Day Zero. I call it this because I haven’t been tracking anything up until now. Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is formally known has been creeping around the globe for almost three months.
Initially we watched, along with the rest of the world, as China announced they had a new virus. We did not take it seriously but noted with interest as it crept closer to home.
Fast forward a few weeks and today Ireland joined 21 other countries in closing schools, colleges and childcare facilities. Gatherings of over 500 people are to be stopped.
Italy remains on lockdown due to a huge outbreak of Coronavirus.
Donald Trump announced a ban on flights to and from Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom.
Ten people in the UK have died. Hundreds have contracted the virus. Thousands more will.
The FTSE100 index falls more than 5%.
The World Health Organisation has declared a global pandemic.
You can’t make this shit up.
I feel like whilst I and everyone I know is well, we are watching a dystopian game unfold and very soon we could all be players. For that reason, and for the fact that we have never seen anything like this before in living memory, I wanted to document it. It’ll be something to show the grandkids at least.
Daily life is plodding on as normal but what was a news story in other parts of the world, is now a shadow lingering in the background of our day to day. Each new day brings a further unprecedented development. Each day brings another story of “someone we know” having coronavirus. We are waiting for them to close schools here as the government announces we are moving into the delay phase. We are cancelling holidays as the Easter holidays approach. We are washing our hands like crazy people. We no longer shake hands with anyone and we cough into our elbows (although to be fair, what were you all doing before this?!)
I’ve heard that (and that’s a phrase you will hear a lot of) even if you are not in the “at risk” bracket for complications and mortality, coronavirus is in fact like the worst version of flu anyone’s come across. For those in the at-risk category – and we all have loved ones in this bracket – the game is taking a darker and more frightening turn.
A close family member of mine works in a hospital and the tales she tells are not reassuring. On the ground, in the battlefield, this does not feel like something well managed. It does not sound like our NHS is prepared, no matter what Boris claims.
So then, for today, we watch, we wait and the worry starts to set in as we think of the most vulnerable members of our society. Life continues, cautiously but as normal here in the North of England.
I will check in tomorrow but until then; stay safe, don’t scaremonger and follow the advice of trusted sources. I will pop some links below.