Applauding the NHS

A quiet day in the home office today, in contrast to yesterday I had just one meeting; a team social to keep everyone in contact while we all work from home.

One team member prepared a quiz with questions from the British Citizenship Test. All the questions were based on British history, such as who is the famous English, Elizabethan playwright?, and which British sportsman won five consecutive gold Olympic medals in rowing? (Shakespeare and Sir Steve Redgrave). I’m quite a fan of British history so was pleased to have won the quiz. There were three out of the 30 on the call who scored 11/15, however I answered the questions quickest out of the three top scorers, so claimed the trophy (it would have been 12/15 if I’d have got to the first question in time!)


After the quiz I decided to take my “one daily exercise” allowance and walk to the Iceland frozen food store up the road. I was almost out of milk and bread, luckily they had both in stock, and I picked up some other bits as well, including my personal favourites, chocolate Hobnob biscuits and Jaffa Cakes! Life in lockdown is much more bearable with hobnobs and jaffa cakes.

I managed to dig out the rest of the space I needed for my compost bin later in the afternoon, then spotted my neighbour sat outside his house when I was finished. We had a good chat about the surreal situation we’re living in, while keeping a good few meters apart over the garden fence, before heading inside again for the government press conference that’s become a daily 5pm routine. Today, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, put in place a bailout scheme for self-employed people who were unable to work because they have to stay at home. They’ll now get 80% of their annual profits paid by the government for the next three months adding another £9 billion to the aid package the government have put in place.

The rest of the evening news was given over to a campaign to give the doctors and nurses working for the NHS a round of applause. Every household was asked to open their front doors and clap at 8pm. TV news crews covered it around the country and neighbours could be heard clapping along the street and neighbouring streets. It was a really moving and emotional experience with the whole country showing their appreciation for those putting their own lives at risk to save many others.


Self isolation – day 10

I made Amelia cry today. She desperately wanted to go out with her friends, but I wouldn’t let her. We had four more days of self-isolation to complete. She pleaded with me, she’d only go out for a short time, she’d come straight back afterwards, she’d be ok, she wasn’t ill, she wouldn’t catch it or spread it…

The answer was no. Lots of people are not taking Coronavirus, and it’s risks, seriously. While it’s true that children don’t seem to have serious symptoms, if any at all, they can be carriers and spread it to other, more vulnerable people.

Our next-door neighbour is in his 70s, the government class this age group as high risk. The girls have been told if they see him they must keep two meters away, if they are carrying the virus we don’t want to spread it to him.

I spotted Chloe out in the back garden playing football with him in the afternoon, she kept a safe distance as she’d been asked, and so did he. Meanwhile, Amelia’s friend came round to drop off some school books, she went out and I saw her giving the friend a hug. I wasn’t impressed and called her back in. She just doesn’t get the seriousness of it.

I reminded her that given my asthma I also fall into a high risk group, and while she might think she’s invincible, if she catches the virus from someone who shows no symptoms, the might also show no symptoms but will spread it on to me. I’ve got a long history of catching chest infections and finding them hard to fight off. While it’s been about a year since I’ve used my asthma inhaler, I really don’t want to get this virus and given the severity of it – thousands have died across the world in just a few weeks – I don’t rate my prospects if I do get it.