I took my life in my hands on Tuesday and drove to our nearest large town to do some shopping. It was like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie – I found it reassuring that nothing had changed.
Only joking Swindon, you know I love you.
With just the two of us, and with both of us retired, we tend to eat fresh food, with several trips to the shops a week to buy it. That’s probably not the right shopping model now. I managed to get some stuff that we needed – but the shelves were notably depleted.
I hope someone is going to do a study of what keeps selling out fastest and what people are thinking when they panic-buy (here it includes toilet rolls, sanitiser, antiseptics, paracetamol, bread, dried pasta and pasta sauces – noticeably, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of panic-buying of fruit and vegetables). Madness. The shortages that the hoarders and panic-buyers are frightened of, wouldn’t happen but for the actions of the hoarders and panic-buyers.
With one of the key national strategies to fighting the virus being to travel less, I suppose the usual panic-buying of fuel may not happen. I am much against any panic-buying and wouldn’t stockpile fuel but I will try to keep the cars’ fuel tanks topped up for the next few months.
I must admit I’ve wondered whether it would be better to get a dose of Covid19 now, before the medical services get overwhelmed. Although old, I’m several years short of 70 and am in good health so, if I’m going to get it (and assuming I could guarantee a mild dose and subsequent immunity) I wonder if it would be better to get it over and done with? Academic only – I’m not going out looking for it.
Interestingly, I neither know anyone who has it – nor am I aware of knowing anyone who knows anyone who has it. It must be a bit like the ‘phoney war’ when very little happened in the way of hostilities for several months after the declaration of war in 1939. Somehow it makes it even spookier.
On balance, we seem to be in decent shape so far, on a parochial basis. I have two elderly chickens that I thought had been pensioned off from egg laying duties some months ago – but one at least has started laying again. I’ve not told them about the current situation as I don’t want to worry them about their prospects of ending in a pot if food gets scarce.
More seriously, it’s been great to see the village rallying round to make sure the elderly and infirm get the support they need. We have dozens of volunteers on the list and a ‘buddy’ system (with reserve buddies) assigned to particular folks likely to be in need of help. Heart warming to see community spirit in action.
Tuesday, 45 minutes on the turbo. I wasn’t sure about using the gym but it remains open so I went on Thursday after gardening on Wednesday. There were never more than two others while I was there and I wasn’t within 10 feet (about 3 metres) of anyone else. I’d promised my wife that I would not go in if there were many people in it.
Hand sanitiser was readily available and people were good at wiping the equipment down (but nobody was using the same machines as I was anyway). If they advise not using gyms, of course I’ll follow the advice.
The White Horse Challenge sportive has, of course, been called off. Not surprising as it was scheduled for late April. The ultra marathon in July is ‘under review’, according to the website. Although my annual trip out to the alps is self-organised, I’m wondering what travel restrictions will still be in place in mid July.
I’m not sure what this year’s sporting challenges will look like – but perhaps we all have a big enough, and much more important, challenge at the moment. From a personal point of view, I remain less worried about getting the virus (not famous last words, I hope) and more concerned about the elderly and the sick, the health and support services, power supplies and food supply chains.
As of Thursday there were 34 confirmed cases in Oxfordshire (22 cases 4 days ago, and 25 only yesterday) and 3 in Swindon (2 cases 4 days ago).