The Coronavirus Diaries, 4th August 2021

There’s something about dusting and vacuuming up two weeks worth of shed cat fur that is grounding. I’d say I am more or less back home mentally tonight as well as physically, though there is still a slight sense of dislocation. Maybe a trip to an exhibition, a play, something of that sort will reconnect me properly with London.

My dreams on Monday night were very muddled, switching between Ireland and home. MasterB was asleep at my feet, a comforting, constant presence. He has been very cuddly, very purry, very affectionate. I’m hoping Cousin is walking Westie Boy and Poppy now I have left. If she is, perhaps she has met Poppy Junior, the gorgeous young retriever at the bottom of the first hill. She, Poppy and Westie Boy have made overtures of friendship, mostly through the fence.

Poppy Junior

These rams belong to my cousin Mary’s grandson James. They were friendly and curious as well as handsome.

Four rams

Each wanted his face rubbed. I understand James is hoping to hire them out as studs. I don’t know what breed they are, but their black faces and legs are very appealing.

I have met up with B&J, with Hartley and Romeo, Helena returned from Greece last night and joined us in the garden. Celia is away until Friday, and Reinhild has managed to leave the sofa where she has been confined with a bad back and visit friends in Norwich for a couple of nights. Octavia is in Croatia and posting lots of pictures on Instagram. It’s definitely the holiday season.

On the down side, das Boot’s repairs are still not done, so I feel the chances of selling the boat this season are diminishing by the hour. There’s not much I can do but wait. Perhaps it’s as well I am not going to be driving just yet. I am still rather unfocused. They say a change is as good as a feast, and my two weeks far exceeded my expectations. I don’t think I was aware how much I wanted and needed to switch off from every day life. Nor how reluctant I’d be to switch onto it again. Maybe a jigsaw is calling. I have a very nice one Charlie has passed to me.

Uncle Bill will be 100 in October, and about the same time the John Hewitt Birthday Readings should be happening at the John Hewitt Bar in Belfast.

The John Hewitt Bar

I have never attended, but last year due to Covid it was online, and a few of us locked down in London thought we might attend in 2021. Will we be locked down again? The news isn’t good and there was an astounding and shocking interview with an elected representative in Florida which makes me fearful. How can people get elected who talk such nonsense? Think of them all: this guy Sabatini, Michael ‘we’ve-had-enough-of-experts Gove, Boris spaffing-it-up-the-wall Johnson, Priti Patel just about every time she opens her mouth, ditto Andrew Bridgen, Mark Francois, Jacob Rees-Mogg. The list is too long to write here. I caught a bus today and also travelled by tube. Interesting contrasts. TfL wants everyone to wear masks covering nose and mouth but can’t enforce it. On the tube there was 100% mask wearing in my carriage. On the bus, fortunately fairly empty, some people had dispensed with masks altogether, some were wearing them under their chins, most were wearing them as requested. The windows were all open, but I’d say they are people in denial or just plain ignorant.

Just in case I might be tempted to relax, I went into M&S on the Walworth Road yesterday for some provisions. Angie was there looking well and with a new haircut that looks very funky. Sharon looked less well. I realised I hadn’t seen her for ages. I greeted her and asked how she’d been. “Long Covid,” she said, “I’ve been off work for seven months.”

Sharon, a grandmother, is usually perky, cheery; she gently teases staff and customers alike who she knows In the first lockdown, she volunteered to work rather than be furloughed. Now she looks worn, grey. Her diabetes, formerly controlled by diet, is now being treated with tablets, she has lesions on her lungs, and there was no teasing, no quick remark, even when I nearly forgot to pay because I was asking how she was .

Seeing her was salutary and sad. I hope she continues to make progress. I’d like to see the Sharon of old taking the Micky again one of these days.

Stay safe. Keep well. Remember we’re not over this yet.


10 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 4th August 2021

  1. Poppy Junior is quite gorgeous.
    Isobel, I truly appreciate your comments about returning to home. We’ve not travelled too far in the last few months but it is still disorientating to come back and realize we were ever outside of our current bubble. A bubble which is inflating again with masking and social distance. I value these cyber connections even more.

    • Isn’t she?
      I am getting on with chores, making lists, booking MasterB’s appointment with the vet for his vaccination booster. Amazing how much time it all takes.
      I have the feeling here that ideology means no matter how high numbers rise or how many people die, the government will resist reimposing measures to keep us safe. Those of us who value our health will be zooming for some time yet. Stay well.

  2. What beautiful curry companions you met in NI, Isobel!
    I’m sorry about Sharon. Covid is no game, really, even when it can be overcome.
    This 5th wave of the virus with the Delta modalitat is being difficult to negotiate in Catalunya too. And ther’s the problem with all those people that don’t want to be vaccinated nor want to wear their masks or keep the safe distance.
    As to your disorientation post holiday, Gabriel García Márquez used to Sau that after a flight back his body was back too but his soul hadn’t had enough Tomé to arribar and It was therefore still travelling back for some days!

  3. My husband spoke with an immunologist here where we live a couple days ago. My husband and I haven’t had the vaccine yet. Not due to conspiracy theories, but bc we don’t like taking anything new due to unknown side effects. But after my husband spoke to this guy, he’s convinced we should have it, bc it’s not going to keep us from getting covid. It’s only a matter of time, but the vaccine will keep us from developing worse symptoms.
    Also, he told us about some supplements to take. NAC is one to get if you can. It helps the immune system. The FDA has banned it here, but it’s an amino acid. And the reason it’s banned is bc the FDA is owned by big pharma-that’s where they get their paychecks. The nih wrote a paper on NAC and how it helps with the flu, and they should’ve thought about it for covid. I have a feeling big pharma wants to market it as a drug to alleviate covid complications.

    • Sorry not to have retell;ied sooner. My recent posts probably explain how my attention has been elsewhere.
      For years I did not have the flu vaccination, though I worked in a job where it was free and we were strongly encouraged to take it. Like you, I had misgivings. Then I decided on the balance of having flu (as opposed to a bad cold which so many people call flu!) or not, to have it. I have had it almost every year since. My blood group, O neg, may help to protect me from the worst of Coronavirus, and my vegan diet with lots of fresh fruit, veg and legumes, as opposed to the processed vegan alternatives, may also give me protection. I am fascinated by how diet can protect you. Thank goodness I have always loved green, leafy veg. I am bemused and puzzled when I read that children have to be conned to eat veg. Is it generational or did I just grow up in a family where we all loved our veg?

      • I know what you mean about vegetables! I’m so thankful I grew up in my family where it wasn’t an option, and we were given new things to try! We do that with our kids and in the midst of their arguments we explain why-to develop their palates and so that they’ll try food at other ppls houses when invited. We’ve had so many ppl, kids and adults, not try food bc it wasn’t what they were used to. And it’s not like we were feeding them squid. Just nobody ever worked with them.

        • I don’t think anyone needed to work on us! we were thrilled by the sight of sprouts, my parents grew purple sprouting broccoli, runner beans etc and I always loved my green veg, though it has taken me a lifetime to like root veg. I had school dinners for just one week. The only thing I liked was the cabbage! I think there must be something in our genes which predispose us to like different things. My sister loved meat and milk, both of which I disliked.

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