My husband John and I, he’s 78, I’m a spritely 73, have been together for 50 years. We got together in the late sixties. It wasn’t a match made in heaven, and we don’t pretend it was. But we’ve been married 50 years and have stuck together through good times and bad. Neither of us do ‘change’ very well, and then the coronavirus pandemic happened.
John received a letter at the end of March telling him to stay at home until 21 June. He has a blood condition for which he is carefully monitored and is an out-patient. But it was still a bit of a shock. At that time June was three months away. One phone call to his GP and yes we needed to stay at home (both of us) - and try to stay apart. Sleep in separate rooms. Use different bathrooms if possible or deep clean afterwards. Don’t be in the kitchen at the same time. The letter ran to four pages.
The road we live on is close-knit. One of our neighbours kindly agreed to pick up a newspaper for us each day and get some other shopping if we needed it. We got a phone call from the local council to check we were okay, which was nice. And, the local pharmacy even delivered our regular medication. I still felt guilty about other people doing things for us, we’re pretty active and well enough to do all these things ourselves.
On top of this, John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in early April. It wasn’t a massive surprise. He’d been struggling with his balance for a while and had been having tests before all of this. To be honest I don’t think he’s grasped the fact yet because he doesn’t feel any different.
I struggled to sleep in the beginning and kept thinking how surreal it all was. But then when you have no control over a situation you kind of have to make the most of things.
I love my TV. I love reading. I’ve found a new love of jigsaw puzzles and have had a good old clear out. It’s all about keeping busy; and I’ve been on the phone a lot!
We’re lucky we have a small garden to potter in and enjoy the fresh air - my heart goes out to people that aren’t so lucky.
We’re fortunate in the fact that our income hasn’t changed and we’re still getting our pension. We’re not spending anything on trips out, coffees at the local café or pub lunches. We’re hugely aware, and grateful, that we don’t have to worry about a drop in our income, like so many others. The only thing is I’ve had more time to look around my surroundings and I’m spending money in my head on all things I want to do to improve the home and garden. John is not impressed!
We’re in the twilight of our lives. We never dreamed we’d see this. We watch the news (probably too much) and despair.
As measures are relaxed we pray that a second peak doesn’t happen and that generations that come after us can learn and prosper from this awful disease.