The seventh day, so just under one week in self-imposed isolation where isolation means social distancing. While you ponder on what that means (has he been out of the house or hasn’t he), I hope you will forgive a slightly less content-rich edition of the blog. It’s Sunday and I’m taking it as a bit of a rest day and playing a bit of catch-up.
What have we learned from the first seven days in Gumnut? I suppose what I learned fairly quickly was that strict quarantine was and isn’t possible without a huge amount of supporting infrastructure. Stand by for criticism abounding, but I’ve had to leave the house briefly a couple of times each day. – Taz is very good but I don’t think he can go without a walk and chance to carry out normal dogily functions for 14 days.
So how have I managed this? FIrsty a self-imposed rule or two, the first of which is how am I feeling and am I asymptomatic. So far yes and that’s allowed me to consider the next rule, timing. Although I’ve been out twice a day with Taz, I doubt more than a couple of peope (also ironically dog owners) would know even in central London. That’s because the route I’ve taken has been as quiet and people free as I can make it and at a time of the day (god awfully early and miserably late) to further reduce any likely interaction. Other than Vaughan, I’ve been within six feet of roughly four people although a couple of those had a closed front door between them and me.
Some would say that’s an abject failure, others including me say it’s the best we could do taking a risk reduction approach and taking as many steps as we can do to reduce the number of contacts we have had with people over the last week. We have had food delivered and have plans for this week and next to do the same again. That was also the route for the emergency wine supplies that came to ease our troubled brows yesterday.
We haven’t otherwise left the house and we’ve actively avoided contact with anyone so although it may fall short of the NHS definition of self-isolation it has been all that has been possible and we’ve worked hard to mitigate and reduce risk of transmission or acquiring Covid19. I’ve outdone lady MacBeth in terms of hand washing and have taken the process seriously.
At the acreage things would have been slightly easier but in any city and certainly in London total self-isolation is going to be pretty much impossible to achieve on anything like a complete basis.
Speaking of shopping, this was the state of Sainsbury’s in Peckerwell where for the first time since the untimely demise of Dale Winton, people were genuinely going wild in the aisles. Perhaps you won’t be surprised to hear the first picture is of the pasta and rice section. The shelves in the second would normally be piled high with toilet rolls. It appears that despite the lack of government instructions to stay and home and avoid going out, people are making those decisions for themselves. We are living in interesting times indeed.
My thanks go to a friend of mine in Birmingham who commented on the current panic buying in the following way.
Tescos, good, occasionally busy later. Sainsburys, moderate to good, sale on Corn Flakes. Asda, slight to moderate, heavy crowds by evening. Marks and Spencers and Co-Op, fair. Waitrose fair to moderate, spillage in aisle 7. Lidl, rough at first, moderate later. – And that’s the end of the Shopping Forecast.
A last comment on the UK’s position, at least for this week. A couple of those following the blog have asked me to explain the UK government position as opposed to doing nothing. While I should really leave them to do that for themselves, in the spirit of give them what they ask for here is the best explanation I’ve found – told through the medium of buckets of water.
One last treat from the Gumnut maximum isolation ward. If you haven’t heard of him before may I introduce you to Randy Rainbow and his Coronavirus lament. Something is very difficult and often for many frightening times to activate the chuckle muscle in all of us (I hope).
See you for week two in the Corona house