My Virtual Week

Posted on: 10th May 2020

My Virtual week has included too many virtual meetings, a virtual funeral for my uncle and a virtual birthday gathering for my daughter’s birthday. Would not have anticipated any of that at the start of the year.

First All Member (Cornwall Councillors) Briefing on-line, using Microsoft Teams

Since the lock down, meetings in my diary have increased albeit that I no longer have to travel to Truro for them. Meetings until this week have been informal/ networking/ information sharing meetings and focusing mainly on the current pandemic. This week  however, were the first formal meetings aimed at all Cornwall Councillors. The first was to give us guidance on how such meetings will work, so that the public can still watch, that members can have their say and we can still vote, even though putting our hands up will not work with 123 of us on-line! The 2nd was to brief us on the Council’s response and plans, during this crisis and to give Members a chance to ask questions.

I have to say, on-line meetings do feel more awkward and time consuming and I do feel a bit worn out by them. They definitely take more concentration to ensure you operate the technology right (speaking when your mike is muted is not helpful) and take in what people are saying, even if their signal is flaky or some-one’s cat/ child has arrived to join the meeting! Virtual meetings are going to be important, both at Town and Cornwall levels but, I need the frequency to settle down! Should have said, we are about to have our 2nd Town Council meeting using Zoom and the 1st worked quite well.

Those of you who read my blogs will know that my Uncle died a few weeks ago, aged 98. He had gone to hospital for non-COVID reasons but living in Newport, Wales, an apparent virus hot spot, he sadly contracted the virus there and did not pull through. In different times, I would have attended his funeral but it was not practical to travel that far especially when I thought it through; I could not have stayed with family and hotels etc are shut. Driving there and back in a day, was not something to consider.

His son (my cousin) then told me the funeral would be shown on-line and I was provided with the details to sign in. The positive of this was my dad, 92 and no longer up to travelling, could watch with us, on-line. (Should add he lives with us – I’m his carer) I don’t know what I expected but a 12 minute service before the curtains closed around his coffin, did not seem to do justice to his 98 years of life. No-one’s fault but sad. More positively, the flowers his son arranged reflected the fact he had spent most of his working life driving a London bus.

Flowers for Uncle Dick, reflecting his career as a London bus driver

Then Friday, as well as being VE day, it was my daughter’s birthday. As it was a bank holiday, we had expected to see each other, perhaps have a meal or a walk or both. Instead, we had a video call with us having drinks and cake but not together. In our respective homes, in the evening, we had take away meals and thought of each other but could not share the celebration as we would normally.

My daughter is a nurse but her normal job, running a clinic at Treliske, continues albeit that she has been working alone as her colleague has had the dreaded symptoms for several weeks. As her mother, I worry; but she takes it all in her stride, talking calmly about seeing a patient, who part way through the consultation she discovered had a temperature. She had to find another room to continue her clinic for other patients and arrange for her consulting room to be deep cleaned before the next day. So, matter of fact from my little girl.