Firstly I want to start by saying that the views and opinions therefore are mine alone and are not intended to be representation of the views of others….
Way back, in the beginning of March, when it was starting to become pretty evident that the U.K was going to experience the wrath of the Corona Virus/Covid 19 Pandemic, I began to get a little twitchy about it, but I wasn’t overly concerned. Living with severe asthma, I knew that if I was to contract Corona Virus, I was going to be in trouble, but I have my nebuliser, prednisolone and antibiotics, so hey “I will be fine”. In essence I buried my head, in the sand and took a rather blasé approach to what is, a global pandemic.
By the middle of March, the government began to issue advise that people in certain high risk groups, should “self-isolate”, shield as a means of “keeping them safe”. I took a rather cynical approach to this, the NHS, has been way under resourced for many years, both in terms of funds, facilities and staffing (a fact that has been highlighted, again and again, in the news).
A health service that is so, under resourced, simply can not cope with the additional demands placed on it, by Corona Virus therefore to reduce this burden, the government thought “hey here’s a great idea, lets scare the hell out the most clinically vulnerable, in society, by telling them that they are the group most likely to develop complications and therefore they must stay indoors for at least 12 weeks” thus significantly reducing the pressures on the already under resourced and overstretched NHS.
By the middle of March, several of my friends, had already began shut themselves, behind closed doors. Me, and my sisters, where due to go the Belgium. The ferries still ran, but Belgium was already in a state of lockdown, she we enjoyed a night at spa hotel. My car, is very much on it last legs and knowing that it was unlikely to get as far as the second service station, on the journey, without the aid of a breakdown service, I chose the train instead. I acknowledge that I was less than comfy, traveling by train, going through copious amounts of alcohol gel.
It was by this point, that a state of panic, had began to sweep the country. Toilet rolls and other necessities, where stripped off supermarket shelves. A visit to the supermarket, left a feeling a incredulity, as each aisle bore witness to panic buying, with empty shelves and signs instructing shoppers “no more than three”. Some people took their families along, each armed with their own trolley, they got past the “three only rule”.
Following my annual leave, I returned to work, with the greeting “you should be at home” from my colleagues. Knowing that I hadn’t messed my holiday up, I sought advice from my manager. To reduce the risk, I would be working in an office, on my own. Having my own office, was a think of luxury, so I settled into my new work environment. Three days later, the decision was made, all staff identified as being at high risk, had to work from home, for the foreseeable future. Overnight, the job I love so much as changed, beyond all recognition, this combined with knowledge that I was unlikely to see my grandma again till, at least late June, made it a difficult day.
I was still unsure, as to whether I should be “self-isolating”. The guidelines regarding asthma, changed on a regular basis, as to what constituted a definition of “severe asthma” changed. On Saturday I received “my letter” confirming what I already, deep down knew, being on 5 regular medication and 5 as I need them, combined with needing a nebuliser to manage my asthma, my asthma is in the severe category. I am in “self-isolation”.