My Covid-19 Journey so far...

So it's a lock down. The majority of the UK along with the world are confined to their homes, apart from their one walk or grocery shop. It is an uncertain time for everyone. Financially everyone will be impacted by COVID-19. Emotionally everyone is affected by the huge changes we are experiencing; some people are on their own, others wish they were. I genuinely believe that life will never be the same again after this.

I have been on "lock down" for 4 weeks now, when all this was starting to kick off, I got a run of the mill cold. However for me, these days a cold feels more like flu, I was in bed feeling sorry for myself, feeling weak and achy and calling my husband (who was downstairs) for fluids. When I started to recover the severity of the situation increased on the outside world and knowing that my immune system was down, I wasn't willing to risk getting on public transport to go into central London. Soon enough measures were put in place that everyone was at home, so I no longer had the worry of if I was doing the right thing as the choice was taken out of my hands.

They spoke about "high-risk" people and as someone with a heart condition, I thought I belonged to that group. We are offered flu jabs because our immune systems aren't as strong and we are at risk of contracting pneumonia. So myself and my husband followed the instructions given by the government on "Shielding" the vulnerable.

As time has gone on they have changed the criteria of who is classed as vulnerable. I think heart conditions only come into it if you are pregnant. Essentially they don't know enough about this virus yet and how it affects the heart, however they also don't know that we wouldn't get severely ill if we contract this virus and therefore could progress our conditions. As with most of the advice so far it is about as clear as mud! Listening to the varied cases of people whose lives have been claimed by this virus, I think we all could be vulnerable and I am certainly not going to take any chances. When life resumes normality, I would like to keep the quality of life I have for as long as possible.

I can understand this situation is creating huge anxieties for lots of people but particularly for people with pre-existing conditions. Not only are we afraid we could get struck down by this virus at any moment but our safety net (hospital) is pretty much off limits. (I don't know about anyone else but the thought of going to hospital is normally a comfort to me and helps keep me calm on a day to day basis).

So what can we do to get us through this difficult time? To help us keep our heads above water. This is my survival guide so far (I'm very aware it is early days and this could change if we are still isolating in 6 months time):

  • I think a huge part of it is how we view the situation, instead of seeing it as a prison sentence, we have to flip it and view it as an opportunity.

  • An opportunity to get things done around the house we've been meaning to do, but never have the time.

  • An opportunity to create all the work/projects we've had on the back burner but again don't get round to completing.

  • To get in shape and keep healthy.

  • Get back in touch with ourselves, our partners and nature. Back to basics! I love the idea that we are giving our planet a bit of a break.

  • At first I was going crazy on social media just to feel connected to my friends and the world but that began to give me a headache and also can add to the stress if you're constantly reading negative reports. So put those phones and ipads away (especially in the evening)

  • Structure to the day is crucial, write lists so you get things done and get satisfaction from doing so.

  • Laughter is actual medicine in these situations. (See video made by myself & husband).

  • Don't be hard on yourself if you do have a bad day and lash out, are grumpy or tearful. What we are going through is bizarre and it would be weird if we didn't go through a range of emotions as we literally can't escape.

  • A bath before bed helps with sleep.

  • Fresh air and sunshine (not always achievable)

  • Last but by NO means least, chocolate and wine - crucial to survival (or whatever your treat equivalent is)

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