Lockdown week 13: Post Lockdown for some but not for OH and me

Queueing on first day on non-essential shops opening
Queueing on first day on non-essential shops opening

End of lockdown week 13 and the world has changed. We now have a new norm and our old ways BC (before Coronavirus) are distant memories. People are tentatively creeping out, seeing more friends, going into shops for non-essentials. We are excitedly booking hair appointments for post 4th July and starting to feel like we may have survived. Perhap the virus is, finally, on the way out. Masks, queueing, vitamin supplements, exercise classes on Zoom and head bowing have all been embraced.

Snakes and Ladders board

Meanwhile OH and I are back where we began on 23rd March. It has been like playing snakes and ladders. We nearly made it to the end of the game but we threw a 2 and slipped down that ladder to the beginning again. Under instruction from the hospital we have begun two weeks of complete isolation in preparation for OH’s back operation. It is a similar situation to being in shielded lockdown. The more vulnerable have had to practice this whilst the rest of us were in regular lockdown. I guess it will also continue post-op as he will be quite vulnerable to infection.

Lockdown has been a weird time as everyone over 70 was suddenly labelled ‘vulnerable’. Early on in this pandemic you would hear commentators reassuring us not to worry. They claimed this mysterious respiratory disease seemed to be fatal ‘only’ to older people. This understandably provoked anger. Many of us have proved those people wrong.

Trapped in a bubble

As my friends start to take steps outside of their 12 week bubble, OH and I are retracting, like snails into our house. You have to consider how remarkable it is that aged 74, in 2020, a back operation is considered a simple procedure. He should be back upright, exercising and putting the dustbins out within days. I cannot wait.

Lockdown has not been plain sailing so will OH and I be better at it second time around? We are people lovers and enjoying nothing more than having friends round for supper in the garden so as we hear of others starting to ‘party’ albeit still in a limited group of 6 people will we start to return to that pre-lockdown 21st century affliction – FOMO (fear of missing out.)

No we are determined not to.

Location services on an iPhone

We don’t have a choice as we have children who are tracking and tracing us. Seems to be working better than Matt Hancock’s promised app. I got a call from one of them as she had spotted I had left our ‘compound’. She said I was in our town centre. I panicked and explained I was picking up a prescription for her father. However she said I was clearly on the right side of the road and there are no pharmacists that side.

Who knew that Apple’s find your friends or as I call it ‘Stalk your Family’ app is quite so accurate. I had actually snuck into the book shop for a browse. However with daughter chastising me down the phone and the sales assistant looking at me sternly I beat a hasty retreat. There was a queue outside the shop of serious buyers so no browsers allowed and I had to give one of the two allowed customer spaces to a committed buyer.

I am thinking it would be better if my children just stuck a dog collar on me and fenced the boundary so that their phone bleeped when I got near to the edge and then I would not be tempted into town.

We have been told that husband needs a physio for rehab post-op and so I appointed myself the overseer of this appointment since I could see we had differing ideas on who should get the job. After browsing on the internet for mobile physios I wondered where all the female ones with formidable looks and a heart of stone had gone. All I can find are gorgeous, young, gentle-souled ladies. Husband has requested a female physio. A young man with a six-pack, and flexing pecs, when you are trying to learn to walk again, is not for him. However I was keen. With any luck we will still be on 2m social distancing when she comes round. So ‘Gorgeous Greta’ will have to supervise his exercises from afar.

I am not looking forward to the next two weeks but apparently absence makes the heart grow fonder. Hopefully when OH and I finally rejoin the human race everyone will be happy to see us and we won’t have broken too many rules during our newly enforced isolation.

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  1. In exactly the same position as you Annabel, my husband due to have a pacemaker fitted at the end of this week so isolation imposed! I keep thinking of essential things we haven’t got and the thought of not going out is driving me nuts. Also have adult children with the stalk my parents app, failing that the grandson has joined in as well with the same app “why are you not at home”?! Hope all goes well for you and yours

    • So it is not only us with stalkers for children! Hope your husband’s op goes well. I think it is a good time to have an op as everyone is being so careful with hygiene etc. I agree it is hard to remain isolated so can’t wait for the freedom post-op. Best wishes, Annabel.

  2. Oh dear Annabel, I feel your pain. Well, sort of.
    My OH managed to lose a filling at the start of lockdown and is now suffering with both toothache and headaches.
    Plus the added dilemma of dentists willing to perform tooth extractions but not fillings. Apparently extractions are easier (for the dentist!) and safer. Not quite in the same league as going through a major back op I know but I just wanted to sympathise with you as you support your OH through such a difficult time. Good luck!
    Border Belle

    • I think any pain when you don’t know how long you are going to have to endure it is unsettling in this current climate. Last night my OH did not sleep at all well – heat and pain are not a winning combination for 8 hours uninterrupted sleep! Hope your husband gets his tooth sorted soon. Best wishes, Annabel

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