Today I find myself writing this blog whilst in self isolation!
I, like 10 million other people in the UK, have downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app and on Saturday I received a notification telling me I had to self isolate for 10 days as I’d been in close proximity with someone who had tested positive for Coronavirus. It stated that I’m highly likely to be at risk. I have no symptoms thankfully but it’s yet more anxiety to endure.
Mila-Rose and Alfie were off for 2 weeks for half term (I know two whole weeks!!!). I still had a couple of weeks annual leave to take from work before the end of the year so I took the time off to make things a little easier for us all. We had no plans to go anywhere so it was practically a mini lockdown and if they were to be at home for this amount of time then it’s easier if the both of us are at home to entertain them. (See previous blog posts that relate to meltdowns etc).
So if we had no plans to go anywhere then how have I been in contact with someone who tested positive I hear you say??? Well aside from making a couple of trips to B&Q for some paint, the only other places I checked in were McDonald’s and KFC! Shame on us for having a takeaway, well we all have our vices and it was half term!
I can only assume that this is where the self isolation notice has come from but it would be handy if the app told you exactly where you were ‘in contact’ with this person and what time we were in the vicinity. Was it a member of staff or a customer? Has the place been closed for a deep clean? In each of these places I visited I wore a mask, social distanced and sanitised going in and going out. Now forgive me for being negative but when I have visited supermarkets other retail outlets I see people walking in with their masks on but they don’t visit the sanitiser station! In my opinion (yours may differ) but sanitising your hands before you go in to a retail environment is equally if not more important than wearing a mask. How many things do you pick up in the supermarket but then put down as it’s not the one you wanted?
Surely the only way we can slow down the spread of this virus is to make everything mandatory ie. masks, sanitising, checking in to venues, social distancing. It shouldn’t be a choice.
I read frequently on social media how we all want life to go back to how it was before but for that to happen then the government have to make everyone to take responsibility for their actions. Wear your mask, sanitise your hands, respect other peoples space and download the NHS COVID-19 app. We’re all glued to our phones anyway when we walk into shops so what’s the harm in simply scanning a barcode on it?
I now feel the guilt of having two weeks off work followed by taking more time off to self isolate for a further 10 days for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (It’s not that straightforward for me to work from home). I’m doing the right thing I know that but to me the system is flawed as it isn’t mandatory. How many other people who visited those places didn’t have the app to check in or didn’t leave their details?
Should I just have stayed indoors for the whole two weeks knowing in the background there was an impending lockdown. Some uneducated people would probably say yes but why should I? I have as much right as anyone else to go out!
It’s an easy option for us to just stay at home and lock ourselves away but we have to look after our own mental health and after spending the best part of 5 months at home during shielding then I feel both myself and Louise deserve a bit of time out. Mila-Rose and Alfie deserve to go to places but we’ve made the concious decision not to take them anywhere. Their mental health has suffered as both of them have developed a form of separation anxiety and we frequently have tears before school as they don’t want to leave us.
To top it all off we now face another anxious lockdown and who knows how long it will last? The government had to act quickly. They announced it on Saturday yet the lockdown only begins on Thursday! How does that plan work Boris???
I know the ‘non-negative’ blog post didn’t last too long but this whole situation just frustrates the hell out of me. As winter approaches and the evenings draw in, I feel we will all need to look out for each other even more so than earlier this year.