Coronavirus Diary 2 – Goodbyes but no good grub

Yesterday I went out to see a friend.  My new house is a total dump.  An absolute pig-sty as we say in the U.K.  No cleaning/bathing facilities, no toilet, damp in the floors electric wires everywhere and a near 200 year collection of pipes that seem to do nothing but are there nevertheless.

I decided to go out and see a dear friend who owns a shop 4 or 5 miles away. It was a bit of a strange experience to say the least. People are still going to school, to work and even doing all the regular things like eating out, going to pubs and parties.

I know all of this is coming to an end though and there seemed to be an ominous feeling of living on borrowed time hanging in the air.

For all that it was one of the few days of the month I woke up feeling totally well.  Having asthma and a predisposition to chest conditions then every little cough, sore throat wheeze  has always been the onset of what could be a hospitalisation.  99% of the time it is just one of those things that disappears in a few minutes.  But it is a fear I always have at the back of my mind even in mid-summer.

I must have had Coronavirus about 60 times since Christmas at least for a few minutes but then it faded to nothing and so I obviously never had it at all or I’ve had it for about 38 years and just can’t shake it off.  Chest infections are so horrible, I can be ill from September to May very easily with just a handful of healthy days if I am lucky before the next infection sets in.  If I’m not lucky then it is just one long constant horrible illness.

Yesterday though I was well and even my friend said I looked happy which was partly down to feeling well and partly down to seeing my friend.  Other acquaintances and customers who to differing degrees are now friends also came and went through the morning.

We always joked that the shop would be like our den if there were to be some sort of apocalypse and I remember thinking on my bus that I would pop down to see Tash at the Winchester until all this blows over.  It made me laugh and not much does these days.  The Winchester was the pub in the film Shaun of the Dead where the heroes all went to after picking up their friends to wait for the zombie apocalypse to blow over.

We all had an interesting chat.  No-one there was at all scared of the virus; more of the panic of society.  I’d read that people who have suffered serious hurdles or trauma aren’t worrying about the virus because it is just another imposition.  If you spend you whole life worried, panicked or in some sort of danger then I guess it is natural to become a bit hard-nosed.  Whereas as regular people with regular lives are only now feeling how others spend their whole lives.

It was really sad to say goodbye and one last time we totally broke the social distancing rule and did what was a killer hug, hopefully not in more ways than one.  The shop is closing down for a month or two; just because the owner and regulars aren’t overly concerned, it doesn’t mean we’re stupid or not concerned about its spread to others and no-one wants to get ill when it is avoidable.

Like myself, the main worries of  my friend the shop owner are money ones.   If we live or die is to a degree out of our hands but economic hardship is close at hand and total ruin is a possibility for us both.

But I was sad incase it was the last time I saw her (I’d worry for her and everyone I know whether they do or not!); I know I will be lucky not to get this virus and if I get it then I may well get it badly and I don’t have any family to really help out. I’d quite easily be one of those of poor people who gets discovered 6 months after they’ve died.  Even my blog posts are pre-written…. I even have a “Goodbye” post in my drafts that I can schedule to come after what ever posts are lined up.  I’ve had it for years; not because of this virus in particular but just because of life.

My friend was a bit worried that I had next to no supplies at home.  I don’t just mean no food or toilet paper come to that but anything.  Having been holed up in a hotel for 2 weeks, then in my own quarantine for 5 weeks due to being pushed under a train  and the weeks of packing and unpacking after a house move and naturally running down food supplies if there was one person who needed some basics it was me.

We went to a supermarket which I something I never do.  I don’t like supermarkets, I don’t get them either.  One of the things I hope will change is that people will become much less consumerist when this is all over and be more self-sufficient and humane to each other.

The supermarket looked like it was from an end of the world type film, every shop we went in did. With my gluten and dairy illnesses, it isn’t like I have much of a choice at the best of times.  I am now in an official 12 week (to begin with) forced isolation period and to get me through this given the choice I settled on a basket of root vegetables, smoked Romanian sausages and 8 gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cornetto style ice-creams.

I don’t each much, though I would have liked to have found some chicken as I haven’t been able to eat home cooked chicken since December.  I also wanted Sweet Potato, I still have 3 or 4 from my shop on the 1st February.   All 4 are somewhat rotten but 2 of which are salvageable by cutting out the bad bits.  There is a reason I don’t shop much or have any food waste lol.  Still not the most promising start; I had the cutting out rotten bits of sweet potato down for the end of April not Mid-March.

Such is life!  Stay well everyone.


About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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5 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 2 – Goodbyes but no good grub

  1. Steven I want you to know you always have people to talk to on here, and if you ever want to have a chat or a rant about how you’re feeling feel free to email me

    I am concerned that you would have a goodbye post in your drafts – that is not a good thing. It sounds like you have a lot of friends though -which is great. , If they are going through the same thing then maybe lean on them a bit more and ask for their emotional support and advice. It’s not fun to feel isolated and alone, (I have been there) but even despite this bloody social isolation thing, the phone, internet, WordPress, whatsapp, facebook whatever is all there for you and if you reach out to people – they will be there for you for a chat, for advice, just to listen or to point you in the right direction for community services that can help you like for getting food etc when you’re unwell.

    I work in the Salvation Army in social justice and AOD, although because of my own immune system issues I need to work from home.

    I understand, I was once basically homeless in Edinburgh in the winter, it was shite alright. I now live in New Zealand and it’s much better. Life even when it feels like shite has a way of changing and getting better

    Anyway hit me up over the email if you want to chat more

    take care mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very kind of you thank-you. I go past the International Salvation Army Head Quarters almost every day as it is between St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge. I hope you have nice end of summer weather in NZ. If you have to be stuck in a garden or even a house then late summer is the time for it I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eat what you can and rest up, good luck – it will get beter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Coronavirus Diary 56 – My first hug! | Stephen Liddell

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