Sunday 22nd March 2020:
It's Mother's Day. Perhaps against my own advice to keep far away from my parents for fear of unknowingly transporting any semblance of the covid virus to them, I have a feeling that if I don't take this opportunity to see them now, even breifly, and from a safe distance, if it really comes to our country locking down then it will be who knows when that I can see them. They live over 100 miles away, so for us it has never been a case of popping by for a quick hello ro a quick meal, it takes a bit of thought to make the nearly 4 hour round trip. That has never stopped me making spur-of-the-moment trips to my family home, even if only for a few hours, as to me, and it wasn't stopping me today, but it was the responsibility of ensuring that I don't inflict unseen harm in fulfilling what was my need more theirs at this concerning time. They were happy to stick with Facetime, but for me, seeing my family is hugely important for me, and the only way I can really assess how ok they are! And if anything I had a strong instinct to take them the hydroxychloroquine. We pass by my Aunty to drop off some things including the emergency supply of the drug too. My small way of saying I can try, with whatever I have and know, to protect them all. I also want to do the same trip to Stoke-on-Trent next week to my in-laws.
We get to Bournemouth and Mum appears from the back door, and I deposit bags of things for each other on the driveway and don’t go within 2 metres of each other, while Dad stands chatting to us at the front door. It's rather comedic. We decide to walk down the side of the house to sit in the garden together, and mum brings lunch out . We all sit scattered around the garden which I’m grateful my parents have, for their sanity during this recommended isolation time, as much as enabling today. My parents have self isolated and socially distanced from each other for years, so I’m not worried that this period will do any added harm! I don’t step foot inside my parents house, and only wee once I get back home, impressive for an 8 hour round trip lunch included. It was a dry and sunny although cool day, and we chat and catch up, and laugh whilst we tyr to manoeuvre around each other and take it in turns to get our lunch from the table outside! It's like we are in some comedy sketch and not of this time.
Around 4 hours later, we wave off through the window and front door. I’m so pleased we did this, it made the world of difference to us all. But I come home worrying I’ve left some virus from me from work in Bournemouth, and I start to fret. Rich reminds me that we kept more than a distance all day, and reminds me that I didn't pee all day becuase of it, and my paranoia did make us all laugh today. We watch the news and are appalled to see how brits everywhere crowded beaches and parks today with very little thought for social distancing. Because it was a sunny day. And it happened to be Mother’s Day. Yet still not seeming to understand the impact on the spreading of the virus from their actions, and when delaying the spread is all that we are being asked to do. Yes I feel that I went out of my way to travel to see my family, but not once was I not considering the distancing. I watch this and simply see a population going into a warzone with invisible bullets flying all around them but without any battle armour or weaponry, and I feel horribly sure that so many are going to succumb without a reasonable doubt. If only they could all see this invisible enemy. This is a national disaster. Surely the government has no choice but to lock down the nation now. Beacuse without rules, it doesn't seem to be phasing a large number of people here despite seeing the horrors elsewhere in the world. I go to bed fearful of what is to come.
By Dr Sam Anthony
Survivor of a career in medicine, a career break from medicine, cancer, and blogging..join me in my quest to make us happier healthier individuals and doctors