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The Quarantine Diary

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MJB, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Let me start by saying that I've not started this thread for political comment, expert bashing etc. There are other threads you can do this in. I've started this for purely selfish reasons. It's a chance for me to unburden my thoughts, fears, and anxieties without dumping them on family and really close friends, who are already worried for us. Let's be clear from the off. We are in quarantine because my wife has Covid-19, not because we're self-isolating to try and avoid the virus. Trust me there's a huge difference, both physically and mentally. Hopefully there'll be stuff I write that may benefit others who find themselves in our situation.


    Its only been one day since we've been quarantined. "what's the issue, its like having a day off work" I hear you scream! It was quite stressful yesterday having to inform family and friends that Julie probably has coronavirus. I say probably because they're not testing, but she has fever, headache, a constant cough, difficulty breathing so if it isn't coronavirus she has influenza. Another big stress is trying to keep apart in the same house. Julie will instinctively touch things like door handles, TV remotes, kitchen cupboards etc. Luckily we have loads of 70% alcohol wipes and I'm wiping things Julie has touched like a madman. It would be so much easier if we both had the virus, but we don't and as a type 1 diabetic it could potentially be far worse for me if I caught it.

    Another stress is trying to live separate from each other. We have 1 & 1/2 bathrooms, so Julie has the full suite as it is adjacent to the master bedroom (I lost at rock, paper, scissors) she is using. This means I'm in the spare bedroom and have access to a toilet and wash basin. Luckily we have a large sitting room, so we can stay the recommended 3 metres apart and still watch telly together and chat.

    We're well stocked for food and have people who will go to the shops for us if we need anything, but after a stressful day you look in the cupboard and think what the f**k am I going to cook for dinner. This is where the difference between quarantine and self - isolation comes in. We can't break cover and dash to Budgens for something we find we're short of. It may seem trivial, but when you're restricted to home and find your missing that one small ingredient for a recipe, it's a real kick in the teeth.

    Luckily we have the best part of half an acre as a garden so we can get outside for a while (not that Julie feels like it at the moment) and the pup has space to run around like a loon.
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Hope you keep this up and I'm sure we'll see a rise in the mood as the week goes on. I've effectively been in isolation for just over a week and after finding all the hours hard to fill, I now have a long list of things to do, quite apart from the working from home day job.
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
  4. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I reckon we are probably all interested in your situation here. In truth any of us could contract this and it will give some idea of what to expect over the period of infection and recovery. Even better if it helps you get through a difficult time.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  5. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Good luck Martin, to both of you.

    You will need somewhere to release your feelings and worries and if you aren't able to do so at home or work, then here is a good place.

    Geren and EightBitTony like this.
  6. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Today's lesson :

    Create a cupboard or storage box with things like tea bags, coffee, sugar biscuits etc. that can be exclusively used by the infected person. It means they can make their own cuppa without having to clean loads of stuff after them. It's a huge boost for Julie to be able to make herself a brew without burdening me with wiping down loads of stuff.
    daft_biker, Zou, Geren and 5 others like this.
  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about Julie, Martin. I really hope you don't catch it too. You are absolutely right that it's not like a day off. I'm working from home now, because my daughter's school has closed, so we are concerned for her education, obviously. My wife has been in tears, literally because of the situation - not so much for us; I can still work and for now she is able to work normally (relatively) and may be able to work from home if necessary. She is a psychotherapist, so works with people who are in difficult situations, every day. Now they have this dumped on top of them. Many of them will lose their jobs or have other related problems and she's just finding it unfair that they get this dumped on them, as well as all the other stuff.

    Stay safe everyone.

    Geren and EightBitTony like this.
  8. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Martin, can I suggest that you keep a hard copy of your thoughts somewhere (even download and print this thread when it's all over...)? One day this will be social history, and this is the sort of stuff that good historians would kill for. It just needs to be deposited somewhere safe.

    I'm seriously considering doing something similar. Remember Mass Observation? Social history goldmine.
    Zou, Geren and EightBitTony like this.
  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Thanks for writing this Martin. I hope that you both come through this well.
  10. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Good point. I must say, Gabi and I rarely pass bugs to eachother. I go into that distancing the moment either of us seems to have something. Gabi didn't get the version of Corona I picked up in India 2 years ago that led to my immune over-reaction and GBS. We have almost never suffered from the same bug to the same extent and have generally avoided any that visitors brought in with them.

    Good luck to you.
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I think it's a wonderful idea to write about it - and I hope it helps you to have somewhere to vent. I often think it's the best thing about the internet, and probably the reason I have more 'internet friends' than face to face friends!

    Here's hoping you avoid catching it. I'm not a religious person but I am fervently hoping none of us get it - between my son's asthma, husband's diabetes, my own high blood pressure and the already rocky mental health situations we have going on here, trying to contain it with four people in a 2 bed, 1 bath flat would be a nightmare. Thankfully, I have now been moved to working from home and the schools are closing after tomorrow so at least we can minimise contact now.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  12. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for starting the thread.
    Keep up the diary and venting - we all need to vent somewhere.
    On a more important note - I hope Julie recovers quickly, and that you are safe and well.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  13. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Thanks for starting this thread. Yes, diaries like this do in time become gold mines, as the press and media, because they are constrained by what they can publish, give a less than 'human' view of this event. As an example, compare the media coverage of the Referendum debate and how people actually felt about this.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  14. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I just hope I don’t have to write one. I really feel for my daughter who is distraught that she won’t be completing her degree as normal with a show. She can’t do the work she was expecting to do. She will still get her degree, hopefully a first but that’s not the point as far as she’s concerned. She wanted to do it as normal. Most of the work that I do has dried up for the company I work for. As I have said before I am lucky in that I have my pension to fall back on. I have had several cancellations for our Airbnb which means our income, although never guaranteed, is greatly reduced.
    My mum is obviously concerned. My wife is concerned and was in fact in tears yesterday not helped by the fact a good friend has recently found out she has cancer. My wife has a friend who lives in Italy in the main affected region. She got a text from her telling her that their death toll increased by 500 yesterday and that they are using an exhibition centre as a hospital and the military are transporting ill people to different hospitals by helicopter.
    We have wills in place but up until last night we hadn’t discussed our wishes re funerals etc. I don’t think that conversation helped.
    I went to bed last night with shortness of breath, which I sometimes get anyway from allergies. Luckily I woke up this morning totally fine, although the first words out of my wife’s mouth was “glad you’re still alive” . At one point that would have been a joke but it shows how much of this actually affects ones mental health.
    Hope Julie recovers soon Martin and you avoid it.
    John Farrell and Zou like this.
  15. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Good stuff Martin, hope you stay well mentally and physically.

    I'm still working as normal (up hours this week due to folk isolating) and messaged a customer in her 70s to say I'd bring my own leads and if she wanted just turf the dogs out and tell me which plant pot the money was under but she wanted to keep things normal. When I got there she told me her husband has bone cancer and she looked like she needed a hug:(.
    dream_police likes this.
  16. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member


    First an update on Julie. She's still quite poorly, but no worse than she was yesterday. Given how rapidly her symptoms presented on Tuesday evening this is a huge relief.

    Yesterday was much more organised as we get used to our routine. We were able to think ahead to next week and cancelling any appointments we had. I was due to meet with my diabetes liason nurse and dietician. They were going to cancel anyway, so it saved them a call. They'll be available on the phone should I need advice though. We also had an appointment with the vets for the pups final vaccination. Luckily I work for one of their farm clients and the vet will bring it out when he does the weekly clinic here and I have the necessary skills to inject the pup myself. Talking of the pup, she's been amazing. She's knows something isn't right and has been extra affectionate. She's also given me something to occupy my time by continuing her training. It's great to have have a little something with an instant positive outcome to focus on.

    I'd normally walk 7 to 10km in a day at work with plenty of other physical work thrown in so I'm finding the inactivity hard going. Portion control has been the order of the day and managing my diabetes is vital. I've had to increase the amount of testing I do, but still had a hypo last night. Thankfully I get good warning signs, but if I get the virus this may change.

    I spoke to my father last night. He's 78, type2 diabetic with lung issues. He's well and isolating. Even without Internet access he's still hearing myths and lies about the virus, as well as receiving bad advice from armchair experts. I'm urging people to please think before sharing their opinions or offering their advice. My brother is now in quarantine as well. His wife had GBS (like RovingMike) a few years ago and has developed a persistent cough. At the time she was in an induced coma for a long period and as a result of the intubation she is prone to chest infections, so they're taking no risks.

    I'm really struggling to find anything positive to talk about today. When I read about people's lack of compassion for others in their communities it genuinely scares me. I did find my children's PS4 games console. If nothing else I can watch dvds on it. Maybe, just maybe, I will become a gamer. I haven't played video games since 'Dig-Dug' on the Speccy.
  17. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update Martin, it's nice (?) to get it from the horses mouth of actual experiences so to speak, rather than all the bollox floating around the Internet.

    You're never too old to become a gamer it seems. My wife took it up at 60 when she retired!

    Here's hoping for a positive outcome, and great to hear the pup is progressing well.
  18. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Got Grand Theft Auto for it? Written by tax avoiders but still a great game.
  19. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    One more thing... Julie snores like a pig hunting truffles. This normally annoys me, but it's somewhat reassuring to hear it during the night at the moment.
    Geren, Dan S, Zou and 1 other person like this.
  20. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update.
    You will succumb to the gaming......resistance is futile.:D
    Glad to hear you are ok still, and Julie hasn't worsened. Keep an eye on that diabetes, and keep up the pup training. We hope to see you dancing on crufts next year:)

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