Well I’ll be damned! Today it’s been six months since I wrote my first sneak peek post on the, then completely white, walls in here. It was almost like another time. Sure, we had already seen some scary reports from some virus-torn area in China. But we had also heard our own mouthpieces say there was no reason for us to worry our cute little heads with thoughts of this China virus.
They can be such fools
at times these people who, quite frankly, should know better.
In the Spoonieverse , we have something of a hive mind  when it comes to rumours of disease, and other misfortunes that may threaten public health. Not because we suffer from some kind of collective Eeyoresque woe-is-us depression. No, not that. It’s rather because all kinds of misery that can conceivably befall humanity seems to strike our members too. Only harder and at a much higher rate. And, historically, in the moments where our need for reliable help and support has been the most dire, our government and society at large have responded by turning their backs on us.
Perhaps it is not entirely unreasonable, in that light, that our anxiety levels tend to rise in direct proportion to how persistently society’s pundits tell us we have nothing to fear. And this time was a textbook example of that.
In January, England, and the rest of the world as far as I can see, looked at China and saw an internal problem that said more about China and the Chinese than about modern society’s ability to deal with a pandemic. There was talk of wet markets and the kind of people who would eat bats, but not much was said about what we would do if/when this virus began to spread among us “civilized” Europeans. But the spoonie community was already prepping  and discussing at what point we’d have to batten down the hatches and go into isolation.
Yes, I’m laying it on (a little), but this is what happened.
When the letter from our National Health Service (NHS) arrived in mid-March, I didn’t have to take any new safety precautions. Like many of my spoonie friends, I had already gone into isolation to avoid the coronavirus, so I was done. But for my family members (who live with me) the NHS letter brought big changes. Inasmuch as I had readied myself for complete isolation, we hadn’t really considered enforcing total isolation on the whole house. We normally stick to rather stringent rules to prevent infection, but now we were more or less given two options.
Option #1 was, literally, isolation for all of us; whereas Option #2 meant we’d have to follow a rigorous safety routine. Basically, it meant we’d have to stay the hell away from each other. We’d have separate bathrooms, or a system in place to disinfect all surfaces, change towels etc after each visit. We’d have to set up a meticulous decontamination protocol for the kitchen to ensure that no surfaces, products, cups, dishes etc. could spread any germs. And we could only be in the same room for short periods of time, and only if we used protective equipment and made sure the area was sufficiently ventilated.
There were a few more rules too, but you get the gist of it.
Now, I’m sure there are families who can live, or are forced to live, like this; but let me tell ya… Super stringent protocols aren’t exactly our family’s forte. With one exception, we’re a bunch of bohemians who take the day as it comes. The exception is my intensive care nurse son who keeps a keen eye on everything that relates to my health (and whatever else you may need to know in times like these). And he said it was Option #1 that applied to us.
Or said and said. That’s not a fair characterisation of my youngest son. He’d never talk to me like that. He explains, carefully, what my options are and what the pros and cons of each alternative is. And he usually makes a point of telling me it’s my home and, therefore, my decision. But I’m not stupid (not that way anyway) so, obviously, I do as he says.
Option #1 it was.
We’ve been isolating for three months now and it’s twelve weeks since anyone entered or left our house last. Goods are delivered to, or dropped outside, our door by people in protective gear. We have a hard time getting food though. A lot is sold out and many products are more expensive than usual. But for now we have food to eat, I get my medication (with one exception) and we are together. In many ways, we are better off than I could have hoped for and I’m eternally grateful for that.
And with that, I keep doing what I can. I lend a hand where I can and continue to work on getting my blog ship shape for our maiden voyage. If you like patterns, you may have noticed that I wrote the posts in here on the 15th of January and the 15th of April. Today, the 15th of July, post number three (the one I’m writing now) will be published, and after that my dream is for us to see a blog feed slowly begin to fill the shelves and walls in here from the 15th of October.
If I can do that, we may be able to open the Coaching Couch to the public from the 15th of January 2021.
I’m something of a mage in my heart and I do like number symbolism and other such details that make life better or more interesting. Like kindness, for example. I think we should start our journey with a discussion about kindness. Not in one of the coaching cabins, but here on the coaching couch.
What do you say? Shall we bet on the 15th of October? And three months of corona style mingle, small talk and finger food here in the foyer (where everyone can join in) before we open the subject-specific coaching cabins?
Deal! Then let’s go for it!
I’ll keep on doing my thing and see what I can so about getting us ready for the autumn mingle. Big, warm hugs to you, my friend, and thank you for popping in to see me today!
- The Spoonieverse, is my name for the vast parallel universe of the unwell, where all of us who have been deemed useless are deported when we become too ill, or too incapacitated, to pass as normies. It was for all of us, and our allies, that I started the Spoonieverse blog (almost) ten years ago.
- Hive mind is another name for what psychologists and sociologists call a collective consciousness. In short, the hive mind explains how a group of people (like bees in a hive (hence the name)) can develop a kind of collective consciousness, sharing a set of opinions and values that unite and keep the group together. From there, they can also grow a collective understanding of social norms and knowledge of things that can benefit or damage the hive. (This is a super-simplified explanation based on French sociologist Émile Durkheim and his book The Division of Labour in Society from 1893. For a better understanding, I recommend that you read more on this yourself and that you take a closer look at the differences of opinion regarding what Durkheim “really” meant and intended. It is really exciting and was a central part of the reading both in my political education and in my teacher training.)
- Prepping is a cooler (?) way of saying preparing. That is, everything you do to be ready, or prepared, in the event of disasters and/or accidents.