A blog about getting the dreaded COVID app ‘ping’ and how to survive self-isolation when everything seems to be ever-so-slightly f*cked. Coronavirus diary: the self-isolation chapter.
A long absence
It’s been weeks since I wrote a blog. I lost my mojo a bit back there, what with the second lockdown, the US election and 11 days of self-isolation (more on that later). Everything felt very heavy for a while.
I maintained my daily journal, where I ranted and raved, focused on work and my new podcast (please give it a listen!).
World’s gone mad
The news couldn’t be more fascinating. COVID, Brexit and the US Election had me glued to the TV and wireless. Mr Maven and I had CNN on one screen, and a live feed from Fox News on another – telling the same story from completely opposing angles. Compelling stuff.
As things stand today, Biden is the clear winner – Georgia has just announced the results of their recount and it’s definitely Biden for the win. And yet Trump is still refusing to concede, and his supporters believe his bullshit.
Trump’s strategy is that in those states he won, it’s a fair race and officials must continue the count. In the states he lost: “Stop the count! Electoral fraud!” A great example of the ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ playbook.
When it comes to hypocrisy, Trump is outstanding in his field.
This is black and white. There are no grey (or rather, orange) areas. If you support Trump, you will disagree with this logic. You are wrong. Feel free to leave now. Please shut the door behind you.
A short staycation, followed by self-isolation
We had a few days away in Devon and Cornwall during half term, which really blew away the cobwebs. We stayed in the same Airbnb in Devon where we had stayed during the Summer. The familiarity was comforting.
Unfortunately, when we arrived back in London, the NHS COVID app pinged me – a technical term coined by Boris. I had been in contact with someone with the virus three days earlier and had to self-isolate.
Being symptom-free, life carried on as normal for the rest of the family. Meanwhile, I had to stay indoors for 11 days. According to government guidelines, I couldn’t even take the dog for a walk. Don’t worry, she was taken care of by Mr Maven.
The self-isolation diary
I read a lot, I binge-watched Schitt’s Creek and Joe Wicks became my exercise buddy. The latter hasn’t made the slightest difference as far as I can tell. Turns out if I don’t change my eating and drinking habits, I can exercise until I’m red in the face and the fat stays put.
I bought some non-alcoholic gin. Verdict: pointless.
My early self-isolation coincided with several days of incredibly shitty weather, so I didn’t feel too hard done by. By the end, I was feeling hemmed in.
During that time, we went into Lockdown Two, the predictable sequel. So there was no moment of relief when I earned my freedom. I went for a walk into Muswell Hill. People! Cars! The world had kept turning without me – unbelievable.
Do the lockdown hokey cokey
We’re midway through this period of lockdown which is meant to end on 2 December. For four weeks, all non-essential shops, restaurants, bars, hospitality and leisure venues are shut. Walking the dog with one friend has become the new ‘let’s meet for coffee’ and Coco has never been fitter.
We celebrated Mr Maven’s and The Tween’s birthdays quietly, and my amazing mum’s big birthday celebrations due to happen this weekend are postponed. I’ve advised her to pretend she’s 74 for another year. We should all hold onto our pre-COVID ages so we can have the celebrations we deserve next year.
I’m sceptical we’ll be able to spend Christmas with our extended family without more severe restrictions on both sides of the big day. Rishi Sunak has extended the furlough scheme until April: surely an indication that the government won’t release us back into the wild before Easter. I reckon we’ll be doing the lockdown hokey cokey until then.
What’s that coming over the hill?
And now for something more optimistic. Several vaccines are on their way. Successful safety trials have been completed by one company, with more in the pipeline. I’m going to be one of the last in line to get it, so until then, can we all please keep washing our hands and refrain from licking each other?
We will get through this. Keep on keeping on.
In the meantime, here’s a nice print of Burgh Island for you to stare at longingly like I do most days. It hangs in my little spare room office.