Tuesday 17 March 2020

Strange times

We seem to be living in a time that would not be out of place in a Stephen King novel.  A rare virus sweeps the world, major towns and cities become ghost towns as people lock themselves away in their homes.

I walked round to the supermarket this morning with Rosie, I'd done a 'big shop' for the week yesterday but as always, got home and realised that there were a couple of things on my list that I'd forgotten to get.  I was on my way to the frozen section when I bumped into someone I knew and ended up walking with them to the checkouts instead of getting the last two things on the list!  So I thought I'd pop in while out for a walk - big mistake.  It was so busy.  I've never seen such empty shelves - they were even giving out public announcements over the tannoy to ask people to only buy what they needed as they had plenty of stock being delivered regularly.  Fortunately we have our own ice cream factory at home, and a very helpful sales assistant!

My friend Karen, who lives in Spain, says it is like being under house arrest over there.  You cannot leave your home except to walk your dog for 100 metres, or to go food shopping or to the chemist and even then you have to be on your own.  Police cars driving up and down the roads telling people to keep indoors.  

Our neighbour, originally from Italy, has her father from Rome visiting.  He cannot go home, even if he could, he is elderly and better being here.  There you are given coupons to hand in at the shops so that you can only go shopping once a day.

My sister cancelled her trip to Portugal last weekend - her husband is 70 and therefore considered 'elderly' (they are not impressed by that!) plus has an underlying health condition.  He will now be confined to home.

Another neighbour flew out to Lanzarote on Wednesday and has been confined to her hotel room since Sunday, they've been assured they will fly back tomorrow as planned but until they are on the plane, I don't think they'll be able to relax.  It's not been the holiday they expected.

Both my 'children' and their spouses are working from home.  My daughter in law works for a charity who take donated left over food from supermarkets and restaurants and turn it into free meals for the homeless - due to stockpiling there is no left over food and the restaurants are now closed so there is no excess food there either.  

At the moment Leo's nursery school is open but it is rumoured that it will close soon due to staff shortages because of having to isolate, and the childminder that has him and Rosie on Wednesdays and Thursdays is still working at the moment.  But if both those situations change, it will be very hard for Rachel and her husband to work from home as 3 year olds and 1 year olds have no respect for a peaceful, quiet house!

I think Paul and I ought to stock up on multi vitamins in case extra childminding is on the cards!

How's everyone else coping?


Patio Postcards said...

I think we are a little ahead of you on the social distancing requirements & today our provincial government declared a state of emergency, so many other things have been closed. Restaurants can only do take out or drive thru. All day cares, nurseries, schools are closed. Senior & long term care homes are on 100% lockdown, no visitors. Grocery shops are allowing seniors only shopping 7a-8am daily. There's lots of good things, neighbours are making connections with one another, lots of groups are volunteering to do the shopping for seniors & shut ins. And one of the greatest things to come out of this, is that Mother Earth is getting a break from all the pollution, less cars on the road, less factories belching out smoke. It's short term & necessary to get a handle on the infection rate. Together - apart - we can do this.

Catherine said...

I have cut out all my choirs and WI and decided to virtually self isolate apart from short walks to blow away the cobwebs. Yesterday I popped to the pharmacy to get my meds and the surgery was deserted as doctors do their appointments over the phone. I am extra worried as my three daughters and one son in law are doctors. 2 are GPS and my youngest is a community paediatrician who is being redeployed into hospital.
I’ve decided to structure the day doing household chores in the morning as I have stopped my weekly clean and the afternoon for gardening, walks and hobbies/social media. I’m avoiding too much information on the situation apart from the early evening BBC broadcasts. Trying to keep a positive mental attitude but wavering slightly from time to time!
Not seeing grandchildren or my mother is the hardest though. I can Skype the kids but just twice daily calls to Mum.

Ruth said...

It certainly is an unsettling situation right now. I stopped go the pool at the gym on Tuesday, after Monday's announcement, and have cancelled our Easter plans (Eurotunnel let me reschedule for later this year at no additional cost).
TBC is extremely anxious and I'll be glad to have him home when schools are shut (never thought I'd say that!).
I have plans for reading, scrapping and jigsaw puzzles when I am confined to home ...

Patio Postcards said...

Deb - I forgot to wish you happy belated birthday, I do hope in spite of all the crazy times in the world, you did get to celebrate YOU last Saturday.

Cheri said...

I'm pretty much in the same state as MaryLou - schools, offices, daycares, gym, all "non-essential" businesses closed. Everyone being advised to work from home. It is indeed "strange times". We're used to shut-downs like this for a few days for a bad snow storm. We are always stocked accordingly. This feels SOOOO different!

Deb's World said...

Take care Deb, it is just like being in a story but unfortunately it's all very real!

Barbara Eads said...

Stephen King wrote that book in the 1970's! It's called The Stand and is one of my favorites. It's such a scary time. There are so many restrictions and rules for everything that we're just trying to stay home. I think one positive that will come out of this is that people will spend more quality time together. At least I hope it turns out that way!