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.