You find me on Day Three of 'social isolating' in the 2020 outbreak of CoVid-19 (Corona Virus). Here's what's impacting, inconveniencing, discovering in my household (husband, 9 month old baby, dog and me) in Bristol, UK, while I'm on Mat Leave. Who knows what new skills and entertainment will result!
Monday evening the government advised we should all be 'social isolating' to protect the most vulnerable to the as yet incurable and fast-spreading global pandemic of CoVid-19. It's quite a drastic measure, and it'll no doubt get more intense and restricting as the week(s) go on, but here we are.
Those 'at risk' (with underlying health conditions or over 70 years of age) have been asked to stay inside for 12 weeks and have minimal social contact. Others who are not so much at risk - like my little family - are expected to minimise their social interactions. This means no community / mums groups, no theatre/cinema/pubs (I WISH!), no non-essential travel, and minimal social interaction.
Life as I (we) have known it, over the last 9 months of my Mat Leave, has changed.
**I've realised formatting text on my tablet is not working, and the odd word may be being repeated - sorry! I no longer have a laptop so this will have to do for now!**
Amid frustrations over vulnerable people not heeding the advice and selfish panic buyers clearing shelves, I decided to be constructive and made a list of things we (my husband, my baby Roxanna and I, or combinations of) could do from home with just ourselves for company. Self Isolation is what they're calling it when you can't leave the house as you have symptoms or are sick. This will be torture for me, I'm always out and about and get cabin fever very quickly! Follow me as we work through the growing list of things to do to keep us occupied, especially as even as we're not sick, I see lock-down coming nationwide...
I want to feel useful and help those in need so I've signed up as a volunteer to deliver things to local people self isolating. It's a new initiative, a great one if it works, as many people are not going to be as prepared or healthy as we are (touch wood). I'm already a bit wary as the Facebook page seems to be dominated by rants and disbelieving tales of empty shop shelves and the behaviour of others. Well see...
I had been meaning to go to a new Spanish singing class for babies today, but that's been cancelled, along with my other normal groups.
I am trying not to bake as there is a shortage of eggs and sugar in the shops. Well, a shortage of everything, it seems. People are going nuts. Baking being my default for boredom busting, this is proving difficult! I am saving baking bread too, for when I'm really up the Creek with a combo of boredom and lack of bread.
I'm already feeling a loss of family visits and popping in on friends. My relatively new mum friends network is being missed in particular. Normally I walk the dog with someone, I do mums groups Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and there's the occasional day out/shops browse/coffee/lunch when the wallet is (rarely) lined a little heavier.
Problem solving!! I messaged my mum friends and posted on a couple of mums Facebook groups that I was going to run a nursery rhyme session online for 30 mins to help reduce the feeling of isolation and boredom while baby groups are cancelled. They are so key to getting parents and carers out the house and socialising! And guess what? 24 people joined me!!! 😆 I only knew three of them, I was so chuffed! Will have to repeat...
I mentioned that we feel pretty prepared in our household. We are lucky enough to have Costco membership (a remnant of when I worked for myself) so we've always got toilet roll. Last week we thought we'd better get some long life / dry goods supplies in, you know, just in case... Man, I'm glad we did! We had our regular shop done and have probably got an emergency supply of tins, protein, pasta type staples for over two weeks, if there's a serious shortage. The bits and pieces are NOT TO BE TOUCHED! 😄 So far, so good. Even the treats (ideas like jelly, hot chocolate, which will need only hot water) remain untouched thus far. I can see fruit and milk being a problem, and eggs. El Husbandio should have got me those chickens I asked for at Christmas!!
Today I made what I feel was probably my last non-essential outing: To the nursery we hope to send Rox to when I do go back to work (all being well, end of June... who knows???). The schools etc are closing down tomorrow so I wanted to make sure we were on their books ready for normal life to resume.
Have looked out my bread recipe books ... Those who know me well know life without bread is hardly worth living for me!
Join me tomorrow when I'll be talking about mental health coping mechanisms in this crisis.