It’s two weeks since my son got sent home from school with a mild temperature, which means that this is the last full day of self-isolation. I’m less excited than I was, seeing as tomorrow will mean more of the same, but at least I can go out to the shops if and when we run out of anything vital.
I don’t really want to though – Tesco’s car park looks like something from Mad Max and I’m not up for a post-apocalyptic-style kick-off over a Pot Noodle (or whatever else is left on the shelves).
I am still reeling from the news that the government has spent millions on posting a letter to every household to tell them about coronavirus. Eh, Boris, love. WE ALREADY KNOW!
What is up with people? Why did no one through the chain of command suggest at any time that the money might be better spent on those absolute troopers at the NHS? Or on the tests? I totally get that there are gaggles of self-centred tossers who still aren’t taking this seriously enough and are behaving like we’re on a never ending bank holiday.
However, I’m not sure that in the Venn diagram of Covid-19 concerns, that specific demographic would have significant crossover with the Jane Austen-like group marked out as avid readers of correspondence. Certainly not enough of an intersect to warrant flinging that sort of wedge at it.
Lockdown day 12: 'Keeping Dad in lockdown'
Now that my dad has come to live with us for the foreseeable (we say until this is all over, he says for a day or two…) the family dynamic has shifted as well as the territory of the house. With what we call the playroom – the only room with a big telly and a comfy sofa – having turned into Grandad HQ, I am less likely to just watch 10 minutes of Real Housewives accidentally slipping into an hour of it. As a consequence I’m so much more productive, reading, writing and getting stuck into my Open University study.
By mid-afternoon, my dad, not a big a fan of just hanging about, decided to have a go at the front garden. As we don’t spend any time in the front garden and we’ve done naff all work on it for ages. What’s the point? We spend our outdoor time in the back garden, so the fruit of any front garden faffing would just be for the benefit of the neighbours. As a consequence it has turned to…let’s call it a “natural meadow”. I’m guessing that’s why among his essential packing, my dad popped his chainsaw-on-a-stick in the boot.
Betty the Whippet is a long term fan of her Grandad so she’s thrilled with his arrival. Though Big Walter is also keen, he keeps forgetting that the unfamiliar voice in the kitchen is a new member of our shut-in pack. He will wake up startled and instantly go into guard-mode. A vertical dog-mohawk of hackles suddenly springs up on his spine and he starts to circle me, constantly barking his bass baritone woof. Though as soon as he sees it’s his Grandad he calms down again. It’s the first time we’ve ever had a dog with an ounce of protective instinct – my beloved Norah RIP was an unsociable you-know-what who made it clear she was only just tolerating us, and Betty the Whippet is frightened of everything from doorways to paper tubes.
We gathered to watch the five o’clock government briefing. Mr Gove was no more, and instead centre stage was given to an MP I wouldn’t have known if he stood up in my soup. Nowt of note was said. Well, it probably was, but I’m beginning to suffer from news fatigue. There is only one story and as yet, it doesn’t have a happy ending.
I’m trying not to think about what life will be like after this is all over, as it seems we haven’t yet reached peak awfulness. One day at a time.
Sarah Simons works in colleges and adult community education in the East Midlands and is the director of UKFEchat