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.

Outdoor office

Last year I had planned to buy a patio table and chairs set for the garden, but I never got around to it. I’ve been thinking about it again for the past couple of weeks and the plan was to buy something in time for the Easter school holidays.

Tonight though I decided to bring the timescale forward, if we’re going to have to stay at home any longer then it’ll be a good feature to have so we can sit out in the garden. I opted for a wooden picnic table and two benches. They arrived by courier tonight after the girls had gone back with their mum. It was a part-built flat-pack so I spend a couple of hours assembling them and getting them into the garden ready to surprise the girls when they came back in the morning.

Chloe’s seven days of self-isolation are now over so technically she can go back to school, although I decided to keep her at home for the rest of the week. The government have now announced that all schools will be closed after tomorrow until the pandemic is over so I didn’t see much point in sending her in.

Work isolation

My employer has put in measures to protect staff and the business from Coronavirus. Everybody who has the ability to work from home has been split into two groups.

Group A can go into the office over the next two weeks (or work from home if they prefer), while Group B must work from home and are not allowed into the office. After two weeks the groups swap around with Group A being banned from the office and Group B having the option. This way, the two halves of each team/department will not come into contact with each other and so if the virus spreads through the office, only half the staff will need to be off at any time.

I’m in group A, but I’ll be working from home anyway because of the self-isolation. Still no change to Chloe’s cough, and no other symptoms for her or the rest of us.



Still not convinced

The girls’ mum came round to pick them up at 3pm. She hadn’t realised I was serious when I said they’d all have to stay off school and continued to insist that Chloe couldn’t possibly have Coronavirus.

Amelia tried to reason with her mum but grew frustrated when she couldn’t get through to her. I said to just let it be, it’s easier to getting into an argument about it. School knew why the girls were off so they wouldn’t be allowed back in for the rest of the isolation period anyway, meaning their mum would have to stick by the rules.

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.