Living the Dream – 83. Lockdown

Cyprus has laid out a blueprint for exiting lockdown.

Is it right? Is it wrong? I don’t know.

However, I’m most interested in whether it’s relevant. At various dates, we will be allowed to start doing things that we haven’t done for months. Will we though?

For example, on May 21st, we will be allowed to get our hair cut, and to eat at a restaurant (only at its outdoor tables). Mrs L has unilaterally declared that she’ll be doing neither. I haven’t asked, but I’m guessing this means that I won’t be getting a haircut either.

Fear

People are scared. The virus persists and governments are quick to claim that the measures they implemented have contained the pandemic and saved many lives. They may be right, I don’t know. The numbers and statistics are an overwhelming avalanche of public relations. It will be many, many months until there is some perspective on the numbers and the efficacy of the various measures. How did country A achieve “x” while country B got “y”?

Change

If the virus persists, and lockdown and social distancing are the measures that contain the virus, then Mrs L has a point. Why go out?

I’m fascinated to see how our habits have changed. Will we all demand our hairdressers wear gowns, gloves and masks? Will restaurants with small isolated tables fare better than those that offer benches at communal tables? Is the Maitre D’s first duty to take your temperature as you approach the bar?

Concerts

Last year, we enjoyed UB40, Il Divo and Eros Ramazotti gigs in Limassol. What about this summer?

Conferences

I attend trade shows in the stationery world, and conferences in financial services. Not this year, I guess.

Tourism

The Cyprus economy relies heavily on tourism and hospitality. The lockdown is severely damaging the economy. Both short term and long term, the challenge is going to be persuading people to be social again. I have read that experts in the airline industry expect flights to be very cheap this summer, as carriers like Ryanair and Whizz attempt to kickstart travel and take market-share. Perhaps, they’re right, but what about two years from now? I think that airline industry will bear no resemblance to the one of 2019.

In the meantime, can I get my hair back to 1990 length?

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Members 66. Ninety Days

Our private drama apart, Covid 19 and the measures to contain and repress it are wreaking havoc on society. In the UK, off-licences (alcohol shops) have been added to the list of retailers permitted to stay open through the lockdown. Initially, I smiled. Then, I received an email from the team at One Year No Beer, and excerpt of which I quote below;

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Living the Dream – 81. A month in bed

Our personal lockdown has now been a full month.

On March 3rd, Mags went to bed, still in agony with a bad back. On the 4th, she couldn’t get up.

Since then she’s been to a couple of hospitals, had three rides in an ambulance and almost had an operation several times. The surgeons were resolved to operate on Friday the 13th until a possible throat infection intervened. With Covid 19 sweeping across the world, they discharged her on the 14th, no better than when she had gone in, a week before.

There was vague talk of an operation in a week, but we knew that was unlikely.

Discharged

Put starkly, Mags was safer bedridden at home with only me to care for her than she was in a private hospital with an excellent rota of medical professionals.

It seems odd in retrospect, but before we got Mags admitted, she was in bed, while our bathrooms were being refurbished. I made coffees for the patient and the builder. Once admitted, I spent the day at the hospital before coming home to sleep. Then, visitors were prohibited for Covid concerns and I had a day or two to bring some order to the house.

Progress

We were able to be more organised for Mag’s return, and set up our ward in the spare room. Here I monitor blood pressure, blood sugar and try to make her as comfortable as possible. On the 18th, her fifth day back home, she sat. Then, on the 19th, she walked a pace or two. On the 20th, she managed a lap of the house with a walker. The 26th, she took a shower!

Mags has to balance pain with movement. She wants to move more and more, but the pain roars back with rapidity and ferocity. She still cannot sit or stand for extended periods – but we’ll get there. Mags has spent a full month in bed.

Perspective

This private drama of a month in bed has overridden the worldwide one, for us. Were Covid not tearing across the planet, I’d still be effectively locked down. I guess I might shop more frequently, but Mags needs a hand around the clock, so not much would be different.

Mags believes that everything happens for a reason. Was that possible throat infection a sign? I don’t know.

From my side, I’m thankful that I stopped drinking this year. Old me would be draining a bottle of wine a night on top of a couple of cold beers in the afternoon, all the while claiming that the drink was getting me through the crisis. By now, I’d be on my knees, beaten down by a persistent hangover.

I might have an alcolohol free beer to celebrate.

Cheers!

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Members 65. Newsletter

“Lockdown. Reach out to your extrovert friends, they have no idea how to deal with this.”

My writing is supported by people like you. The remainder of this post is reserved for Members. Membership costs £12 per year. For this princely sum, you will get access to subscriber only posts, direct access to a members chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a member.