Thursday, 26 March 2020

Brace Yourselves,

there’s worse to come, Apparently.

Everything is dead, there is no life in Valley’s End at all, except for the volunteers who help those forced to stay at home. I hardly even see or hear any dog walkers in the castle grounds. I went to the surgery yesterday morning for a blood test and a consultation with the practice nurse. I saw one cyclist and one car, no other pedestrians, for the 20 minutes it took me to get there. All doors to the surgery were closed, I had to ring a brand new bell to be allowed in. A receptionist came to the door, told me to use the hand gel and wait in the empty waiting room. I was assured that there would be nobody else waiting at the same time. The nurse soon called me in, she stayed at the farther end of the consulting room and I stopped by the door while we talked. She had to come close to take my blood but we instantly moved apart again when she had finished.

It seems I have both COPD and asthma. Both recently diagnosed and only now confirmed. What a time to choose to develop lung disease! New medication works, I can breathe without wheezing.

I had a few general questions for Nurse Marian about Marzena, my cleaner, and Paul, the gardener. Would I be allowed to have them still? Both need the income. Provided we all keep a 2 m distance,  wash our hands, or even better, for me to stay in a different room from Marzena and away from Paul in the garden, there should be no problem. Both are sensible people and want to risk neither their own health nor mine.

I also had a more serious question for Marian. If I caught the virus, what were my chances? Would I die? She looked me in the eye and said, instantly, without hesitation and a dead straight face: “Yes”.
That’s telling me in no uncertain terms!

I suppose I am one of the lucky ones; I may be alone without family near, able or willing to help, but I have friends with whom I am in touch. We all keep an eye on each other. I am also resourceful; I live in a house with a good private outdoor space rather than an apartment block. I am quite able to look after myself and never need anyone to entertain me. The only family member moved to ring me without prompting was my former son-in-law, even my own son needed a reminder. He apologised for the lapse. Another bit of luck is that I am apparently on my supermarket’s list of vulnerable customers. How I got there is anybody’s guess. However, that means that they offer me a regular weekly delivery slot. There’s no guarantee that I get everything I order online, but they usually find an acceptable alternative. I even have a sufficient supply of toilet paper! Not having to stand in a queue is a huge weight off my shoulders.

There’s much worse to come, this whole misery is to last for a long time yet. we are told that the peak of the epidemic in the UK will not be reached for another two to three weeks. Even that is no more than a guesstimate, of course. How anybody can think - and say - that things will be back to normal by Easter (Hey there, Mr Trump) in a country which has barely begun it’s COVID 19 journey buggers belief.

I repeat my mantra from the previous post: Take care, look after yourselves and your loved ones and Good Luck to all of us.





42 comments:

  1. What an unfortunate time to have such a diagnosis!

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  2. Good heavens, I can post again...it has not been possible for ages!
    We are under house arrest given Leo's health, and the media are full of notices telling people to keep their distance, to stay at home...so when the dogs went crackers this afternoon I shot out to find one of the local God botherers sheltering in my garage, having opened my front gate and walked up the long drive. After a great deal of claptrap and eyes turned to the heavens it turned out that she wanted me to give her money to buy a gas cylinder. I explained that she was on a hiding to nothing if she valued her gas refill as more important than respect for my husband's health and sent her on her way. Make note to self...put padlock on gate tomorrow.

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  3. You certainly are a model of how to keep your head, Friko. With the precautions you're taking, you have as good a chance as anyone of surviving this time. I was so anxious about, and for, my cleaning family that I sent them a cancellation fee instead of a visit. We'll revisit that before their next scheduled appointment.

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  4. You shouldn't have asked the nurse about chances. She doesn;t know, only God knows. Pray to God and you'll get help, healing and protection.
    As for how long it'll last, some experts say the virus is here to stay.
    Take care, Friko.

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  5. Sounds like you are well situated to ride out the pandemic, except for your compromised health. But forewarned will help you stay on your toes to be as safe as you can.

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  6. I'm very sorry to read that you have both asthma and COPD.

    Take good care. Ich denke an Sie. xx Bea

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  7. This is a long-term pandemic. Saying "by Easter" is trying to give hope to all.
    The medical personnel and care facilities are on top of this, God bless them.

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  8. I'm sorry for your diagnoses and the timing but that nurse did you a favor telling you the truth. Take good care. keep your head and keep blogging.

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  9. Your sensible approach to life will serve you in good stead, Friko. We are also awaiting the first wave of cases. It's like standing on a beach knowing there's a tsunami out there and we can't do much but stand and wait for it. Take every precaution, Friko.

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  10. Stay safe and pray for the best! I think that is all we can do:)

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  11. You should be fine if you are staying away from people. Getting your food delivered has to take a lot of worry off your mind. We are doing the same. Other than worrying about those I love, loneliness is the hardest part for me.

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  12. We shall overcome. Much love and distant "knuddles". cat.

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  13. What a time for you to receive the diagnosis. You are in a good situation to avoid this virus, staying home, isolating and having food delivered. I have been isolating at home in California for two weeks, because of my age. Be well my friend.

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  14. We are in the same boat with our chances. My goal is to wait it out till there is a vaccine and if I have to stay more or less put for the next year, then that's what I have to do. When I think about it too much I get very anxious and I'm already very anxious. But at least you know that now if you cough a great deal, that in itself isn't the virus, which I suppose is a good thing to know. Although if you're like me, you always wonder. Even Rick is keeping his distance. I told him he had to quarantine himself before we can spend more time together -- even at six feet apart. Well, actually, I didn't tell him. He watched a video about grocery shopping and had heard my doc report and the combo scared the living daylights out of him.

    We are lucky we know how to be on our own. And I'm glad Manzena and Paul can still help and you can talk with them. They are hard times that will indeed continue.

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  15. Yes, it's not easy being older and sick and alone at this time, I know it. Hope you will get through this. Stay strong and stay safe, Valerie

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  16. I had to see the doctor this week and was forced to wait outside the surgery on the street until he was ready to see me. When he did the whole room separated us until he had to listen to my chest. The script was handed to me at extreme arm's lenghth.
    Heartfelt hugs (of the non-infectious kind) and oceans of caring are flowing your way. We are all in this together.

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  17. I don't know what COPD is but as you later talk about lung disease, I suppose the P and D stand for pulmonary desease or deficiency. Whatever its name, it sounds scary enough on its own, but the timing couldn't be worse... Good to know, though, that your medication helps. The way things are done at your surgery sounds very sensible to me. On TV, they show queues at New York surgeries and hospitals. What a difference!
    Here in my small town world, I still see pedestrians, cyclists, dog walkers, people with prams, cars in my street. It is much quieter than usual; there's a bit of a quiet Sunday feeling about. As today and tomorrow are going to be much warmer than the week has been so far, I predict a few more or less noisy and smokey barbecues will be happening in the gardens around me.

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  18. Our stable genius absolutely, positively buggers belief.

    I'm glad you can get food deliveries and have a safe place to be outside. So she said you could still have your cleaner and gardener come--that's good. It's going to be weird for quite a while. You are so right--we have to brace ourselves.

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  19. These are anxious times for us all - I read an article written by the Health minister Nadine Dorries who contracted Covid-19. She is 62 years old with no underlying health issues but she really ill. She was terrified for her 84 year old mother who lives with her, as she had many health issues including having recently had heart surgery, breathing problems, and smoked all of her life. Her mother did contract the virus from her but had it mildly and was over it within a few days.
    The nurse was wrong to say that to you as there is no rhyme or reason to the way that this virus may affect you, but of course it best for us all to keep ourselves safe - take care.

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  20. Common sense, practicality and a good supply of the things we need will see us through. Keep well!

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  21. Stay safe and do what you are doing, wise woman. If only our self-centered leader in America had some sense!

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  22. The virus affects everyone differently. I suspect that with your limited exposure to other people, you will be fine and will not contract it. I agree with Rosemary's comment. And I am coping with my loneliness, but as a very social person, it's hard. :-(

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  23. So sorry to hear of the diagnosis, but at least you're on the NHS lists of vulnerable people. Given the apparent surge of responses to the appeal for volunteers to help with assorted ancillary tasks, you might find yourself getting more phone calls from them. Good luck and stay well.

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  24. I have the very same physical limits as you. I have also been told if I get it I am toast so I am being very cautious. I really feel if we follow the guide lines we will be OK. Wish I had delivery here but still have to venture out during senior times or have a friend pick up things. So far, I am not hurting for anything. Let's get through this Friko.
    Trump is just unbelievable with his Easter predictions. He just has feelings and hunches. Yikes.

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  25. well, the nurse was short and to the point. Trump is a dangerous moron. hopefully the states will ignore whatever he says about raising restrictions on movement and gathering and such. Fortunately I don't have any health issues, well, afib but that is not a life threatening condition and is not considered heart disease. even so I'm being careful. it's creeping here. we now have five confirmed cases in my county, one in my general area.

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  26. We've been out working in the yard, taking walks, always keeping our distance. We've actually spent more time talking with neighbors lately -- a silver lining? -- because people are around, not rushing off to work. But you said it: we all need to keep an eye on each other.

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  27. I feel sad that we share the same health hazards but am optimistic that if we play by the rules we can get through this as well as anyone else can. A positive attitude is a big help, I think. (I hope!) Take care.

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  28. A fit young just retired swimming champion who leads a good lifestyle was quoted as saying he never had felt as sick in his life as he did after contracting the virus. There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme nor reason at times, but of course older people are more vulnerable. My mother's doctor is closing his practice and it will be phone consultation only. Keep up some walking. I should practice more than preach. Trump is a nightmare and the American people are paying the price.

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  29. We can't take enough care indeed. I would fall like a fly with all my health challenges so I am on Day 16 w groceries delivered once every 10 or so days. It is not an easy time for any of us and we live far too close to the nightmare to the south of us.

    But we are very confident in our daily talks from both our PM and our provincial premier who listen to the experts and act accordingly.

    XO
    WWW

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  30. Well,"everything" isn't dead. After all, here you are, blogging away! Still, I take your point. As much as I'm enjoying the lighter traffic on the roads, I'll be pleased when life is able to assert itself again. It will be a while, there's no question about that.

    Even though some things remain permissible here, like going to grocery, hardware, and liquor stores, I'm avoiding them as much as possible. I stocked up on supplies for work as well as food and home necessities early on, so there's not really any need for me to visit any store. I am able to keep working, which is a great blessing in many ways. Being outdoors on a boat is perfectly acceptable, and since I've spent most of the past thirty years working in isolation, outdoors, there's no real change to that. The changes are with customers who are postponing work until they see what the stock market's up to -- but I have enough to keep me busy for the time being, so that's fine.

    Everyone's hoping for a good, windy, hard rain, actually. The pollen still is thick, and everyone with allergies is sneezing and coughing, just as we have for decades. Unfortunately, coughs and sneezes get a little extra attention these days. No one thinks, "Darned oak pollen!" They look at the unfortunate victim, and move away another ten feet!

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  31. Hi Friko - thanks for this excellent update on your life in the Shrop shirelands ... the poor doctors/medics et al are struggling - I feel for them ... but am glad you were able to get in to see them ... and are getting some treatment. I'm managing and keeping up with friends ... I'm fine thankfully ... and have lots to occupy me before the heebie-jeebies set in and I'm desperate for life to start up again.

    So pleased Marzena can still be in to help, while Paul can be there for the garden - that will help him ... take care and all the best - Hilary

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  32. This is a difficult time fir everyone, and in differing degrees. Based on reports I am reading from other countries, we seem to be quite well off. We shop at will, and so far I have been able to find everything I went for, although the wine selection is a little thin! Best of all we can get in the car and remove ourselves to remote areas where we don't encounter another soul, so social distancing is not even part of our thoughts in such circumstances. Miriam and I have each other, and we are fit and healthy. I suspect it must be much more of a challenge for you, Friko, living alone with medical issues. Unfortunately, I think this is going to be the new norm for quite a while. Take good care of yourself. All the best from Canada.

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  33. Friko, a lot in common. Am isolated. a young woman comes in a few 1/days, children and grandchild children not near But I built this smaller home 12 years ago at the edge of 70 acres, mostly woods. Always healthy, did everything but since turning 80, a heart attack,pneumonia and a lot of pain with arthritis. Just keep moving, order a lot from Amazon
    and some groceries brought to me. Miss my gardening but read, write online, do photography
    and some art work so days go by quickly. If I come down with something it is all over for me also.
    Do have dental problem, trying to accept and ignore. Enough shared

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  34. I'm so glad I stopped by. I too, am in a situation much like yours. Stay well and take care. Sending love from California, a good state with a good government, in the midst of the confusion we get from Trump and his people.

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  35. Dear, dear Friko: While I have been absent from blogging and likely won’t return, I wanted at least to come by to send our warmest thoughts and best wishes to you in these calamitous times.

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  36. Good morning Friko and thanks so much for the comment you left on my blog Goldendays-Ginnie. A new blogger friend is always nice. I loved what you wrote here and it applies to us too. I just wish we had a leader that could handle it and leave his ego out of it. I, as an 87 year old person, am in self isolation and taking it one day at a time. Stay safe new friend.

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  37. Dear Friko, you are an example to me. When I have sad thoughts about epidemic and my heart failure, I remember how you live alone in the village. It’s good that a supermarket helps you with food and that a nurse is not far from your home. What she told you is certainly true, we are constantly told that older people with aggravating diseases are at risk. But at the same time, recently, one lady, 102 years old, recovered and the young ones also get a lot of illnesses.
    I wish you to take care and strength.

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  38. That's for sure not a good time to get these !
    But you will take care even more and maybe this is the benefit!
    Take good care and stay safe !
    Best healing wishes!!!
    Greetings from Austria!

    Susi xxx

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  39. https://secure.holdenqigong.com/immunity-emergency-kit/

    mein lieblings "part" ist das qigong for better breathing. es hat eine enorme wirkung... regelmässige übung macht einen anderen menschen aus dir... vielleicht hast du lust zu versuchen? bei fragen steht dir ein tolles freundliches support team zur verfügung. liebe grüsse und alles gute dir! renée

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  40. n.b. es sind verschieden lange videos und durch diesen wunderbaren meister für jeden gratis zur verfügung gestellt. wunderbare website auch und viele nützliche infos! lg nocheinmal...

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  41. I'm sorry to hear about the lung didease but the rest of your situation sounds pretty good. Do take care of yourself.

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  42. Friko I am glad to see you are surrounded by Love here. May it give you strength and comfort.

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