Wilbrahams Covid-19 Jackie Beadsmoore

The next in our series is from Jackie Beadsmoore and surviving.

Martin Gienke

Surviving Life in Lockdown

 The serious business of survival has rather concentrated our minds ever since John lost two old friends to the virus.  He had known one victim from his University days in the 1950s and the other was a long-time golfing friend.  Older people, even the relatively fit as John’s friends were, are one of the groups that Covid 19 particularly threatens.  However, it is our younger working population that the nation has to worry about in our view.  For so many the lockdown has been a disaster and the sooner we get the economy up and running again the better.  It is for this reason that we have decided to hunker down for the long-term, get whatever we need delivered, and do our very best to avoid becoming an unnecessary burden on the NHS.

That said, we could not do this without the wonderful service provided by Yasir at the village shop who delivers all our basic needs every week, while, for amazing fruit, vegetables and meat we have Kale and Damson delivering to us weekly also.  They normally supply local restaurants, but have found a temporary replacement role serving households in their catchment area.  Neighbours are very kind and helpful too and we feel immensely fortunate.  In fact, we are actually rather enjoying our new relaxed way life.

John is retired and I am, more or less, apart from a small tourist map business, which I have closed down completely for the time being.  Yet still we manage to keep ourselves remarkably busy.  We are both excellent examples of the accuracy of  Parkinson’s Law – work expands to fill the time available.  At the beginning of the lockdown I was in grave danger of turning into a domestic goddess, cleaning, polishing, vacuuming with worrying enthusiasm and even going so far as to bake a lemon drizzle cake – passable, but not up to Great Wilbraham’s normal standards.  Thankfully the cleaning frenzy has abated and I just take an aspirin if I feel the need coming on again.  This much to the great relief of John as I was a rather grumpy domestic goddess.  Worryingly though, I suspect he may be developing a similar syndrome, indicated by untypical, prolonged bouts of painting and decorating.

Keeping fit is a concern as we are both pretty active generally and enjoy country walking particularly.  Now we just obey the rules and only exercise outside no more than once day whenever we think there may not be many people about.  Thankfully we have an exercise bike which I use daily and John is now taking advantage of too.  I have always had a home exercise routine, discovered over 40 years ago, when I came across a book describing the once famous Canadian Airforce Exercises designed for sedentary workers.  I am always recommending them, but clearly the benefits of nearly half a century of daily physical effort are not apparent.  I will not be discouraged!

While I have this opportunity, some of you may be interested in an App designed by Kings College, London to keep track of the development and symptoms of Covid 19.  This is purely for research and is not the new Government App intended to track and trace people with symptoms.  Any one can download it and answer a few questions about whether they have had the virus or not, or think they may currently be infected.  They then check in daily to say whether they have developed symptoms in the meantime, or had a test.  Go to https://covid.joinzoe.com.  John and I heard about this through U3A, which is still functioning on Zoom.  Thank heavens for Zoom and the possibility it has opened up to keep in touch with friends, family, clubs and societies.  It’s certainly better than nothing, but no substitute for actual meetings.

So, what happens next?  I hope that not everything will continue just as before and that the Government will now address the gross inequalities that blight our society.  The UK stands out as one of the most unequal amongst developed countries.  Social mobility, which was high when I was a teenager, is now disturbingly low.

Jackie Beadsmoore