This is 2020 England. Viral outbreaks don’t happen here, they are just vague news items concerning continents like Africa and Asia. Okay, different cold and flu viruses make their rounds each year, and yes, a few tragic deaths do occur because of these, but even this is something that happens to other people. Because of a heart condition, I have my annual flu jabs so have become complacent.
A few weeks ago I heard some other vague news items about a flu virus in China, involving a more deadly strain than the usual seasonal flu bugs. Several deaths had occurred, but this didn’t involve me, right?
Then I heard news reports, this time not so vague, of this same virus spreading to Europe. People at this time are now showing real concern, especially for the people that are spreading the virus through stupidity and arrogance.
Now it’s here. People are dying in England, the government are putting measures in place to protect as many people as possible, but then the panic-buying started! I won’t go into a lot of detail about this as I have already ranted in another post, but it’s having a crippling effect on a lot of vulnerable people.
As I’m classed as one of these, I’m self-isolating, as is the rest of my household, but it’s impossible to isolate completely. We still have deliveries, and though we are steralising everything that comes in from outside, are we safe? Our landlord is making repairs, and though we are vigilant about washing our hands after touching anything that could possibly be contaminated, the fear is always there that we could have missed something.
I have an appointment at my local surgery next week which is essential, I can’t miss it. I will wear a mask and wash my hands when I return, but will it be enough?
This virus is spreading rapidly, and because the NHS is strained to the limit and is not testing everyone with symptoms, we may never know just how many people are affected nor just how widespread it is.
The situation is surreal. It’s sunny outside, a true spring day. Everything looks normal, but gone is the normal, everyday conversation; people are now talking only about this crisis.
The human race is indomitable and a lot of people, including myself, are finding humour in the situation, but that’s a defence mechanism to cover up just how scared we all are. Are we going to lose loved ones? How long will it take for the economy to recover when it’s all over? How long before the virus makes a comeback?
I’ve never been a particularly social person, but that was always through choice. Now I can’t socialise I’m feeling the strain. There’s only so much Netflix, Britbox and Prime I can watch!
I feel very grateful for the individuals and businesses who are putting themselves at risk to continue to provide for and help others. The doctors and nurses who are in the frontline, so to speak; the retail stores and staff who are working to provide supplies, putting themselves at great risk in doing so; the volunteers who are providing for the elderly and vulnerable so they don’t have to leave their homes.
We don’t know how long this situation will last and what measures will need to be taken by the government to try and ensure people’s safety, but all we can do is try and keep ourselves and our loved ones as safe as possible and follow government guidelines.
I’m a religious person and am missing the association of my spiritual brothers and sisters, but we are supporting each other in the best way we can while trying to stay safe.
I’m writing this little journal mostly for myself, but if posterity is interested in the little people, they are welcome to it, too! 🙂