Sunday, 26 July 2020

The virus

I have dear friends who are staying in their house in Spain and are due to return home on Tuesday.   Now they will have to self-isolate for fourteen days on their return.  How very unreal all this is during these days of such uncertainty.   In fact I think it is the uncertainty that is making this outbreak more and more stressful.   When lockdown first started another dear friend said he would send me a postcard each week while it lasted, that he had a book of twelve stamps but he didn't expect lockdown would last that long.   But of course it has now lasted much longer than that and the ugly threat of its return is never far away - and that is what is causing so many, including me, to have this awful feeling (which I don't think I have ever experienced before) that any minute, without any warning, the rug will be pulled from under my feet.  

My confidence - and that of many of my friends -   has also taken quite a beating.   I am still quite happy to drive into our little town each week to go to the Hairdressers.   But would I drive into our county town of Northallerton, which is only just over twenty miles away?   I am not sure - the need has not arisen.   But if it did then I would have to have a serious talk with myself before I set off.

Amongst ourselves we ask whether things will ever be the same again.   Perhaps a year from now we will look back and laugh at this feeling but at the moment it is hard to imagine things ever getting back to any kind of normal.   What happened with Spanish flu and the great pandemic of the 1917-20?    Did they find a vaccine for that or did the virus get weaker and weaker and just eventually die out?

Don't think on reading this that I feel depressed about it all.   I manage to keep myself happily occupied, I have a few chats with folk every day, I don't really miss the lunches out and I rather enjoy eating at home (today a ready meal of caramelised Vietnamese Pork (with ginger and chilli) which I served with egg fried rice and a mixture of cauliflower and broccoli.    This was one of the meals I bought from the farm shop I rave about.   It was tasty but not one that I shall buy again.

I must say that (as I usually do each year) I bought a few new clothes for summer on line and have been nowhere to wear  them (all  dressed up and nowhere to go as my Mother used to say).   At the rate things are going Winter will be upon us and they will still be sitting in my wadrobe.

24 comments:

justjill said...

I feel much the same. Shielding for me is lifting and I am allowed people in the house so I have a friend visiting Wednesday. 6 feet apart. I really am not sure I will relax enough to enjoy. As you say will things ever be normal again. I dont think so.

Bovey Belle said...

Oh gosh, you have been reading my mind I think. I have an outside viewing tomorrow (still shielding) but after 16th August it is deemed safe to let strangers into my home (unless I decide against it, but then we DO need to sell our house). Yet, is it safe to hug my son and daughter when they come to visit, or allow them in the house?

As Jill has said, how can you relax when you don't know if someone may unknowingly have the virus? Until there is a vaccine, none of us are truly safe.

I have been trying to build up confidence because of the viewing and even managed a visit to our (quiet) garden centre to choose some plants for the garden, but I nearly suffocated inside wearing my mask (it was very airless and so affected my breathing). It will be a while before I go back, because of that.

I have only bought one new top since the beginning of the year and was pleased to find a new pair of jeggings in the drawer which I had forgotten I had, so that's me all kitted out (and like you, nowhere to go!!)

Tom Stephenson said...

I think you are taking a gamble if you think that you have to take a holiday outside the UK this Summer. My friend timed it right - he arrived from Spain (where he lives) to visit his parents a couple of days ago. I don't think anything will ever be the same again, Weave. Some good, some not so good.

Chris said...

Things are much the same here. We are still in Stage 2 of opening up after the lockdown but I think I will just continue to stay home except for a once weekly trip to the grocery store. My family and my tennis friends do visit me but usually stay outdoors.

Ursula said...

Yes, Weaver, that rug underneath one's feet. To be pulled. No wonder I am a wooden floors person. Not that that means one can't slip, or be tripped up.

Judging by what I hear, and also the fact that I work largely from home anyway, and being thick skinned and what not, I don't feel particularly affected by the whole caboodle. For me, on reading the news and talking to people, it's more an intellectual exercise in how, politically and practically, it's been mishandled; meanwhile shoving, conveniently, Brexit and its fallout underneath the carpet. And also showing us, humans, that we are not almighty, that we may be held in check by nature.

Of course, but you won't see that since you live in the country (lucky you), in towns and cities all hell has broken loose in the last few weeks. Restraint no more. Where a month ago I used to walk something akin to Armageddon (empty streets) I am now challenged by my fellow shoppers to keep them at two meters' length. Dancing the Tango is easy compared to getting to the bananas in aisle 25. Plus, the one big disadvantage of us suddenly being condemned to wearing masks indoors: People think they are immune. Pile it on.

Will it ever be the same? Who knows. As long as I can procure a tree and the traditional goose come Christmas I'll sit it out, patiently. It's youngsters and the abandoned elderly I feel for.

Right, Weaver: Forget all of the above, lengthy as it is. In summary: As the Angel (that's my son) would say: "It is what it is". To which I'd reply: Yes. And what it is is shite.

All the best,

U

Ellen D. said...

As I get older, I think often about "getting the rug pulled out from under my feet". Maybe because I had unexpected surgery on a tumor this year (all is well now) but I keep thinking "what next?" It isn't just COVID, it is aging! My daughter encourages me to think more positive and keep more active but I am often worrying about what the next calamity might be coming my way. Got to stop that and be more happy in the present! Easier said than done! Thanks for posting!

Joanne Noragon said...

I feel what you mean. I had to drive a bit to get to my grandson's virtual graduation yesterday, and realized how little I've driven of late, and practice makes perfect.

Red said...

You give some great examples of why there is uncertainty regarding .Covid. Many people are just waiting for a vaccine. we don't know how far off that will be and if it will be of any value.We are going to have to adapt and change.

Bea said...

It's good that your friends are allowed to return to the UK. I think, as it stands, travel between our country (USA) and yours has been suspended for the time being.

I don't wish to travel too far from home at present. I also have no need to really go anywhere. Be well.

Cro Magnon said...

There are laboratories the world over who keep deadly viruses. It takes just one (in this case in China) to get their procedures wrong, and we all suffer; possibly for ever. Monday is my shopping day. I shall drive the 40 Km round trip, wear my uncomfortable mask, and have had no enjoyment whatsoever. I don't see this changing.

Derek Faulkner said...

Fortunately, so far, the whole thing has had minimal effect on me. Throughout it all I've still gone to the supermarket almost every week, still gone to the paper shop every morning and still gone for my patrol round the nature reserve with my dog every day. I've managed to not let it affect me mentally as it has many people, and have taken the attitude that if I keep things simple and not take risks, then that's the best that I can do, if it gets me then so be it. Where we've been let down is by all those people that had to pack beaches and attend
packed protests in the cities, or rush to have that must have holiday in Spain the minute that they could.

thelma said...

There is no answer, we have had a traffic like system from our leaders,(stop, go) which has led to the present situation of the virus returning. We have to accept that nothing will ever be normal for a long time yet. Commonsense can never be practised by millions of people.

Debbie said...

In the future, a Martian anthropologist studying this era of our existence through artefacts, papers and films recovered from the time, may well conclude that all the Brits cared about during this crisis were holidays and pubs and eating out.

Rachel Phillips said...

I think people should make their own decisions with what they are comfortable with for themselves and their personal health circumstances paying attention to respect for others at the same time. There is far too much fear around, most of it unfounded, and far to much blaming others for everything.

Poppy Q said...

I think that people rushing off on their holidays were a bit naive thinking that there would be no risk. The only way to keep Covud away is to close your borders and quarantine anyone coming in.

Best to stick close to home at the moment I think.

Jennyff said...

As you know we have been in Italy for 3 weeks now with no return plans, since we are retired we can cope with quarantine when we come back as we did when we arrived in Italy. We were feeling safe here in the mountainside out of the village, which we haven’t visited but last Friday morning we went to a local outdoor market. It certainly wasn’t the pleasant experience it used to be, we wore masks and didn’t touch things, there was little conversation with stall holders and all that rather knocked my confidence. Back at our house I felt better, I’m sure a lot of people feel the same and holidays abroad may not live up to expectations, we have a long way to go yet.

JayCee said...

Although our island has been virus free for over a month and our restrictions have eased, we are not totally safe yet. Our government is now allowing residents to travel off-island to anywhere in the world provided they promise to self isolate for 14 days on their return. I cannot really see that working out as there are many who will just not comply and therefore the risk will return, as before.

DUTA said...

It seems the virus is not going anywhere, and a vaccine won't probably solve problems. So, everyone should take responsability for himself and decide what to do about things.
Life is certainly going to change. There are parents that don't intend to send their children to school in September; there are people who'll never eat out again, etc..

Christina said...

You should wear your new summer clothes even if you stay in and around your house, it would be a shame to tidy them away for next year. Maybe for your next Zoom coffee meeting? I assume that the 1918 flu pandemic fizzled out because enough people developed immunity (or sadly died) and there was herd immunity against this particular virus.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your comments - not a lot to cheer me up in them but that is, of course, because we are all in the same boat and all feel pretty much the same about it. The only answer - and you all seem to agree, is to soldier on.

A Smaller Life said...

I think it is simply a case of some folk rushing off on holidays and trying to get completely 'back to normal' that is causing spikes and so further lockdowns. Total craziness.

Here in Wales near us, the Police warned drivers not to swarm to Snowdon or their cars would be towed away ... and they were. The sensible ones used the Park and Ride, found the system worked fine for social distancing and had a good day out.

We all just have to learn to live simply and be happy with it for the moment, however long that 'moment' is. It does sound like you are being very sensible.

Anonymous said...

I have been surprised by some people's response to the threat of the virus .. and cognizant of my own fragility.

Ruth said...

We're all in the same boat. Wise advice is to live one day at a time, and I guess it's the best we can do. There's a lot of information on line about the "Spanish" flu. It isn't known exactly where it originated. They developed vaccines for it that were ineffective because they didn't know flu was caused by a virus. I copied this from one site:

"The first approved version of the vaccine was administered to soldiers in 1945, during World War II. Civilians were able to get vaccinated the following year. Influenza viruses are able to mutate through antigenic drift and shift, which necessitates constantly adapting vaccine varieties."

I haven't found anything to explain what happened to the Spanish flu up until then.

Thank goodness we have a better chance of a vaccine being developed for this virus, something to hope for. Enjoy each day as it comes! You are so blessed with the rain. We are in sore need of it, as crops are drying up, not to mention everything else.

Rachel Phillips said...

Spanish flu burned itself out eventually when herd immunity was achieved. Herd immunity will only be achieved if we are free to get out and back to normal.