New guidelines

Things were really ramped up by the government last night. The advice is now that if anybody in the household has either a high temperature or new and persistent cough, then everybody in the house must self-isolate for 14 days.

It’s thought that if you have the virus you can transmit it to others for upto seven days, so the timescale has doubled because it’s seven days for the person with symptoms while others might take seven days to show symptoms after catching it. So, I get a cough on day one, I pass it to you on day seven but you don’t show symptoms possibly until day 14.

Of course, this now means that Amelia and Hannah also can’t go to school. Amelia wasn’t too bothered by this, although Hannah was quite upset. She wanted to see her friends but also maintain her 100% attendance record to go into a prize draw at the end of the year.

It’s strange keeping the girls off school when they aren’t ill. Other than the cough Chloe isn’t ill and the other two have no symptoms at all.


Chloe’s mum came to pick the girls up at lunchtime. She doesn’t believe Chloe could have the Coronavirus, “It’s so unlikely” she said; although she thinks she might have had it herself after feeling ill following a recent weekend in Dublin with friends.

I said she had to stay indoors as per the government guidelines, but my comments were met with, “if she’s got Coronavirus, I’m Britney Spears.”

Self-isolation day four

Saturday and three kids at home. It was quite hard as the older two wanted to go out but I had to say no and keep Chloe at home. They were allowed out with their friends, but otherwise it was our fourth day in the house. Other than a quick trip to the shop for food, I hadn’t moved away from home. I don’t remember every not going out of the house for four days.

Self-isolation day three

Yesterday passed without incident, much like Wednesday, with Chloe playing and watching Netflix while I worked in the dining room. Today is my day off, the start of my three-day weekend. I had plans to go out to the shops, but with Chloe ordered to stay at home, I must do the same.

We played games and headed out into the garden for some fun. Her cough is still there, no better but no worse.

Self Isolation

I called the school this morning to tell them Chloe would be staying at home in line with the new government advice. I’ll have to stay home too to look after her. Luckily I regularly work from home and so it won’t be an upheaval for me.

Chloe was in good spirits. While she was upset at first, at the thought of not seeing her friends, the prospect of being part of the latest trend, living the buzzword – self-isolation – was quite exciting for her. The cough is only very minor, she’s not otherwise ill and is in good spirits.

I spent the day in the dining room, where I turn the table into my desk with my work issued laptop hooked up to a TV screen. Chloe played with her toys in the livingroom and her bedroom and watched some TV. We played together for a while in between my meetings. The whole thing passed without incident. Just six more days of it to go before she can return to school and see her friends again.

Chloe has a cough

Chloe has had a little cough since Wednesday, I haven’t thought much of it until today.

The government has issued guidance that anybody with a new and persistent cough should stay at home in ‘self-isolation’ for seven days. It’s one of the signs of Coronavirus and there’s a chance you could have it, and spread it.

There have been a few cases of the virus found in the UK, from people who have travelled abroad and brought it in with them. The first case of it being transmitted to somebody in the UK that hasn’t been abroad was on 28 February, so it’s now spreading around the population.

The government have decided not to test everybody with symptoms, there aren’t enough tests available and it isn’t seen as necessary. If you have the virus you have to stay at home, if you have symptoms you have to stay at home, so there’s no benefit of testing everyone with a cough or a temperature. Also, if you test negative then you could go about your business thinking your cough is just an ordinary, everyday cough, but then catch the virus and spread it thinking you’re ok because you’ve been tested. Other countries are testing everybody with symptoms, the World Health Organisation is encouraging mass testing, but the UK’s approach seems rational, even though not everybody agrees.

Italy in lockdown

Over the last couple of weeks Coronavirus has spread outside of China, there are reports of a number of cases in northern Italy. A region in the north is in lockdown, residents have been ordered to stay at home, visitors to go home, nobody is being allowed into the area.

Last week was the school half-term holiday and a skiing trip was run where many students and staff visited an area of northern Italy. It’s outside the affected area and there isn’t thought to be any danger to those who went.

The news coverage is ramping up, first because Italy is a lot closer to the UK than China, and second because a lot of schools went on ski trips to Italy last week.

The advice is that if anyone has the symptoms they should stay at home, ring NHS 111 and they will be tested to see if they have the virus. Young people seem to have only minor symptoms so it isn’t thought to be too serious for them.

Amelia and Hannah didn’t go on the trip, but some of their friends did. Everyone that went seems to be ok though, it doesn’t look like they’ve brought it back with them.

Something’s happening in China

It’s the middle of January 2020, we’ve had a very wet winter so far, it seems to be becoming more common, while we’ve had no snow that often causes the most disruption, flooding has been all over the news. But there’s something else starting to appear regularly on TV news bulletins and in newspapers: Coronavirus.

A coronavirus is any virus which starts out in animals and is transferred to humans. This one began in a market in Wuhan province, China towards the end of last year. We’ve been seeing it on the news since January; lots of people being infected, lots of people dying, a new hospital built in just days, a whole city shut down, nobody can enter of leave. Britain flying in special airplanes to bring home Britains who are living or visiting Wuhan. They’re scared, and rightly so. Little is known about this new virus, it’s spreading fast across the country and killing people indiscriminately.

The World Health Organisation has named this new coronavirus Covid-19, which comes from COrona VIrus Disease 2019. It’s also been called Novel Coronavirus, where novel means new. This particular virus has never been seen before in the world, nothing is known about it, certainly not how to cure it.

The symptoms are a cough and/or high temperature.  Most people only have mild symptoms, but in the most severe cases – usually in older people and those with underlying medical conditions – the virus can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia is where the walls of the lungs thicken as the virus covers them, this reduces the capacity for air but also makes inflating the lungs difficult, they become hard, like a board and makes breathing extremely difficult.