It’s funny how the significant moments happen without fanfare, rather than to the big hulloo you think they deserve. Working from home this lunchtime when Boy Two came in from school looking clammy and pale. He flopped onto the spare bed and said: “Urgh.”
He was shivery and warm, achy, coughing and tired. Oh, shit. I met his bleary eyes as the penny dropped. Normally, I’d give him short-shrift and a Lemsip, but not today.
Here’s what I’ve learned from our first day of self-isolation:
Sometimes a hangover would be preferable – Boy Two had been out at the weekend – it’s 18th birthday party season. I really wanted his current malaise to be the result of something I disapprove of. Sadly not.
What claustrophobia feels like – It feels like one of the symptoms of coronavirus. The very thought of not leaving the house for two whole weeks makes me hyperventilate. Fortunately, going out to exercise is allowed. Phew.
Routine is not a bore – Normally, back in the olden days (last week), I had some healthy routines. I got up early enough to exercise, meditate, write lists and generally get my head together. It’s only been a few days and already I feel scattered and distracted. It’s time to set an alarm and do this stuff before I get involved in the day’s drama – like eating five-a-day for your brain.
Two metres is quite long – That’s how far you’re supposed to be from people with symptoms. It’s as long as the kitchen table. So I’ve also learned the length of the kitchen table which may well cure my inability to judge distance.
There are seams of silver linings to mine – Canals in Venice are clearing, communities are coming together, sock drawers are being tidied. Change brings opportunity for both aphorisms (think light through cracks, omelettes from eggs, and so on) and for fresh new things. It is, however, really important to look for these things – otherwise, you’ve just got manky broken things.
Rules are sometimes there for a reason – I’m not normally very good at rules, considering them more guidelines and suggestions. It’s different now when lives are at stake. I’ll stay in the house because I want more people to stay safe.
Life never changes as you think it will – With that inauspicious moment with my poorly son came a few things I hadn’t anticipated. It was probably his last day at school. It may have been Boy Three’s last day at his. Today’s would also have been my brother’s 49th birthday, reminding me of another time the rug was pulled from under me while I was still hoovering it.
Routine is not a bore – Several pennies have dropped today. The most recent being the fact that structure is going to be our friend if we’re going to get through the next 14 days sane and still civil with each other. I’m a grown-up and I well know the benefits of exercise, good habits and gentle discipline yet I struggle to impose them on myself. My family are going to be thrilled by this news, I know they are.