The Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 2

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Josef Lee

Welcome to Day 2 in our household, and I’m starting to tear my hair out, after 3 whole days of being stuck at home (and so many more to go). Last night I emailed my boss offering to do any work possible from home (hard to do when you work in a care home…) and fortunately he was able to give me some rotas to do since they are changing so much due to a lot of people being off sick. That took me 2.5hrs. Then I played bananagrams with Josh (and won again :p) and re-potted some plants that I’ve been meaning to re-pot for a while. I managed to get some more rotas to do and sent a link to some online training to complete, so that will be able to keep me busy for a little while.

I checked in on friends (“how are you doing in the apocalypse?”). I made queries about pay to the team in our company dedicated to all issues regarding the coronavirus. I’m very fortunate: if you are a vulnerable person and cannot work at home due to the nature of your job, my company still pay sick pay in line with our contract. For me, it means 6 weeks of full pay and 6 weeks of half pay. Many will not be so lucky. Many will be unable to work from home and won’t have any pay to fall back on. The government needs to do more. It needs to protect those who won’t get paid to be off work. It needs to freeze rent as well as mortgages. Any landlord with a mortgage should be unable to charge rent, or at the very least only be able to charge half of the rent.

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The other thing that is crazy is the way the NHS staff are being treated, by the government and by the public. The NHS had their protective gear requirements downgraded, which is madness, and some of the public are still socialising as normal. One of my friends aunts went for a pub meal only yesterday. People are still visiting pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes. This is utterly selfish and utterly stupid. Not only is it putting yourself at risk, but it means risking infecting many others and in turn, those people infecting others too, and on and on and so forth. Those people who get infected may die. We cannot just go on as normal. I know it is boring being at home all day. It will be boring, and it’s going to be that way for a while. But this is how we protect people. This is how we save lives. If we all get sick at once, the NHS will be overwhelmed and it will have to start prioritising who gets treatment, and in reality this means making the tough decisions about who lives and who dies. If we stay indoors and keep social contact to a minimum, we will all get sicker a lot slower and that means that the NHS will hopefully be able to treat all the people who need treatment. So stay inside. Only go out when necessary (food, medicine, urgent appointments). The NHS advice says you can go outside for walks if there aren’t many people around and you keep your distance from anyone you come across (unless you have symptoms, otherwise, don’t go outside at all, for anyone reason).

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We have to take this seriously. It’s a very surreal experience and for some, it hasn’t sunk in, but regardless of how we are feeling, we have to follow the social distancing measures in order to protect ourselves and others. We will get through this.

 

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