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Living with Coronavirus and Life in Quarantine – Part 1

I have the Coronavirus.

…at least, I think I do.

I’ve had some of the symptoms, but not all. And for the last few days I’ve struggled to breathe.

Without being tested I can’t be sure. And that’s what makes this situation really frustrating in the UK.

I’m self-isolating. But the cold-like symptoms might be a cold. The breathing problems might be stress.

If the UK is not testing for the disease on a mass scale I’m stuck sitting at home for at least a week… possibly with a very mild cold which is nearly better already. And a lot of stress about all my work drying up, no money coming in and rent that’ll need paying. But of course I’d rather take this option than risk infecting others.

Paul seems to have more obvious symptoms which have been building slowly and taken much more of a toll, leading me to believe I probably do have a milder version of it. So now I’m stuck at home for at least 14 days. Great. And I’m watching countless 70-somethings going for lovely walks with friends and family past my living room window. Wtf?!

I work in travel and no-one wants to travel, book holidays or pay for anything that might get cancelled right now. Which is completely understandable. As a knock-on effect many of our business partners have suspended all working commitments. Quite aside from no income, we don’t really even have a business at the moment. And the house we’ve been saving up for over the last couple of years and were on the brink of buying has automatically become a distant dream again. Without any sign of government help for renters, we’re facing the proposition of having to delve into our house deposit just to survive.

And so here I am: Quarantine Day 3. It’s a strange feeling having nothing at all to do. Ironically, when work’s been at its busiest I’ve longed for days like this! I normally work from home anyway but the weird thing is having to as opposed to choosing to, and particularly when there’s no work left to do.

Advice from friends and family has been to chill and catch up on all the things I’ve wanted to do for ages. But it’s hard to fully relax when you’re not even sure how you’re going to cope financially.

I wait with bated breath for the daily government updates hoping something might be done to ease the financial burden and I don’t have to write a begging letter to my landlord. Having not even been close to financial struggles a month or two ago this situation feels so surreal. I know I should consider myself lucky and be thankful that I have my health. There are plenty of people in a worse position and my heart goes out to anyone seriously struggling and those losing loved ones – and also those who have to continue at the front line. But it doesn’t make personal worries much easier right now.

Today I’ve sat in the sunshine with a cup of tea, read some of my book, watched daytime tv, planted some seeds, and even scraped moss from the terrace brickwork. Yes, things got that bad!

It was then that I realised it doesn’t have to be like this. Sure, taking time to relax is not a bad thing, but nobody should be so desperate they resort to watching Loose Women this soon!

Proactivity with a bit of extra relaxation is key to staying sane: but who could’ve ever predicted that for a travel writer this might one day mean writing about not going away at all and the pleasures of staying at home?!

Staying in is the new going out, so it seems. And there are millions of us doing it at once. Strange times.

So welcome to my (hopefully temporary) no-travel blog.

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