The C Word

Firstly, I hope that you and your family/friends are well. Secondly, let’s talk about the current situation.

‘You’re so lucky, being able to stay at home! I wish I could.’ If I had a pound for everyone who’d ever said this to me, I’d be a rich woman.

Now that the advice is to stay home, people seem more likely than ever to want to avoid being quarantined. Social isolation is different to social distancing. Social distancing is the best you can do to avoid contracting C-19 if you MUST go out. Social isolation is a step you can take to try and save lives. It won’t kill you not to go to the beach on a warm spring day – if you go, it might lead to the death of someone you know when the virus spreads. This is not a holiday, it is a pandemic.

I’ve lived in some form of social isolation for a long time. When I was 10, I was diagnosed with M.E. and housebound for 6 months – no school, no friends, no internet. I saw my immediate family and, occasionally, a doctor (oh, and once, the parish priest – that was a bit scary). Books became very important to me. They can take you anywhere, even when you’re stuck indoors or in your garden. And you can get them online – you don’t need to risk infecting booksellers. You can get them downloaded (you can get a Kindle app, that allows you to read Kindle books, I believe).

Social isolation can leave you feeling a bit lost and aimless (and can give you time to worry) – it’s important to implement some kind of routine, even something as basic as I’ll do housework 9-10am and then have a cuppa or I’ll have a movie afternoon every day at 2pm. Don’t be tempted to lie in bed all day unless you feel poorly – it’s a tough habit to break when life goes back to normal…and it will, for most PROVIDING WE ARE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE.

Most of us have a to-do list of jobs that we never seem to get to, at home or in the garden. Now is a good time to try and tackle the list – you get something to focus on, a sense of achievement for every task you complete and a sense of normality.

You will be able to get what you need, so please stop panic buying – we have no change whatsoever to the amount of food/drink available to us in this country. Manufacture continues, imports continue, and distribution continues (and it would continue more quickly if you stay at home – think of the roads like arteries, carrying essential nutrients through – don’t clog them up because you think the air is less virussy at the coast or up a mountain). 

Science is working on this thing but we are the ones who can do our best to protect each other in the meantime. If you don’t have to go out, don’t. Protect our frontline staff, whether they be emergency workers, shelf stackers, carers, HGV drivers, taxi drivers and so on. Do your bit. Oh, and that also means keeping your children close by, if they aren’t at school. Children are amazing, of course, but they have the unique ability to drive their parents crazy – that doesn’t mean that you send them out in to the streets. You keep them home, you keep them safe – it’s as simple as that.

If you deliberately ignore advice designed to keep us safe, you are risking this situation lasting longer than necessary. Personally, I would never sleep a peaceful sleep again if I thought my selfish actions had caused one death.  Some people may feel differently…but I never want to meet those people. Look out for your neighbours and if you need help, ask someone. There are more people that want to help than harm. Long may it stay that way.

Stay safe. Speak soon.