Julie went to see her grandchildren last week. Her grandson had just had to start back at school, and sure enough, he had a cold.
By Friday evening, Julie didn’t feel so good, and thought she might be geting a cold. Children are very infectious, in more ways than one.
But the pubs had to open, and the schools had to go back. Whatever the outcome.
On Saturday, she had a dry cough, runny nose, streaming eyes, and a headache.
She spent most of Sunday in bed, sleeping for almost sixteen hours after a disturbed night on Saturday.
This morning, she had to ring in to the doctor’s surgery where she works, and book a call with the Practice Nurse. It is a requirement of course, although she has no real symptoms of Covid-19 that are any more serious than the Common Cold.
After a brief discussion, she has been told that she must now self-isolate, and book a government-controlled Covid-19 test online. Self-isolation is not considered to be the same as sickness absence from work, so she may not get paid. She has to tell everyone she has been in close contact with, and I am supposed to self-isolate too. Even though I don’t have the slightest symptom.
So who is going to walk Ollie? He won’t go to the toilet in our garden, and will hold himself until he is ill if he doesn’t go out. And what about grocery shopping? I only buy for each week, and there is very little left in the house to eat. I could try to book an online shop, but what are we supposed to eat and drink meanwhile? How am I supposed to manage everyday lfe in a small rural village if I cannot venture out for fourteen days? Luckily, I can avoid local people, neighbours, and any family members living in Norfolk. But pets have to be cared for, and we have to eat, even if we can’t go anywhere, or do anything else.
Suddenly, it is at our door, and there are decisions to be made.
I will be taking Ollie out. I can wear a mask, make the walk short, and keep well-away from any other dog-walkers I might encounter.
And I will be going to the supermarket too, as wearing a mask there is compulsory anyway, and I don’t have to come into contact with anyone if I am careful.
One phone call can change so much, in 2020.
By the end of next month, the Flu season will be upon us, and hundreds of thousands of people will have symptoms identical to some of those associated with Covid-19.
There is almost certainly going to have to be another nationwide lockdown before Christmas.