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Coronavirus Diary

Tuesday 31st March 2020 Day 8

So, what happened to March 2020? The number of people who have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus has risen to 1,789. Sobering news.

Having completed the latest newsletter for the photographic club, I need to set myself another project: photographing smoke trails, sparklers, still life, a scene using miniature railway figures, an Audio Visual presentation, perhaps one about my Concorde project.

Monday 30th March 2020 Day 7

We wake to the news that 1,415 people in the UK have lost their lives to coronavirus and we are unlikely to return to normal life for something like 3 to 6 months. Looks like we are here for the long-haul.

It is a great concern for lots of people in isolation, I know, but I managed to cut my own hair today. I thought I would treat myself to the full salon experience, with a full head massage, a frothy coffee, an inane conversation about the weather and a discussion of the cruise holiday we have planned for September. I even tipped myself at the end, and complimented the cut, although I hated it.

Our second Tesco shop was successfully delivered today and Helen managed to deliver some essentials to our parents. There were a few strange 'lockdown' substitutions, but at least we have food, loo-rolls and cat food.

Sunday 29th March 2020 Day 6

The clocks went forward one hour overnight. Pity we can’t put them forward four months! The Prime Minister warns that things will get worse before they get better.

2017_Killing Time 14x12

Killing Time

It has often been said that being in lockdown is rather like grief. Like you have lost someone dear to you. However, you have lost something dear to you … access to normal life and access to loved ones.

Completed an Audio Visual presentation of the photographic club’s first online competition. Maybe a poor substitute for being able to meet face-to-face, but it is something to keep the members entertained. Have to say, it kept me entertained for a few hours.

Saturday 28th March 2020 Day 5

March 2020, the month that changed everything. We will always remember 2020 BC (Before Coronavirus) and 2020 AC (After Coronavirus). Hopefully.

The iGCSE exam marking is all complete. Time to focus on doing very little, and doing it slowly.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 17,089 in the UK with the number of deaths reaching 1,019. Awful, truly awful.

Saturday, no Sunday, oh no it’s only Friday 27th March 2020 Day 4

Downing Street announced today that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and is exhibiting mild symptoms. He must think ‘can this crisis get any worse’! Now, our leader will be in isolation. Later in the day, it was announced that Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, and Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer have also tested positive. The coronavirus is indiscriminate. This is a nightmare!

It is easy to completely lose track of the days in lockdown. I get up in the morning and look forward to the time I can go back to bed, only to lie awake for hours. The number of deaths in the UK rose to 759.

Another beautiful day outside. The weather really is having a laugh now.

In America, the number of coronavirus cases reaches 85,500 overtaking China and Italy as the world's leading virus hotspot. President Trump maintains that we will have this cracked by Easter. Orange buffoon.

Thursday 26th March 2020 Day 3

The day starts with an early morning game of 8-Ball Pool on the iPad. I was desperate to earn enough points to challenge Eloise this evening. Desperate times call for desperate measures, ie computer games.

Renewed my motor insurance online. One of the security questions asked “Who was the best boss you ever worked for?”. A good excuse to phone Dave and tell him he’s my security answer. Joked with Mr Lewis “I couldn’t remember how to spell Korzeniewski”! Until they find a cure for coronavirus, laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

Work is underway to convert the Excel exhibition centre in London into a 4000-bed field hospital to treat coronavirus patients. Yes, four-thousand! There’s a similar proposal at the NEC in Birmingham. That’s one exhibition I don’t want to see the inside of.

To maintain parity with other workers, the government announced they would pay 80% of the earnings of the self-employed, measured by the profits declared to the Inland Revenue in the last financial year. Lots of self-employed people will be earning negative salaries in the morning!

Wednesday 25th March 2020 Day 2

A nice lie-in this morning. Awake at 5.31am. Blimey, there are some good online Backgammon players in India! Another long day, despite the glorious weather. Do you suppose the planet is exacting revenge … here’s a beautiful spring day, but you are not allowed to go outside?!

On a positive note, I managed to mark 20 International-GCSE ICT scripts today. Just 5 more (of 258) to go, with ten days to the deadline. Panicking a little, I just don’t know how I am going to string them out that long. Don’t suppose the students in India are too concerned about their iGCSE grades now.

On the day the number of casualties in the UK rose to 465, Prince Charles was diagnosed as positive for the coronavirus. This deadly disease knows no boundaries. The bloody cheek of it. Happily, our future King’s symptoms are described as ‘mild’. The Queen and Prince Philip are reportedly ‘in quarantine’ at Windsor Castle, while Prince Andrew isolating himself under a pile of cardboard boxes on the seafront at Brighton, happy the spotlight is now off him, and the artist formerly known as ‘Prince Harry’ having a new mansion built somewhere in Canada.

Our first Tesco shop since lockdown was delivered to order and Helen was able to drop-off some food to our parents. At least we have the essentials …. wine, beer and cat-food. Interestingly, cats are not thought to be susceptible to the virus, so, tomorrow we’re sending Boris and Monty out to Morrison’s for more toilet rolls. Still, I will be sure to warn them to use contactless payment rather than the keypad. Best take no chances. Have to say, probably not the strangest customers the staff at Morrison’s will have seen this week.

Tuesday 24th March 2020 Day 1

Awake at 3.27am, I find myself playing Backgammon online against the Rest-of-the-World. Unprecedented problems call for unprecedented solutions. ‘Lockdown’ effectively means that one nominated member of the household is permitted to leave the house for essentials like food, medical supplies and malt whisky. Drinking at home while watching Netflix used to earn one the label ‘
sad loser’, now it is considered part of the National effort! Looking out into the garden, I wonder ‘is grass edible?’. I suspect we are going to have plenty of it in the next few weeks and months.

Monday 23rd March 2020 Day 0

Not the best of days. With the rising number of casualties, we have already been ‘social distancing’ ourselves for several days to stem the spread of the deadly virus. The instruction from the Prime Minister this evening was to ‘Stay at Home’ except when shopping for essential necessities or medical supplies. In other words, the Country is in lockdown. We learned that, so far, there had been 335 deaths from coronavirus in the UK, but the aim is to keep that number below 20,000. Twenty-thousand! Boris Johnson must be thinking ‘What did I do to deserve this job?’.

My daughters, Eloise and Amelia are in lockdown in Coventry, with Helen and I at home. My parents are in isolation at their flat and Helen’s mum alone at her flat. Testing times ahead, without doubt. Tonight, we are together, apart. All a bit scary, to be honest. I’ve had better days, now having fond memories of once being dragged beneath the underside of a Land Rover Defender MkI, leaving the factory at Solihull …

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