Each day we get the updates from the Government on the latest statistics, numbers of cases, deaths etc. But we have no way truly of knowing what the statistics are since not everyone gets tested, not everyone will go to hospital nor will they go to a pharmacy. Someone might enquire on their behalf.
We are told that symptoms can range from asymptomatic (ie no outward symptoms) to ragged breathing, cough and breathlessness. Initially having a runny nose or sneezes were not part of the range of symptoms then vague guidance may be that they can be. People are confused, mixing up hay fever symptoms with potential COVID-19.
We are on lockdown; non essential business have been told to close (define non-essential as that’s not clear either). Self employed people whose profit margins fall below 50,000K per annum are not supported. Claims for universal credit may not be fulfilled until June. Some people are snowed under with work and others have no work and no money coming in. Mental health is argued to be on “high alert”, people panicking about getting food supplies in and falling out with loved ones. Cases of abuse in the home have soared according to a recent news article (click for the link). We don’t feel safe in our homes. Many people are fearful and have lost loved ones to this disease which is to some extent unpredictable.
I’m one of the lucky ones; whilst I have less work generally I can still work remotely, supporting people via video link. I also work administratively for a local business that is deemed essential and I am thriving as I walk my dog daily. The earth is breathing.
We need to lose the panic (easier said than done for many) and do our best to resist harmful coping strategies in the form of addictive behaviour. People might be drinking more at home (they are not able to go to cafes or pubs), “smokers” are smoking more, “vapers” are vaping more. We can’t get our hair done (there are a few funnies of people carrying out home hair cuts), my father can’t get his toenails cut (and he doesn’t complain so he will simply stop walking if his toenails get too long, not a pretty sight for my sister!). I get backache but I cannot visit the osteopath, I am scared to even make a doctor’s appointment (even though we’ve been advised to not withhold from doing this). The days go by and I have no idea what day of the week it is unless I check my diary.
This will pass; there are small signs that lockdown may be eased in the coming weeks but it is for our safety and for the overall well being of our nation that we continue this social distancing.
What remains for me are the thoughts of the lack of testing for the general public and the lack of safety equipment for our NHS staff. With reports of people acquiring the illness in hospital it is clear that more testing needs to be done, which is now starting to be ramped up.
Here where I am we continue to stay home, protect lives, handwash regularly and chat to neighbours at a minimum of 2 metres away from each other. We honour the NHS routinely on a Thursday evening at 8pm and that too flummoxes me. 8pm is a prime time for children to be bathed and put to bed and whilst the job they are doing is something I laud, it is also a job they do every day of their working week yet they are putting their lives at risk each day. And they do not have sufficient facilities to be able to even do their job safely enough!
I also find it ironic that a government that was slowly attempting to dismantle the NHS through possible privatisation finds itself with a PM who acquires COVID-19 and has himself had to be hospitalised and then moved into the Intensive Care Unit. Will this alter how he sees the NHS given how seriously ill he was?
This is just a rambling, of course, and maybe I have some facts wrong; I wish the best for our nation and hope that this too, will pass, and we can all find some peace and calm.
Contact me by email if you want to offload or chat. I can offer sessions on a donation basis for the next couple of months if you are struggling with your finances.