Ann Allan: An Honest Account of Day 34 Self Isolating

I head off to bed at 2 a.m. It’s been getting later and later as the weeks go on. The tears well up for a minute as I go up the stairs thinking that the last time my family had gathered together in our family home was almost five weeks ago. When will I be able to hug them again.

Gordon is snoring and I nudge him and he turns on his side.  I guess I eventually drop off after trying not to dwell on the fact that that the last thing I read on Twitter was that there may be a shortage of some medications. I worry about Louise who’s a Nurse. I worry about Paul going into shops. I worry about grandson Chris working in Tescos as University is closed. I worry generally.

I wake in a cold sweat. I dreamt that I was on a bus and the driver wouldn’t let me off.  I feel as if I’ve stepped out of a bath but in a strange way it is a comforting feeling and I haven’t the energy to get up and change.

I wake up when Gordon puts his head round the door to check that I’m still alive. He’s moved into the back room during the night as I’ve been snoring. Moi, never. It’s 930.
I lift the phone. Check social media’.  Like a few things on Twitter and Facebook.  I doze for a while.  Hear an alert. How does William Spence know I’m awake?

Gordon brings up breakfast. It’s 10-30.  Tea and a warm croissant.  ( frozen variety from Marks)  and the tablets I need to keep me going.

I make the mistake of dozing off again.

Hubby appears by the bedside.  Do you know it’s 1230 and it’s a gorgeous day ? Shit I’ve slept away the morning.

Struggle out of bed. Look in the mirror. Where the hell did all that hair come from? Where is it going. It’s sticking out in all directions. There is no way Gordon is going to cut it. I used to complain that my hair was quite thin on top but now when I can do nothing about it it’s growing like crazy.

Have a shower and while I’m in there clean it at the same time.  Much easier that way.
Look out and see the sun and dress accordingly.  Put on my Apple Watch so I can record my walking distances.

Husband is having lunch when I eventually grace him with my presence. He is an expert at making nice salads now. Only took 50 years.  Missed son as he delivered groceries while I was asleep. Damm!

Gordon brings in groceries from front door. Go through daily procedure.  Wash everything with soapy water and leave to dry. Wash hands. Throw away packaging. Wash hands again. Put away groceries. Spray surface with Dettol. It’s become routine now. I wonder how long we will have to do this.
Watch the news. Doom and gloom but feel I have to watch. Perhaps looking for a glimmer of hope but it’s hard to find. Suggestion is that this could go on for another couple of years. Husband who is a virologist agrees with this theory unless we develop immunity or a successful vaccine. Otherwise we succumb to corona and take our chances. Scary thought.

Walking time. I always feel, and today is no different that I can’t do it but once I’m out my spirits lift and I enjoy the walk.
Today we go onto the Greenway at Knock. The goal today is Cyprus Ave. Our most ambitious yet.  A beautiful walk marred by inconsiderate cyclists. Not all, but some.  It’s not a wide path and some of the cyclists do not veer from the middle of the road. Others come up silently behind you and some even cycle in pairs.

We reach North Road and head back through Ballyhackamore, stopping to take a photo at Cyprus Avenue. I always have my camera ready and I take lots of photos on our walk.
There seems to be a lot of cars on the main road. Not many walking. Only Marks, Quickfit and the greengrocers open.  All the restaurants usually full to the brim with customers lie empty. Tables waiting for the day customers can return.

We’ve clicked up 3 miles on the watch. For someone like me who up to weeks ago wouldn’t or couldn’t walk the length of herself this is a big achievement.

My hands have tightened up during the walk and they are hard to bend. Dehydration and arthritis I think. Wash hands. Drink plenty of water and rub in lots of moisturiser.
Post has come.  Spray comes out again. One from the Tax office. Time to fill in tax return. Letter from medical centre telling husband he is on the vulnerable list. We presume this is due to him having Type 2 diabetes.  Don’t feel that was necessary. His diabetes is in control and he is a fit 70 year old. Worries now that he will have do not resuscitate on his notes if he gets corona. It hurts so much to know that over 65’s are now considered dispensable. We try to laugh it off but it’s just another slap in the face. Through the neglect of the NHS we may have to die before our time so that others can live.

With this weighing on our minds we settle down to watch Gov Cuomo give his daily brief. I edit my photos and put them on Facebook and a few on Twitter. Don’t want to be too pushy by forcing others to look at my snaps but if those who can’t get out enjoy them I will continue.

It’s warm sitting with the sun shining in the window and tired after our walk I drift off to sleep. Gordon wakens me to say it’s dinner time and Paul and Ben have delivered my diet cokes. Drat missed them again.

Getting fed up cooking. Dinner tonight is bacon egg sausage and tomatoes with French fries. I bung it all in the oven and poach the eggs. Tastes yummy.

Facetime daughter in Carrick. Catch up with what everyone is doing. Tell them all I love them. Hold back tears as we blow kisses knowing it will be a long time before I can hold them.

Only one soap tonight and I don’t watch it.  It’s fecking depressing anyway. My cousin Brid plays a move on Word with Friends. A life saviour during this time. She is a champion and beats me more times than looses but tonight I win 2 games and I’m delighted.

Sort of watch Holby while tweeting.  More depressing story lines. What are they trying to do ?

I’ve tweeted about the cyclists. From the replies seems  others having same problem.

Gordon is watching Our Girl which like Holby is doubly depressing. Are there no happy programmes anymore?

Check Facebook. Some lovely messages regarding today’s photos.

Watch Jake Tapper which we recorded. Will watch Quiz tomorrow for some light relief.

Then Trumps election campaign rally , sorry,  Coronavirus conference,  comes on and I swear like a trooper at every lie he utters. He mumbles his way thought what sounds like the yellow pages and looks as if he might keel over at any minute. Highlight when he is challenged by a reporter and threatens to walk off.

It’s 1am. Time to empty the dishwasher.  Set out the dishes for tomorrow’s breakfast. Leave out the tablets for tomorrow and take the other four I need before bed.

As I slump into bed I don’t feel sleepy and I go over in my head  what’s in store tomorrow and then I think Fuck it. Take tomorrow as it comes and I drift off to sleep.