Day Forty-three


Covid plan

Services are resuming. This afternoon I will have the lawn mowed and the piano tuned. But first, a morning of knitting and radio and, a little startling, my friend calls to say she has 'been swabbed'. Her sore throat had her worried and even though she's been very cautious about staying home, her GP sent he to the 'testing station'. She describes the process which she found very thorough and the swab itself quite painful, reaching high up into her nose. She expects the results in a day or two and while she doesn't really think she has Covid she needs to know for sure. We joke that she'll have her warrant of fitness, unlike most of us.

I listen to the one o'clock briefing. It starts as usual with the statistics – one new case, 89% of those infected have recovered and so on, all moving in the right direction. But the news we've been waiting for comes from the Prime Minister. Choosing her words carefully, she tells us that the decision to move to Level 2 will be made on Monday and there will be a lead-in time for businesses to prepare. No promises, but it sounds as though we will move to Level 2 later next week and the freedom that involves is significant. Businesses will have to make arrangements for spacing their customers and keeping good hygiene but in general most of the restrictions will relax. Haircuts! Travel! Cafes! Even (careful) hugs! I'm tempted to call Rob the barber straight away but actually I don't need to rush and I'm getting used to having longer hair. Likewise I want to pick up the phone to my son and say, 'When shall I come and visit?' and tease him that he's lucked out with school being set to go back just two weeks into his turn at home schooling.

But I don't. It's hard to believe that things really will change back so soon. Let's wait and see what actually happens. And with that thought my excitement is quelled and I feel a little sad. How different will life be really?

Mark the mowing guy arrives a little earlier than he said and gets into it. I've kept the lawns pretty tidy with the push mower, taking the hedge clippers to the occasional stubborn tuft, but his work makes them look like a bowling green. Nice.

Mike the piano tuner comes early too. Is everyone really keen to get back to work? He's the first person to come through the door since 21st March. We have a chat and he opens up the piano, making his tuning tune up and down the keyboard for over an hour. It's an old piano and coming to the end of its tunefulness. I've thought before about buying a better one but now isn't the time.

While he's doing what he can, I call a friend, belatedly, for her birthday and enjoy a chat. Her family made a celebration for her that worked well in the circumstances and she had a lot of calls from around the country. She has stayed well and devised a simple structure of doing something from each of six categories – a chore inside, one outside, exercise, reading, something social, something to learn – which she uses flexibly, being kind to herself. It's so simple and effective it's genius and should have been made into a meme. I'm full of admiration for her. We look forward to meeting for a walk and a coffee sometime soon.

After Mike leaves I set out for some exercise. I intended to have a bike ride but it's very windy and with all the activity at home it's getting late. I have a slight headache from too much knitting (posture issues) and the windy walk round the waterfront refreshes me. Then I do my practice on the newly tuned piano which sounds more mellow and smooth.