Sunday, March 1st
There’s been a case of the virus in Bury now. That’s only six miles away. It’s the first one in the local area. That’s a bit scary. Meanwhile, everything else here goes on as normal. I still haven’t managed to get to the Lake District this year, because of the rotten weather, but I went to Lyme Park this morning. Rafa won Acapulco 🙂 . And City won the Carabao Cup – suppose I should congratulate them, even though it rankles!
Monday, March 2nd
Mum and Dad have cancelled their summer holiday to Italy. They were due to fly to Rome and then pick up a cruise, and were nervous because of all these poor people getting stuck on cruise ships where someone’s tested positive for the virus. My holiday company’s cancelled all tours to Northern Italy for the time being. The Swiss Football League’s been suspended for two weeks, the pre-season club football tournament in Asia’s been cancelled, and the Irish cricket tour of Thailand’s been called off. Other than the Democratic primaries in America, there’s little other than coronavirus-related stuff on the news these days.
Tuesday, March 3rd
There are now 51 cases in the UK. The news channels and websites flash up every new case at the bottom of the screen, like a goal in a football match, which is very odd. A graduation ceremony at one of the London universities has been cancelled. There are panicky reports that 20% of the British workforce could be off sick at any one time.
Wednesday, March 4th
There’ve now been 107 deaths in Italy, because of the virus, and there’ve been 73 new cases diagnosed in France today alone. A lot of flights are being cancelled. Sport in Italy’s now got to be played behind closed doors, and schools, colleges and universities are being closed, like they were in China. The Olympic relay’s going ahead, but the London Book Fair’s been called off, and the release of the new James Bond film’s been delayed. And, bizarrely, people are stocking up on toilet paper!! The virus doesn’t cause stomach upsets, but there seem to have been reports in Australia that most toilet paper there was imported from China and supplies were going to run short, so people started panic-buying, and then the pictures went viral and now it’s happening here and in other countries too!!
Thursday, March 5th
The first virus-related death in the UK. An woman in her 70s, with underlying health conditions, has died in Berkshire. Very, very sad.
My sister has succumbed to the Great Toilet Roll Panic and bought a load of toilet rolls. And other stuff. I do my big Tesco and M&S shop on a Friday, but I had to go into the Sainsbury’s Local near work for a couple of bits today, and found myself getting caught up in it all and buying some toilet rolls and Dettol. You don’t want to panic, but nor do you want to be the person who’s left without. People have even nicked toilet rolls from public toilets in Australia, because shops are selling out of it!! Hand sanitiser’s running short too, because we keep being told it’s important to wash our hands more often – although Sainsbury’s Local did have some. Mine are getting quite sore from all this extra washing. It’s not like I don’t wash my hands normally, but not this much!
The Premier League’s banned handshakes between players. And the Six Nations matches in Italy have been called off. I can’t see how the Six Nations can be finished now – unless it’s left for months. And what about the Champions League and the Europa League? There are quite a few Italian clubs involved.
And now Flybe’s collapsed – the cancellation of flights due to coronavirus has been the final straw. Oh, what a nightmare this all is!
Friday, March 6th
There’s been a second virus-related death in the UK, this time in Milton Keynes. Things in Italy are getting worse and worse, and Iran’s suffering too. This is just all awful. The Scotland v France women’s Six Nations match is off, because a Scotland player tested positive for the virus.
There was toilet roll in Tesco tonight, but only white toilet roll, and I wanted cream! Why have panic-buyers bought up all the cream toilet roll but left the white?! Not a single bottle of hand sanitiser to be had, though. Someone at my office bought two bottles on Amazon for £109 each. Can you believe that?! I wouldn’t mind, but Sainsbury’s Local near the office had some, and their bottles were only £3 each! This panic-buying is really getting very silly.
The weather forecast for the Lakes for the weekend is awful. Again. Gah!!
Saturday, March 7th
The family of the man yesterday have been saying how they weren’t even allowed to be with him, for fear of infection. This virus is just horrendous. There’s now talk of “social detachment” for the over-70s. How’s that going to work. Am I not supposed to see Mum and Dad? Or my uncle, who lives on his own? Or my brother-in-law’s parents? So many rumours. And now 3,500 people are stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of California, because of the virus.
It’s like there are now two groups of people. Those of us trying to “Keep Calm and Carry On”, and those who are panic-buying. I’m not criticising anyone: it’s scary. Some people have cancelled restaurant bookings.
Went to Speke Hall today. The daffodils there are always early, but they’re particularly early this year. Then to Newbank Garden Centre. Getting my garden ready for spring!
Sunday, March 8th
What a strange day. It should have been a wonderful day, because we beat City, 2-0! Old Trafford was packed – no viruses were keeping people away from the derby! It was a really manic last few minutes. Amazing atmosphere. I came out absolutely buzzing! Even Liverpool must be pleased that we won, because they’re very, very close to the title now.
But … later on, it was announced that a man had died from the virus (although I think we’re meant to say “with” the virus – it’s all a bit confusing, especially as it mainly seems to affect people with underlying health conditions) at Crumpsall Hospital, North Manchester General. That’s my local hospital. Whew. That really hit me. This is here – it’s here, amongst us. That poor man, and his poor family and friends. 64 new cases in the UK today.
Fans have been banned from the Bahrain Grand Prix now.
This morning, I went to Ilkley, as I always do at this time of year – there’s a nice riverside walk there, and I like to see the Easter eggs and simnel cakes in Betty’s. It was the first time I’d ever got a table in Betty’s without having to queue. It may just have been because I was so early, because of needing to get home in time to go to the match, but it does seem that people are getting a bit nervous about going out, because of this virus.
Where on earth will all this end?