Sunday, 16 March 2020. Sat on the couch in the Holiday Inn in Camden, I kept an eye on the news regarding the corona virus. Our prime minister announced an ‘intellectual lock-down’. In short that meant the immediate closing of schools, restaurants, clubs (all kinds), for people to not go to work unless absolutely necessary and for everyone to keep 1.5 meter distance from each other when they had to go out.
Monday, 17 March 2020. We were to travel back to The Netherlands. We already knew that our flight of 16.30 was canceled and we would only leave at 19.30, on a different flight. Upon arrival at the airport, we learned that all flights to Rotterdam were canceled and the only available flight was to Amsterdam and leaving within an hour. We had to rush, but we made it, and before we boarded the plan I called my oldest, who waited in Amsterdam to drive us to Rotterdam, where my car was parked.
The next day I heard from my work that I was on the roster — set up for these special circumstances — to go to the office on Thursday and Friday. But, there was a snag. I came home with a cold, and was not allowed to go to the office until I was free of symptoms for at least 24 hours. Normally, with a cold, I would go to the office. Now I just worked from home.
The next week I was still sick, and still worked from home. The week after that, on 1 April, I finally called my GP. He called back within 15 minutes, and prescribed antibiotics. From all the questions I had to answer, he said he didn’t think it was corona, but if it was, the antibiotics wouldn’t help. Honestly, I didn’t think it was corona either. On the fifth day of the antibiotics, I turned a corner, and well into the next week, I finally felt like I was me again.
(Just a note: when possible, I do want to be tested for antibodies.)
Working from home
Little changed for Master T when the intellectual lock-down was announced. Due to his health problems, he had been working from home since December 2016. During the time I was ill, things went up and down in the office. Due to our competition in the UK closing their offices, a lot more work was diverted to our company. The ladies who receive new orders were running behind, so I offered to take over some of their admin work. It helped, but they still ran behind, and the manager decided they had to go to the office every day. Gradually they caught up with the huge amount of work.
Where I normally work only 4 days in the week, I now found myself working 5 full days, and in the second full week working from home, I even worked two days of 10 hours, where a normal working day is only 8. In wanting to help the ladies at work, I was pushing myself way too hard. I realized I had to have proper working hours. Log in on time — which I did from day one — and also log out on time. Once I realized and did this, things became more structured.
One very good thing that came from this working from home, is that I now only need a computer to be able to do my work. No more paper for me.
This is the hard part of the lock-down. When the intellectual lock-down was announced, it was also said that you are not allowed to have more than three visitors in your house, and you have to maintain a distance of 1.5m from each other. We decided not to visit each other, to keep everyone safe. There is just no way I can go to my daughter and not hug my grandsons. I also don’t want to be the one who brings the virus back home, and infect Master T, who has been on immune suppressants for months. He’s not on them anymore, but I am not taking any risks.
Normally I go to my son every four weeks to get his heavy groceries, but how should I drive him there and keep 1.5m distance from him. He’s not a sickly person, but when he gets a cold, it always affect his lungs. I don’t want to have it on my conscience that I might have infected him.
The only one who still goes out, is our youngest daughter. Every Friday she goes to her boyfriend, stays there for the weekend and returns here on Monday. She is taking every precaution not to accidentally bring the virus here.
I miss my kids. I miss my grandkids. I speak to them more frequently than ever, but I miss their physical presence. Oh, I have seen my daughter and her family last week, because it was our youngest grandson’s birthday, but I stayed on the street, 1.5m away from their fence, while I watched when the little one unpacked his gifts. I cried in the car, all the way home.
With the lock-down, I have come to realize the luxuries Master T and I have, such as going for lunch every weekend, whether only the two of us or with some of our friends. Or, for me to go to the beautician, either for my nails, my eyebrows or a Brazilian. Or, just popping out for a drink, just the two of us. These are things we can’t do now, obviously, and where it will be good to go out for lunch with Master T again, we have also found new ways to do special things together.
There seems to be a slight improvement in his leg — an improvement which has now lasted for three weeks already (yay!) — so, keeping social distancing in mind, every Saturday we go to the shopping center, and walk to the bakery, the butcher, and the fishmonger. We buy us something special for Saturday lunch and for Sunday dinner, and enjoy it as much as we would’ve enjoyed sitting somewhere on a terrace in the sun.
Make the best of it
People are dying. Not just in this country, but all over the world. I keep an eye on the numbers but not as obsessively anymore as I did before. I also read articles of people working on the frontlines, of people who died. My heart goes out to those who have lost family members, sometimes more than one. Reading about it brings tears to my eyes, and I limit myself from those too.
We have to make the best of this. Each of us need to do our own small part to fight this virus, to adhere to the rules of social distancing and moaning about being locked down will not help. We have to make the best of it. Doing what is expected of us is the only way we will slow this thing down, and give scientists enough time to find a vaccine. This thing is bigger than all of us, but we will get through it.
© Rebel’s Notes