Coronavirus diary - in it for the long haul?

Three weeks since I last blogged.  Why?  I don't know.  That is the reason, I think, that I don't know.  I don't know what is happening with the virus and what we should and should not be doing.  Following each twist and turn of what is happening is impossible.  One moment it seems that some sort of normality is reappearing - yoga classes restart, we spend a weekend with older son and his family.  The next it is clear that numbers of cases of the virus are surging up again.  Friday saw the largest number of new confirmed cases since the peak of the outbreak with 6,874 people testing positive.  At the moment hospital admissions and mortality figures are not rising as steeply, perhaps partly because the age profile of those testing positive remains much younger than it was in the earlier peak in the pandemic here in the UK and younger people do not tend to be as severely hit.  The Chief Scientific and Medical Officers, however, are predicting a significant increase in the numbers of those with serious illness as the virus spreads ever further within the community.  Large numbers of people in the UK are living with some sort of additional restrictions as the government seeks to avoid a second major lockdown.  Indeed our older daughter and her family living in Rhondda Cynon Taf are in one of the parts of Wales where travel in and out of the area is discouraged.  We have only seen them twice since March and each time for just a few short hours so we were looking forward to some longer time together.  That will have to wait for now.

I am sure I am not alone in finding this period somehow harder than lockdown proper.  There was a clarity in the earlier restrictions that was both difficult and easy.  Stay home, no work, no meeting family or friends.  Here in Wales in the early stages we were supposed to stay within five miles of home, to exercise from home and batten down the hatches.  It was simply a matter of getting on and doing it, working in the garden, reading and listening to music, making things, accepting that WhatsApp, Zoom and Facetime were the means to keep in touch with the people who matter to us.

Where we are now is likely to be much more typical of where we will be for the coming months I think:  wearing masks in shops, seeing small numbers of people outside and even smaller numbers inside, not travelling, making daily small choices about what to do and where to go within the constraints of what is allowed.  It feels as if the world is twisting and changing shape before our eyes, as impossible to catch as smoke.  Everything is uncertain.

So once again I am here looking for the things which ground me, satisfy me, make me feel most like myself.


We have just had a few days helping our younger son and his wife with childcare while he had an operation.  The pleasure and immediacy of time with small children puts you right in the moment.

Always for me the natural world makes me feel like me.  Autumn is just beginning to show itself.  In the morning there are spiders' webs strung out across the garden and berries and fruits in the golden September light.


Yesterday Ian and I ran one of my fastest ever 5ks.   Running always makes me feel better when I have done it although it doesn't always feel good while I am actually doing it!  I am creeping on towards the target of running or walking the virtual Wales Coast Path, sixty eight miles down, eight hundred and two to go!

So it is the little things and the big things that give my life structure and meaning: family, exercise, a glass of wine by the fire with Ian, a good book to lose myself in, the view from the top of the hill out across the Vale of Clwyd towards Snowdonia, a hot shower, scrambled egg on toast,butterflies crowding the sedum, the sunshine pouring in at the window.


It is all doable.  Life is still good.  How are things for you?  

Comments

  1. Doing Ok day by day, but having anxiety about the future.

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    1. I do understand. For me the best answer seems to be to try not to think about the future, not easy as I'm a bit of a forward planner! But trying to have a good day, everyday, one at a time, works for me. Take care!

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  2. It was easier in March. We had spring and summer ahead of us and I saw it as an opportunity for uninterrupted messing around in the garden. Which is indeed what I have done, even if I didn’t achieve half of the things I over-optimistically set out to do. Now we face winter and I am dreading it. I shall have to take a leaf out of your book, get cosy in front of the fire and knit a jumper. It’s something I say every year and never really do. No better time than now!

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    1. Yes I agree. In spring, with fabulous weather, I could persuade myself I was just doing what I wanted to do! I think you are right about knitting or sewing or painting, some sort of indoor project. Do you crochet? It often grows faster than knitting so you get the reward quite quickly!

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  3. We are so lucky here as , apart from contact tracing and a limit on numbers for gatherings, things seem back to "normal". I do worry that it could give us a false sense of security. We rarely see anyone wearing a mask and do not wear them ourselves although Doug has been told to wear one to the hospital next week when he goes for his hernia operation.

    I do love your view.

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    1. You are very fortunate in new Zealand I think, both in the geographical isolation which must have helped and in good government!

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  4. I feel for you, it's the uncertainty and the on again/off again nature of the restrictions that is hard to deal with. Here in California, there haven't been such big swings. We started off with a lock down, when we were all paranoid about getting the virus from surfaces and had all our groceries delivered, spending ages wiping everything down with alcohol wipes. Now, even though the numbers aren't much better, we go to the store with our masks and have even recently gone out to dinner at outdoor restaurants. San Rafael closes the whole main street on Thursday and Friday evenings and the restaurants spread out across the road. I'm hoping they will see the wisdom of doing this every summer as it has revitalized the town. Luckily, most people in our state understand the need to wear masks and are very conscientious about it.

    The biggest factor for us in maintaining our sanity has been getting a puppy, something lots of people have been doing here. Cruiser keeps us busy and amused and brings much joy - as well as much more frequent visits from our daughter, Emma. She and I just got back from a trip to the beach with him, tired and sandy. Hanging over all this is the grim political situation and the increasing likelihood that Trump will refuse to accept the result of the election if he loses. Many people fear there is a real threat to our democracy. It's tempting to think that could never happen here but then many people said the same thing in Germany in the 1930s. Worrying times. I'll be glad when the fire season is over, as well as the election. Hoping for better things in 2021 and the chance to visit you again!

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    1. Lovely to hear from you! Your puppy looks delightful in micks pictures and I can really imagine how he gives you a focus and lots of fun. I always love the way that the things that delight a dog delight them anew every day! I do hope you are wrong about the election although I have been reading more and more articles which are really worrying. Let's hope that next year gives us back our freedoms!

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  5. I feel the same ... where is this heading? I’m accepting that mask wearing is the new norm. My resolution last new year was to go out more, socialise more, much as I love working in my studio it’s solitary. But now that’s the default position and it’s good I’m content with it.
    My main sadness is for my Mum who moved into a care home in September last year. On the plus side I know she has tasty and varied food and is safe, warm and looked after. But I have only seen her very briefly 3 times since early March, she hasn’t had her hair cut since February, her toenails need cutting ( I was allowed in for 5 mins wearing PPE to cut them for her, staff aren’t allowed to do it, they are still trying to find a chiropodist willing to visit), she has only seen the outside world once from a hospital minibus after being checked out because she fell. No visiting people to do activities or trips out. She’s wondering what’s the point of being shielded.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. That must be very hard indeed for her and for you. There seems to be such a range of approaches taken in care homes and while I'm sure they are all trying to do the best for their residents there are emotional needs as well as physical ones. I really hope that things improve soon. Will you let me know what happens? I will be thinking of you.

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  6. Our numbers aren't nearly as concerning as yours in the UK, but they've been climbing steadily the last few weeks and some restrictions have come back along with exhortations to voluntarily restrict ourselves in the most obvious ways (small gatherings, maintaining distance, wearing masks in indoor spaces shared with those not in our "bubble"). But then the bubble theory has become very shaky since the kids went back to school, so we're being as deliberate and mindful as possible in every move outside of home (and allowing very few inside). Thanksgiving here is October 12th, generally a favourite holiday which eschews the hype associated with the US version. But I'm not sure if we'll try to gather our two in-town families together, never mind have our son's family come over for that occasion. Still, as you say, we're well sheltered and we're lucky that we both have interests and activities we enjoy that can still be pursued safely, even once the weather changes. My biggest yearning is to see our Italian crew. . .

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    1. Very interesting to hear about your experience Frances. We too are trying to take daily careful decisions in order to balance some sort of life with moderating the risks of social contact. We in our part of North Wales are now on an Amber list which means that the next stage would be the reintroduction of local restrictions. We will see what happens. I have often thought of your family in Italy, both in the early stages of lockdown and since then when travel restrictions have kept them inaccessible. I hope they are all well and that you get to see them face to face again soon. But we are, as you say, pretty lucky. There is much we enjoy which is still available to us and we have each other's company. Take care and keep safe xx

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  7. The uncertainty with which we're all living is wearying and hard. Although we had been warned about the possibility of a second wave it seemed to hit very suddenly, knocking us back into the deep waters we'd not long emerged from. Living day by day is the only way to get through I think - weighing up actions carefully and cautiously.
    I'm glad I went to the dentist and hairdresser for my colour before the tide turned!
    It's so interesting to read comments from people in other parts of the world; it really does bind us together - so thank you to all foreign correspondents!

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    1. Totally agree about how interesting it is to hear from people in other countries and even in other parts of the UK. It really does make you realise how much this is a global pandemic. I'm glad too that we did manage to visit our nearest and dearest before the walls closed in again. Just got to batten down the hatches now!

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  8. We´re all living in Spain a very swinging and uncertain situation. New restrictions in some cities as Madrid and partial restrictions and lockdown in other areas of Spain. Also there is a significant increase of infected and deaths all over Spain. A great majority of Spanish we don´t trust the government and politicians we have at present. In addition to this, we are starting to get through severe social and economic consequences.
    Autumn is already here. I´m living day by day and grateful for all the good I have: love, health and joy. I appreciate it more than ever! Take care all!

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    1. The problems in Spain sound very like those in the UK luz! There is certainly a lack of trust in the government and in politicians generally. Things are probably not helped by a difference of approach between the four home nations of the UK. There is a lot of confusion as to exactly what the rules are! I totally agree with you about the importance of finding the joy in the everyday. Today that has been a good book (The Foundling by Stacey halls), a walk up the hill and a good meal of chilli con carne. We must relish the small things!

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