facing coronavirus head on
interview with a 65 year old survivor
Tell us a bit about yourself...
65 year old female living with partner in the countryside, work full time in a school and have 2 cocker spaniels.
How did you and your family feel when you heard that the country would go into lockdown at the end of March?
Instantly how to restructure and re think life on a daily basis. I was worried about going to work, but it took a couple of days to realise the impact it was going to have. I wondered how and why this was happening and how as a family we were going to get through this time. What appeared quite worrying quite quickly.
How did you feel about the epidemic and the government's response to it?
It felt quite slow simply because it was a new situation and no one knew the best was to act. I do think Boris Johnson has been very good. I was grateful that my Mother, who has passed some years ago is not in a care home.
What were your initial reactions and responses?
I became an over thinker quite quickly. But soon had a plan- all my shopping where I could I did online, I became concerned where it would all end. Zoom account was set up on my computer and I became anxious over the pressure of this way of working- a very different version of my usually practical job. As long as I had daily contact with my children I was fine, we downloaded the Houseparty app and used facetime a lot. I think the seriousness was rapid and this filled me with more concern.
What was the main impact on your daily life/ routine?
Very little impact to begin with, I could still walk my dogs daily with my husband and enjoy the fresh air. I worked although on reduced hours, I enjoy being at home anyway so began to enjoy this time even more. House renovations could continue and time in the garden was a huge bonus in the lovely weather!
How did you feel at that time?
How was the first week with social distancing, have you or anyone you know contracted Corona Virus?
It was hard. I wore gloves and a mask and developed a sense of paranoia at work. I became a bit more technical online. I was grateful for the security of my job. During the Easter break I contacted a mild version, fortunately of CV. I was confined to my bedroom for 4 days, alarms were set to make sure I drank otherwise I would have just slept and slept. My husband became my carer but my family were worried and felt helpless. I was scared and anxious. Trying to ignore the symptoms but couldn’t escape it. I feel really blessed to have come through this time and grateful for my health more than ever.
What has been the response of others around you?
The community has become closer. People seem to have found time for each other, there has been more contact between friends and family. Sadly there has been minimal support at work for employees in particular from those in senior positions.
How has the lockdown affected your relationships with family and friends?
We have all become much closer. A lot more effort seems to have been made particular those that are not local. It has been nice to have time to care for those around me such as my neighbour who is 85 years old. He has enjoyed many home made scones.
How closely are you following the advice from the government?
Has you screen time increased and if so what are you spending your time online doing?
Yes! Ebay, Zoom calls, facetime with more than just my close family.
However we have enjoyed many garden projects too.
Can you describe how have your emotions changed since lockdown began and in particular what has influenced these changes?
More appreciation and value what is around me, I think my priorities have changed too- does it matter if my roots need doing? No!
Can you see any positives coming out of this period?
I really hope so. I think it has made people appreciate a lot more things in life. And realise it’s the little things that mean more. Money and power doesn’t give you any real priority in life and people who you wouldn’t think about normally have become invaluable to us in this time. Nature is coming back and people have been forced to slow down and stop. I hope people will take all this on board and appreciate things.
Do you think that after CV you will make any changes in your life going forward?
Yes- peoples attitudes towards each other- if only we could bottle it and release a bit every so often to remember.