Hell in a Hand Basket

I really hoped that last weeks post would be the only one that I would write on Covid-19 but as the world seems to have gone to hell in a hand basket and we aren’t even in the worst of it yet, simply put it is a subject we just can’t get away from because it is impacting almost every aspect of my life currently.

However I can’t help but feel slightly irked at the melodramatics shown by people whom are healthy in every way and have in all likely-hood a very good chance of getting out of this alive that are walking around moaning like they are a doctor or nurse on the front line or have been exposed to Covid-19. I am so glad in some respects that my inner circle has got so much smaller because I would have probably been arrested for assault after slapping them around the face and telling them to pull themselves the fuck together. They are so inward looking only worried about themselves that they really don’t see they are at far greater risk of being strangled by their colleagues than catching it currently. This is really for the want of a better saying sorting out the men from the boys.

Amongst the chronically sick groups I belong to we are having a chuckle at you healthy individuals losing your shit over having to stay at home for 2 weeks ( if someone in your house is showing symptoms) or 12 weeks for the over 70’s / high risk groups. We have our own memes asking if you have tried yoga or kale to get better. It is hilarious that after such a long time ( for me I have been pretty much self isolating for 12 years) the tables have been turned and some of you will have a chance to see what it is like being separated from the rest of society through no fault of your own other than to get sick or be in a household with someone who is sick. Let me be clear no one from the chronically sick world wants you or anyone else to get Covid-19, we wouldn’t wish that or any other illness on our worst enemies. We just want you to understand what our experience has been like for however many years we have lived it.

Many of us in the chronically sick / disabled world had no choice about our self isolation. Once we got sick and had to withdraw from normal everyday life our worlds shrank. Initially there may have been offers of help and support. Friends ( if you were lucky ) may have visited from time to time but as the years ticked by and they got bored, our worlds shrank even more. I know I found that I literally had to keep the conversations going, be the one to constantly keep in contact with them, otherwise I heard nothing at all from them. Over time that has dwindled away which was why I was so keen to start my crafting group The Stitchin’ Bitches – more on that in a bit.

Whilst I am heartened to see whole communities rallying behind those who are too frail to go shopping or are having to isolate due to having suspected Covid-19. I can’t help but feel a little bitter that it was a crisis like this that was needed for some people to get the help they needed everyday not just now. I also wonder if this goes on for a long time 6 months plus if compassion fatigue will set in. Will people still be looking out for each other when this has blown over ( at the moment that feels a very long way off). I do fear t that once things get back to normal those of your forced into isolation will forget the experience and be no kinder to the chronically sick community than you were before all of this.

My crafting group The Stitchin’ Bitches of which we had 3 wonderful meetings that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone has been postponed until it is safe for us all to meet up again. One member has COPD, one is immune suppressed, another has asthma ( badly), the other has a husband on fairly strong immunosuppressants. We are a really healthy bunch LOL. Out of all of them I considered myself the least vulnerable until the announcement on Monday evening and as I have the flu jab I am now considered vulnerable. I am not sure why I get the flu jab for free, it could be due to the oxygen that I use on an adhoc basis or the fact I have PoTs / EDS. My husband gets his due to asthma and with him on methotrexate I actually consider him higher risk than myself. So for now all non essential visits to my house have been suspended as I try to limit my exposure to the outside world as much as possible.

Due to simple economic’s hubby can’t self isolate for 12 weeks ( the current advice) we don’t have a mortgage and bill fairy that will come and bail us out. There are hundreds of thousands like us unable to follow the advice because of inadequate financial support if we do. Sure he could take a 3 month career break from work but it would be unpaid. So again do we chose to self isolate or to eat. It’s a very real question facing many of us in a country whose leadership have chosen ideology and economy over human lives. Now if he gets ill or shows symptoms of this virus we will both isolate ourselves for the required 2 weeks. He will get paid for that as his company ( and very well done to them for doing that) are paying people who are having to self isolate for the two week period. But to actually stop working until this blows over is a privilege that only the richest in society can afford. I did have a laugh at Virgin asking its staff to take 8 weeks unpaid off work. What out of touch moron thinks that their staff can afford to do that?

It is really hard not to get anxious about the whole situation, especially when my husband who is normally so detached from the real world it gets irritating, is starting to panic. At the end of last week after the blog post was published lots of people reached out to ensure I was ok. To be fair on the Thursday I was, on the Friday I was a mess. Thankfully I was well enough to do some fabric preparation for projects that I want to start and as that was all measuring and cutting out, I couldn’t let my mind wander and go down the rabbit hole. I swing from being utterly terrified to what will be will be, at an alarming rate. Things seemed to have settled down a bit, we aren’t watching the news constantly and we are practising increased hygiene routines at home.

There isn’t a surface in the house that hasn’t been sprayed with Zoflora at least twice a day! Including Tv remotes, phones and Chromebooks. In fact as soon as the spray bottle comes out Dembe runs upstairs. I am pretty sure he thinks he is going to get sprayed!

We have jointly decided after this dog training course ends ( only one session after tonight’s session ) we will be taking a break. We will be cutting out all non essential travel and socialising. It just isn’t worth the risk and although the training session is hardly crowded, it takes place in a huge barn, its just mixing with more people. People that maybe super spreaders or have symptoms but drag themselves there. I have already seen someone that was supposed to be isolating themselves for 7 days ( before the change to 14 days ) posting photos on social media with them out and about. With people still not taking it seriously, we aren’t prepared to put ourselves at risk due to their stupidity. I am sad about not continuing with the dog training for the time being as some weeks dog training is the only time I see other people other than Jay. Although we don’t stand around and chat just being with other people has done wonders for my mental health so the next few months are going to be tough, when I have got used to seeing people again. But I coped for the 12 years previously and will cope again.

Now when hubby rings me from work on his tea breaks he automatically asks how I am and then I do the same for him. His response this morning was ” well I am ok for the moment, but there are more people now absent from work self isolating”. In a store where they have been cheek by jowl with panic buyers in there thousands for well over a week now is it any wonder that the staff have been exposed. Obviously none of the cases are confirmed as people are only being tested if they are hospitalised, thankfully no one yet out of the staff has been seriously ill enough to be hospitalised. But it everyone is in limbo not knowing if they have had it or if it was just one of the many bugs doing the rounds at the moment due to the lack of testing taking place.

We have at the moment no idea what the future holds. We live in interesting times. 

I sincerely doubt that this will be the last time I blog about the subject.

Who knew you would be considered rich if you have more than 4 toilet rolls? – a little light relief.

***

I keep meaning to say that hubby had the dentist back at the end of February and his Dentist complained to him then that they were struggling at the practice to get face masks and other protective equipment. That was around February 28th, I am writing this on 17th March and things have only got worse since then. If the dentists are finding hard imagine what it is like for hospitals. Many doctors are coming out and saying they can’t get the proper equipment to ensure that they don’t get exposed whilst treating patients. As I said earlier hell in a hand basket and this thing has only just started.

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