Waiting for further news on ‘do not travel’ and ‘do not go out’ orders. Still haven’t cancelled end of April trip but should really get on it. Has Holland closed the borders? That would make it easier.
Classic trouble sleeping: procrastinating bedtime through more screen time or reading, then mind racing and racing. Last night the other hallmarks of disturbed sleep: physical restlessness, feeling like I can’t get comfortable, leg twitches, many sensations of itching or irritating fabric or whatever, then a stress dream. Not a full on nightmare but definitely uncomfortable and annoying. Procrastinating getting OUT of bed too, as per my embarrassing moment on Friday when I slept in/lazed about with my phone not realizing there was a 9 AM meeting. Sleep is so important, need to do better. But even thinking about imposing “rules” like one phone-free or screen-free evening a week or no phone after 10 PM makes me feel anxious. I think Mom and Dad are taking unnecessary risks by continuing to go for walks with friends and go to the coffee shop but they know my opinion already. They’re keeping up with the news as much as I am, I already sent them my misinfo kit and I cannot make their decisions for them. I love them and I just have to keep telling them that.
Grocery shopping yesterday. Took an hour all told which isn’t too bad. Still no flour, tomatoes, ratatouille on shelves. Was going to try to get enough that I could cancel my Tesco order this week but it’s too hard to carry all those cans and things. Heavy. Hopefully they can sort out the supply chains soon as I’d hate to be caught out if I need to go full self-isolating. Brought the Kellens a bunch of flowers. Thought they might be feeling a bit cabin fever-esque. Glad to have cheered them up a bit.
Yesterday at 8 PM there was an organized effort to get everyone outside to applaud for the NHS and care workers. I thought there would be a poor showing and I’d seen some doctors and nurses saying they didn’t want applause, they wanted more PPI so they could do their jobs more safely. But at 8 PM I heard a noise–through my noise-cancelling headphones–and when I went out every single balcony in Newlands Quay, Maynards Quay, and all the other surrounding housing units had someone one it making a joyful noise. It was really stunningly moving. We could hear fireworks and air horns in the distance. Really beautiful. I felt connected to the neighbourhood in ways I hadn’t before. The next few weeks are going to be difficult and grim but now I feel we can do it together.
I dreamed we were organizing a book launch for me so I tried to think of a good place but it was all tiny bookshops like LRB and some other imaginary one with two tiny tables. And when I woke up I realized even if I had a book to launch we wouldn’t be doing it in person like that. Maybe never again.
I was distressed to see things proceeding just as usual yesterday with everyone out on the path around Shadwell Basin just as normal. I suppose because we face a pedestrian area we see the bulk of people’s exercise resolutions. Perhaps I should go for a walk now while nobody’s out? Or will it be full of runners out there? Sore throat continues. Psychological, allergies, reflux, or THE DISEASE? Hard to know. I took a bath last night just to get a break from the endless screen viewing. My eyes are tired which is making me tired even though my body isn’t getting enough movement.
Finally caved and bought a TV licence so I could watch Boris’s evening pronouncement–as expected all told to stay indoors with exceptions only for food shopping, exercise once a day, getting medicines, or caring for someone vulnerable. These measures to stay in place for three weeks. Trouble getting to bed in a timely fashion–keep finding myself awake in that fidgety way at or after midnight. Perhaps no surprise yesterday. Should have known something was coming when the Thames Pathway gates next to the Prospect of Whitby and the Trafalgar Court apartment complex were locked yesterday. The bit where that wooden semicircular walkway extends out over the water. And the steps down to the Thames foreshore. I find walking on the sand soothing and grounding so I was very disappointed not to be able to do so yesterday. I wonder how long it will take for people–and businesses–to fully comply with these orders. And I’ve got so many what-ifs: sudden plumbing emergency? Would that be considered enough of a reason for a business to stay open? Broken window…other minor non-medical emergencies…I wonder.
As the news about the coronavirus gets ever more stringent I decided the best thing I can do is make my home as nice as possible, if we’re going to be confined indoors for up to 12 weeks. Mild sore throat yesterday and today–trying to decide if it’s “the ‘rona” as everyone’s been calling it, or just allergies. No fever so far, mild feeling of some kind of coating on the back of my throat, so probably just sinus-whatsit. Surprising amount of night traffic on the Highway, especially motorcycles. I wonder if people feel cooped up so they’re going out at hours when they think no one else will be around. I’m planning a virtual tea party for next weekend, assuming I’m not ill and can host! We’re going to need more of these virtual events going forward. I wish the tech were a little bit better. Should probably go for a walk but it’s hard to keep 6 feet apart on these narrow paths. And some people really don’t seem to care, aren’t making an effort at all. Sore throat feels worse. Illness or imagination?
It’s just the end of my first week back in the office from vacation and it’s not at all unusual that I would work from home all that time and yet I’m having trouble putting the phone down when it’s time to sleep and waking when it’s time to wake. Though I have plenty of food I’m regretting using any of my canned goods to make dinner because it’s going to be a while before more is available. I feel like the advice I gave with my boss is completely wrong–crisis times call for different measures than ordinary working from home–and I’m anxious about supporting workers as best I can through this. And it’s only going to get worse for a while: more deaths. More draconian measures. Will people keep panic-buying into week 2, 3, 4 of this crisis? We’re lucky that supply chains are not yet interrupted. Much.
Yesterday the UK government completely changed its coronavirus strategy on the realization they’d messed up the modeling. They used viral pneumonia rather than the novel coronavirus to model its ‘herd immunity’ strategy and the two diseases are not alike. So they’ve completely changed tactics, perhaps too little too late. And they’ve strongly advised against public gatherings without actually ordering anything to shut. Meaning that restaurants, pubs and theatres won’t have any income but can’t claim any insurance either. I’m furious and sad for my friends in those industries. And selfishly annoyed because where am I going to go when this is over if all those places are closed? People keep saying “this might change everything–it won’t go back to the way it was” and I can believe that for office work but humans are social creatures–perhaps the most social species that ever existed — and we won’t be able to sustain long term quarantine conditions no matter how risky getting together is. We need each other.