Just at the point when I’d at last recovered from whatever it was, we got a phone call from a family member. He and his partner both felt unwell on Tuesday and got tested – both tested positive. Fortunately neither of them is seriously ill, for which we’re all grateful.
As luck would have it we all met up the previous weekend (before they felt unwell, of course). Mostly outside, always carefully. They didn’t stay at our house, because we all felt that wouldn’t be a good idea. Nonetheless, as of last Saturday we are self-isolating for the rest of the fortnight, which finishes on Sunday. Not what we’d planned – there were arrangements for youngest son and his family to come here to stay for a few days over half term – we’ve been ‘bubbled’ with them for some while now. It’s my birthday next Saturday, and we had some celebratory ideas.
Never mind – all that will wait; better safe than sorry. Etc etc.
Instead we are now spending the week catching up on the backlog of things that somehow never quite get done: STOing; sorting out the backlog of emails and admin; maybe some gardening that has been neglected while we were away and then I was ill.
I get a local Council newsletter which usually includes something from our Director of Public Health. Always the reminders about what distancing measures are required, what guidance is in place locally. And a reminder that although prevalence here is comparatively low, it is rising and much of that relates to the two local universities.
This week I was particularly struck by one paragraph he’d written. It seems to distill everything we need to be doing to help keep ourselves and our communities safe – it’s not about sticking slavishly to rules because they’re there, its about taking individual responsibility for our actions. Our answers to his questions may not always be the same, but the act of asking ourselves and answering the questions will always be important.
“Please ask yourself, whenever you are mixing with others or going out, is this necessary? Is this safe? Is the benefit worth the risk to me and to others?”
We’re taking the self isolation instruction seriously and are sticking to it. More than ever we appreciate our fortunate position: we have plenty of food in the house, and we aren’t going to struggle financially (unlike those who live on the financial knife-edge of low pay or benefits). Both of us feel well. We have more than enough to keep ourselves occupied, and we enjoy our own and each others company. We have good neighbours to call on if there’s anything we need.
We’re looking forward to being allowed out again on Monday. And in the meantime, jobs are being jobbed that have sat around waiting for A Very Long Time.