My personal blog in our Coronavirus world

Posted on: 4th April 2020

I rarely do personal stuff on here but some say I should at these unprecedented times. So, here I go…

I am home more than before all this started and, as usual, I’m caring for my 92 year old dad, who lives with dementia in an annex at our place. I also live with my husband, who will be 71 this week but keeps protesting that he is fit and well, not old so does not need special treatment as he is not vulnerable!

It is tough for my dad and I’m struggling to answer his questions. In the mornings, he has usually forgotten about the Virus but might just ask why there is so little traffic or noise. If it is Tuesday, he’ll expect to be taken to the post office and on Thursdays wants us to take him to Morrisons as usual. When I remind him about the Virus and that he cannot go out to these places as usual, he asks “how long is all this going to last?” Reasonable question but I cannot answer.

By the evening, dad has been watching the news so is on Virus overload. Sometimes he is afraid to let me in with his medication, sometimes he tells me how scared he is that I or he will catch it. He keeps saying “I cannot understand it Sue, we’ve never had any situation like this in the whole of my lifetime.” Tough to respond to that.

I’ve been your local Cornwall Councillor, since 2013 and was Town Councillor before that, since 2007. I take that responsibility very seriously. When lock down first came, I thought I might be home twiddling my thumbs, especially as Daisy Gibbs, one of our new Town Councillors has done such a brilliant job ensuring that residents have someone nearby to contact if they are stuck. But no, I feel busier than ever; I want to make sure everyone of you is safe. I’m trying to provide reliable information through my website and social media. When I wonder whether I’m wasting my time, I check how many times some of my posts on my website have been shared and the most popular one, about our local shops and food supplies has been shared 231 times, and many others are in double figures so I guess some of you are finding them useful.

I am going out, to do our shopping, my dad’s shopping and collecting medicines. I’m also opening the Library building on Mondays, 10 till 12 to allow people to donate to our local foodbank as the donation points in St Just were closed. On a Tuesday evening, it is my turn to walk through my community of Carnyorth as we are looking out for each other – 3 nights a week one of us walks through at 5 O’clock, we stop and have a chat, at a distance, with those who want it and we are ensuring that those needing shopping etc have someone to help. I’m walking our spaniel, Cara and sometimes, my husband and I manage to take a walk together!

Cara, our spaniel

I’ve also been wanting to re-organise the bit of Treliske my daughter is a nurse in! I felt she was not being properly protected so made suggestions to her of what management should be doing to make it safer for her treating patients; she cannot do that 2 meters away. I told her that it was better for her clinic to shut down for a couple of days, to put safer arrangements in place, whilst she and her 1 colleague are well rather than it being shut down longer because one or both of them fall ill. She put that forward and has at least now been provided with a supply of masks. I feel justified in my nagging as just after her text saying “Store now have 2 boxes of 50 masks for us”, the announcement came of the death of those 2 nurses, in their 30’s. My daughter is 33!

Now that there cannot be meetings of Councillors in a room, again, you might think I have much more time on my hands but no! We are having on-line virtual meetings/ mainly briefings and Q & A sessions. They seem to take much longer than ‘in the room’ meetings and, whilst I consider myself competent at using technology, I have been on a fast learning curve, having meetings over Skype, Zoom and something else I cannot even recall the name of! I’m using What’s App as well as Twitter and Facebook, as I did before.

And then there are all the things we are being encouraged to do to keep ours and others spirits up and thank those that are on the front line of so many services that we are now realising are crucial to keeping us safe (yet often not the best paid). To give my 4 year old granddaughter a project, in Bristol, I asked her to draw me a rainbow for my window and that of my dad’s. Our windows are not very visible but I can see them and any keyworkers on the bus should get a glimpse! I’ve clapped and sung for NHS workers but am very jealous of those that can do it in communities as we are very on our own here! Then there was the idea about the teddy in the window for children to go on a bear hunt. Well to my husband chanting “You have gone totally mad!” – I found a teddy, put it in a clear plastic bag and secured it to a post next to a public footpath going through our field. I do hope some children get to see it and that it might even bring a smile to some adults lips.

And finally, every now and again, I get those moment where I think this is all some horrible dream where I am staring in a disaster movie. I expect any moment to wake up and think “that was weird”. I have moments when I’m feeling scared and vulnerable – what if, by going out, by helping others, doing our shopping, I bring the virus her to my dad? I’m washing my hands but every now and then I find myself thinking, “I should have washed them again before doing that” but I cannot wind back the clock. And touching my face! Who knew it was so tough not to rub your eyes or touch your mouth?

So, I have rambled on for long enough – you’ll all be wishing those people who said they wanted my personal reflections had not asked! Stay home as much as you can, take regular exercise if you can, keep washing your hands and keep being the wonderful community that you let this Londoner join! (P.S – my husband is Cornish, honest!)