Tag Archives: pandemic

The Gradual Lifting Of Restrictions

I have not really let myself dwell on all the things we have missed out on during the Pandemic. Some of those things – for example eating at a restaurant – well I know from my travels that there are countless millions upon millions of people who have never had the chance to go to a restaurant and be waited on. So it seems wrong, totally wrong, to bemoan not having luxuries that others find hard to imagine.

I have missed hugs. I have missed being in the same room as my family and friends. I have missed many of the projects and training sessions where I was able to see volunteers I have worked with many times for years. But restaurants, theatre, cinema, commercial flights – I have not missed those things.

But now that some of the restrictions we have had here in the UK are gradually lifting, I am enjoying some of those experiences. I have enjoyed being in the gardens of friends having a drink and a laugh with them. I enjoyed Jack taking me out for lunch. We have no plans for the cinema yet – not much in the movie world looks remotely interesting currently.

I am looking forward to seeing my family at last – which hopefully I will in July (so long as “the numbers” stay low!) and being able to hug them!!

A Year In The Life Of Howard McAllister

March 2020 – Howard found a sext-message on his girlfriend’s phone from some guy named Nick

April 2020 – Howard lost his wallet and had to wait for two weeks for a replacement bank card

May 2020 – Howard found a strangely shaped mole on the side of his torso

June 2020 – Howard lost his grandfather who had been in ICU being treated for Covid for eight weeks

July 2020 – Howard found a new route to work that meant not passing the hospital where his grandfather died

August 2020 – Howard lost his face mask on the way back from shopping in Westfield. He was not allowed on the bus and ended up walking home in the rain.

September 2020 – Howard found his boss snogging one of the cashiers in the stock room

October 2020 – Howard lost the chance to see his parents because he had a cough and a temperature

November 2020 – Howard found a note from his girlfriend saying she could not take any more and was moving out

December 2020 – Howard lost any glimmer of confidence in the government as Christmas was cancelled for London

January 2021 – Howard found a twenty pound note underneath the sofa cushions

February 2021 – Howard lost his job when the store closed and everyone was made redundant

March 2021 – Howard found an online support group whom he could talk about his dark feelings

______________________________

his little post is my response to this week’s FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE

What A Week!

I think….I think that this was probably one of the toughest weeks at work since the start when we were all baffled back in March 2020. It was real tough. I won’t tell you everything that happened – but I will say this – when your adrenaline levels are so high for so many hours for so many days – it is exhausting!!!

I have pretty much done nothing except sleep, work and tried to make time to eat. It has been intense and at times we felt like we had lost control. But even when things are a nightmare – we keep going. We keep going.

I was shocked to come home on Friday and to see a well-known billionaire being interviewed on the news by the staggering amount of money he has spent on launching a rocket into outer space. I found myself filled with annoyance. “GET REAL!!!” I thought to myself. There are so many people who need some help to cover their basic cost of living. Why is he wasting all that money on something so ridiculous?

Oh dear! I was so cross with him.

In other matters – it has become more apparent than ever this week because of what we have seen that the vaccine really is just one string of the bow. The vaccine, testing and social distancing will need to continue to work side by side for several months to come. You cannot have one without the other.

If you have had the vaccine or if you have already had the virus you will have some protection if you come into contact with the virus again. However, you can still breathe it in and carry it within your airways. You can still test positive for the virus. You can still carry it around in your nose and then breathe it on to another person who has not any protection because they have not had the virus and/or they have no antibodies because they have not had the virus before.

So for some months ahead – vaccines, testing and social distancing have to continue to work in tandem. We cannot abandon any of those yet. Never forgetting the basic foundation that we relied on throughout 2020 – good hygiene and quarantine for those who have symptoms – two basic foundation pillars of modern medicine which were recorded in the Mosaic Law over 3,500 years ago.

Please understand that we are in the eye of the storm. Do everything you know you need to do to keep yourselves and other safe.

Waiting For The Results

I spend one hour a week waiting – slightly anxiously. If you recognise the items in the picture below, you will have already guessed what it is I am waiting for.

Twice a week, patient facing NHS staff, care providers and other health workers take what many know as a Lateral Flow Test or a Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test to detect if we might be carrying …you know. If we test positive, we would be sent for a different kind of test that is more accurate.

So far my results have been negative, negative, negative. Looking at this picture you might be unsure because it looks as if the red line is between the C and the T, but if the camera was directly over the test cartridge you would see that it is on C – which means negative.

This is the new routine. I have not had any symptoms of the virus. But whether or not we have symptoms (as we know there are a lot of people who have the virus and have no symptoms) we still test and then we report the results on the government website. We are getting used to the new routine.

We have all had to do things we have never done before, we have all had to make small adjustments and major changes. We have all made sacrifices. We have all felt a little nervous. It is strange for us. Having a swab stuck up both of your nostrils twice a week and waiting for the results is not something I relish. But it is important. So is wearing that face mask, washing those hands and staying at home (unless you are taking your local daily exercise, picking up essential shopping or you cannot work from home – key workers certainly cannot!)

I think it’s obvious that many are feeling weary of the pandemic – but I promise you – any weariness you may be feeling is nothing compared to the way NHS staff feel after a shift of more than twelve hours on their feet and donned in full PPE, seeing people suffering agony.

So please….please stick at it. Stick to the rules. Don’t look for loopholes or look at other people who are breaking or bending the rules. Please just stay home and stay safe.

Is It Right To Block Your Fiancé’s Number?

I was up late last night. I kept on wanting to crawl to bed, but then I had an email from Goldfinch and I wanted to reply, and then Jack called and it was way past one o’clock in the morning when I finally drifted to sleep.

Then at half past six this morning, Jack called again to check how I was doing – sigh. He is so lovely, but…well, I was so enjoying my sleep! Bless his cute little dimples!

Well, I struggled to muster any appetite yesterday. I am not sure why. But this morning, my appetite was back to normal. So I used more of the fresh produce in my fridge – why did I buy so much spinach?

Toasted bagel, vegan cheese, poached egg which burst as you can see, sautéed mushrooms and onions and wilted spinach.

Now I am going for a walk! Storm is rolling in tonight! Want to get out there while the weather is still fair!

“Grease” the musical is on the box this evening – I am going to put my phone on silent for that! I do love my darling Jack, but I am almost thinking of blocking his number! Hopelessly devoted….!!!

CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL BAR IS OPEN!!!

Did I ever imagine that today I would be hosting a virtual party on WordPress? Nope!!! But the plan changed last weekend when the UK government announced that London and surrounding areas are in Tier 4!! So thousands of people will be alone today – just like me! However, all is not lost, because we know how to throw a party!

So whether you are in London or anywhere else, all alone or just trying to escape the noise and in your household for a few minutes – please drop by today and say hello in the comments below! Tell us what you are drinking at home or place an order at CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL BAR. We serve cocktails and mocktails and the finest champagne!

There will be little nuggets to look OUT FOR TODAY – we have music, comedy and hopefully the games we planned will work too! But whatever you do – please know that if you are alone geographically – you do not have to be alone at all today. There is an amazing bunch here on WordPress who are determined to help everyone get through this cold, dark and perhaps challenging time.

I am going to start the day with things we would love for you to share with us:

  • Can you tell us which songs cheer you up – they don’t need to be festive – we just want to hear music that lightens our spirits and brings a smile to our face. You can leave an artist and song title and I will find a video to link to the comments or if you know how to do it, then please leave a video link yourself.
  • For those of you who have cameras and can load a picture onto your blog. Could you take a photo of something you are eating today – be it a cooked dinner, a cake, or something healthy – can you post a photo and pingback to this post so we can all drool over what you are eating please?
  • Do you have a favourite comedy sketch? It might be classic comedy or a spoof sketch. Could you find a video and leave a clip? Or give me some clues so I can find a clip to post? (Nothing offensive though please – this is an international party and we want everyone to feel welcome!)
  • Are you a poet? could you leave us with a few lines about either cocktails, parties, how to cope with being alone, showing unselfish love, or anything else that warms our hearts on a day when many of us will be missing our loved ones
  • Do you have a favourite blog post from either your own website or another blogger’s site that has brought a huge smile to your face during 2020?
  • Is there a special someone you want to give a shout out to? Let us know who you are missing most and who you would be with if it was not for the pandemic restrictions!

PLEASE DROP IN TO THE COMMENTS BELOW WITH ANY COMMENTS, VIDEO LINKS OR PINGBACKS

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SHARING TODAY WITH YOU!

When I say “we” I mean the royal we – as in me. But I know Jack and some of my other friends will be checking all the comments too.

To give you an idea of some of the amazing bloggers who have been making WordPress a sensation throughout 2020 here contributions from two of my favourite bloggers:

The incredibly talented Roberta Cheadle, the creator of Robbie’s inspiration has created an entire village from chocolate and gingerbread!!!!

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/gingerbread-and-chocolate-christmas-diorama/

One of the bloggers who warms my heart and makes WordPress an absolute joy for me is Kristian, the creator of Tales from the mind of Kristian, has been recording songs that have certainly cheered me up right down to my toes!

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/12/21/silver-bells-some-christmas-music/

This one is special – for all of us who are physically ALL MY OURSELVES – we can be united and connected with the people dearest to us and the most fabulous bloggers through WordPress and YouTube and Zoom and Instagram. I am not always a social media fan and truth be told – I am a bit of a technophobe – but when technology is used to warm hearts and be a positive influence on each other – kudos to that!!! Thank you Kristian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TOMORROW – CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL CLUB!

Wow! Thank you to everyone who has come up with ideas already and plans to drop by to CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL CLUB tomorrow! I am am very excited now!

If you have any ideas that you want to bring along to the party – music, poetry, stories, foodie photos, jokes, or anything that will entertain other bloggers and cheer us up on a day when we might be feeling sorry for ourselves – you are oh so very welcome to get involved.

Many people will have been heartbroken this week when they had to cancel their plans to see their family or close friends (as was I!) but we are going to make sure that Friday is a day when we can still connect and have fun! After all, we have made sacrifices to protect our loved ones – we deserve a party!

THIS FRIDAY – CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL CLUB!

You may have heard about the London lockdown which started on Sunday and will mean that thousands like myself will be all alone throughout the holidays. Well, in response I am hosting a virtual party. On Friday – CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL CLUB will be open and very glad to have you drop by!

Until then I am working every day, but I am very excited that there are so many ways we can connect during a time when we would normally be with our loved ones. The theme for CARAMEL’S COCKTAIL CLUB is simply FUN! We want you to bring music, laughter and anything that will warm our hearts and cheer us up at a time when many of us are all alone!

If you are anything like me you may have shed tears on realizing there will be no hugs and games with family and close friends. But we are going to rock being alone over the holidays with one spectacular virtual event!

Remember everyone – we are doing the right thing! We are protecting our loved ones! So we are going to make sure we have the kind of party that we deserve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARE YOU READY TO PARTY?

Thank You For Your Extraordinary Sacrifices

Sun Reflection, Color, Colorful, Background, Art

Throughout this year that has presented for some people unprecedented challenges that they have found hard, there have been some outstanding demonstrations of love and unselfishness and endurance. I have been so proud to be a little cog in the NHS system. I am proud of all my colleagues who have gone the extra mile and stayed late and gone without breaks and worn uncomfortable PPE all day – amazing!

Do make sure that if you are resting and relaxing and enjoying time with your nearest and dearest that take practical measures to stay safe. I know it is hard. But we don’t want you or your loved ones being carted in to the very stretched facilities we have. But hey the NHS is fighting for you! I have to say by the stacks of biscuits and chocolates that have poured in these past few weeks it looks as if local people appreciate it.

❤ Please stay safe. We love you. But we don’t want to see you in hospital. ❤

…to anyone who seriously believes this pandemic is a hoax – you must think that my colleagues and I are very odd people to be playing a game with everyone else! Nope – sorry – it is real. But the way you behave can make a difference.

❤ So please do! ❤

If I could record every act of love and unselfishness and extraordinary caring from those who work in the health service and many other key workers who were under pressure this year – that would be something extraordinary to celebrate. But what everyone in the NHS knows is that it is because of you, and you, and you, and you and all of us – quarantining/self isolating when we have symptoms or after travel, washing our hands, wearing those face masks and restricting the way we socialize that has made the biggest difference.

What an extraordinary and wonderful collective act of unselfish love! Thank you for every sacrifice and every considerate choice you have made. We are not out of the woods yet! But please remember – you make a difference.

❤ So please do! ❤

But please don’t undo the good of all the efforts and sacrifices people have made this year. Please don’t make even harder for the NHS. Please enjoy the holidays ahead while remembering that we are still in a very hazardous period. So please be careful. We want you to be as healthy and as happy as possible.

Getting Engaged During A Pandemic

I feel a little bit odd. I just made a huge decision, one of the biggest decisions of my life, and yet I don’t feel as if anything has changed. I feel a little bit lost.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I want to see my mum. I want to see Mum and Dad and the rest of my family. I want to see my closest friends. But I do not want to put anyone at risk obviously.

I have spoken to lots of my nearest and dearest on the phone these past few weeks. But I have not seen them. I have been going into work, taking off my ring and locking it safely away in my locker, before donning PPE. I like my workmates, but I share very little of my personal life with them.

That has become my habit since the trauma I faced years ago. I find that even when I share a little with someone who does not understand my life before the attack, they misunderstand, they say things that don’t fit my situation. So I put on a front to satisfy them.

I am going to get married to a well known celebrity. Bizarre in some ways, and yet 2020 has made it completely taken the fear out of my precarious situation.

Anyway….it is all fine. The center of my world is Jack. He is the one I am focusing on above all else. We’ve been talking about when and where our wedding will be but it seems impossible to plan right now. I spend as much time with him as I can outside of work. He has been wonderful, wonderful, in so many ways. I am happy. I would just like this to feel more real.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel as if seeing my loved ones would make it more real.