Quarantine life

Week seven was a bit grim, here’s to week eight

It’s our 8th week of lock down, and as I’ve watched the protests against containment measures, I wonder if people are reading and watching what I am? 

Here’s one little beauty: How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes.
All I know is, I definitely don’t want to get it and I don’t want anyone else getting it either!! It sounds like a brutal bastard and not just for the elderly!
There’s no question, I’ve been lost in the story of this time for months now, and the only thing that’s clear is this: there is still so much we don’t know about this virus, and we don’t even know why some countries are massively impacted and others aren’t? 

Read this article: The Covid-19 Riddle: Why Does the Virus Wallop Some Places and Spare Others? for an insight into this.  
Another factoid I’ve been learning about is the R0 (R nought), which is apparently very high. The higher the number, the higher the infection rate of the virus. Even that has evolved.
What Is The Coronavirus’s R₀ and Why Does It Matter? – was published a month ago, and R0 was placed in the mid twos.
Then 10 days ago, This article: What Is R0? Gauging Contagious Infections put it at 5.7! That’s high. Here’s the original researchthe article was based on.
To give you an indication, the R0 value of the 1918 pandemic was estimated between 1.4 and 2.8, and that killed 50 million people.
Of course infectiousness and lethality are two very different things, but I was surprised to see an R0 of 5.7 – a big shift from earlier reporting.
Why it matters?“The 5.7 means that one person with COVID-19 can potentially transmit the coronavirus to 5 to 6 people, rather than the 2 to 3 researchers originally thought.”
On a side note, many believe being infected to showing symptoms is a clear cut 14 days. No, it’s 2-14 days, so I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of that!
When it comes to COVID-19, there is no question we have many gaps in knowledge, but I know the scientists and researchers are working at light speed to get us these answers. Clarity will be such a balm on our bruised world, because when we know, we can emerge back into the world a little. I look forward to that day.

A little bonus of the time, Steve looks like he’s got Shrek ears when he wears a mask 🙂

Truth and timeline

The war on truth is DEFINITELY a big issue making this whole situation more challenging. From media disinformation to governments sharing fantasies – it’s a frustrating time.
Another issue is people sharing research that clearly states it has not been peer reviewed. If you’re going to share research, make sure it has been peer reviewed. This ensures its validity and meets the highest standards of the authors discipline.
Equally, search for the research on Google before you post it as a back-up. If it hasn’t been peer reviewed, there’s a very strong chance you’ll find other opinions on the research – especially if it has been discredited. We must work hard not to share disinformation. Do all you can not to contribute to the Infodemic with incorrect articles and reports.
I really empathized with this perspective: I will not die of stupid. Yep, I’m with him. I am happy to wait for the experts to get their findings together too!!!
Regardless, from the widely differing perspectives, this isn’t a short term challenge we face. It will have an impact around the world for the next few years, which means, we will have to get creative to move forward as a species.
We also know that a vaccine is potentially a long way off, if measured in how we normally create vaccines. Can it be sped up? This article discusses it in depth: How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take?.
So there seems to be no other choice than to accept that we will live differently for a very long time. Three to five years is commonly referenced.

But getting back to seven weeks in quarantine

The first two weeks were weird, as I wrote about in this blog: How are you feeling?.
And today we’re in week eight of quarantine, but last week was grim. My head has not come back together since this whole crisis started, and it feels like it’s in pieces all the time – which makes it hard to stay on top of things – especially as the boys require so much overview too, aka nagging.

Home schooling…

I am lucky because Steve is pulling most of the weight here. He knows I struggle to work in this piecemeal environment, but I need to ensure he keeps working too, especially as his work is what will get us through this time financially. It’s a real battle.
Regardless, for any parent, home schooling is hard, and there’s no obvious solution, because all of our kids are different. The age of the children also matters, and the motivation of them too. They’re easily bored, distracted, sad to be missing their friends, and more.
I know so many parents who are having a really tough time getting their kids to do any school work at all. It’s brutal.
I feel lucky though, because the boys are being awesome most of the time. We’ve had some emotional outbursts for sure, and the boredom of learning online is definitely a thing, but generally, they’re doing great. They’re also extra cuddly, which has been such a nice bonus for Steve and I.
We are so thankful for a pool during lock down! Everyone gets to burn off energy and emotions here, even the dog
All parents are struggling one way or another. It’s not easy, and sometimes things will get on top of you – as I felt in week seven.

Waking up low

And it caught me by surprise. It started at the supermarket last Sunday. It was steaming hot in the store anyway, and then I felt I was having some sort of anxiety attack, because I couldn’t breathe properly through the mask. It was horrible!!!
And all I could ask myself was: is this what life is going to be like for the next few years? In masks, separated from people, looking at others as potential risks? And when will I be able to hug people again?
From that moment, I woke up every day and I was instantly miserable. I would lie in bed and say: come on Andrea, get those thoughts turned around, so you can face the day with a smile.
And I’d lie there, attempting to get my mind sorted out, but I couldn’t do it. So I’d eventually get up and come down stairs, communicating with Steve – sometimes just eye to eye communication so the boys didn’t know – I’m not in a good place today darls. Sorry.
Checking in with each other every morning has been a CRITICAL part of getting through this time without unnecessary friction between Steve and I. When we first started out in quarantine, we didn’t understand how important it was, but once we connected those dots, it was a game changer.
If you’re with people in quarantine, definitely share how you’re feeling when you wake and face the day. If you can honestly communicate how you’re feeling, you can work together to be sensitive to each other – if you’re with a sensitive partner, of course.
As last week progressed, the misery continued, and then this week, I’m OK. A bit flat, but not miserable, and it feels like such a relief.
The reason? I stopped resisting how I was feeling. After the second morning, I went alright then, this is what it is. Let Steve know, let it flow over you, and see how quickly you can come out the other side.
Am I out the other side yet? I have no idea, but I feel better today than I did yesterday, or this previous week, and in the world of quarantine, that’s a win.

A bonus, Jax is getting into his cooking!

Feeling our feelings

I’m not looking for links or tips on how to get my mind right, I’m just sharing my experience on the journey so far.
Some people aren’t struggling at all, others are struggling every single day. I’ve found the struggle evolves and changes. The longer you’re in quarantine, the harder the days can be too.
We all cope in different ways, so let’s be there for each other, regardless of how we’re feeling, and if you’re in isolation as a family, make sure you’re communicating with your spouse about your feelings, so you can be better prepared to all cope together.

Don’t push negative emotions away

One of the learnings I’ve been constantly sharing is the emotional roller coaster ride of quarantine. The problem is, we’re not good at accepting or embracing negative emotions, which has had some media attention in the last decade or so.
Here’s a recent article on it: Are You Guilty Of Spreading ‘Toxic Positivity’? and there’s plenty more where this came from. However, this message about being positive, upbeat, etc… could make it harder for people to deal with this time right now!
So my suggestion: you can’t avoid negative feelings at the moment. No one can. Even if it hasn’t struck yet, it will.

A mini sign of hope and luck. Jax keeps finding four leaf clovers

This is a BIG world-changing moment for humanity, and if we get it right, it’s going to be an amazing change for all life on the planet out the other end. That is where my hope in this moment lies. The opportunity to create anew.

But sometimes, the enormity of the change sinks in, and that is where my down days lie. In that big truth. I need to process it, understand it, and then I can come back to my optimism and hope again. Sometimes it’s a matter of hours, sometimes a week or more, and in these days, acceptance of feeling my emotions is what gets me through.  
When it comes to negative emotions, all I’ve learnt is that we must sink into them, let them flow over us. Feel them. Mourn. Do what we need to do to fully experience them, and hopefully, they will leave us faster. What we resists persists, right? I believe it to be so.
It’s not an easy time for anyone. Everyone is impacted in different ways around the world, but we are all impacted. There are terrible truths to face. We are not just facing a pandemic, but famines are coming too. The virus has hit war torn Yemen, and the refugee camps could be decimated. It’s a really really tough time – whether you’re paying attention to the news or not.
So all I can say is spread love, spread kindness, judge less, hate less. And please, don’t worry about the stupid shit people are sharing on social media. We’re not all the same. We laugh at different things. And yes I’ve noticed, but move on.
It’s a time for empathy and compassion for all – even the stupid bastards out there protesting. They’re just frightened.
With love and without the bollocks
Thank you for reading my ramblings. My brain and heart are a work in progress, always. I’d love a comment if it stirred any thoughts or feelings and of course, please feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do. If you want to connect, I’m on Twitter here, Instagram here, YouTube here, and Facebook too. I share loads of stuff, not just my own xxxxx

2 Responses

  1. Really appreciating your posts… the heart in them and the real life feeling of what’s going on. You help it be ok to feel out of sorts and to move through it. Big hugs and oh so thankful for your clear push for sharing real facts not fake facts.

  2. Interesting observation about 'toxic positivity' Andrea. There's nothing worse than being told to 'cheer up' or 'there's so many others worse off than you'. I've had doctors say this to me and all it's done is make me feel guilty for complaining! As you rightly suggest, accepting all emotions, in yourself and others, is the only way to go. I take great comfort in Pam Grout's words – 'No matter what you think, no matter what you feel, it's okay.' Amen to that. Thanks for sharing – always good to hear your voice. xx

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