And breathe…. count to 10 and breathe again.

More and more countries go into lockdown. We are surrounded by lands where schools have been closed. Meanwhile here in England our leaders give interviews only to carefully selected media supporters. Even the Chief Medical Officer gives an interview to a right wing newspaper. On the off chance you just might want to find out what our top medical person has to say on the crisis then you have to pay for it. Apparently we might force anyone over seventy into isolation in a few weeks. We might close bars and cinemas down – maybe in a few weeks. We will definitely keep schools open – if teachers go off sick then we will just cram more kids into the available classes. Sticking to the strategy of trying to get as many of the fit and young infected so they develop immunity. All sounds a bit X-Files to me. Seems to be based on the assumptions that infection has no long term side effects and any acquired immunity will be for the long term. Both assumptions are scientifically unproven as yet. Increasing numbers of experts appear to not share the same opinion as our key experts advising the government. Plus this is our Government we are talking about – they couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery. Has anyone seen Boris Johnson over the last few days? I really hope he’s as stressed out as my kid is over the virus….. If it’s sending many of the adults into panic what is it doing to our children.

It’s an odd feeling. Do I trust our countries leaders and it’s experts OR do I rather trust other countries approaches. That excludes the overall US approach – I’m not sure waiting for it to one day just disappear really cuts the mustard as an approach.

So I am wrestling with one decision. Do I let son go to school. I have a duty of care to look after him. Do I think he is safe, secure and well cared for in the educational environment. I’m still wrestling with that one. I think many parents round here are facing the same call. Yes full on school closures have a knock on effect on childcare and staffing in our essential services. Especially as our Government has deliberately cut those services to the bone. We now only have a quarter of the critical care beds that Germany has. But on the other hand how many kids and teachers have underlying medical conditions. Are we not placing them at risk. So it’s not an easy decision. But I need to focus on my son. What’s in his best interest. We also need to keep moving forward.

I need to go shopping tomorrow for a few things. Should be an interesting experience. One of the things I need is a Chocolate Almond Drink. It’s about the only nice dairy substitute drink I have found. It’s expensive but it is always on offer for 3 for £3. Well last week it was caught up in the panic buy restrictions. Now I can only buy 2 in one shop. Suddenly it’s become expensive. What’s bizarre is no bugger else buys it. I strongly suspected that for a while as they don’t put many of these drinks out and often they looked like they hadn’t been touched since I was last there. Being a sad person I have for the last three weeks put a little pencil mark on the next available drink – it’s still been there on my next visit. So clearly they are worried that as the only buyer of that item I may panic buy and deprive myself of buying it next time. It’s all a bit bizarre. But that’s 2020 for you.

With that I will now try to focus on other things on this blog. Yes I may have to mention the pesky virus but I will try not to that much. Over the next few weeks blogging is probably going to become more important for many. A rare connection in our dislocated world. Maybe trying to create a bit of normality in this maelstrom is what is currently needed. What is certainly needed is that we show how much we love our family and those we care most for. That we try just that little harder to be considerate and look out for others in our community. Trying extra hard to be nice and kind. And yes don’t forget to find the time to care for ourselves as well. Finding that time to smile and breathe. We might not be able to agree on what the best approach is to dealing with the virus but being just a little kinder will certainly make us all feel just that bit better about our world. Thats not going to happen fighting over that last pack of 50 toilet rolls.

Take care my friends. x

158 thoughts on “Breathe

      1. Lol! I don’t even know how to respond to that one… lol… but I still think you deserve a cape. You’ll understand that comment after Wednesday’s post. Thanks for the laugh.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Sigh. We were in a restaurant this afternoon when the Governor of our state announced that all restaurants and bars must close at 9:00 this evening for an indefinite period of time. Our server broke down in tears, for she needs her income. Many people are going to be on starvation rations … if they can even find those, for after the restaurant we went to a grocery store where every shelf was bare. Not a banana or apple, nary an onion or loaf of bread, no bottled water or fresh chicken … nada. This nation, like many others, is going to kill its people trying to protect them. Brilliant, just brilliant. Take care, my friend … as you say, the blogging community may become even more important to us in the coming weeks. Hugs to you and your son.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. Ahhhhh … Guadalajara Jalisco! Been there many times! I believe we have a mutual friend, Laura? Though in truth, she got angry with me and I haven’t heard from her in at least a year, likely more. As re the coronavirus scare, though … I believe the whole world has gone mad! Fingers crossed that sanity returns before we eat our own. Take care, keep safe.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. And over here, Trump actually disbanded the pandemic unit, and now denies that he did so. Sigh. Do me a favour? I waited too long to respond to Judy (Lifelessons), so would you reply to her on my behalf and tell her that Laura’s last name is Llewellyn? Thanks. Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Come to New Zealand as fast as you can! Other than hand sanitizer we have shelves stocked full… schools are still open…plenty of wine…its quite bizarre.
    Love your witty posts!!!
    Rex and Naomi ( in that order because I got to write this!)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Unfortunately there’s a 14 day self isolation period for everyone arriving in this country as from midnight last night. Kind of blows any opportunity to go shopping.

      We’ve also seen some panic buying here. There was a report of a suspected case in a nearby city and within hours both supermarkets in our town, and apparently every supermarket in that city had run out of stock of toilet paper. What’s the fascination specifically for that product?

      Panic buying is actually quite selfish. The wealthy are able to simply walk into a shop and buy whatever they think is “necessary”. Meanwhile the poor have to struggle to keep to their budget. They don’t have the option of buying ahead of needs. I’m determined not to be one of the selfish.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Amen! Not sure what the attraction is with loo paper! You need to eat before you need loo paper! Our govt is keeping an eye on the poorer folk. We’ve bought wine!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Now why didn’t I think of that? My wife and I are in our seventies and if we should need to self isolate, what better way than to pass the time on our balcony with a Pinot Gris or a Marlborough Sav in hand? [make mental note to stock up wine cellar]

        Liked by 2 people

  3. You are expressing so well the same many concerns and frustrations of so many people in so many places. Thank you. I agree that blogging is going to take on (even) more importance for many of us as we “self-isolate”. It’s almost a salvation! Take care.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. If my family and I have to be under lockdown, I choose to be exiled in Switzerland😁 It’ll take the hard edges off isolation and fear and worry.
    I agree with you – through our blogs, we can provide the kind of compassion and support to those in need which our governments can’t.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Is Son ready to give up on school and be taught by Dad? This would be the time to make the change…
    In a way I’m glad Ben is home…I dont have to worry about the virus finding us. We are stocked well enough for now and although we’re not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, we’re doing okay.

    I plan to spend the next 3 weeks being my usual silly self while trying not to duct tape Ben to a chair😂 (he actually ASKED me to do that once🙄) and offering any assistance in my power to whoever needs it.

    Kindness and respect and tolerance and Mongolian Metal will get us through 😉💌

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, we have a big backyard for Ben and the dog. They dug a hole and when it rains it becomes the mud hole. Ben loves to get naked and cover himself in mud.🙄😂 The recent rains have been a bit of a blessing, even if it means more fighting him in the shower🤷🏼‍♀️💌

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I understand your concerns. These decisions are difficult to make. I am not political in any way G, but at the same time I respect the authority and the office of governments.

    I am working for the NHS so I have been hearing all sorts of opinions. I have heard some older people say they don’t think this is a big deal and they would not want to have to self-isolate. Some are more worried about their holidays being cancelled than the risk to health at the moment. At the other end of the spectrum, I have seen people outraged because they can’t find face masks or alcohol hand gel.

    Some of the decisions other countries have made may well be imminent. Our numbers are still a bit behind some other countries. Yes, it is predicted that they will go up and up. But it truly is hand washing and the self-isolating of those with symptoms that are best aid to slowing the spread.

    I totally understand why many people feel widespread testing, track and trace, and total lockdowns are the way to fight this. I have been reading lots of information about the virus. But I have also been looking at the information on who is suffering fatalities and it really does seem to be primarily older ones.

    The decision to shut schools may come at some point. One of the issues is that often when children can’t be at school, it may be grandparents that step in to look after them, But we are trying to protect our older generation, so we don’t want that. If children are off school, it would need to be their parents, not their grandparents, who looked after them, so they would need to have time off work perhaps or if possible work from home.
    There are so many different situations up and down the country. But I can imagine many single parents would be anxious about that scenario. In addition there are so many people that do not have any savings and have large mortgage payments, as well as other bills to pay. There may be a lot of hardship for them.

    The decision to close schools may come soon. People will have to be prepared for these scenarios. But we would hope that they are thinking ahead now about these possibilities. Maybe that’s why there are no rice and dried pasta in the supermarkets?

    It is suspected that many many of us will be infected with the coronavirus, one study estimated up to 80% of us will have it. But for most of us it will be relatively mild and we will recover. That is not the case with our older generation and others who have underlying health issues.

    I can see why some governments are trying to stop the spread of the virus full stop. I can see why some may have felt total lockdowns are necessary. I respect the decision of the governments who have chosen to do that. For everyone protecting life is the most important priority.

    But we also know of the concern about how people’s livelihoods are going to be affected. Recently the British government made some amendments to sick pay, designed to make sure people did self-isolate. But we already hear reports of some industries being concerned they will go under, especially travel, hospitality, leisure and aviation industries are anxious. That is not the most important issue. But it is something that governments will have to think about at some stage.

    So far, it looks as if the government here are trying to make decisions that will especially protect the older generation, the most vulnerable of all of us. We may well see more restrictions ahead. But it does seem that it is older and those already with illnesses such as COPD etc that we are especially worried about.

    Talk at work is that most of us will catch it and most of us will be just fine. The younger we are the milder the symptoms it appears from what we have seen. So in some ways, there seems to be an attitude of how can we keep going as a society but protect our most vulnerable. I have a feeling that in months to come the attitude of encouraging, supporting, checking on our older folk will become our main outlook. The rest of us are likely to be ill and are likely to have to take a week or two off work or school while we recover. We are all likely to face inconvenience to say the least over the next few months. But this is not the case for our older ones.

    I do expect there to be more changes ahead, and the rate of infections will probably decide when they occur. But as far as the NHS are concerned, it seems to be the older generation and those already compromised by health complications that this could be catastrophic for.

    There is a lot of anxiety right now. But I honestly think that they are trying to get the message across as loud as possible that handwashing and other good hygiene practices will make a difference – they really will. As will strict self-isolating. We do anticipate a huge loss of life G. But those who cooperate with these measures will help reduce those figures. Further restrictions seem likely, but don’t be surprised if they are especially geared towards protecting our precious older folk.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Unfortunately as a Medical Director told me once. With stuff like new viruses and diseases you hear experts on all sides of the argument talk about the science. Unfortunately until a virus has been around for a few seasons, the science is just an opinion based on incomplete data. But it is what it is. If we are all just a bit kinder and understanding then the process of establishing balance again will be easier for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You take care as well Gary. I had been thinking of you and wondering how all this had affected your son. And yes, bloggging iscessential in these times.m me and my husband are going to benisolated and shut in with no family or friends to help us so the connections in here are vital to me. Mkeep blogging Gary and goodnluck with the bloidy virus xx

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Here in United States – Every single day there are new restrictions and shut downs!!! It’s getting WAY out of hand…

    We will be going into a massive depression – historical no doubt, never ever seen anything like this in proportion… not to mention this is an election year (November we decide president – oh god – we are f’ed!)

    We are going to be paying a VERY heavy price for all these shut downs!! It’s NOT going to be pretty!!

    Unfortunately this is a worldwide 🌎 shockwave, so no one truly knows exactly how to handle this.

    I can’t imagine how you must feel… I would be uneasy myself… have you had this discussion with your son or are you able to? You once mentioned the subject of homeschooling – is he open to that at the moment? At least momentarily? Could you swing that?

    I can only imagine the weight you feel on your shoulders – I’m sorry – wish I could help somehow!

    Please stay safe and healthy!! Definitely please give updates! You will be in my thoughts ✌️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We have and he was in serious meltdown over the virus and the lack of precautions the school put in place. Putting out a few hand gels Is hardly a robust strategy. They are trying to cram more kids into the small rooms to make space for exams. They don’t give the kids any time to use the gels or wash hands. The surfaces are not cleaned during the day. A number of the kids have been abroad but they not been tested. Anyway he’s had a cold on and off since Christmas. Anyway he started coughing and sneezing a bit last night (no temp and feeling fine) which under the new rules means he can’t go to school for a week. So he’s got a few days off. Secretly I am relieved.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A friend freaked that her son paid $9 for butter but it turned out not to be price gouging… he bought fancy organic french butter without knowing $9 is an obscene price (but the butter was declared delicious!l)

    I ran out of kleenex… I’ll probably attempt a late night store run but I’ve heard that many 24hr stores are now closing at night.

    Long Beach schools are closed. I heard that another city closed schools but won’t have childcare assistance centers open till later in the week. And wouldn’t that just be another gathering?!? The concern here is of kids spreading the virus to older people and those with fragile immune systems.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. The last I heard, the acquaintance in the hospital had been waiting 4 days for her test results. Thanks to US healthcare, she might have a large copay for that care, esp if she comes back negative.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You must do what you feel is best to protect yourself and your son. We fortunately don’t have any shortages yet here in my part if France. We’re into day two of lockdown and I suspect it’s going to feel a bit like later life retirement. Luckily we can still go out and ride but no more than 10 in the group.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is going to be a haul for the entire planet. This isn’t just about a virus. This is a shock to a system we have grown accustomed to. I’m not entirely sure the virus, itself, will do a lot of damage but, the attempt to control the virus certainly will. Time will tell if this virus is more or less deadly than the seasonal flu that kills upwards of 250,000 per year. Only hindsight will reflect real numbers (assuming the CIA controlled media even offers any truth for the masses…not likely). Ever heard the saying that “the cure is worse than the disease?”

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I read yesterday that a large supermarket chain in Australia is opening its store for an hour in the morning ONLY to those over 70 and vulnerable due to health. Ok sure there will be idiots who try to ‘pretend’ but what a great idea. Of course, if the selfish people of this world stopped stock piling then it wouldn’t be much needed step!!

    I hope you felt clearer his morning and could make your decision re: school.

    Claire xx

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Three weeks behind Italy apparently. My in laws in the north were already locked down then. It’s not a race! Even Italy have been more proactive than us. China took drastic measures that are proven to work. We’re governed by a bunch of clueless and careless people which is very concerning

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Aldi only had two boxes left of my fav intant latte packets they do. They are pretty cheap and there’s always tons…. so while Aldi are often just waiting for a delivery somehow I don’t think so in this case.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw and i would let you. Will go to Aldi’s first this week, see what is what. And if they don’t have stuff nip to the retail park round the corner. We are very lucky in terms of shops here indeed, this cluster is further away but it is whether they have things is the prob

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You know it is even people like my younger girl who is a lawyer. Before it is said they are rich, she is a lawyer for abused women and children. There was already a question mark over funding for that centre and a race to get that funding for when it runs out in June, meaning that these vulnerable women and children in Fife are probably now going to lose that. Then there’s the fact that the plumbers, the joiners, the sparkies, roofers, builders have, in the space of 24 hour,s seen their orders dry up while that mop headed klutz standing bumbling on in parliament, promsiing the moon. Aye, waiting to see that being brought down from the sky. . . This country cannot afford to lose these people. That’s before I get to the many many others. Yourself. In fact just about everybody. he better start putting the money where his big fat gub is !!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. We do need kindness, now. But while many are rabidly panic-buying as if Armageddon were approaching, there are also those posting letters through neighbours’ doors offering to shop and get prescriptions for them, and checking up on the vulnerable. A crisis brings out both the best and the worst in people.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Came on to WordPress to hear what you would say about corona. Scary times! Is it naive to hope it will still blow over? Ahahah. Sending love to everyone who needs it, and I agree blogging will be crucial for us all in the upcoming days. Please take care also friend 🙂 Evee x

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thannk you! My uni is shutting down, and Katie has to work from home now :/ were both alarmed. The worlds going crazy! We did get your email and would love to organise something 🙂 Will email you to sort details when our worlds have calmed down a little 😀 thank you xx

        Liked by 1 person

  15. This is all definitely one for the history books! Declan’s big concern yesterday was that he was supposed to turn in his leprechaun trap today at school. He really wants to catch that pesky leprechaun! So, we’re all (I think) building traps today for the bit of school he is actually upset to miss. Day by day. But glad to connect with everyone else out there, you’re right. I can imagine WP is going to be even more valued for that!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I would have thought your preferred drink would have been a safe bet. Panic buying has gone nuts, and I’m certain half of the stuff people are stockpiling they don’t want or need.
    We saw people with laden trolleys of eggs and milk. All SR flour is gone now. Pancakes anyone? It’s nuts, and IMO this is making the whole situation even worse.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree. They should have stopped travel and with flights coming in, testing everyone aboard, Wish we were in the cottage as we had a basic supply of 3-4 months as a matter of course because we had no shops in our village.
        We are OK as far as we can be (Maggie certainly is as we got extra food for her a fortnight ago as it was on special offer. Don’t fancy meaty chunks myself, but with a bit of gravy??? LOL). Managed to get some tinned stuff on Sunday and got everything on my list except the pork chops yesterday. Town here is even worse by all accounts now after yesterday’s announcement. Shop staff are wearing gloves, and people are just going crazy. Just read the main supermarkets are restricting certain items to 5 per person.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Europe is shutting down and although it is not easy to swallow, I agree that it is necessary. I don’t understand why the British government does not take action in time before the roof is burning.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. That is bad, no real guidance the people can rely on. Gary, you totally got it. I have a wonderful garden and as you said a gorgeous view. Since the weather is so lovely and warm I am working outside on my patio… pur bliss!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. More or less. People are called to stay at home and only go out for the most necessary things like grocery shopping. Shops (except pharmacies, grocery stores) are closed. But people are working when even in shifts and in smaller parties. Also the goods transport is still functioning. So, it is not a complete shut down. But Switzerland is close to go there. I hope our country doesn’t follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think we are heading towards an almost complete standstill. The Swiss government thinks about a curfew. Liechtenstein usually follows… then it will become very quiet all of a sudden.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. YES, take care. Trying to keep the inner fighting down to a minimum is my challenge for today, as well as building some semblance of normal. We’ll see what we come up with.

    And your son’s plight sounds like what’s happening with our country’s daycares. People are desperate to keep working–those who CAN work if their jobs weren’t shut down. The daycare tied to my mother’s preschool has far more school-aged children than toddlers right now, so once again, kids are going from being mobbed together in a school to being mobbed together in a daycare. I don’t get how this is any better for them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I sometimes think a best approach might be a compromise. Kids only do half time. Split the school into two. Either a morning or afternoon. That way you can space the kids and teachers out more. 2.5 days of safe childcare is better than none and is less risky than the current mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A friend of mine who teaches in South Dakota came up with an awesome plan: teaching small groups of students one hour a day so that every kid at least has some school time; plus, kids then have access to school meals they can take home. It doesn’t solve the daycare problem, but it at least prevents a total shutdown.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I read about the U.K.’s response a little bit and frankly, I think it’s crazy. I would not be sending any child of mine to school at this time. That’s just how I feel about it – I wouldn’t take the chance, as minimal as it may be.

    I have been reading a LOT about what’s happening with this dang virus. My only breaks are when I visit WordPress. It’s a comfort that has helped me through many stressful situations. I trust it will continue to be – so many awesome people here. I am wishing you all the very best, always. (And your son as well, of course).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was reading a leading UK Doctor his has gone down with it, probably. He can’t get tested so he’s buying his own test kit. He says the problem is that a small group of experts and politicians are trying to run this purely based on a mathematical model. Using data which is patchy and certainly doesn’t fit the UK. Rather we should be working with other countries and looking at the stuff which has worked in other countries. We have to either lockdown or through resources into testing and tracking those infected. We are doing neither that well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is unprecedented and much of the world has been caught off guard. Still, if we took the warnings from China and Italy more seriously the whole world would be in lock down. My cousin just returned from a vacation in the Dominican Republic – no screening at the airport in Toronto. Apparently there is testing at some terminals but not others. We all need to get organized and do whatever it takes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Starting way back in the 1980s with Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan – remember Reganomics? I remember our federal government telling people we had to cut the deficit. They took money from health care, among other things. Once the deficit was brought into control no monies were ever returned to health care. We have a good system, but our hospital are already operating at maximum capacity. A covid-19 outbreak would overwhelm the system very quickly. It’s a huge worry. Still watching what’s happening in Italy, even though it does break my heart to pieces. I know the population there is heavily weighted with elderly people. Still, it shows what can happen and faster than people think. How is your son doing through all this? It’s got to be so frightening for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I love y’all god loves y’all share the love it’s about being as one now love is all we have bless the word love y’all besafe but do y’all part in that is to bless the lord in share the love but besafe at the same time

    Liked by 2 people

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