Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – Week 7

UK Cases: 186, 599 – Recovered: ? – Death Toll: 28, 446

Portugal Cases: 25, 282 – Recovered: 1, 689 – Death Toll: 1, 043

Worldwide Cases: 3, 582, 810 – Recovered: 1, 160, 120 – Death Toll: 248, 567

Looking at the current numbers worldwide, it quite reassuring to see that there are almost five times more people who recovered than the death toll. Even if in a smaller proportion, the recovered numbers in Portugal are also higher than the deaths. These figures give us a little hope for the future. However, I wonder why the figures of the recovered cases are not available for the UK. What I know is that for example, in Portugal, when you have been diagnosed with the virus you have to have two negative tests to be considered recovered. This has been changed recently to only one negative test for patients who have not needed hospital care. Whereas in the UK, I don’t think everyone who has been diagnosed has had a second test to confirm recovery, at least I know of a friend who was diagnosed and went back to work after two week recovering at home without having a second test. I find that worrying, she could be putting herself and others at risk, but what do I know?

 

Mood

The week started with a good mood on Monday, but it all went down on Tuesday when I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a storm, tired and drained. I have no explanation for it, wasn’t just the status of my mood, I did feel physically exhausted. The weather was a little bitter that day for the time of the year and specially compared with the previous week. I could easily blame my mood on the weather, but I think it might be a little anxiety. I admit that I feel a little anxious about the end of my PGCE course, all the course work I have not been doing, the job search associated with the achievement of this qualification and even with the end of the lockdown. There are a lot of mixed emotions associated with the way I feel about the lockdown; I miss my son and grandson and all my friends and family, and also the freedom to do little things like just going for a coffee. But, on the other hand, I feel very comfortable on lockdown, too comfortable. It’s good to do what I want when I want, how I want, to spend time with my family and do things I didn’t do enough of before. For many reasons, I don’t want to go back. Definitely, not back to my life before this all started. Will I have the courage to change what needs changing?

Course Work

Luckily, by Wednesday my mood was recovered and I managed to finish my two first Reflective posts. I had already finished the first and started the second, but I ended up editing a lot form the first one and re-writing the second one. At least now I am happy with both and I feel more motivated to do the third one. I also found out that the Theories and Frameworks module had already started, but I wasn’t on the list, it’s all sorted out now and the damaged isn’t relevant as I have already attended some of the lectures last year and I even completed the first part of the assignment.  So, I’m feeling positive about this.

Creativity and books

I’ve not done as much writing as I wish I had, but I have started a drawing course on Skillshare, which I am enjoying very much. I have a few ideas for poems and stories brewing in my brain, I made a few notes but nothing has taken much shape yet. I have given the theme of loss and grief for the writing prompt of the Creative Writing in Lockdown group on Facebook. I have a lot of material for that one, I just need to decide which one to chose.

I have finished Normal People and started This is Going to Hurt, this is a very funny book that makes me laugh every time, it’s composed of diary entries by a junior doctor. But now I need a novel too, so I might end up with three books on the go and that’s not counting the poetry I am reading at the same time.

I interrupted the rug I’ve been doing in crochet to make some mask guards for the NHS as per my sister’s request and this was perhaps the highlight of my week. Nothing beats the feeling of doing something good.

img_20200430_130029_402

Lorenzo’s Birthday

On Tuesday, the 28th was Lorenzo’s second birthday and we went there to see them at a distance. It was hard! It is good seeing them, but is it so hard not hugging and kissing. That is the hardest part of the lockdown.

 

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – Day 17

UK Cases: 29, 474 – Death Toll: 2, 352

Day 17 was the worst day so far. In the morning, I was in agony with wrist pain and had to take some paracetamol, which I only do as a last resort. I was feeling tired and under the weather as well, so I decided to take the tablets before it got worse, and they helped.

Board Games

My first action of the day was to place an online order for Monopoly and Uno. At the moment, we only have one board game at home – 8 out of 10 Cats – and two quizzes, so I thought I’d get some new ones before boredom sets in. I ordered them from Argos to collect in store later. I also ordered some compost to start going in the garden next week when the weather promises to be kinder for outdoor activities. And while I was in the shopping mood I also ordered Romina’s birthday present. Her birthday is only on the 15th, but it’s bad enough that we’ll be in without the chance to celebrate with friends and family, so I decided to get it sooner than later.

Reality Check

So, around 4 pm, I received a message that my order was ready to collect and Phil and I went to collect it. Because our local Argos is inside our local Sainsbury’s, we decided to do some food shopping while we were out, saving him from going out again. It was the first time I was out in shops for two and a half weeks and I would like to say it felt good. But it didn’t. We timed it well as there wasn’t a queue and we went straight in; there was a long queue outside when we finished. While going around the supermarket aisles, I felt so inadequate, like I didn’t know what I was doing and I shouldn’t be there. Almost like a criminal. I felt guilty just for browsing around, and if I picked up an item and put it back, I expected the police to be on me and knock me down on the floor to handcuff me. This is a kind of anxiety I’ve not experienced for years, not since before I started therapy for depression and anxiety. It was so strange. Plus, it was the fact that the shelves were almost empty, some areas were completely stripped; not one tin of beans on site, no long life milk, hardly any cleaning stuff, the freezers were almost empty. A lot of the things we usually buy weren’t available. There weren’t many customers inside and we were all mindful of social distancing, but there would be someone who would just violate your safe space without a second thought here and there.

This experience was my first face to face encounter with reality, with what we are living at the moment. I was still shaken when I got home. I felt like I’d committed a crime and got away with it, but wasn’t yet out of the woods. I am so privileged to have a nice home to stay in protected, in an area where we can go for nice walks, a lovely family to spend my time with, a dog to make me feel like a queen and a lot of activities to keep me sane and entertained; it’s easy to forget what is really going on in the world. I am so grateful!

This is all for today and I’d love to hear back from someone who reads this, let me know if you have experienced anything like this.

Stay safe at home!

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – My Diary

I hope you’re all doing great during these hard times. I’ve been debating the idea of starting a social distancing diary. At first glance, there might not be much point, as every day tends to be much the same as the day before; but on the other hand, it might be interesting to note any self-reflection tendencies or changes in mood and family dynamics, for example. So, I decided to go for it.

Today is day 12 for me. At the moment we are all still talking to each other in our house. My husband has been working from home for a week now and my children have been at home since the beginning of this week. We’ve been quite good at staying out of each others’ ways, until this morning when there was a queue for the shower, only because Phil and I stayed in bed until a little later. But, we survived the clash without any casualties, I’m happy to report.

Books I’ve been reading

So far I finished the book I was reading, The Palace of Curiosities, by Rosie Garland and started Joyful, by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Or rather, I restarted Joyful, as I was reading it before my holidays, but interrupted it to read other things. The Palace of Curiosities is a very interesting love story, narrated alternately by the two main characters, Eve and Abel. I really got into it, it’s different from anything I’ve read before, Rosie said in an interview that she wanted to give a voice to these weird characters that we see in shows and circus, Eve is covered in fur and Abel is immortal. What I love about the story is that it is a lesson not only of inclusion and diversity but also of self love and self-acceptance. Really a good read. Joyful, is a different genre, more on the life style category. It’s about how to create a space and atmosphere conducive to happiness by using ordinary things. It’s very interesting to see the effect of colour and textures for example, can have in whole communities, amazing. I’m really trying to apply it to my life, I always loved colour and now I now why, it does have an uplifting effect in our lives.

Exercise

I am still motivated enough to exercise every morning for 10 minutes, first thing when I get up. I follow the exercise videos on YouTube, by Lucy Wyndham-Read. I’ve been doing a 10 Minutes Cardio Workout, but this morning I started 10 Minutes Inch Loss Workout as I felt like a change. I follow this with a stretch and later in the morning, normally before lunch, Phil and I go for a walk with the dog. We’ve been making these walks longer each day, firstly because we’ve had cake this week as a result of Romina’s spoils from Costa, but then because we just feel like it. The weather has been really nice for walks and we are fortunate enough to live in a quiet area where where we have fields for walks and rarely see other people. But when we cross with other people in the way, everyone seems to be mindful of social distancing, which is good to see when we see in the news how some people are being so irresponsible. Anyway, this morning we went for a long walk which including a little bit of a hill and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I never got out of breath. I’m much fitter than I was a month ago and the best thing is that I really look forward to my morning exercise routine and to these morning walks.

Morning Walk 27.3.20

Other Activities

This morning, I started an online course for my CDP, Mental Wellbeing in Children & Young People, on EduCare, this course has four modules, I completed module one today and will do some more tomorrow. There are other courses I want to do, but started with this one because it’s something I care about and always wanted to do. I was give a free package of 38 online courses at university a few weeks ago and now I will have time to do them all, or at least the ones I find relevant.

The last two days, I spend too much time trying to start another blog. I decided to start a Creative Writing blog, but it has proved a lot harder than I thought, much harder than when I started this one – things must have changed. Today I decided to take a break from that frustrating quest, but I will go back to it tomorrow. I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials, which they make it seem too easy, but when I do it, some of the features don’t work. I was getting quite frustrated yesterday, so I thought I better give it a break before losing my mind and go back to it in later; sometimes it’s just the best thing to do.

In the evening, I watch a bit of TV with Phil and I’ve been working on a blanket in crochet. I think I will donate this one to a local homeless charity, the same one I have donated some sleeping bags and blankets before. It’s a nice colourful blanket and I think it might brighten someone’s spirits while keeping them comfortable and warm. Depending on how long we’ll stay social distancing, I might have time to make more.

So, this is all I have for today. Tomorrow, I will come back with my day 13 entry.