Lockdown Day 8

Today got off to a bad start, we heard of the death of an acquaintance from South Africa (not Corona related) - someone younger than us, a single Dad, who leaves a young son... absolutely awful news!  It left a cloud of sadness hanging over our day.

Better news was that the purchase of our flat went through today, Grant collected the keys this afternoon and, believe it or not, we will be moving on Friday, while still on lockdown.  In an ideal world we would stay where we are until the pandemic is over, but unfortunately, there is no way we can afford to pay rent on our current flat and the mortgage on our new flat at the same time.  Grant spoke to the guy who will be moving us and he assured us that they will all be wearing PPE and will take the utmost care to keep the whole move Corona-free, so that is somewhat encouraging, but still, I have to admit that I am rather scared at the thought of people coming into our "safe space".

I home-schooled Issy this morning and for a little while things felt almost normal.  I really long for our usual routine.  I enjoy having Grant home all the time, that side of things is lovely, but oh I miss spending time with the rest of the family!  I have loved having my Issy-bob with me, but tomorrow she will go home and we will then get working on our upcoming move.

On the supper menu tonight:  Spaghetti tomato and onion bake (we're doing food we know Issy likes!)

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 41 429
UK: 25 150 cases and 1789 deaths
South Africa: 1353 cases, 3 deaths

Lockdown Day 7

The day the anxiety really bit me!  

Anxiety is something I live with on a daily basis, it's  always there, kind of hovering under the surface, it's something I have learnt to live with over the years and I've learnt loads of control mechanisms, but every now and again something happens that sends it a bit out of control.  Hello Corona!!   Over the last few days I've felt my anxiety building a bit and today I had a really difficult day.  Really difficult!

I think anyone with a level of anxiety also has control issues - it's logical - when you are anxious you want to have control over your environment in order to lessen the element of "unknown" and thereby lessen the anxiety.  So I think that anyone with anxiety is having a tough time dealing with the whole Corona-scenario.  It feels to me like there is massive loss of control going on here!  

Today I was thinking about New Year's Day - we started the year with PLANS, we kind of knew what the year held for us.  Grant and I planned to buy a home, we had tickets to fly to Barcelona to see my Dad in March, we had a ticket for Impi to come and visit us in June, we had flights booked for a week in Spain, we knew my Dad was flying over for a visit in September, Grant's job was stable, our family was secure, now that I think about it, all was right with our world.  And then.... Corona!  And all our plans went to hell in a hand-basket!  How frightening is it that EVERYTHING can change in a matter of weeks!  The world as we know it is completely turned on it's head!  Is it any wonder that I feel like my anxiety is on a roller-coaster of note?!  So yeah, it's been a day of deep, slow breathing, meditation, positive-thinking.... and Issy!

I am, by nature, a rule-follower but today I threw caution to the wind.  This afternoon Roxy came to Sainsbury's to do some shopping (Sainsbury's is across the road) and Issy "just happened" to be in the car and as Roxy walked past our door, Issy "just happened" to slip through the door with her overnight bag.  I feel horrible about breaking the rules, but that little girl needed to see her Nana and this Nana really, REALLY needed to see her sweet little face.  So our Issy is here for a night or two and my world is steadier than it was before she walked through that door and for that I am grateful.

In other news, our son-in-law Calvin heard today that his salary is being reduced by 20% for the next 3 months.  It's really awful for Paula and Cal as Paula is doing her Masters full-time, so is only able to work part-time, which means their budget was pretty tight to begin with.  BUT we will survive this!  As a family we will do whatever it takes to get through the next few months until we are on the other side of this thing.  

On the dinner menu:  Chicken Broccoli Bake

Covid-19 stats:
Deaths internationally: 36 924
UK: 22 141 cases and 1408 deaths
South Africa: 1326 cases, 3 deaths

Lockdown Day 6

Surprise!  Another uneventful day.... (no surprise there!)

I'm finding that I really have to think a bit to work out what day it is - sometimes I have to resort to looking at a calendar!  All the days just roll into each other and no matter what day it is the routine is pretty much the same.

Being a bit of a couch-potato, a closet agoraphobic and an introvert to boot, I must say that, on the whole, this lifestyle suits me.  What does get me down is not being able to see my family - we are a tight-knit bunch and going for days and weeks without seeing them is really, really hard.  Yes, we do group Whatsapp chats and phone each other regularly, but nothing beats a hug and some face-to-face time.  So that is probably the hardest part of lockdown for me.

The other difficult part is sourcing groceries.  I have done my grocery shopping online for the last 18 months or so, so I have happily continued to do that, but the problem is that a LOT of stuff is out of stock and the website keeps going down, or has looooong queues which is very frustrating.  The things that are in short supply are basics such as pasta, flour, tinned tomatoes, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and of course things that are pertinent to our current situation such as waterless handcleaner, liquid hand soap and hand cream.  I like to do my weekly meal plan, create a shopping list and then do my online shop on a Thursday, with my groceries arriving on a Sunday evening - in normal life this works very well.... in these strange times - not so much!  I plan my meals, do my shopping list, get onto the website to order and the fun starts!  You are 185 369 in the queue and your wait time is approximately 4 hours.   Great!  Yay me!  Finally, FINALLY I get onto the website.  They don't have this vital ingredient for meal A, okay back to my meal plan... remove that meal, add this one, go back to my shopping list - okay which of these items was for meal A?  Remove them.  What do I need to add for Meal B?  Okay do that, go back to the website... Right!  they don't have a vital ingredient for Meal B....insert ugly swear words....back to the meal plan.... you get the picture!  Last night my delivery included Portabellini mushrooms, for the love of life I can not think why I ordered these mushrooms and they don't belong in any of this weeks meals....Oh, and the tinned tomatoes, which are integral to just about every meal on this week's plan... didn't arrive.  Tears hair out and reaches for the gin bottle.

Back to today - this evening was actually really fun! Jeremy Loops did a live show from his home in the Cape, it was broadcast on Instagram and we tuned in to watch it, along with the rest of the family - we kind of had a virtual picnic.  It was a really lovely, personal, show which we enjoyed with a glass of wine from the comfort of our couch.  Thanks Jezza!

Because Grant is still fighting his head cold (definitely not Corona, no cause for alarm) we didn't go for our daily walk, so I'm not even going to bother to record my steps!

On the dinner menu: samp and bean stew with homemade beer bread.

Today's Covid-19 stats:

Deaths internationally: 34 009
UK: 19 522 cases and 1228 deaths
South Africa: 1280 cases, 2 deaths

Lockdown Day 5

I have barely anything to post here because we did barely anything all day!

We lazed about in bed until mid-morning (this is SO not who we are!) and then shuffled about, tidying up, doing dishes and generally trying to look productive before making some lunch and settling ourselves in front of the TV.  The rest of the day was spent binge-watching One Tree Hill, stopping only to forage for food and make tea!

On the health front, I spoke to my Dad and he said that the hot and cold sweats have stopped, his chest is feeling a bit better and he had managed to get out of bed for a bit.  I am so sure that he has Corona!  He has assured me that he wont hesitate to get medical attention if he feels it's necessary (personally, I feel it's already necessary!)

Grant is still fighting off a head cold - I don't think he has Corona, it all seems to be in his nose.

Things I am grateful for today:
* being able to chat to Dad
* having good food in the house
* being able to relax and watch TV

I'm not even going to mention our steps today... really, there were none!

On the dinner menu (we did our main meal at lunch today): spinach and ricotta tortellini in an arrabiata sauce.

Today's Covid-19 stats:

Deaths internationally: 30 892
UK: 17 089 cases and 1019 deaths 
South Africa: 1187 cases, 2 deaths

Lockdown Day 4

Quite an emotional day today.  It is our precious Issy's 6th birthday and we couldn't be with her, which really broke my heart.  What we did do, is go around early this morning and drop Issy's gift off in their garden.  Roxy then videoed her reaction for us.  We also had a family Whatsapp call this morning, so we could see her blow out her candles and sing to her.  So it wasn't a total bust, but still far from ideal.

Also, we heard today that my Dad (who flew back to South Africa via Rome, after being stuck on a cruise ship!) has a nasty cold .... cue some paranoid thinking from this rather concerned daughter...!

And just to round off a somewhat meh day,  Grant has a cold and I have a sore throat, so we decided that going for our daily walk was probably not a good idea.  Very frustrating, because today looks to be the last beautiful, sunny day for a spell!

Oh well, it's one of those days, but looking around me, I have a lot to be grateful for, so I am going to be thankful for that!

Things I am grateful for today:
* My precious grandchildren, who brighten my day everyday.  Being a nana for the last 6 years is one of my life's greatest gifts.
* the wonders of technology, that keep me connected to my tribe, even though miles may separate us
* sharing lockdown with Grant, it's been lovely to spend some quality time together, away from all life's usual distractions

Now for the sad part - steps taken so far today: 2143, distance walked: a paltry 1.39km

On the supper menu: creamy mushroom tagliatelle

Today's Covid-19 stats:

Deaths internationally: 25 278
UK: 14 579 cases (including our Prime Minister!)and 759 deaths 
South Africa: 927 cases, 2 deaths

Lockdown Day 3

Tough day today.  We got the news last night that Grant's salary is being cut by 20% for the month of April due to the lockdown - certainly not an ideal situation in light of the fact that we have just bought a flat!  I suppose we should be grateful that he still has a job, and we are, but still, this isn't news we would have wanted.

Anyway, we need to keep the faith that in the long run things will work out as they are meant to.

In the spirit of that, we set off on our walk this morning determined to find some peace and happiness in the day.  We had a lovely walk and came home a little lighter in spirit.

Steps walked so far today: 10 007
Distance: 6.48 km

On the menu for supper tonight: aubergine stacks with ciabatta

Today's Covid-19 stats:

Deaths internationally: 22 175
UK: 9529 cases and 465 deaths
South Africa: 900 cases, 0 deaths

Lockdown Day 2

Today has been a much happier day for me.
We are already getting into something of a routine:  a gentle start to the morning, housework, some computer work and then a good long walk before lunch.  After lunch we get back behind our computers, before having a mug of tea sitting on the grass in the sun and then a slow slide into the evening, supper and some TV time before bed.  

Our walk today was really lovely.  Our lockdown regulations allow for one form of exercise outdoors per day. We head out into the countryside, avoiding any places where we might bump into people.  We saw the odd person walking their dog on our walk today, but they were far away, so no Corona threat involved.  

People are very conscious of maintaining the 2m rule (guidelines state we have to maintain a distance of 2m between us and other people) so even when walking on pavements, people will step off into the road to make sure to keep the required distance.  We have an ATM nearby and it looks quite comical - a queue of 3 or 4 people stretches right across the parking lot!

Although the weather is beautiful, our workload is relatively light and being on lockdown feels almost like being on holiday, it isn't, we make sure to listen to the news and keep updated on the Corona stats and we are very conscious of our health and analyse every sneeze and cough.  On the one hand it's lovely to have this free time, on the other hand it's awful living with this cloud of anxiety hanging over us.

Walked 10 050 steps, 6.49km 

On the menu for supper tonight: sausages and mash

Today's Covid-19 stats: (the number of cases isn't really accurate because, in the UK and some other countries, only hospitalised cases are currently being tested for Corona, and it's a known fact that between 1/3 and 2/3 of people with Corona are asymptomatic)

Internationally 19 795 deaths
UK: 8227 cases, 433 deaths
SA: 709 cases, 0 deaths

Lockdown Day 1

I thought I'd keep a bit of a Lockdown Journal as these are such strange days we are currently living through.

Grant had his last day on site for a while, so he set off bright and early and I started the day home alone.  Rox quickly came and collected Issy's homeschooling supplies from me, as I obviously won't be able to continue homeschooling Issy while we are on lockdown.  Seeing Rox in the flesh for the last time in 3 weeks really made the whole thing seem very real and I felt terribly sad.  I busied myself cleaning the flat to keep my mind off things.

My Dad and his partner have been stuck on a cruise ship off Italy for the last couple of days, which has been a real source of concern.  They finally got on a flight out of Rome last night and I heard from them at about midday, to say that they had landed in Johannesburg and were scheduled to fly to Durban soon, so that was a huge relief.

Grant got home after lunch and we took a picnic blanket and our tea outside and enjoyed some time in the sunshine, which was lovely.

Later on this afternoon we took a long walk - it was SO good to get outside and enjoy some much-needed exercise!

While on the walk we heard that my Dad had finally arrived home - good news indeed, but rather surprising that they weren't put in quarantine!

Steps taken 8600, distance walked 5km.


So, as of 8:30pm tonight, we are on lockdown:

Strange days indeed!

We are living through unprecedented times, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it quite dramatically in the last month.  What began as an item on the news about a new virus that began in a market in China, has now permeated every facet of our existence.  Strange concepts such as self-isolation and social distancing are now common place.  Working from home, staying indoors, frequent hand-washing and watching the daily news conference are our new normal.  Even church now happens online.  Pubs, restaurants and many businesses have closed, flights have stopped and the government has stepped in to support those people who are not going to be earning in the next few months because of this.

At the same time, amongst all this negative news, our community has drawn closer together.  Just this morning, we had a note popped through our postbox by a total stranger, offering us help should we be self-isolating, saying that she was willing to do our shopping for us, collect medicines and even phone for a chat if we were feeling lonely.   Businesses have offered to deliver groceries and take-aways and shops are opening an hour earlier to allow the elderly and otherwise vulnerable to shop in safety.  The medical fraternity has come out in force and are working round the clock to help those afflicted by this dreadful disease.  In a strange and unforeseen consequence of everyone staying at home, air quality has improved and wildlife is being seen in places where there have been no sightings for many years.  

So yes, it is a ghastly, frightening and unsettling time to be living in, but at the same time it is wonderful to see the bravery and kindness of the human spirit.