At the weekend Petronela and I had a shock: we were told we should stay in our flat for 12 weeks!

We had already been observing a 2 metre distance between us for a week because, as a teacher, my wife brings home any bug circulating and had another week to go to be reasonably sure she hadn’t brought home the coronavirus. Maybe she did and we both had really mild symptoms but we have no way of knowing that.

Oddly enough the 12 weeks ‘order’ was not because of my health condition but because my wife has medication (a self-administered injection every two weeks) which evidently lowers her immunity even more than the steroids I take to boost the effectiveness of my cytotoxic ‘wonder pills’.

So lucky to have the NHS and ‘wonder pills’

I’ve commented here before, long before the present pandemic, how lucky we are to have our NHS and everyone who works within it.

My ‘wonder pills’ cost, I understand, about £2,000 a month if picked up from a pharmacy, even the hospital pharmacy, less VAT if delivered (how crazy is that?). Petronela’s recently introduced medication – something like a ball-point pen which, rested on a thigh and pushing the button, inserts a small needle to administer the medication – cannot be cheap.

Both are delivered to us by another great organisation; super reliable on both delivery and reminders when a delivery is due, it is called HealthCare Services Pharmacy, based in Featherstone, West Yorkshire. So far we have picked up our more ‘normal’ medication from our village pharmacy but now they will deliver it.

First hospital internment

Having never been in hospital before my first visit (to A&E then a recovery ward) some six years ago, I was of course apprehensive. In fact apart from the usual childhood illnesses I had hardly seen a doctor since 1957 (?), when I had so-called ‘Asian ‘flu’, which made me really ill for a couple of weeks.

Following the visit to A&E I had three visits for surgery, an experience  which made me appreciate particularly the over-worked, underpaid, nurses,  the healthcare assistants and all the backup staff and volunteers.

I’ve blogged about these experiences, and a more recent visit for surgery, in the past, likening my stays in a six bed men’s ward at Airedale Hospital to a ‘holiday camp’ despite the inevitable pain.

Returning NHS staff and volunteers

The thousands of retired NHS health care people offering to return to work was no surprise to me. Nor were the hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to help support people confined to home.

Our wonderful young neighbours

Before the call for volunteers was made our wonderful ‘upstairs’ neighbours, a young couple relatively recently moved in, had knocked on our door offering help and had already done some shopping for us. When I rang them yesterday to tell them we had been told to stay in the flat for 12 weeks and perhaps that was too much they said “no problem”!

Phil is working from home; Grace is furloughed from the dentists where she usual works and has already signed up to the ‘volunteering army’.

The good

So, we must remember the good which has come from the current tragedy.

  • A firm reminder of the good in the human race

  • A firm reminder that money and the acquisition of it is of relatively little importance once your basic needs are covered

  • How good it is to have clean air (many have never experienced it before) and so how important it is to get rid of polluting activities which destroy our planet

We must remember them

I’m afraid the lessons will not be learned:

  • Nurses and other health care professionals will continue to be underpaid and overworked

  • Money, “the root of all evil”, will rapidly assume its place governing us all

  • We will rapidly return to our polluting ways

There are others but this post is perhaps already too long, but I think for me it had to be said!