UK Cases: 108, 692 – Recovered: 344 – Death Toll: 14, 576
Portugal Cases: 19, 022 – Recovered: 519 – Death Toll: 657
Worldwide Cases: 2, 231, 438 – Recovered: 564, 718 – Death Toll: 150, 836
As I gather these numbers every day, I find myself reflecting in the fact that these numbers, might be greatly unrealistic. Firstly, there is a massive lack of testing around the world which means that there in no way of knowing exactly how many cases are in total, it could be twice as many or a third more or who knows? With regards to the number of deaths, for example in the UK, only the deaths occurred in hospitals are being recorded as covid -19 deaths and I suspect that is the case in some other places too, plus when someone dies at home as the result of the virus, but has never been tested, how do we know the cause of death? It is very difficult to know exactly what we are facing here and this is something that scares me if I stop long enough to think about it. I try not to.
This week, the government extended the lockdown as we have been doing for at least another 3 weeks. The furlough pay has been extended until the end of June now. There has been a lot on the news about economy versus human value. In my point of view, humans are more valuable than the economy, if not for anything else, simply because you can’t have an economy without people. Also, I am sure there is enough wealth in the world to get us through this. It’s just a matter of management. For example, I believe that the government pays a compulsory minimum living allowance to everyone instead of disability, universal credit, etc which people have to be tested and assessed for; it would be much more beneficial for the economy, as the population would have much better physical and mental health as well as economic power. They would be saving on the cost of assessment for benefit eligibility, health, businesses rescue measures, etc. This is a utopian view, some might say; but I do believe it. Clearly, things have not been working otherwise, anyway!
First month’s balance
So, I have been at home now for just over a month and I must admit, I am not as cheerful as I was a few weeks ago. There, I said it! I have been feeling my mood getting lower and a shadow of depression looming over me. I am still going for walks every day, which I am still enjoying and exercising at home, but not as much as I was at the beginning. I am still losing weight and still reading and writing most of the time, but I know the spark isn’t here like it was before. The good thing is that I can see this happening and I can fight it.
This week, I finished both Later Emperors and Joyful. Currently, I am reading Normal People, by Sally Rooney and The Result is What You See Today, poems about running edited by Paul Deaton, Kim Moore and Ben Wilkinson. I always like to have a poetry book on my bedside table. Joyful was a really good book, but I was missing reading a novel. I like these lifestyle books, but in the future, I think I will put a time in the day for this type of reading and keep a novel on at the same time. In my first month at home I have finished 3 books, could have been more, but it’s not bad.
Two days ago, I received The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, with the workbook, Morning Pages Journal, but I have not started yet. I will start tomorrow. I think I’ll set some time in the morning to read it and to do the morning pages. I watched an interview with Julia Cameron on Russel Brand’s podcast and ordered the book the same day. This is something I am really looking forward to.
I have also finished the crochet blanket I started at the beginning of my isolation, I was thinking of giving it to charity, but ended up giving it to Romina. She said she’d like it, and she had just rearranged her bedroom, so I gave it to her. I have started now a rug for my office, this should take less time as the wool is much thicker. I’m looking forward to have it finished.
I have been writing everyday since I started staying at home and I have written about 4 poems and also have been editing other work I wrote before. I am taking myself more seriously as a writer now and I am also doing writing exercising every day. That is something that has helped my spirits and something I hope will continue after this crisis is over. I have started posting here the poems I wrote with the 52 poems prompts, on the days I don’t write the diary. When I am up to date with these poems, I will start writing posts with writing tips and ideas.
I had a lot or response from the Creative Writing Group on Facebook and have been enjoying reading the members work during the week. I can’t wait to see how this is going to progress. It means so much to me that other people are participating and thanking me for creating the group. I just love how it is turning out.
This Wednesday, the 15th was Romina’s birthday, the first of our family in lockdown. It was a lovely day, my sister came round with the children and they sang happy birthday to her on our front garden, while we all stayed inside. It was the first time I saw the children since it all started and it was so lovely seeing them, but sad at the same time as we couldn’t hug and kiss each other. The weather was beautiful that day and we stayed most of the afternoon in the garden. She made pulled pork with potato wedges for dinner and Phil bought her a chocolate cake, after dinner we played Uno. I wish she could have gone out with her friends, at some point in the day, I could sense she was sad and I wish it would have been better for her. But at least, I can hope that next year for her 30th she can have a proper celebration.
We bought her a cake, but the only candles I had in the house, were my 50th and Lucas’s 18th that had never been used, so we put them on the cake as 81 just for a laugh.
On Thursday, the day was glorious and we had a barbecue in the garden. It was our first barbecue in this house and the first we made in a long time. It was a great day!
The highlight of the week, or even the month, was when we saw two deer running in the field on Tuesday, it was a magical moment. We were on our morning walk when I looked and saw these two bambies playing in the woods. I was in awe, couldn’t even process it for a while, so unexpected and beautiful. I will remember that moment and treasure it for a long time. Then the following day we bumped into a chicken on the street, I think it sneaked out from a nearby farm. These little things we take joy from make all the difference these days.
And I am still counting my blessings. I am deeply grateful for everything I have and for having my family with me, despite missing my son Leonardo, his girlfriend and my grandson too much. At least I know they are well and when I speak with Leonardo he sounds positive.