It has just been announced from Westminster that Boris Johnson, the prime minister, Nick Hancock, the health minister, Dr Witty, the chief medical officer and Prince Charles have all gone into self isolation with Corona virus. Here in Britain we are in lock down and non essential workers and most pensioners have to stay at home. We are only allowed out to buy essential supplies and to exercise near home once a day. We are not allowed to visit friends or family.
I admit I am finding it hard especially not being able to pass the time of day with friends and neighbours. I normally help in a local CLIC charity shop a couple of mornings a week and I miss the feeling of being useful. ClIC raises funds to help children and young people with cancer and their work is even more important at the moment. I worry how they and other important charities will survive.
A few years ago as a registered nurse I would have been an essential worker and I feel very guilty when I play yet another game of Candy Crush. I think we all need to be busy. We are lucky. My family are well. I live with my daughter and my husband so I can enjoy shared activities. We have cats and a garden. We have food, money, heating , the internet, Facebook, Netflix, You tube……
The last couple of weeks I have been grateful for unexpected things, stairs to climb, carpets to hoover, dishes to wash. There have also been unexpected benefits. Because there is less light and less pollution we can see more stars, less noise means we hear more bird song. The featured image was sent to me by my son Richard who is at home in his flat in Central London. He says he took it because it reminded him of the famous photo of St. Pauls cathedral taken during the blitz.
It reminded me of one of my favourite poems
Upon Westminster bridge by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
Wordsworth wrote this poem in 1802 when we were in the middle of the Napoleonic wars with France. He was about to catch a boat to France with his sister Dorothy to visit his former girlfriend and daughter for the first time since the French revolution. The world must have seemed a frightening place but he could still appreciate the beauty of the urban landscape. Until now London has probably not looked as calm and quiet again. A few years later the city would be filled with the noise, smoke and bustle of the industrial revolution.
It is so strange to see closed restaurants and shops: So many people afraid to leave their houses. Many people have coloured rainbows and put them in their windows with the message “the brightest rainbow comes after the darkest storm”
I hope you are keeping safe where ever you are and that before long we can all be out and about sharing hugs with our families, gossip with our neighbours and walks with our friends.
I want to share a couple of sites I found useful.
BT skills for tomorrow. Teaching materials for every thing from online banking to social media. I even managed my first video conference call who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
Dr. Hope’s sick notes I find understanding more about the enemy helps. Dr. Hope is a hospital doctor working on the front line who uses every thing from Japanese anime to Lego to explain the science behind the corona epidemic and to bring dispatches from the emergency room.
Leslie Sansone walking at home workouts. Leslie Sansone is an American fitness coach who has uploaded lots of fun walking workout suitable for older people to help you keep fit at home.
As always I would love your comments and to hear how you are doing. I am sending a virus free cyber hug to you all.