There have been rapid developments here in the UK during the past week in respect to Covid-19. Our Heir to the throne, Prince Charles, has tested positive for the virus which considering he’s in his 70s is worrying. We all think “bah, he’s loaded and will receive the best health care in the country” and while this is true there is no cure for the virus. We know that those over 70 tend to be more severely affected than younger adults and I’m sure his family are concerned.
Our Prime Minister Boris Johnson also started to show symptoms this week and has tested positive. Ditto our Health Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor. Holy crap. While they are all displaying “mild symptoms” for now, we know that the virus starts attacking the lungs in earnest on about day 4 or 5 and even if you survive you are left feeling like you’ve been run over by a 10 tonne truck, so I doubt they will be able to carry on running the country like nothing is happening. The very last thing we need now is lack of leadership because it risks the country descending into chaos.
On the plus side, the very first person in the House of Commons to be infected with the virus back on 11th March, Junior Health Minister Nadine Dorries, is now fully recovered and back at work.
The county where I live has the most Covid-19 cases of anywhere in the entire UK outside London. We are a rural area with a sparse population, so theoretically should have the least cases. However at the start of March, despite weeks of being told to social distance and stay at home, tourists still flocked to the Lake District in their tens of thousands treating the pandemic like a holiday. They brought the virus with them and we locals are now living with the consequences. Despite being on total lockdown for a week now, and travel being limited to ‘essential only’, people are still driving miles to walk their dogs up the fells or to take selfies up the lakes. There are no words for their behaviour.
My shit-for-brains neighbour is continuing to come to work right next to my home, despite the fact you can only go out to work if that work is ‘essential’. I’m not sure why he thinks covering someone’s couch in new fabric qualifies. He doesn’t even need the cash now that measures have been announced to financially support the self-employed. I am beginning to despise him with a deep passion.
I am hugely dismayed to see that some people on social media are criticizing the government and still harping on about Brexit. FFS, really?! We have had 3 years of division and you want to choose now to pick at the scabs?
To anyone criticizing the government at the moment, I’d fucking love to see you running the country. We are in unprecedented times. No-one has a plan for something this catastrophic. No country is coping any better than we are, well possibly with the exception of China – the cultural ‘firm hand’ with which the government rules there might decimate human rights but at least citizens were too petrified to disobey the rules to stay at home. To all those screaming for more testing, where on earth do you think these tests would be coming from? We didn’t know this virus existed 4 months ago and the entire world want tests. That’s 80 billion folks. Dream on. Ditto for ventilators. Who knew the world would suddenly need tens of millions of them and where do people think they are going to come from when half the workforce is self-isolating?
I think considering the timescale of spread of the virus we’re doing as well as can be expected.
I’m not sure the same can be said of Trump. Having watched China, Italy and then the UK be ravaged by Covid-19, telling US citizens not to worry back in February and that the fast-spreading coronavirus is “going to go away,” soon, probably by “April,” was reckless at best. He should have had the States on lockdown weeks ago.
The UK is now getting its act together more, after 3 weeks of rapid viral spread. Supermarkets are now organized, with much needed shields for checkout staff, dedicated aisles you can and can’t go down, only allowing 1 person in the store at a time etc. We have been told to only shop for essentials, but despite that we see on social media people buying scatter cushions, fake tan and false eyelashes. Jaysus
There is still a dearth of delivery slots for online groceries as they are booked up for a month. Many younger healthy adults booked home deliveries at the start of the crisis, even though they are perfectly able to go out to shop. They should be strung up because their selfishness has meant that the very old, already sick and vulnerable now have no way of getting their food shopping. The major supermarkets are working both together, and with the government, on recruiting more vans and drivers and giving new priority slots to the most vulnerable which includes my Mum. 1.5 million people have been identified as being most at risk and special measures are going to be put in place to support them. However, that still leaves some very ill and disabled people, such as my elderly friend who can barely walk, lives alone with no family nearby, and who doesn’t qualify as ‘most at risk’ as he doesn’t have lung disease, stuck.
Thankfully, community groups have sprung up country-wide, with an army of fabulous volunteers offering their services. Yesterday I managed to contact a nurse who has offered to collect my disabled friends’ prescription for him in town and deliver it to his home ❤. I also rang round all the restaurants and cafes as many are now doing free home delivery, and have arranged for him to have a meal taken to his home every day (he can’t stand long enough to cook anything).
I was lucky in that I already have home grocery delivery and always book my slot 3 weeks in advance, so was able to do not only my own food shopping this week but also my parents, my 80 yr old next door neighbours, and shop for an elderly friend in the next town who came to pick it up from me (it was left in bags by the front gate and we shouted a “hello” to each other!). We are now limited to 80 items though, so this week I might only be able to shop for myself and my parents. If greedy bastards hadn’t bulk bought/hoarded at the start of the crisis that wouldn’t have been needed *sigh*.
All non-urgent operations are cancelled for months, which leaves my poor Dad who can still hardly hobble as he needs an urgent hip replacement, in pain and struggling 😦 He’s actually been very unwell this week. As you know, he has some kind of puzzling auto-immune disease and last year had regular vomiting/diarrhoea episodes. He hasn’t had one for 12 months and suddenly this week has had a corker. Why now for God’s sake?! He has had severe diarrhoea for 3 days, can’t eat or drink, is 80 years old and there is no healthcare available. Last night my brother went to the pharmacy for him some Immodium, so we’ll just have to see how he is today. He has no fever so we’re as sure as we can be it’s not a/the virus (Covid-19 can produce diarrhoea in some patients). He’d had an accident in the night on Thursday though bless him, so yesterday I had to go and strip the bed, deep clean the bathroom and scrub the carpets, despite being unwell myself.
The worry and emotional strain for someone in my position, ie ill themselves but also looking after ill elderly relatives, is huge and I admit that today I feel like death warmed up. Plus I have a migraine, which unfairly aren’t taking any time off and are plaguing me as usual I’m not sleeping well, though that’s in large part to my shooting, burning leg pain which is torturing me, and my appetite has done a bunk. I’m trying to force myself to eat as I know I need to keep my strength up for my parents, but it’s hard going.
Speaking of which, I must get some breakfast. All I managed yesterday was a sandwich and a small dish of fruit.
Take care. We here in Britain are thinking of you all in America. Do what you have to to stay safe xoxo