Lockdown – One Year On – Part Four (Andrew)

I wrote the following entry a year ago and then decided not to publish it given the uncertainty over how COVID would affect everyone. It seems okay to publish it now as a way to look back at this time last year.

I thought I had trouble breathing last night. Every so often I’d need to take a deep breath while I could feel a heaviness over the top of my chest. It didn’t help that I was also coughing… and had turned green and smelt faintly of decay.

Those last two symptoms might be hyperbole.

Did I have the Coronavirus? Or, after 130 minutes on the indoor bike cycling through Zwift, was I just tired?

We seem to be gripped by a fear that everyone is about to die. Even though the statistics show that we’re not. That most people will pick up the virus and then recover a few days later, we’re treating it like the end of the world, which is depressing. I thought the world would end in fire and brimstone, not with a mountain of bogroll and tinned tomatoes.

Maybe we’ve been spoiled by films and television. We see the endtimes in terms of the spectacular when, in fact, for everyone but the heroes battling to save the planet, it ends with a full fridge and a clean bum.

I worry about catching it. I’m being irrational but still I scour websites for “What are the symptons?”, “What does it feel like to have the virus?” and “how many 42 year olds have died from the Coronavirus?”.

It’s pointless. I’m looking for answers to confirm a fear. I should be looking for “How many people have recovered from the Coronavirus?” and “How many 42 years olds have won the lottery?” because the numbers are much more comforting. 

At work today we had a call to plan how we’ll deal with the virus. Travel stopped between offices. Cancelling meetings. Limiting use of the kitchen. Asking people to let us know if they think they are ‘vulnerable’ and what to do with someone who decides to self isolate for two weeks then comes back only to self-isolate again and again until it starts to snow in December and they can take the Christmas break.

We have an action plan but it’s already out of date. We issued it 5pm. By 5:05, Boris Johnson was recommending everyone worked from home and that whole households should isolate for 14 days if one member showed symptoms. Maybe the extra toilet roll has started to make sense?

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