16th April ’20. Day 24 of Isolation.

Isolation has been extended another three weeks. Thankfully. The daily death toll continues to rise despite how far away it feels in sunny, rural Somerset where I drink strong tea and keep my sun-burned nose buried in a book.

I tuned into the News again tonight, after Israel went for his walk – he gets pissed off with the constant media overload of Covid-19 -, and the presenter was in a hospital ward. People comatose in beds having their lungs drained, unknowingly, by teams of medical staff.

One of the nurses said the hardest thing was the patients being end-of-life and alone. Without family members nearby.

It made me cry.

There were times we took Dad to have his lungs drained. Hot hospital room. Thick, yellow-red liquid filled up a bag as he sat at a chair, tube coming out of him – me too upbeat, trying to be brave, he getting dizzy. It was the first time he drank (cold) water without turning up his nose.

Loss. How unbearable for those families who can’t hold their person’s hand.

Elisabeth Kübler-Rose identified five stages of grief:

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

Other psychologists also identified stages of shock and disbelief, and also guilt.

In hindsight, I see clearly how chained I was to denial and bargaining, the latter brought moments where I’d talk to fate and even as I did, I’d think, “But I can only be master of my own. Nobody else’s.” It never stopped me trying.

It occurred to me, there is something almost awe-inspiring about how doing nothing, simply staying at home, can save lives when we usually live in a way that constantly expects us to DO so much.

Another three weeks? Good. Hopefully the case numbers will start to plateau.

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