On 09/03/2020 I had lunch in a pub with friends. It turns out that was my last trip out, well it's still the same now. So what on earth have I been up to in the meantime. 

I've been following the science of course! It's twists and turns have been so interesting, watching how evidence has developed leading to guidance. I can't ignore the politics altogether, just not my way. Whatever any politician does right now, or says, or guidance provided will be wrong with someone somewhere. Thank goodness I am not a politician. This is going to haunt them forever. 

For all the confusion, complexity, constant changes, and angst it has been very apparent to me that there is a huge lack of common sense in the population. Do I really need to be told to wash my hands? No! Do I need to be told to 'Stay Safe' or Stay Alert', No! Surely we can all take a bit of responsibility for ourselves without the nanny state getting involved.  

The science though has been so interesting. Do we need more vitamin D, or masks to keep the bugs in, or statins to help us oldies, are there neurological things going on, blood vessel damage, respiratory disease. Totally fascinating. The extra interest in all of this is due to one of my daughters, who lives in London, becoming very ill with COVID. Her condition changed in seconds from feeling a bit like she had flu to heart rhythm changes, breathlessness, freezing extremities and more. It has been a very worrying time. That happened mid-March and she still has symptoms now and then. A healthy 45 year old so very poorly was a message that the virus was deadly. 

However, I have strayed from my personal pandemic pathway, how I have coped, how I feel and my next plans.

 To start with I feel incredibly lucky to have a garden which I have worked in and walked in. I was really concerned that less exercise would decrease my muscle tone. At over 70 with a transplanted kidney that has been misbehaving and rather on the edge of its time I consider fitness so important. 

When lockdown officially began I decided I needed a plan. I live alone, am widowed and knew I would spend a lot of time alone. So on my kitchen wall now I have three sheets of A4 plans. One for daily asks, one a weekly plan and the last one for my pandemic goals. This encourages me to keep up with all the jobs as well as develop other skills. It's so important not to be lazy and stay in bed all day, then not sleep at night. To shower daily even though you see no-one, to eat decent food and to exercise a bit. Keep moving. It would be so easy to bore yourself. 

The kitchen was being modified as the pandemic struck. Therefore, I have sockets hanging off the walls, tiling unfinished, no plinths, no knobs or handles on cupboards but the rest functioning ok. Has it bothered me? No. Why worry about something you can't change. It's a mess but will get better in due course. 

Prior to lockdown in early February it seemed inevitable the virus was about to hit the UK. At that point I developed the 'Pandemic Pantry'. The freezer was stocked up, the baking stuff in cupboards and loads of cleaning kit. Friends thought I had lost the plot. I was very happy with my loot. Then I booked an online Sainsbury’s shop which arrived, as did the next one. After that no more came. After three shots at registering on the government website and three weeks with nothing, it all started to happen. The GP rang, a box of free food arrived, an online delivery slot was available, letters of guidance arrived and texts, and a volunteer brought my script. Wow! 

The care I have received has been amazing. I didn't expect any of it. The food parcel I gave away to the food bank, still do each week as cancelling the food box seems impossible. A friend or two have driven past and waved to me. Old ladies out there shouting 'miss you' 'love you' and blowing kisses. A lovely neighbour and I chat across the road to each other regularly. One of my daughters drives onto the drive sometimes with the kids and chats to me whilst I am in my car. It's very funny when it rains as we shut the windows and chat on phones. Yes, we did have a drop of rain once.  

I've had a break into my garden shed, and the neighbour did. I contacted the police who were kind and sent a couple of community police with some 'Smart Water' for me. I'd never heard of it before and almost asked if it was some they'd passed earlier! 

Family time has been lots of chats, I play Yahtzee with the kids, teach them how to bake bread, provide them with quizzes and basically I do whatever my daughters ask me to do to break up their school at home days. Really suspect they do it to keep me occupied. Either way it's fun. 

My hair has been cut by me twice. Sewing scrub bags for the NHS and masks for friends and family has been my war effort. A few new pieces have been learnt on the piano, lots of reading done. My latest I couldn't resist. 'The Plague' by Albert Camus. I know it's a bit of a strange read that appealed to my wild side. It's pretty creepy. There are rainbow pictures done by grandchildren and nailed by me to a tree. Thursday night has been clap out the bedroom window night and I will miss it. The community spirit has been so good. 

I've eaten more, exercised less, dreamt weirder dreams, and remained focussed and sane. 

I'm full of gratitude for all the care and kindness shown to me and for the love of the family who keep an eye on me as well as give me jobs to do. A friend keeps me stocked with flour and yeast, loads of it. I bake and leave the goodies at the bottom of the drive for someone to pick up. Everyone is a winner. 

For me a good dose of common sense is very helpful in all of this. Today, we the shielded ones, are allowed out a bit. Will I be going out? Not today. I will watch and wait for a couple of weeks. That's apart from a drive out and about as the car needs a jolly. 

Sending loads of happy healthy wishes to you all.