What a week it's been! A virus the other side of the world (my geography isn't great, but it's a long way away) has gradually made it's way around the globe, infecting and affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
Currently as I write this I am working from home, but we/ I am still able to go outside. There is no 'lockdown' or enforced self isolation. I am working from home mostly because my work can be done remotely, but also to reduce my exposure to others (and them to me). Laura is still working, with schools open as usual. Our thoughts are that schools in the UK will be closed next week, but that is just a guess at this stage. That has been no announcement, or indication from Government.
The last few days Laura has come home having had children cough and sneeze throughout the day. My expectation is that at some point in the next few days, we will be exposed to the virus. Hopefully the fact we are both in fairly good health will mean we have few symptoms and are for the most part unaffected.
We are now limiting our (in person) interactions with other people in our social life, and I am with the way I am working. But Laura continues to have to attend a breading ground for viruses (my words/ interpretation).
We are considering how we can attend meet-ups and gathering in a virtual/ online way; establishing groups chats and FaceTime calls.
Still little proactive action seems to be taken by our Government, other than to say wash your hands and try to keep 2 meters from people. It very much seems it has been left to individuals and businesses to make their own decisions on what to do, and how to do it.
There seems to be added Government support coming for large businesses, but smaller businesses and self employed individuals will surely struggle. The option to take on loans, that you don't know if/ how you will pay back doesn't sound to great to me.
If you support, or want to help you local... anything; buy from them online, promote their services, do what you can to support them.
In the last week, but particularly the last 48 hours I have seen discussion around mental health change and shift a few times. Without going into all the points there are a couple that stand out for me.
There is a likelihood that many people will experience symptoms of mental ill health, but that doesn't mean you have a diagnosable illness.
Wellbeing is something we should all be considering all of the time, but especially now.
An increasing number of people are going to become isolated, so think about different ways you can keep in contact.
Shop responsibly and respectfully (I'm delighted to see some shops now offering over 60's only hours).
Try not to share inaccurate information.
Make it clear when you are stating your own opinion.
Signpost to resources.
Resources wise, I would recommend you check the follow for supportive information.
National Mind - mental health and wellbeing
The NHS - updated medication health care information www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ Public Health England - updated Government advise and information www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
While I am sure there are other services and places of information, as always I think a short list works best.
There are also great free courses you could take online to up-skill/ keep busy/ educate yourself at this time.
I would recommend Zero Suicide Alliance and Time to Change Champions Training. Again there are plenty more, but I have actually done these courses, so am happy to signpost to them.
I'm sure there will be more thoughts and updates coming, particularly with the added isolation likely coming.
I would also like to add a huge thank you to everyone sharing the #ViralKindness cards. We received one through the letterbox yesterday. While we are good at the moment, I am sure there are others in my village that will come to rely on support like this. So big thank you to those people locally, but everyone doing similar things to support their community.
For now, stay safe, try and keep well, keep in contact with your loved ones, reach out if you need help/ support.