March 16th to 18th inclusive – heading towards lockdown

Monday, March 16th

We’re supposed to be staying 6 feet away from anyone else.  “Social distancing.”  These are the words that will go down in history from 2020 – “social distancing” (staying 6 feet away from everyone else) and “self-isolating” (which you’ve got to do for a week if you think you’ve got the virus.   And, just as my grandmas and great-aunts kept loads of food in stock until the end of their days, because they never quite got over rationing, I think we’ll all be keeping loads of toilet roll in stock until the end of our days.  If we can find any, that is!

An e-mail went round the office saying that you had to wipe down the kettle every time you used it.   And Boris has now said that people should avoid pubs, clubs and restaurants.  ATG theatres are closing.   I was supposed to be seeing Phantom of the Opera on April 1st, but that won’t be happening now.  The panic-buying’s getting worse.  It really is ridiculous.  Painkillers are being stockpiled now, which is a huge problem because people who actually need them are struggling to get them.  Some supermarkets are now saying that only people over 70 can go in at certain times, and restricting how much of each product you can buy.   And more and more people are trying to book online deliveries, but there’s so much demand that there are no free slots for weeks.

France has been put into lockdown.  Germany’s closed shops and entertainment venues.    And even the sex shops in Amsterdam have been closed!  A lot of countries are closing borders.

Rugby league’s now off, and the Boat Race, and the Grand National.  Easyjet are grounding a load of planes … not very hopeful about Iceland now.  I booked it last September, to make sure I got a week in between Wimbledon finishing and the Olympics starting.  Hah!

People are getting paranoid.   Every time someone coughs or sneezes, people think it’s coronavirus.  COVID-19, I mean.


Tuesday, March 17th

Ordered some Easter eggs from Amazon, to be delivered to my nephews. My sister and brother-in-law and nephews were supposed to be coming up from London over Easter week, but they’re not now.  Everything’s going to be closed.  I don’t know when we’ll next see them.  I can’t believe this is happening.

National Trust tea rooms are closing!!  Armageddon is here!!  I have a jam and cream scone every weekend, as a treat, and more often than not it’s at a National Trust tea room.   Bleurgh 😦 .  Houses are closing too.  However, parks and gardens will be staying open.   Must try to get to Chirk Castle and Biddulph Grange this weekend, to see the daffodils.  All manned English Heritage sites are closing.

Some friends have already lost their jobs, here and in the Republic of Ireland.

United have cancelled training.  Euro 2020 is now Euro 2021.  And the French Open’s been rescheduled … until just after the US Open!  What??  I know it’s going to be hard to fit in in, but the French Tennis Federation seem to have made the announcement without consulting anyone else or stopping to think how players are going to switch from hard courts to clay courts just like that. People in France now need to carry a form if they’re going out, to say that they’re on permitted business such as going to work or going to the supermarket. It sounds like something from the war.

Places of worship are also closing – not my thing, but it’ll upset a lot of people, although there’ll be some services on line.  You can now only have five people at a wedding – the couple, the minister/registrar, and two witnesses.  A lot of couples have already postponed their weddings.  Poor Princess Beatrice: she doesn’t have much luck!

The gym is also closing.  I usually go on Mondays and Tuesdays.  It was really weird walking out tonight, saying goodbye to people and having absolutely no idea when I’ll see them again.   I can’t see golf clubs staying open much longer.  Poor Dad’ll be lost with no golf!

All non-essential NHS operations are being postponed.  We’ve been told we could see 20,000 deaths.  TWENTY THOUSAND.

There’s been some muttering at the office about working from home.  I don’t want to be in the office, especially given the rising tide of hysteria in some quarters, but I’m scared of trying to use a remote link from home.  I’m frightened that it might upset my home internet connection.

I’m trying to channel the spirit of the Blitz and all the rest of it, but no tennis, no football and probably no summer holiday … 😦  .


Wednesday, March 18th

I just can’t take in everything that’s happening.

Schools are closing on Friday.   Quite possibly until the next academic year.  Kids’ll have to try to work at home, using stuff that teachers’ve tried to set up on line.  My elder nephew’s in his last year at primary school.  The kids in his class’ll be being scattered between different secondary schools in September, and now they won’t get this last term together.  My younger nephew’s in the 1st year juniors, Year 3 as it’s called now.  It’s bad enough for primary school kids, but what about people doing exams?  My friend’s son’s supposed to be doing his GCSEs.  And people doing A-levels and Scottish Highers need their grades for university places.  Presumably, it’ll have to go off teachers’ assessments instead, but that’s not necessarily going to produce the same results that exams would have done.  Oh, this is just a nightmare!  This bloody virus!

And filming’s been suspended on EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty.  Numbers of weekly episodes of EastEnders are being reduced.  Presumably Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be next.  So we could be locked up without even our normal TV to watch!  And there’ll now be no tennis until at least June.

And Biddulph Grange is closing!  Oh no.  I love the daffodil woodland walk there.  Chirk Castle’s estate and garden are staying open, though.  There are more and more rumours that we could be put on full lockdown, though.  Parts of the US are now in lockdown.  And maybe this sounds silly, but I’m panicking about my hair.  I’m due for a cut and dye next Thursday.  I booked an appointment for their late weekday night so as to leave the weekend free for going out to see daffodils at National Trust places – hah!   It’s only 8 days away, but … I’m getting stressed.

Getting some bizarre e-mails from shops.  M&S sent an e-mail round saying that they’re suspending their bra-fitting service, like anyone’s immediate priority is to buy a new bra!!   Their food shops are staying open, though, which is the main thing!  Tesco are no longer opening 24 hours: they’re restricting opening hours to allow time for restocking.  And reserving certain times for elderly/vulnerable people.  Mum’s going during the “elderly” slot on Friday!

I normally only go to Tesco on a Friday, but, feeling a bit panicky myself, I went tonight.  They were out of a few things, but I went to Morrisons and they had most of them.  But no toilet roll.

Glastonbury’s off.  The US PGA is off.  Even the Eurovision Song Contest is off.

Will someone please wake me up from this horrendous nightmare?  And, all the time, the death toll rises, each loss a tragedy.






3 thoughts on “March 16th to 18th inclusive – heading towards lockdown

  1. I remember back around this time, our health director came out and said we could be expecting upwards of 200,000 deaths in the US. Everyone was scoffing – China had only seen 80k, and Italy, who was in BAD shape, hadn’t even reached that level yet. But of course, the US is all John Wayne about this crap, and just the other day, we passed 100k in deaths. The NYT put out a list of 1% of the death toll in names on its front page. This is a nightmare. The US has literally done the worst of anyone in the world at controlling spread, containing the virus, putting citizens first, helping those who are unemployed, etc. It’s awful. Meanwhile, our illustrious president keeps saying he’s done a “tremendous” job and “all but eradicated” the virus and that we should all be saying “thank you mr president” omg its like living right out of Orwell’s 1984.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even in mid-March, and even when it was getting so bad in Italy, it was hard to believe that it was going to happen anywhere else. I always used to wonder how all the people who, in August 1914, genuinely believed that the First World War would be over by Christmas, could have been so naïve, but now I know – it’s just very hard for your mind to understand how bad things can get. Let’s hope the worst is over. Stay safe!


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