I’ve been wondering if blogging is still appropriate in these uncertain times but, maybe now more than ever, we need to keep in touch with others ? And as we are no longer free to meet up in person, whether family, friends or neighbours, digital contacts are becoming more and more important? In good times we consider each other friends here in blogland, how much more need do we have of a friendly comment in fearful times. That’s what I think, anyway, and if you are still around, maybe you do too.
Although Valley’s End has no cases of coronavirus yet it is coming closer and closer and, no doubt, our tiny backwater will sooner or later fall prey. The village is preparing itself, the Good Neighbours group is recruiting under 70s to help with shopping, picking up prescriptions and keeping an eye on the vulnerable by phone. Over 70s are urged to avoid all social contact, stay at home except for walks in our beautiful countryside and, if meeting other walkers, to stand well away during chats. Naturally, stop and chat we will, a friendly place like ours prides itself on its networks of social interactions. Sadly, only at a distance now. Friends and acquaintances ring each other up - I’ve never had so many phone calls! - which helps a lot. Nobody must feel lost and forgotten and lacking assistance.
Personally I have been in isolation for a couple of weeks already, only Paul and the cleaner come. I still go to the village corner shop while we are free of the disease. The supermarket delivers to my door, as does the butcher. I read, garden a bit (it’s still rather chilly for longer hours outside), watch TV and DVDs, go for solitary walks and speak to people on the phone. I have started to cook proper meals again too. Yesterday, for the first time in ages, I cooked meat and potatoes and vegetables. I even had gravy! I ate it at the kitchen table, poured myself a glass of wine to go with it and enjoyed the food like I haven’t ever enjoyed my quickly thrown together, cooked from frozen, dishes. My regime is not really all that different from ordinary days and still quite bearable. I have relaxed my routine, get up later and go to bed later, often reading into the night. I find that exercise is very important, sometimes, on a really lazy day, when I’ve not been outside at all, by bedtime my bottom and back hurt from all the sitting and I stagger up the stairs like a very old woman.
Now that we have passed the vernal equinox the days are longer than the nights and we welcome the warmer months. It should help with staying positive.
What really makes me very angry are people who say : “Well, if I get it, I get it.” People who take no notice of others’ vulnerability, who continue to go out and about without having a valid reason, who congregate in large groups. People who party regardless. I want to say to them : “It’s not about you, I don’t care if you get it, I don’t care how ill you get, I care about the people you infect, who might be somebody’s loved one, the valuable hospital space you take up, the health workers you might infect. Stopping the spread of the disease, that’s what's important, not your personal convenience.
So, dear friends, take care of yourselves and your loved ones and good luck to all of us. Back soon.