The Current Situation

I feel I should write a post about the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, but if I’m totally honest I have no clue what to say.  On the one hand, as I lie here in my bed watching the birds outside, life seems to be carrying on as usual.  It’s only when my Tesco shopping arrives minus toilet roll, soap or milk that I realize things are far from normal.  I feel like I’m living outside my body and watching the situation unfold from afar, a coping mechanism my brain decided on at the age of 7 when I came home from school one day to find suitcases lined up in the hall and my Mum telling me, without warning or preparation, we were leaving my entire life and family behind and moving 200 miles away.  The only way my brain could even begin to cope with that was to shut down my emotions and just crack on, and on the whole that’s how I’ve dealt with crisis situations ever since.

Despite some aspects of life being totally alien, other aspects by necessity have to carry on as ‘normal’.  Before all this started I was having a huge problem in my house, which I don’t want to talk about because I’m honestly on the verge of a nervous breakdown with the stress, and that still has to be sorted out though it’s proving difficult because the very specialist tradesman dealing with it has had to self isolate as he has an underlying lung condition.

I was already in a bad patch ME-wise due to all the stress involved in the house-move-that-never-was, so am at a super low ebb both physically and mentally.  I watch all the healthy people on the telly having fun at home, reading books, doing exercise videos, and it is so far removed from my own situation it only adds to the isolation.

It’s been eye-opening seeing how my friends and family have dealt with events.  Some are just doing their own thing, not thinking of anyone but themselves, not offering to help anyone and seemingly unconcerned for the welfare of their friends and family, while others are really stepping up to the plate.  I had a text off my Niece last night, offering to shop for me, walk the dog or do anything else she could – this, despite the fact her Mum has breast cancer and is about to start chemotherapy, when she will be unable to see her AT ALL as my Niece is a teacher and still working with children attending school as their parents are key workers.  I had my Tesco delivery on Thursday and there was no milk so my neighbour, who was going to the supermarket in town, got some for me and dropped it off and her eldest daughter who is now off school has offered to help walk Bertie if needed.  While other people haven’t once picked the phone up to ask how I’m doing or offer much needed contact.

Despite feeling very unwell and going through one of the most stressful events of my life with my house, I’ve still tried to help other people.  I got my elderly, disabled friend set up with online grocery shopping, so at least know he has food being delivered this week.  Another elderly friend couldn’t get a slot for 3 weeks, so I’ve offered to do his shopping with mine and drop it off to his house.  I’m also making sure I knock on my elderly next door neighbour’s door every day, and we have a chat shouting at each other from 6 feet away 😉

It’s tricky knowing whether or not to visit my parents.  My Mum is in the worst at risk group, being 80 and having kidney, lung and heart disease.  She is in lockdown.  My Dad, who doesn’t have the health risk factors but is still at risk due to his age, is still walking each morning to the supermarket for his newspaper making sure to stay away from people and washing his hands on return.  I barely see or come into contact with people on a normal week, let alone at the moment when I’m social distancing, so I’m aiming to spend Mothering Sunday with them as normal.  We had planned to go out for lunch, but instead I am doing a picnic and we are going for a drive up the lakes.

Some companies are doing all they can to help the isolated and vulnerable, offering home deliveries for free, opening for an hour to let elderly customers shop etc, while others are being total fuck-wits.  I sent for a jigsaw from Amazon for my Mum for Mother’s Day, to help her pass the time in isolation, but was out when Royal Mail delivered the item.  For some bizarre reason Amazon had requested a signature, so instead of knocking on my neighbours’ doors (ALL of whom were home), the driver took the parcel back to the depot.  I am now forced to make a 14 mile round trip into town, and to interact with staff dealing with the public when I feel really poorly and am trying to self isolate, to pick it up (I can’t have it redelivered until Monday, which is too late for Mothering Sunday).  Why the fuck couldn’t the postie have knocked on any of my neighbours’ doors, taken 3 steps back, shouted to the occupant if they could leave the parcel with them, left it on the step for the neighbour to take in or in my neighbour’s shed or garage, and signed for it on their behalf?  I could then simply have rung my neighbour and asked him to leave it on his step for me to pick up or collected it from his shed/garage.  The day before, I’d had a parcel delivered by the courier firm Hermes and they managed to deliver my item with no contact whatsoever!  The driver and I had a lovely conversation, with her stood by my front gate, me in the doorway and the parcel on the step – it’s do-able.  I rang Royal Mail to complain, and they said “it’s not our policy to help people self isolate”.  Are they fucking kidding me?!  If I ever have the mental energy I’ll be making a formal complaint.  I was going to write a little bit about the people who are bulk/panic buying, and how they should be fucking locked up, but my energy has totally conked :-/

I hope you’re all coping OK and that you are being well looked after.  Lots of love xx

 

13 thoughts on “The Current Situation

  1. Elaine Stammers

    Jak, I cannot begin to think how some people on their own and maybe with no helpful friends or family can self isolate, especially the elderly who don’t use computers to order things. You clearly have a kind heart given your own considerable problems plus health issues, in reaching out to others. I am a couple of years short of 70, and apart from the obvious historic ME/CFS issues (much improved from a few years back), and hypothyroidism, have no other underlying illnesses but I do feel myself to be a tad vulnerable, as my immune system is not great and recently got over a horrible virus.

    I have as you know just been bereaved, so quite apart from trying to think about how I will manage on my own in the weeks to come with no car and living on top of a hill (thank goodness I AM computer literate and have got home deliveries set up for the next 4 weeks as my sons all live miles away), am trying to organise a funeral for Thursday 26th where the goalposts keep changing daily. It’s gone from a funeral of maybe 50 people with a small social gathering afterwards at the back of the church, to just close family only – in our case around 9 or 10 of us in all. We are dreading them changing to the ‘worst case scenario’ before Thursday which is a live streamed funeral from a local church with facilities to do so (in our case it would be a church that I know my husband disliked!), with no attendees, other than the vicar and the funeral director. Not exactly what we planned but these are not ordinary times…..

    I don’t feel I can isolate from the 9 or 10 family until after the funeral, or follow guidance to sit ourselves feet away from each other. We will wash our hands and take the risk to weep and embrace I expect and one of my sons is with me for now in any case.

    After the funeral though I will be taking steps to isolate more though if not totally. I am concerned about an older neighbour/friend down the road, and have offered to get extra food on my delivery slots for her, and as she doesn’t even have a washing machine but goes to the launderette, to do the bigger items of washing for her. One younger neighbour next door who has been very kind since my husband’s death has offered to bring food items in for me from the village shop. Thankfully my husband had a tendency to buy extra of things such as loo rolls and long life milk, so I am OK on some things for a while.

    Sorry – taken over your blog here in my reply! I guess there will be some new blogs starting soon with this isolation lark.

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    1. Jak Post author

      I was just having a conversation this morning with my Mum on how anyone would cope with a funeral at the moment as one of their friends has died, and here you are exactly in this position. My heart goes out to you Elaine – I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like 😢

      I’m glad you have family you can lean on, but even that is fraught with dangers at the moment – it’s unbearable.

      Sending you and your family big hugs and I pray the funeral goes ahead as planned – I’ll be thinking of you x

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      1. Elaine Stammers

        Thank you Jak, I appreciate that.

        We may turn out to be among the ‘lucky’ ones with this funeral as I think very soon there will be no attendees allowed, though even ours is dependent on the Church of England not changing their advice. Whatever, yes, it’s turned a difficult event into a really difficult event and I personally will be relieved when it’s all over. There are considerable risks to me in that my sons and partners are coming in from outside the area, and even if they all wash etc, how do I know they are not carrying the virus – well I don’t of course…..just crossing my fingers really.

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      1. Elaine Stammers

        Thank you Sarah for your kind words. Sadly the funeral did indeed get upended yesterday as we were told by the Funeral Director that following Boris’s broadcast that we could no longer have it in the church as arranged.

        The FD has pulled off a bit of a miracle for us though, and got us rebooked into the Crematorium at 5 pm tomorrow ie the same day it was due to be, just a bit later – initially for just 30 mins instead of an hour which meant that the planned service was not going to work out. However after a bit of persuasion they have offered another 10 mins for free (as opposed to an extra half hour for £360) so we feel very lucky considering and with a bit of clipping of music/hymns etc can fit it into that time OK we feel. We can have our vicar coming too (he knew my husband well) and with just 7 of us attending as close family.

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    1. Jak Post author

      It’s a tricky one Livvy, and something I was thinking about while out with Bertie this morning.

      My parents live in an upstairs apartment, so the Tesco driver usually carries the food trays up into the kitchen for them. This week, however, I put a note on their shopping requesting Tesco bag the items (they dont do bags anymore as a rule), leave them in the hall, sign for them on my parents behalf, and my dad took the bags up on his knee on the stairlift.

      My driver usually brings my trays into the kitchen for me, but I’m requesting as of this week for them to bag the items and leave the bags on the doorstep and sign for them on my behalf.

      Tesco are really good. If anything they’ve sent is wrong, or damaged, or even if you ordered an item by mistake, you just ring them and they refund it. I’ve never used Sainsburys or ASDA but assume they are similar.

      The worst thing atm is that all the delivery slots are booked up for at least 3 weeks 😦 I book my slots 3 weeks in advance anyway, so am ok for now, but it’s going to be a struggle and might involve stopping up til midnight the day the slots become available to book one (which is what happens at Christmas every year!).

      Hope you’re managing OK x

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      1. sarah002685

        I’ve been lucky with delivery slots as I predicted it would be like this as it is at Christmas
        I’ve got the next 3 weeks and was going to cancel the one in between but have decided to put notes through my neighbours doors all of which at my end of the close are in the vulnerable category and ask if there’s anything they need

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      2. Olivia

        Thank you Jak, that’s really helpful. It sounds like you’ve had to think about lots of people. They delivered ours in bags in the end. I found that Asda do a delivery pass for reoccurring slots which is invaluable for self isolating vulnerable people. We have put a notice on the front door too – just in case a delivery driver doesn’t do the 2m distancing thing. Saying that the order we did for our Mom got cancelled w/o any notice, so not totally reliable at this very difficult time! Take care of yourself & your loved ones & neighbours. Xx

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  2. sarah002685

    Hi Jak. I recently had some counselling via the phone to deal with my Anxiety levels which were through the roof because of my Adrenal Insufficiency causes anxiety
    She sent me some worksheets which I’m more than happy to share
    I have worksheets on self soothing, being kind to yourself. She asked me how I am with other people, like my son, so why aren’t I that forgiving of myself? So true
    Another lot of worksheets were on goal setting which is aimed at disabled people and breaking tasks into more manageable goals
    Let me know what ones, if any you want me to share. That goes for any of your followers
    You take care and give Bertie a big hug from me x

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