Diary Project 2020Everything Else

Living History Diary Part 2

Mandy, Islington U3A Member

27th March

I am sitting in my garden which is small but pretty and the sun is out and I can hear the sound of children’s voices so I’m not completely cut off from the world. The NHS texted me saying that if I caught the virus I would be severely ill. I suspected that, but it’s grim having it in writing. So I am supposed to stay at home for three months.

My day is very structured because I have to take medication very regularly. I can’t say yet that I have found I have time on my hands.

I spend a lot of time emailing. I try not to get involved in discussions of what should have been done. There is no point being angry at the opportunities lost and mistakes made. My priority is to survive and my hope is that my friends and family also survive.

Yesterday evening at 8 pm was wonderful. I live in a little street but quite a few of us stood at our windows or doorways and clapped and shouted to support the NHS and those amazing people who are risking their lives for us. It also made me feel part of a community. I hope we can do something like that regularly.

Pam, U3A Member from Essex

During the weeks leading up to 16th March 2020, we could all see the news from around the world and a feeling of this invisible foe – Covid-19 advancing upon us. But no word so far from the Government on what we should or should not do.

Monday 16th March

I went to visit my brother. He has learning difficulties and suffers from type 2 diabetes and I visit regularly. I was halfway through helping him pack for a holiday when the hotel called to cancel with less than 24 hours notice. I wasn’t surprised, but felt sorry for him, as it was going to be the highlight of his year.

At teatime was the first of what I imagine will be many Press Conferences from Boris Johnson. We were told to practise Social Distancing and Self Isolation. And the world for UK citizens changed in that instant. That evening two singing practices, a concert and a ukulele practice were cancelled as were all further practices for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday 18 March

I began to feel more positive and started making lists of all the activities I could do in my enforced isolation. These include a complete spring clean and tidy of the entire house, online Pilates and exercise classes, improving my skills and contributing to this U3A project.

By the evening I was in tears. My Granddaughter is 13 years old on 21st March and had a big disco planned for Friday 20th. After the Government that schools were closing, virtually every guest cancelled.

Friday 20th March

Never has so much happened in one week. At teatime the latest Government Briefing is broadcast. Again this feels like WW2 when everyone grouped around the radio to hear the latest news. As widely anticipated, Pubs, Cafes, Restaurants and Leisure Centres are told they must close with effect from tonight.

Thursday 26th March

Today, my husband Jon came with me on the morning walk. The trip provides daily exercise, much needed fresh air and sunshine. We met a couple of friends and stopped for a brief chat, keeping our distance.
A small encounter like this keeps everyone sane I think. I’ve noticed that far more people than normal exchange a “hello” as they walk past!