The Corona Diaries – Day 356

Today is the anniversary of our period of Isolation! It is one year exactly that we decided to isolate ourselves. The news of the pandemic was coming in fast and, as a biologist, I could see exactly where this was going. What I could not see was how long it was going to be. I never would have imagined doing this for a whole year.

Shortly after going into isolation I embarked on a programme of daily five mile+ walks and starting this diary. I’m completed 356 consecutive walks now. I never thought this diary was going to be like this. Indeed, I expected to be giving out reports about friends and family going down with the illness and then ourselves becoming ill.

Well, so far I’ve had a few friends who have become ill, one neighbour has died and some of my family (my younger sister and my eldest son) have become ill. We ourselves have not succumbed. Though I suppose that is not surprising; we’ve been pretty much isolated. Last summer we met up for outdoor meals and walks with family and friends. That felt safe and worked. As soon as the weather changed and the virus took off we were back to isolating.

We have no close contact with neighbours, friends or family. Our food is delivered. Our only risk is popping into the shop to pick up a paper on a daily basis (in and out with mask).

This isolation is weighing heavy. We are missing the contact and we are missing the stimulation of eating out, meeting up, gigs, cinema and theatre. It has certainly made us realise how busy our lives had been.

Yet we are not bored. There are not enough hours in the day to fit everything in. If anything I am stressed and frustrated about not being able to get everything done.

My day is in a pattern:

Chores (washing up, cooking, bins, cleaning, mowing, sorting the log burner)

Walk – 2 hours+

Editing books (Roy Harper one at present – final edit two thirds through)

Writing – a new Sci-Fi novel + poems

Reading – two books on the go (Stephen King – Sleeping Beauties and Margaret Atwood – The Testaments)

The Blog – takes me a good hour or two

News – I keep up

Music – I’m choosing an album or artist a day – That’s good – today it is Dylan.

Sport – football, rugby, cricket and F1.

In the evening – after a meal with a glass of wine we are coming together to watch dramas or a film (Last night was John Le Carre – Our Kind of Traitor – good).

When this is all over (if that ever happens) I don’t know how I’m going to fit things in! I still haven’t sorted the photos from our Brazilian trip over a year ago!!

So today the sun was shining. I walked up my hill, fed my adopted horse a carrot or two, strimmed the garden, listened to Dylan.

This afternoon I’m going to watch some football!

Life under lockdown – it’s not so bad!!

20 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 356

  1. Oh, but life under lockdown is bad, Opher. No prospect of any paid work for a year or more; that’s one component. Another two weeks before I can “legally” go again to my favourite walking spot on the South Downs. Four weeks, at least, before I can get my beard trimmed, or my watchstrap repaired, or buy new underpants. And the criminals that have done these things to me want to force me to take a vaccine. When there are now disturbing rumours that one at least of the vaccines can increase the chances of blood clots; which I already need to take a medicine against. And they want to keep me, in effect, locked down until I have obeyed their orders!

    Like you, I have (horribly) had to settle into a routine. At least, it’s a relatively comfortable routine this time. I drive to the car park near the lake (1.3 miles), walk twice round the lake (27 minutes) and, when I need to, call at the Co-op on the way back. In the first lockdown, they closed the car parks, so I had to walk down and back up the hill. I wasn’t the only person inconvenienced by that. Every dog owner in my area, who lives too far away to walk their dogs to the park and back, must have complained!

    I wonder whether. this afternoon, the parliamentary morons that claim to “represent” us will pull back on the vaccine passport issue, or go ahead and alienate everyone who has any respect for civil liberties? We do live in interesting times.

    1. Lol Neil – you cheer me up.
      Yes Lockdown is terrible – but at least it is tons better than being on a ventilator and dying.
      I think you need a bit of firm suppression for your own good. Left to your own devices you’d be long dead.
      I don’t know why you are complaining so much. Lockdown hasn’t been that bad for us – just a nuisance – far better than life on a ventilator and permanent disability!
      Lol again – you, as a statistician, know the risk of the vaccine is minuscule. You probably have more chance of being killed by your own fridge.
      Hopefully they’ll instigate a vaccine passport and give us sensible ones our freedom back!

      1. Here’s the debate report: Most of the speakers are strongly against compulsory vaccination, and against any restriction of domestic liberties for people who can’t prove they have been vaccinated. The views are cross-party, too.

        Knowing the way this establishment works, they’ll probably ignore this debate and all the points made in it, go for the most draconian and liberty-destroying scheme they can think of. And they’ll make a botch of it, too.

      2. Well whatever they do they’ll make a botch of it.
        But it is inevitable that there will be a passport in one form or another. They won’t call it that though.
        I would not want the risk, even after my second shot, of being inside with people who are unvaccinated. They represent too much of a risk (and that’s apart from them being a reservoir of virus and a breeding ground for variants). The vaccine affords 91-96% protection – Which means that 4-9% of us are still susceptible.
        If we don’t achieve herd immunity due to vaccination we’ll all end up being locked down for longer. Antivaxxers are not only selfishly keeping us locked down but are putting us all in danger.
        Science is what should dictate what happens and the politicians need to follow it. Lockdown is necessary while there is such a high risk to vulnerable people in the community. It is such a shame that there have been so many scare stories and silly conspiracy nonsense being spread around on the web. I cannot see a single scientific reason for not vaccinating. The evidence is robust.

  2. But what proportion of uninfectables does herd immunity require, Opher? 80%, as you claim? Or 60% or even 24%, as I have heard? I can’t find a clear statement on the Internet of the best estimate for the R0 for COVID. That’s a problem in itself, after more than a year. Why isn’t this parameter known, with at least reasonable accuracy? The Chinese apparently estimated it at 2.3 early in the outbreak. But I’ve seen values as high as 5.7. This is exactly the same problem you get with the ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) to a doubling of CO2. As you said on another thread, it’s politics. “Science,” in both cases, has been corrupted by politics. It is no longer trustworthy.

    1. Herd immunity varies with different viruses. For measles it’s around 95%. I’ve read somewhere that around 80% should provide sufficient cover to mop up any outbreaks quickly. Mind you we do have Dildo Harding and the clown with a haystack on his head to contend with.

      1. alas, opher. I was a product of musical parents, very musically centered schooling, and it took. when I graduated from high school I could play drums, clarinet, and alto sax, read music and was in school orchestra. I picked up guitar to play rock n roll and did. still do. there are lot’s of “me’s” around, so

      2. I tried to play guitar for sixth months before realising that it was never going to happen – ears and fingers.

    1. I’m just fine, Jeff. Remember, I had the damned thing before it was even officially in the UK! And there’s a chain of three or four contacts between me and some of the very earliest confirmed human-to-human transmissions here.

      And I, too, want to play music with others. Though it’s impossible for me to play the tuba, even alone, until the hairdressers re-open and I can get my beard trimmed!

      1. hopefully, that will be soon, neil. I now have a beard. not much longer, though. itchy, food catching, but “easy” and no effort. lol. hair is now too long and wife wants to fix that. stay safe.

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