As the second wave threatens to either engulf us or merely tickle our shins I turn once again to my diaries which will one day constitute Corona-virus folklore!

October 20

All of a sudden Wales stick their hand up for the full English of lockdowns. They are signing on for a ‘six-week Firebreak’ to jam the circuits and prevent hospitals being overwhelmed. Upon hearing the term ‘firebreak’ I thought of all the unique Covid-centric phrases that have entered into common parlance in 2020. Among the many terms I never thought I’d use with casual frequently this year are

 quarantini, zoom-jowls, tier-two restrictions, track and trace, hands face space, fire- break, false positive, negative antibodies, corona corridors, shelf-sweepers, furlough, two-week isolation, Rule of Six, hotel quarantine, long- Covid, cytokine-storm, pandemic fatigue, support-bubble, anosmia, parosmia, R -number, Second Covid, Mink- mutation, excess deaths, work from home, social distancing, essential items, NHS Covid-19 App, clap for carers,  disposable mask, live vaccine trial,  contact trace, super-spreader, self-isolating, airborne transmission, nightly briefing, death count

Anyway, both Wales and Northern Ireland are going the full Monty in order to have a better Christmas. All of a sudden Christmas has taken on new dimensions, we are all looking forward to this festival whatever religion we may be, painfully aware that Tier Three restrictions may mean no mixed households, or no restaurants- and that is a lot of bloody home cooking on the horizon. 

October 24

London walks a middle line with restaurants open but you can only go with members of your own household, unless you want to sit outside in the freezing damp you can enjoy the ‘Rule Of Six’, work from home if you can and avoid public transport, but you can still go to a movie theatre or an art gallery. Please just let the school stay open after half term break!

In US election news, mics will be muted and muffled in the final Presidential debate thankfully we won’t have to listen to the lunatic bullying throughout.

October 21

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, is rebelling against Tier 3 restrictions.

October 22

Obama on the campaign trail. 

“Tweeting at the television doesn’t fix things. Making stuff up doesn’t make people’s lives better. You’ve got to have a plan.”

0ctober 25

Feel like shit today. Like my eyes are alternately watering and squinting and I can’t see. Is it the clocks turning back, so we have one more hour of Tier 2 restrictions on a cold rainy day? Or is it just the low-level pandemic anxiety that occasionally permeates the conscious brain and gives the skeleton a good old rattle? 

October 26

Okay for the first time I admit I’m intrigued by Melania- where is she? Does she have a bad, lingering cough? Maybe like me she is haunted by the smell of rotten armchairs and onions and is ANGRY about it. 

Today I learned awful things about triaging of Covid patients in April when the NHS was first overwhelmed. Those over 70 were not even sent to ICU and died alone on the wards.

October 27

I daren’t look at the papers or social media I just have this awful burning horrible prediction that Trump will either win or refuse to go if he loses by a narrow margin. My horrified fascination has turned to revulsion. Will the US turn to Gilead ?

Today the BBC says that according to a scientific study immunity doesn’t last over a few months. What does this mean for a vaccine? For herd immunity? 

Spending time on the sofa nibbling a baguette with the teens on this rainy Tuesday was a highlight. My kids light up our semi-lockdown.

Reading Zadie Smith helps too. 3.30pm and its already growing dark. The sun never really appeared. I feel embarrassed creeping off to bed I try to be as quiet as a mouse. At least after my low serotonin corona coaster bout I feel like myself again.

October 30

Went to a proper London restaurant and ate delicious food and pretended life was normal. Covid ? What Covid?

October 31st (Halloween may have been cancelled but we still got spooked)

Tonight, our Halloween commiseration party at home which involved dressing up the dog and forbidding our teenager to go to a party (fun!) was interrupted by a government announcement informing us that the entire country would go into lockdown on Thursday. The full moon shone through rain clouds, we switched onto a vampire movie and detox diet be damned, drank red wine and ate the contents of the hitherto untouched Halloween candy bowl. 

I seem to have taken the news calmly. For now.

November 1

What the hell! Grey, rainy, blustery… and a lockdown coming. Oh, I forgot DARK. It’s very bloody dark in November. I woke up with anxiety, Trump and Covid are an unsettling assault on my nerves. The last day before kids go back to school. Thankfully schools and universities are not closed. That was extra difficult for everyone.

I hope the lockdown will work, that it will protect lives and the NHS. I sort of wish they’d done it in the school half term break so we could have got a jump start and with the schools closed it would have been more effective. Are we all prey to strange ideologies?

November 2

The mood is a bit grim here, no one seems to be laughing off the impending lockdown this time. It’s going to be a tough winter. The dog doesn’t seem aware we’re back to tougher measures any minute, but I’m not bloody well baking banana bread this time round (haven’t told him that yet).

My nerves can’t take any more Trump madness. Why is he skipping about when so many are dying? 

Australian friends are enjoying relative normality and all the joys of Spring. But they had a Covid Winter so it’s their time to bathe in sunshine-y warmth. I will live through their comparative freedom vicariously.

November 3

Too much madness. A mass shooting in Austria, people boarding up businesses in the US and Europe plunging into Winter Plague conditions. At least the one studying for her A levels will have nothing, nothing at all , to distract her.

 Bake Off is on tonight- a time to completely switch off and give into cake.

Nov 4th

Woke up to the US election results…insert Edvard Munch emoji here.

Just how many more WTF moments can there be left in 2020?

Cried into porridge. 

Nov 5th

Day 1 of our New Lockdown, a morning of heavy fog. After a quick walk to assess the zeitgeist and purchase a loaf of bread (and a treat!) I retreat. While awaiting news from the US I distract myself with work and reading…and the treat.

Do you want to know what I’m reading ?

(Answer: The Girl With The Louding Voice. And the poetry of Christina Rossetti)