Covid-19 | How Are You Feeling?

The atmosphere in our bit of suburban West London is strange. There’s a sense of waiting and I don’t just mean the lengthy queues every morning outside the local branches of Superdrug and Boots. Right now, life feels ominous but semi-normal.

Certain shelves in the local supermarket are empty. Dried pasta, toilet rolls and any sort of anti-bacterial liquid soap have all but disappeared. Which makes me curious about how much people think they will consume/use if they are at home for a fortnight … and how they were washing their hands before this global pandemic?

The Brainy One and I are fairly resigned to the fact that we will either contract Covid-19 or come into contact with someone who has it. We live in the UK’s largest city and have travelled both on the Tube and on the buses in the last week or so.

An empty Piazza San Marco on March 6th in Venice, Italy. (By Stefano Mazzola.)

We’ve been making plans for how to survive two weeks of self-imposed isolation {assuming that we have only mild symptoms …}. If it were just me, the idea of two weeks at home with books, the opportunity for guilt-free scrapbooking time, a larder full of food, plenty of tea and the radio sounds doable. But it wouldn’t be just me …

Will schools close ahead of the planned Easter break? Will London’s Underground network shut down? Will we all be mostly be staying at home?

One belief brings me comfort: the British always, always pull together in a time of national crisis and I do believe that people are inherently good. We just need the idiots to stop their selfish panic-buying.

See here for advice from the NHS.

See here for the latest information from the UK government.

22 thoughts on “Covid-19 | How Are You Feeling?

  1. Well said Ruth. Why are people stockpiling food for weeks on end? It really isn’t fair on the people who can’t afford to buy more than their normal amount of groceries. I’m with you, the statistics show that it is highly likely that we will come into contact with the virus in some way, but apart from taking sensible precautions and having back up food in the freezer, all the panicking in the world won’t make a difference. The media is adding fuel to people’s anxieties and I just hope that the true British spirit of helping one another in times of need will get us through.

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  2. It is the best of society, it is the worse of society … We are social distancing & our federal government is now insisting to get ahead of this pandemic we MUST stay home unless absolutely necessary. Quebec is imposing stricter closing guidelines, Ontario will follow along soon. Panic erupted when the rumour started that the LCBO would close (Liquor Control Board of Ontario-it’s our shops for spirits, wine) On my walk outside yesterday I was reminded by a fellow walker that we MUST stay at least 1.3 metres apart, so I said of course & crossed the street to ensure his sense of calm. I agree there’s a strange atmosphere of all is well, all is not well …

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      1. I agree. I think Thursday’s message should have been explicitly not to panic, but to take stock of your own circumstances and make appropriate choices. If you can work from home, do. If your trip is not essential, stay in. And if you know you are vulnerable, take all the precautions you reasonably can. It’s good that BJ didn’t whip up a frenzy but instead he got people like my (high risk) parents saying, “We just have to accept it”, and making no modifications whatsoever.

        Re. empty shelves, there’s probably an element of selfishness, but I also understand that soap and anti-bac gel are in high demand as people are washing their hands more often, and being more vigilant e.g. with kids who might not usually bother, or just splash a bit of water around. It also seems logical that longlife items are popular if people are trying to limit the number of supermarket trips they make (rather than popping in for bits and pieces every few days), while still being prepared for the possibility of needing to isolate at short notice. People who usually eat out/at work will likely be making a beeline for easy things like pasta, perhaps concerned in case restaurants close at some point.

        I didn’t change my shopping habits at all, but now I wish I had bought a few extra things because I really don’t want to go to a supermarket and know that when I do, there’s no guarantee I’ll get everything I need. I have no idea any more what is responsible planning and what is greedy!

        Sorry for the long comment. I’m not ranting, just thinking aloud after a weekend spent alone with no sounding board!

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  3. Here in the states lots of places are closing or limiting capacity. Here in Texas, most school districts are on spring break this week … and will continue to be off for another week (or two or more depending on how things go). Actions are being taken to provide some sort of online instruction while schools are closed, but I worry that there are many who will not be able to work online (contrary to public opinion, there are still people who cannot afford internet services, cell phones, etc throughout the state). Mandatory (Texas) state testing for each grade has been waived for the school year. Our city recreation centers and library are closed down, many events are cancelled.

    In Ohio, where Robbie has family, the schools are closed, all restaurants are closed or only providing drive-through/curbside service, bars are shut down. Same in California, and there’s even a curfew there.

    I agree with your statement: life feels ominous but semi-normal! We’re choosing to begin staying home now (well, I was home all last week, too). The pantry is stocked (not overstocked with panic buying!) and Robbie will be able to work from home most (hopefully all) of the time. Like y’all, we are in a big city with an international airport, so there’s much potential for contact. I’ve got enough paper and adhesive for weeks of scrapbooking, so I’ll be here in my craft room if anyone’s looking for me. 🙂

    Stay safe & healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And many people are buying extra here to stock up, but also because now kids will be home all day for the next several weeks & there’s no guarantee you can find what you need at the grocery store due to panic buying. Goodness, what are people planning to do with all that toilet paper?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The toilet paper thing is quite ridiculous!
        Londoners are now being advised to stay home as much as possible … I just looked at booking an online supermarket delivery … first available date is 2 weeks today!

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    2. Schools are staying open for now – we have a little over 2 weeks to the Easter holidays.
      Bars and restaurants are still open, but we are being told to stay away. I believe that London’s West End is going dark tonight.

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  4. Here in N.Y. My wife and I are all set to ride out the storm. I am able to stay home but my wife who is a nurse and has worked as such for 48 years still works three days a week. At least I will be able to work on my blog and my family genealogy. My best to all.

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  5. I’m a little late in arriving here, Ruth, and things have moved on a bit, I suspect, since you wrote your post. I see that we are being encouraged in the UK to stay at home, and not go out to places of entertainment/socializing, or travel if we don’t need to. (I also note that this was recommended, rather than commanded, so businesses cannot use their business interruption insurance; a young acquaintance of mine in the events industry lost her job today along with half the staff, because the company (major) can’t afford to keep them on …). Here, we are shopping in person once a week, working from home, and going for walks in the hills inbetween. But it does feel eerie and ominous – as if we’re all hunkered down and waiting … We have propped up and cleaned out our home-built rickety greenhouse/lean-to ready for spring and decided to do some re-painting indoors – plenty to be getting on with!

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