The social isolation diaries — week 4

The social isolation diaries, week 4

The statistics are horrifying, the stories heartbreaking.

This week we passed 10,000 deaths being recorded, whilst also being reminded that this is just deaths recorded in hospital.   This doesn’t include those dying in the community, or indeed in care homes.  One care home has recorded 12 deaths in a fortnight.   We also learned that 31 members of front line NHS staff have died too.   It truly is heartbreaking.

More and more stories have also begun to surface on how our government’s handling of this, right from the outset, has been woefully inadequate.  I don’t want to make this a political post but I read a very stark thread from a lady called Elaine Doyle whose twitter bio says she has an interest in the history of medicine.  Elaine looked into the difference between how Ireland and England had reacted to this illness and when each country began its shutdown, and to begin to try and flatten this curve:

How stark are the words “Ireland had cancelled St Patrick’s Day”.

The lack of PPE is a scandal that will haunt us for years.  If we had it, along with reliable testing, then maybe things would be different.   The reason why we dont have sufficient of either of these things varies depending on who you listen to but the facts speak for them selves and I can’t help but feel that as we reflect back on this period of time that old chestnut of “lessons will be learned” will be trotted out.

Boris Johnson did leave hospital this week which was a relief to all, regardless of your political leanings.

It was very strange to watch church services this morning being held in kitchens and lounges rather than in churches, especially as this is Easter Sunday.   Even the Pope gave his sermon from an empty Basilica.  Extraordinary scenes.

A few days ago Dominic Raab told us that the lockdown would not be lifted this week, not that any of us believed it would be.    When the lockdown came in on March 23rd it was alongside a law that said it would be reviewed after three weeks and we are just shy of that so he had to say something.  What was said was no surprise and we wait to see if there is an update next week.  I can’t see it myself.  Not when so many people are still dying on a daily basis (anywhere between 700 and a 1000).

The number of deaths in the community are not being recorded, nor are those in care homes.  We are hearing stories of some care home losing

In lighter news those of us with gardens have never appreciated them more than we have this week.  The sun has shone for most of us and we have made the most of being able to be outside in short sleeved shirts and shorts.

We have found a rhythm Chez Barrow, even if we don’t know what day it is and these two four day weeks have pretty much passed us by, where in previous years we have longed for them since the last bank holiday at new year.  Now we are waking up on Sunday thinking “What, there’s another one tomorrow?!”.   Days are spent working, we stop for the daily briefing late afternoon and then evenings are spent trying to escape the outside world.   Whilst working I am also trying to make the most of all the amazing plays that various theatres have made available to us, finally catching up this week with One Man, Two Guvnors from The National.  This is truly what I want to look back on and feel I learned from all of this.

And stories of companies that are helping out and doing their bit (as I mentioned before, the distilleries now making hand sanitiser) and Barbour no longer making wax jackets but now making scrubs.   These are the things we need to remember.

I am more aware of bird song, not just the dawn chorus but throughout the day, and of various bits of garden machinery working away behind distant hedges and fences.  The sound of next door having a barbecue and of hearing crockery on china in the garden, a sound I find synonymous with holidays but now find in my own back garden.  They say that when you take away one of the senses the others are heightened and whilst travelling clearly isn’t a sense I do think the stillness that we now find ourselves surrounded by is allowing us to tune into the other senses more than before.  I have even found I can hear the birds over at Fleet Pond when I go out for a dog walk late at night, something I have never been able to hear before.

Thursday night is virtual pub quiz night, and Friday night is Zoom drinks night.  I am going to miss both of these when all this is over.

Talking of missing things.  If you are missing your colleagues and the office banter you once shared but are now missing as you work from home then I can highly recommend this website:  I Miss The Office. Fire it up, turn up the volume, tell it how many colleagues you once had and it will recreate everything from the sound of the printer to chatter around the water cooler and it can even recreate your neighbour angry typing.


Until next week, stay safe!

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