Day One

Writing a blog is so last century. But then so is the fear of succumbing to a pandemic. Am I right guys?! I’m not sure anyone reads blogs anymore or if anyone is even remotely interested in what I have to say, but It’ll be a nice way to keep me occupied for part of the day during my isolation. With that in mind, it’s likely to be more constructive than screaming into the void.

 

I used to do a lot of blogging, back in the days when it was cool. I did a huge trip around the world with my (now ex) wife and we set up a blog. Initially it was way of keeping in touch with friends and family, but it turned into a nice way of making some money on the side. I did most of the writing and she-who-can-not-be-named did most of the photos. We got quite a few nice trips out of it and did the odd “hashtag spon” posts, working with tourist boards, hotels and tours. Until Volderwife decided she wanted a “hashtag affair” and we decided to end the blog and the marriage. The only slightly comical part of the whole sorry tale is that our blog was named “Wandering Wives.” So at least one of us lived up to the name.

Times have moved on and most bloggers have graduated to podcasts or you tube channels, which allows people to consume content in more varied ways. However, I don’t know much about audio or video recording, in fact the last time I tried to take a photo using the timer on my phone, I ended up with a time lapse video of me posing and pouting like a Kardashian. So blogging it is! I’m alright at writing stuff; I’ve been published in The Guardian (they paid me in falafel). So I thought I’d record my thoughts as we work our way through the current global health crisis.

At the moment in the UK there is a lot of confusion. Not everyone is taking Covid-19 as seriously as they should be. Not everyone fully understands how best to look after themselves or others. It is my understanding that the elderly or those with specific underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus. This doesn’t mean they are more likely to catch it, but that if they are infected, they are more likely to develop serious complications. This includes people with compromised immune systems, heart, lung and respiratory conditions, diabetics and basically anyone who is normally entitled to a free flu jab. I’m asthmatic, I have been since I was a child. It’s been well controlled in my adult life (so long as I don’t smoke crack), but if I catch a cold it goes straight to my chest. I often get bad chest infections and suffer with allergies. Because of this, I know I am a vulnerable person when it comes to Covid-19. As I am able to self-isolate that is what I plan to do for the foreseeable future. I am all too aware of people with health conditions worse than mine who are unable to isolate and have no choice but to be exposed to the virus. I’m fortunate, as a comedian all of my live shows have been cancelled as far as May. I expect more to be cancelled beyond that period. Yes, I am losing money, but I am staying safe and keep other people safe. That is the bigger picture here. I also still have a 16 hour retail day job. My dream of being a full time comedian has felt close enough to grasp a few times in the last 12 months. At Christmas I was on the verge of taking the plunge, fortunately rather than leaving my day job I reduced my hours and decided to hang on a bit longer. There are a lot of retail workers who are on the front line in the crisis. Supermarket staff, once described as unskilled, are being recognised as engine that is keeping the country going right now. Luckily for me, I don’t work in a supermarket. I work for a global company that sells fancy coffee and coffee machines. That company has taken the decision to close all stores but continue to pay us in full. This means I have the opportunity to isolate that a lot of my fellow retail workers do not. For this, I can only be thankful.

I spent yesterday quite worried about everything. I had the news on and was reading things online, I had to pick up prescriptions and get shopping and it all felt overwhelming. To be perfectly honest I nearly had a panic attack in Sainsbury’s when a man coughed openly on a croissant I’d been eyeing up. I realised when I went to bed last night that if I spent the whole time in a state of anxiety I would not make it through. So today I chose to do things differently. I checked social media in the morning, as usual but I didn’t put the TV on. I got on with some household chores like laundry and washing up then I went out to walk the dog. Crucially I left my phone at home. This meant I could spend that time in the fresh air, enjoying the moment. After lunch I decided to start writing this blog. I’m going to put the news on in a little while and I feel much happier about how the day has been. I think the only way to get through this is to slow things right down. Enjoy the small tasks and take care of one and other, even if it is from afar.