.

But there is no sense to be made. It is senseless.

BoJo Bulletin: Up and about

As I haven’t been looking at my devices much today, I’ve only just checked on what’s been happening outside my own front door. I’m pleased to hear the PM appears to be on the mend.

I decided to make a couple of face masks today on my sewing machine for when we need to brave the supermarket. So far I’ve had various deliveries of groceries including one from a local pub, The Green Dragon, but we will need to do a supermarket run soon I think. Here’s my effort – very straightforward to make.


Well off now to have a catch up with some very good friends on Zoom.

Saturday 11th April – 9875 deaths – financial impact

Today I decided to take the rest of the bank holiday weekend off work because I’ve been feeling a bit meh and I think I was spending too much time at my computer without feeling like I was achieving very much. So the weekend updates will be short and sweet.

Spent some time explaining the likely financial impact of coronavirus on our family to our younger son and then the wider context of how others are coping. We are fortunate compared to many. My income has dropped off significantly but I had planned for a break in teaching starting in June – its just come forward about 6 weeks. It will be OK.

I started making headbands with buttons on for the local NHS hospital to help nurses and doctors with sore ears. The masks attach to the buttons so the elastic doesn’t rub on their ears. If anyone has any spare 2.5cm buttons or 2.5cm elastic they could donate, that would be great.

Sunday 12th April – 10612 deaths – human impact

More than 10,000 people in the UK have now had their lives cut short by COVID19. The human impact of this is immense – all those grieving families unable to comfort their relatives in ICU, unable to hold their hands whilst they passed, unable to say goodbye, unable to even go to the funeral in many cases. Utterly heartbreaking.

BoJo Bulletin: PM has left St. Thomas’ hospital and is recuperating at Chequers. I wonder if his experience will have any impact on the way he treats NHS workers in the future? They all deserve a huge payrise – will he find it in his heart (and wallet!) to do the right thing?

We were talking yesterday with my younger son about the situation and how on earth we will come out of lockdown, how long it will take and how people might behave when things start opening up again. Personally, I don’t fancy taking my chances against COVID19, so I am going to be super nervous when the time comes to start going out again. How do you feel about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts – please do comment below.

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