Coronavirus Diaries: Days 20–24

Hardly the daily “Dear Diary”, is it?

I think it would simply be too painful all round to try and keep a daily account of such a mind-numbingly boring repetitive routine. Every day is pretty much the same, I get up. Work. Entertain M. Bite nails over doom and gloom articles or guffaw at silly memes. Clean. Eat. Repeat.

That said, we have had a pretty exciting break to the routine because it was EASTER! I will get to that in the next post (hold your horses and get that popcorn on the stove).

Meantime, just to fill you (my wide-eyed and open-eared readers — i.e spattering of patient family members who read blogs, and future me) on the last few days.

Events of Note -

The Zoom that ended all Wine

After reaching day 21 of consecutive wine swigging, I decided I had crossed the threshold. It was no longer a point of potential shame, but pride. That was 3 weeks solid — I hadn’t drunk that regularly since I was a student! And I hadn’t had a single hangover. Pretty impressive if I say so myself.

The hubris led to one hell of a hangover.

After much noise on a group WhatsApp chat with old (student) friends, we finally congregated for a catch up on this Houseparty App everyone’s been talking about. We spent hours shooting the covid breeze, jostling our tiny faces together on laptop and phone screens across Spain and England.

It was quite the momentous call as we hadn’t all gathered — even virtually — for years. In anticipation I drank far too much white wine and the ‘Dutch Courage’ I was looking for morphed into Dutch Arrogance.

I was loud and perhaps not as witty and hilarious as I thought at the time. My friends told me that unfortunately as my microphone seemed to be causing interference across the call it would be best if I muted myself. Indeed.

Undeterred, I merrily played one-fingered piano on my mute button and “entertained” the group.

I was the last one to leave the call, slumped on the floor cradling a glass of (now red) wine as I slurred gushy songs of praise about my friend Ciaran’s girlfriend Rita (whom I have never met).

I stumbled to bed and woke up in the morning with sumo wrestlers doing Zumba on my nervous system, a morgue in my mouth, and a half eaten tuna sandwhich by my bed.

Nice.

Anyway, that was one event of the quarantine! The hangover was so catastrophically memorable it has quite scarred me and I have not had more than two glasses of wine since. In fact, I was moved enough to bow out of the drinking race and cede my place on the throne of the Quaranwine Queen.

In other lockdown news….

The April “Pink” Moon

I had in fact known about this for weeks and was quite brushed up on the topic. One of my jobs is writing an astronomy blog and I sounded the April Super Moon foghorn in April Part I: the Super Moon. Extract below:

“This is the full moon we have been waiting for — the Super Pink Moon. The moon will rise on the evening of 7 April and burn brightly all night long. You may even see it cast moon shadows on the ground. I am afraid to disappoint — it will not be bright pink! The April Moon takes this name from the “Phlox” a plant which blossoms pink in April.

The Pink Moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Fish Moon, or the Egg Moon.”

It was unfortunately underwhelming for us as — even with the telescope I bought J for his birthday and which has been filling our evenings during quarantine — not even the strongest lens could penetrate the thick clouds that engulfed the moon.

You don’t miss anything these days. In no time my phone was pirouetting with buzzing messages. I saw some spectacular photos from friends around the world (who have neither astronomy blogs nor telescopes) but who were able to drink up extraordinarily large and yellow moons on their clear evenings. I hope you remembered to look up!

Not that we should be looking for silver linings in the clouds of a virus that has killed so many people around the world and sent us all hurrying indoors — but I’ll say it anyway. Just two words. Clear skies!

I have many complicated emotions towards this turbulent time that I would love to unpack in another post…I did write one more sombre article; Not Everyone has the Luxury of a Lockdown, focusing this time more on the doctors and nurses doing much more during this time than my marathon wine drinking.

Generally — and I don’t know if it has been the same for you — I sway between stoic acceptance and pacing unrest.

At times really leaning into the quarantine (normally with a glass of Verdejo in one hand). Thinking of how we have to act as a community to protect the most vulnerable of our society. All for one and one for all and all that. I reflect upon the ways it is making us grow as individuals, confront death, appreciate life. We have been forced to hit “pause” on what is often an uncomfortably fast-faced and unfulfilling rat race. Work, eat, sleep repeat. Long and lonely commutes.

Now we are spending time with our immediate families, flat mates, or getting to know ourselves better. Perhaps “quality time” would be pushing it — but I’m sure we’ve all had some special moments. I for one am loving hanging out with my two-year old!

Not always — of course. I will be very happy never to see another Spot the Dog book when this is all over, and I would also like a very long break before I bath another doll.

Good times have been had too — many. I do try to remind myself too when I am feeling my chest tighten on those eerily quiet evenings in domestic prison…thank goodness we are home. We have a roof over our head. A fully — if oddly — stocked fridge. We’re not doing 12-hour shifts in a hospital. And we have each other — virtual hands reaching out from social media.

I hope you’re holding up wherever you are. Lonliness is a killer — literally apparently, it shortens your life span according to a new study. Now, we can’t be having that. If you are feeling the pinch on the down days do feel free to shoot me a message! I have lots of time to reply.

P.S. Did this make you laugh? Smile at least? If you need a comic pick-me-up during these lockdown days, do check out https://piratenell.com/