Day 2: Lockdown has begun

Well, it’s been a pretty angst-ridden time lately. On Monday 23rd the UK imposed it’s first proper stab at a lockdown.

Coronavirus – things are getting more serious

Essentially the “rules of the game” were

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

That information has been taken from the Government bulletin and is current as of now (25th March).

Whilst the majority of my work has stopped (because nobody can go on holiday) I did still have one walk I was doing. Although I felt a bit awkward about it on Monday and that descended into complete paranoia by Tuesday. Not that I was doing anything wrong; I am entitled to ‘go out to work’ if I can’t work from home. The problem was dealing with the virus, an invisible threat. A fear of putting myself into a riskier place than if I stayed at home. Each person I saw, each gate I had to negotiate, all risks I didn’t need to be taking. Each trip to the supermarket a big risk just waiting to happen. Not that the supermarkets are in amazing condition at the moment with the aftermath of panic buying leaving large sections of stores still bare. (I do wonder what all those people who panic-bought flour are going to do with it; most I suspect haven’t used it since home economics classes at school.)

On a lighter note, one of my running friends who did get to Cyprus dropped off my Pafos t-shirt and the rest of the goody-bag I would have collected had I got there. No physical contact again, it’s so weird operating like this.


Of course not being able to work comes at a price and, at least to this point, there’s no state help for self-employed people that I’m able to access. Being self-employed means I need to put money aside to pay my taxes. But having savings then reduces/eliminates any support you can get from the welfare system. Now whilst the tax collection has been put back 6 months, it’s difficult for me to spend that money not knowing when I’m next going to be able to earn it. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Of course looking online I wonder sometimes if I’m the only person actually following the guidelines, with people flocking to parks, to Snowdonia, to the coast and driving all over to stride about in the sun. Ultimately the human race is a mixture of people, a significant proportion being inherently stupid and belligerent. One can only assume that should any of this cohort be affected by the virus that it will be ‘everyone else’s fault’ and their own actions will be ‘not important’ in the pursuit of blaming someone else.

Anyway, I digress. I decided that the best thing I could do was lock the door and stick the guidelines and hope that I hadn’t already been infected.

It’s a bit strange really, the enforced staying at home. It is a safe place, although I do have to share it with the noise in my head. That’s completely freaking itself out most of the time.

One of the symptoms of the virus is a shortness of breath due to the pneumonia that it causes. One of the symptoms of a panic attack is that it feels like someone is standing on your chest. You can see how this can manifest……. Anyway, as of today I’m fine. At least I think I am to the best I can be.

I have been getting some exercise. Obvious I reigned things in a lot after the heavy week just gone as I didn’t want to break myself physically or mentally (although I can do the latter in many other ways…..)

More RGT; international cycling without a passport

Yesterday I decided to stick with the bike on the RGT simulator game. There are a few courses on the free version of it and, given there’s no paid work coming in for the foreseeable future I’m not too inclined to be spending where I don’t need to.

Anyway, after the bad cycle-fest pretending to climb Cap de Formentor in Majorca last week (whilst not leaving the house!), I stuck with a much gentler route around Pienza that I’ve done before. Not that I’ve ever been to Italy in person, but I’ve pretended to cycle there.

In Italy. Virtually

In Italy. Virtually

Running a bit closer to home

Today, with the weather being fabulous again, I decided I really would like to get out for a run. I have a few nearby trails that I can use and on which I’ve never seen anyone else on.

It would appear that plenty of other people were having the same idea, with multiple dog walkers, couples out for a stroll, other runners. The place was far more occupied than I’d anticipated, although there was plenty of open space. Only on one very narrow path did I need to be within the 2m zone of a couple, although we made a pretty good job of being as far apart as we could be without someone having to climb a tree or jump over a fence.

Hazel Grove trailings

Hazel Grove trailings

I think my next run will be done late at night when most people will hopefully be elsewhere!

Anyway, it was a pleasant 7 mile run, slightly more on tarmac than I’d hoped but the intention was to pick off a couple of footpaths I’d seen but never tried. Although one of them did involve jumping across a water course as the bridge was missing, and that’s not something I’d want to be doing in the pitch black of night!

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