Sunday, 6 December 2020

BACK IN THE COVID - Tier 2 diary, Days 1 to 6

 DAYS 1 to 6

We have been in Tier 2 for 6 days so far. Not much has changed, wave 2 seems to have gathered pace and although rates of infection are now receding the size of the onslaught is so great that daily death rates remain at an appallingly high level (today it was 397). This reflects how little has actually been achieved to protect the most vulnerable. As other European countries have discovered, short of locking the old codgers up for their own good and nailing up the doors and windows of care homes there are still many routes for the virus to get at them. We are our own worst enemies too. I have myself noted that too few older people have genuinely sought to understand both the virus and the rules, many are too blaz√© or dismissive and in any case who cannot completely understand that natural human desire and need to be with family, making the most of their affections, at the closing chapters of one’s story, true even more so in times of crisis and at traditional times of festivity.

Our family have decided to all stay within our own very tight bubbles this xmas. We want to ensure that next xmas no one is missing.

I have a feeling that we might be offered a vaccine before the end of the year which we will jump at. I have a special reserve of disdain and loathing for people who are gullible enough to believe so called ‘conspiracy theories’  and claim they will refuse. They put the rest of society at risk and in particularly their own elderly relatives by their objections and in my experience they are mostly taking the opportunity to garner attention for themselves. 

We should acknowledge that medical science has eradicated polio, smallpox, bubonic plague, typhoid, typhus, cholera, ebola and has protected many of us from once common conditions like diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, tetanus and genital cancers amongst many other dreadful, often fatal diseases. The scientists and other professionals that have achieved this I respect and honour and I will happily take on trust whatever they offer me this time too.

How many anti-vaxxers, I would like to know, refuse to holiday abroad if a protective inoculation is required! You can be sure also that their views would rapidly change if it were a matter of life or death administered by a roadside paramedic at an RTA!

I am ranting off again which must be a positive sign.

Life goes on then as it was before, I am still verbally gesticulating and imprecating the evil one’s urgent attention on naysayers, attention seekers and wrong doers generally but especially on this corrupt government of ours. It turns out that Sir Alex Allan, the johnson’s own ethics adviser did not resign exclusively at his failure to deal with Pritti Shitti properly.  He had issues with a ‘number’ of the johnson’s failures to deal with ministerial wrongdoing especially the Jenrick corruption affair which had no consequences for him even though he had admitted the illegality of his actions. 

Our resident wildlife continues to entertain us. The day before yesterday Cyril was racing around the now denuded ash tree at the top of the neighbour’s garden on our right side chasing away the pigeons roosting there one by one. Now Cyril is not the brightest of squirrels on the block but I am pretty sure that he was not after lunch so he must have been just having fun. The Woodpigeons however have decamped. Today they are, all five of them, distributed about a sycamore two doors up on our left. Cyril is responsible for all the hazel trees which pop up in our garden including a walnut tree now potted up and thriving. Small reward for the damage he wrecks on the beds and plant pots when hiding these nuts. It is now known that squirrels do not remember where they buried their nuts, they dig essentially at random in likely areas hoping to find one of the tens of thousands of nuts they buried previously. But we would not like to lose our Cyril. He comes down to the french doors sometimes, sits up on his back legs and peers at us for several minutes through the window from a few feet away. We wave back. 


Sadly this is Cyril 2. Cyril 1 died an unnatural and violent death by motorcar on the main road. He had a distinctive tail which waved from one end of his squashed little corpse due to the back draft from passing cars for some few days after his accident until the crows or fox had him for their lunch.

Another morning this week a tiny young field mouse, all ears and no body, scooted round at some incredibly nervous high speed in three complete laps of our bottom patio, disappeared through a hole to next door, came rocketing back, completed another lap and then gallantly clambered up 5 steps one by one and vanished. They live under and around the shedio and this one must have strayed down the steps and panicked. They visit in the shed sometimes whilst I paint and scoot under my feet. I say hello but they never stop. 

I took a Covid test yesterday having developed a nagging and continuous cough after three previous days of headaches, dizziness and feeling generally Moby Dick. 

Now I thought it would be straightforward. We have seen it on the TV news, a white stick poked up your nose and down your throat after giving your details and that’s it. I can report that it is hard work. To start with you must show your QR code. What? “QR code in the email we sent you” oh! Finds email, waves phone out of window. Then you get a kit to do it all yourself and quick fire instructions none of which you remember except the last injunction to NOT seal the last bag. NOT! You and your vehicle then pass on to the next ‘operative’ who directs you to a parking place where you begin to rip open the parcel. There are 7 items in there one of which is an 8 page A5 size instruction book with an exhortation to read the whole thing before proceeding. We did, and you need to. You get the white pokey stick, which  you stick down your throat first and then push the same stick up your nose. The stick you break in half and insert in a vial with a pinkish liquid in the bottom, replace the its screw cap and enclose in a clear plastic zip bag with some absorbent padding. You write your name on a receipt card which carries your bar code reference to take home. The bagged up sample then goes in the last ‘bio hazard’ container. We waved at the parking operative to signal our completion, she checked that we had put the right things in the right bag from 2 metres away and then, after explaining how we were to then seal it down ourselves after all, directed us on to the next station where we dropped my ‘bio-hazard’ in a very large grey box on its own. Bizarre!

So glad though to have gone through this surreal process at least once, an essential part of the experience forever to play its part in the future when we are reminiscing about life ‘Back In The Covid’.

And reminiscing might still be possible one day. The test came back negative.

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