Coronavirus Diaries: week 8 – writing

Monday 4th May to Sunday 10th May 2020

Previous installments

Week 1 Week 5
Week 2 Week 6
Week 3 Week 7
Week 4  

Monday 4th May – 28734 deaths – writing in many forms


Today I wrote poetry for a children’s picture book – great fun. I’ve done 5 out of the planned 10 stories. Then I wrote a monthly minute (also known as an elevator pitch, for any Americans that may be reading). That’s a mini-speech designed to explain to my networking group what I do – as it turned out, this was in the form of a song. Which, yes, I will sing at the next meeting. I do not have a good singing voice, but I do not let that hold me back from making an impression!

After that, I wrote some suggestions for a potential client for changes to their website and then I started a blog for another new retainer client.

I love a good day writing a variety of content.

I finished the day with a baby/child first aid demo and Q&A on Zoom which I feel was well received.

Overall a pretty good day. Tomorrow is my younger son’s birthday – I can’t believe he will be 16. It feels like no time since I was bringing him home from the hospital. Where have the years gone?

The death rate has dropped down in several European countries, enough that there is talk of an exit from lockdown. Our deaths today were 288 but we know that Monday figures are always lower due to delay in reporting weekend deaths. Let’s hope it really has turned a corner now. But we still don’t really have much idea what easing lockdown will look like in the UK. Many are speculating. For me, it won’t make a great deal of difference – I work from home anyway. I get shopping delivered anyway. The biggest change would be going to visit family and friends I guess.

Tuesday 5th May – 29427 deaths – monthly writing packages

My business focus for the next couple of months is to market my new writing packages. These are designed with small to medium-sized business owners in mind who need help with their communications. The offerings are monthly retainer packages that allow businesses to increase their brand visibility with a choice of blogs, articles, newsletters, social media content and other written content, tailored to the individual business. The packages are flexible which means that even if a business chooses say the basic package which is 2 blogs, 4 posts and 1 newsletter, they can flex this to their actual needs each month by swapping one type of writing for another.

I have been very busy writing today, so I haven’t been on social media much and haven’t been paying much attention to the news throughout the day. I like it – I feel calmer for not having overloaded myself with all the negativity and scare stories that are swirling around the internet at the moment.

Note to self: do more writing.

Wednesday 6th May – 30076 deaths – writing blogs

So, UK has the worst death toll in the whole of Europe. This is not a good place to be and yet the Government still wants us to believe that it has taken the right decisions and implemented the right measures at the right time. It’s pretty hard to be convinced that there weren’t other or earlier actions that might have been more effective at slowing the spread.

BoJo Bulletin: Apparently he will be making an announcement about easing lockdown measures on Sunday.

Today has been another super busy day. I’ve written a blog today (reading time 5-6 minutes) about how to cope with school at home because I’ve been talking to many parents over the past two weeks who have been struggling for one reason or another.

Perhaps you have a view on this? If so, I’m interested to hear it.

I’ve also completed a blog for one of my retainer clients, the lovely Liz Devonshire and I’ve been working on my overall business strategy figuring out where my focus will be and thinking about how to grow my audience. There’s never nothing to do, right?

So, the sun is shining; time to log off and put work away for the rest of the day.

Until tomorrrow…

Thursday 7th May – 30615 deaths – writing a children’s picture book

Today didn’t start well – woke with yet another migraine. An early morning writing consultation with a client was very positive though so that cheered me up. I’m launching a number of new services over the coming days and weeks, all based around writing to help support small and medium businesses. One of these services will be a writing consultancy service where business owners can get help, advice and ideas for a particular writing task to help them learn how to produce more targeted, appropriate content.

After plodding through my yoga class (taught by the brilliant Fran Turner), I had a short 121 with a marketing agency with the prospect of picking up some content writing work for them – wait and see on that one.

Then a great meeting with my client who has hired me to write her children’s picture book – I’m on the words, she’s the ideas and someone else will illustrate. It’s a really fun and exciting project.

Finished up with another writing consultancy session with a Holistic Therapist, helping to plan social media content and strategy.

All in all a busy and productive day.

I didn’t hear the Government announcement today but by all accounts, BoJo was nowhere to be seen again. Totally conspicuous by his absence. I don’t feel comfortable easing out of lockdown when we still have over 500 deaths a day on average. I will not be rushing outside any time soon and I don’t want my family to either. It’s going to take a great deal of “easing” to get us anywhere near normal social interaction.

I just don’t see how schools can implement social distancing when class sizes were absolutely bursting before lockdown. In an average classroom, you would be able to get 6 children 2 metres apart. Average class sizes are more than 30, so they could go back to school 1 day a week I guess. Very difficult indeed.

Friday 8th May – 31241 deaths – not much writing

Having had a very busy week, I decided to take the bank holiday just to kick back, spend some time in the garden and just generally switch off from life. It was good.

Really not much happened at all today, which is sometimes just what we need. I guess it’s one advantage of running your own business that you can just get up in the morning and decide to take the day off – not that I do it very oftem, but it’s good to know it’s an option.

Saturday 9th May – 31587 deaths

BoJo Bulletin: There’s a lot of speculation about what the MP might say in his speech tomorrow evening. But whatever it is, you can be sure there will be plenty of people choosing to ignore the instructions. I went out pretty early to avoid the crowds and even at 7.30am it was quite busy in the park. I can’t imagine how crowded it will be later on.

I did get some lovely pictures though, which I thought I would share.


Well, another week almost gone. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday 10th May – 31855 deaths – a change to the message

BoJo Bulletin: The much-awaited announcement came this evening. Well, it’s as clear as the bottom of a muddly puddle now.

“Stay at home” is (you’d think) a fairly straightforward instruction – not beyond the wit of the average 4 year old, in fact. Despite this, of course, many people have not followed the message nor have they managed to keep 2m away from others when they have been out. So, why exactly has the message changed this evening?


Hmm, not exactly sure what action or inaction I am meant to take.

Alert for what, exactly?

Alien invasion?

My Hermes delivery?

A Lesser-spotted Boris Johnson?

This message is deliberately ambiguous and has been crafted very carefully to be so. I wonder which consultants were brought in for this one, and I’ll bet they were paid a pretty penny for it too.

It may, at first glance, simply look like a not-very well thought out communication.

However, it’s been carefully worded to direct the blame for future deaths away from the Government and toward the public who “didn’t follow the guidance”.

That’s my prediction: Government will say blah blah blah, followed the science, had to get the economy back to work, stay alert to defeat the virus, blah blah blah.

But when the second waves of deaths are counted, I wonder who will carry the can for it?

Employees who went back to work but didn’t social distance? Employers who brought their employees back to work but weren’t give advice on how to implement social distancing? Kids who were sent back to school but they are 4 and 5, so how in the world can they be expected to social distance? Teachers who didn’t keep the kids far enough apart?

Surely the blame won’t be on the Government who didn’t take this threat seriously back in early January. The Government who calls the almost 32,000 deaths a “success” in the battle against CV.

I’m not saying any other UK Government we might have had WOULD have done a better job – this is not a political statement, it’s a social one. We can only look at what has happened, not what might have been, of course. But what I do firmly believe is that the UK Government took a gamble with those 32,000 lives (and no doubt many more yet) and lost.

I don’t believe it had to be this way. I believe a catalogue of inaction and misinformation led to the place we are in now and from what I saw tonight, things aren’t getting better on that front any time soon.

There are so many people on social media asking others if they should go to work tomorrow? I mean… what? Just incredible. What a mess.

I am one of the very fortunate. I can work from home, forever more if I have to. But millions of others need leadership, they need help to understand what to do next. They got the very opposite of that this evening. Shame on you, Boris.

Not. Good. Enough.

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