Self Isolation Week One

JOY DIVISION HAD A SONG CALLED ISOLATION

DAY SEVEN: We are effectively in lockdown. We knew it was coming I think, especially after the fools at the weekend ignored the warning and flocked to the seaside, like it was May Bank Holiday. People don’t believe it’s that serious, that it won’t affect them, maybe now they will stay at home and save lives instead of risking them.

 

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I remain with no symptoms thankfully and continue to self isolate. I took delivery of my medications today from Healthcare at Home. The driver left the package inside the door and I collected it with gloved hands and my mouth and nose covered. I thank them for continuing to get this vital treatment to people with underlying conditions during this crisis. I hope that continues.

I am scared for my friends and family if they should contract the disease just like everyone else will be. I hope people will act on the new advice and stay home, to support the NHS in their fight to bring Coronavirus under control if at all possible.

I have to say again thank you to everyone who has helped me and continues to help me dropping of essentials or ringing up and having a chat. And to all the people who are caring for others, dreaming up new ways to connect communities, entertain, stimulate and provide distraction to the isolation keep doing it, it may be the difference between getting through this relatively unscathed.

I’d cross my fingers but that ship sailed months ago.

Stay Safe Stay Home Save Lives!

Day Six:Despite promises to support workers of all types freelancers and self-employed at this moment are being thrown to the wall. The Universal Credit Application online will be a nightmare, the information online is standardised and fails to mention corona virus once.  I predict a rise in suicide from claimants unable to convince govt robots of their need. There are so many criteria points to hit about hours worked and previous earnings and a host of other qualifications. First thing my mum asked on the phone this morning was whether or not I’d applied yet, if not why not…?safe_image.jpg CLICK TO SIGN PETITION

I suppose I’m hoping for something a bit more direct and funnily enough universal. I know I’m lucky, I have food in I could survive my electric is topped up to twenty quid which equates to twenty days approx… I could survive? I will survive I’m talking like there is a choice there really isn’t. I’m sure lockdown real lockdown is on the way, after hundreds of covidiots fled to the coast for a last hurrah. You can bet your last quid that corona was getting busy among the crowds.

I did get to do something positive today by contributing to a podcast celebrating mums produced by Hull Is This called Reflections For Mother’s Day  LISTEN HERE . We also explored some ideas about putting the next Women of Words event online in some shape or form.I hope this week brings some clarity, can’t realistically hope for a breakthrough we are in this for the long haul, it may even be a global game changer. Maybe this is the start of a new era in human civilisation?  (I know that’s questionable looking at the scenes in the local supermarkets, civilised is hardly the word you would use to describe them)

Our Commander in Chief Bojo is scared for his political future, and doesn’t want to go down in history as the PM who shutdown the UK. He pussyfooted around at the beginning of the week, asking people to socially distance and self isolate, rather than ordering the lockdown and losing us a week in the fight.

The figures tell a stark story: since I started this blog the fatalities due to coronavirus have increased by 400%. The daily increase was in 30s now they have jumped up to increases in 60s, and there’s nothing to suggest the daily increase won’t be measured in 90’s at some point this week.

20,000 deaths is a good outcome, they said, and that’s with restrictive action, without the distancing and isolation measures, then that figure rises considerably. How do you know it’s not going to be your mum, dad, child, grandparent, friend, colleague, carer, lover…? You really don’t. Don’t risk all our lives.

Stay Safe Stay Home Hull! 

Day Five:90713122_192916708829716_8976780969205825536_n.jpgYesterday I thanked everybody who has helped me this week but I forgot to mention the person who put me in lock down as long ago as last Saturday. She saw the writing on the wall long before we did and stocked my freezer for me ( no more than one of things but enough to get me through 2/3 weeks) And she did that because I can only carry two half bags of shopping at a time due to my stupid hands, so to do the same I’d have had to go to the supermarket at least four times. So thank you Barbara for seeing what was coming and for being the first person to come to my aid. I know you’ve a tough week ahead and I am crossing everything for you.

Anyway I feel like I’m defending myself, and I’ve been in self isolation all week. I’ve not touched another human apart from elbows since last friday.  ‘Writing on the wall…’ I should have known its biblical in origin Book of Daniel if you want to follow it up.The financial uncertainty continues I need someone to tell me what I should do apply for Universal Credit now, or wait for some other measure that might be quicker and more direct.

Momentarily I forget that this is happening, then I remember and think it’s just so incredible, in the real sense of the word, how can this be our 2020? Two weeks ago I went to theatre, three workshops and had gigs booked in the Minster and in libraries Hull and Halifax and other work,  vital to my survival and sanity and identity, and now it’s gone. I’ll close because I can hear the chimes of doom…

Stay Safe Hull! 

Day Four: SELF-ISOLATION FOR THREE MONTHS, SIX MONTHS, TWELVE MONTHS… who knows? What I do know is that this week I have been helped to make this transition into lockdown far easier than it could have been.The death toll is rising the number of confirmed cases has doubled to near on 4,000 and we have as a country gone into lockdown now. Whatever the new normal is it begins in earnest now.self_isolate_2x.jpg Cartoon By Niall Murphy

It is strange watching weather reports, this weekend is forecast for blue skies across the country but this means very little to us now, since we can only go out for essentials, work and maybe that vital bit of social distanced exercise for an hour. What else is weird is my dad using text speak writing Luv u (he uses his phone to send a text message about four times a year, if that)

Also adverts are weird too, the people in adverts are living in a world before the virus, images of family dinners, urging us to go and buy a new sideboard during the SALE NOW ON. I imagine advertising will change to meet the needs of the new society… And I know if we don’t get this right there will be no society.

How do we finance this new normal? Dishy Rishi Sunak may well be PM in waiting he’s certainly endeared himself to the UK with his announcements of rescue packages for businesses and workers of all kinds. I’m not clear if the Universal Credit/ Statutory Sick Pay Rate plus £1000 is the whole thing. I worked it out as approximately 459.00 a month from which rent, utility bills and council tax has to come out which for me is around 430.00 a month leaving 29.00 a month for food. If I have got the initial figure wrong please do correct me… it’s rather difficult to focus on numbers right now.

For now the only number in my head is the number of people who have helped me this week and they deserve naming so thank you to Nick, Ruth, Cilla, Mo, Susan, Jo, Tamar and her mum, and George and Sadie.  Thanks to those ten people who have made massive gestures of generosity and time, I am eternally grateful, and I hope in time I can find a way to say thank you.

STAY SAFE HULL!

Day Three:It’s been a day of witnessing and experiencing kindnesses with the stories of people picking up prescriptions for strangers, gin distilleries making hand sanitiser (there’s a line I never thought I’d write) delivering food parcels, and my two friends making arrangements, so I can stay in touch with the online world a bit more.

The whole world is moving online faster than KC Lightstream. It’s not just distance learning, but distance yoga, distance theatre, virtual open mic, streaming festivals against the virus… not to mention all the updates from the govt. about new regulations and advice for the best ways to beat this thing.

After our walk we discussed how we might do an exercise class through the window, maybe even learn some new choreography for my solo celebratory dance when all this is over: 12 weeks should be just enough time.

I had my blood test today its a regular one that I have monthly, to check that the proteins on my joints aren’t going nuts. But it could be worse. I could have kids who I’m trying to keep entertained indoors while isolating, or a loved one who I can’t be with because of symptoms, or vulnerability status. So many variations on this isolation theme.ETddwGoWkAAnYcXMassive applause for my nurse and the rest of the nurses, and the entire NHS Team who are doing everything possible and more besides, to prepare and care for the patients who have or will get this virus. 

So what’s coming down the line? To coin a popular phrase with Bojo. Actually my mum said on the phone that everyone’s fate lies in the lap of Boris Johnson… which is not the most pleasant of pictures. It was good that she rang me, I was grateful for the call.

I was not grateful for the call from the woman asking me whether I wanted to switch my gas supply. Are they now targeting people because they know they are at home more? I wasn’t sure if it was a scam, she asked me for my postcode and I wished her a good day and hung up. You can’t be too careful these are strange days.

I slept well last night for the first time. I wasn’t alone I took an old teddy bear with me. Don’t know why I had this sudden impulse but it worked, and I’ll do the same tonight and hope I wake up still hugging him. Finally big shout to the SOTG crew… you know who you are.

Stay Safe Hull!

Day Two: 60690719_10161662492140307_586658452068106240_nThe big news is that schools across the UK are to be closed as of friday, in an interesting move and to perhaps pick up on all those unable to do distance learning through a lack of tech capacity, daytime tv is to be populated with educational programmes. I did wonder if schedules would change because let’s face it, daytime telly is not likely to aide your time in isolation. I remember Larry the Lion or was it Lenny helped us with our reading I think back in the late seventies.

Now also on tv a local news report of an South Asian medical doctor received racial abuse on her way to work to help combat the pandemic. What kind of small-minded idiot starts shouting and abusing someone and blaming them for the Coronavirus because of their race? Just utterly appalling and the fact it was here in Hull. Despicable!

There has been much to cheer about today, really heart-warming tales of people supporting others including yours truly. I had a visit from Dr Babs Danish with a bag of essentials which she left on the doorstep for me. So today’s entry is sponsored by Sainsbury’s own brand Cranberry Juice and cookies. Dr Babs also sent me a couple of songs from a singalong she did with her family last night: one that called for us all to open our minds… always a good idea and one a really beautiful duet of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. I also got given some very welcome fruit from my designated carer – my mate Jo – who comes to do my meds each week now.

They’ve just upped the dosage to counteract the pain spasms from my arms and shoulders.There was a glorious half hour tonight, where as best I could, I joined in the online dance class. All day we’ve heard people finding innovative ways to connect with audiences, customers, clients, friends and strangers…

So it was with our dance class going live with Tamar and Jo sharing some adapted phrases for us all to try, live from the living room and having a lot of fun while dancing. It’s these things I think will in weeks to come become like touchstones for humanity… these moments where via screen you can be yourself, do what you love doing.

That’s all for today the numbers are rising I feel for all those who are struggling, a word to all those families who have loved ones in lockdown in residential care homes, who they can’t visit. How do you explain to a severely disabled person that there loved ones can’t visit, and you can’t say when that might change.

 Stay Safe Hull!

Day One: 

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Cartoon found on Twitter (artist unknown)

It’s getting serious out there, and those pictures of people lined up in intensive care units laid on their fronts, trying to fight off the virus, looks horrific. I have an auto-immune condition and take biologicals to treat it, so my immune system is continuously compromised. It makes sense to reduce contact, to do the Wuhan shuffle or the elbow thing… strange how these things have become so readily adopted.

I have no symptoms of Covid 19 – just realised the 19 is because it was first seen in 2019 – and apart from a heightened awareness of my own health I am fine as ever I have been. I jumped on a thread on social media asking for help with a stepladder to replace the bulb in my kitchen and Nick from the uber-talented Fonda 500 a muso’s band with a back catalogue as long as as your arm, rushed to my aid. I now have light in my kitchen so can cook safely after the sun goes down.

A good friend, a wise friend,to whom I am eternally grateful, foresaw this self-isolation scenario and did stock my freezer at the weekend, so I have food in. So today’s blog was brought to you by RITZ Crackers… the daddy of the cracker world. the only cracker you’ll ever wake up craving.

Isolating at this moment in time does not mean NEVER leaving the house, I took a walk for an hour to get some fresh air and exercise. And I am lucky i have a network of friends who I can call upon to help me with daily life as I need it. So many others will not have this cushion of support.

I am a freelance writer and have been documenting the art scene in the city of Hull for many years, I also co-produce Women of Words the spoken word event series which was about to celebrate its 4th Birthday. We are currently postponing April and May’s events after following the government’s reducing social contact guidelines.

I felt the howl of despair from the theatres bars and clubs, as people were advised to stay away from venues. And watched as one by one gigs, performances, workshops, seminars and more were pulled, and applauded the immediate action by particular arts organisations and groups in recognising the very real concern of people losing their livelihoods.

Lets hope policy makers do what Euro countries have done and protect all those freelancers, self- employed, on zero hour contracts, working in the gig economy by providing statutory sick pay and financial support.

There’s much more to say, but I’ve suddenly got some spare time on my hands, so I’ll catch you all tomorrow.

Stay Safe Hull!

1 Comment

Filed under health, Self Isolation

One response to “Self Isolation Week One

  1. Pingback: Self Isolation Week Five | MICHELLE DEE

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