CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 2 BLOG  Thursday 19th March 2020


Coronabobs Self Isolation Day 2 was Tuesday 17th March 2020.

Me and Mamma took time out to consider why we were isolated socially. What did it all mean to be an extra in this mega blockbuster disaster movie we now found ourselves?

To be serious for a few hundred words, here’s some info.

Coronavirus: the difference between self-isolation, social distancing and shielding

“Normal life was put on hold” said the Prime Minister and talked about a range of restrictions for different groups of people, from “social distancing” and “self-isolation” to “shielding”. Here is a guide to what they mean.

  1. Self-isolation

Who is it for? People with potential coronavirus symptoms and those living in households with someone who shows symptoms.

What is the guidance? The official guidance says that anyone who has a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature should stay at home for seven days from when their symptoms start.

If you live with others and one person develops these symptoms, everyone must stay at home for 14 days from when the first person gets ill, to reduce the risk of infecting others.

For mild symptoms, stay away from GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals. There is no need to contact 111 and testing is not needed.

The advice is to remain at home, asking friends and family or delivery services to help you by leaving any food or medication on the doorstep.

  1. Social distancing

Who is it for? Everyone.

What is the guidance? Johnson said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel”.

This means people should start working from home where possible and avoid large gatherings, as well as gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars and clubs.

The government advice is also to “avoid gatherings with friends and family” and “keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media”.

It adds that “everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic”.

More information on social distancing here.

  1. Shielding

Who is it for? People over 70, those with certain health conditions who normally require the annual flu vaccination, and pregnant women.

What is the guidance? The PM said that the above social distancing measures were “particularly important” for these vulnerable people, but added that “in a few days’ time – by this coming weekend – it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”.

Escape into the outside world

But I had an appointment to have a blood test. A routine one I have every few weeks to keep a check on my INR as I take warfarin.

We had rung the doctors on Monday to ensure they still wanted me to attend. They said just to turn up as usual, Tuesday morning.

I did and found a crazy world out there. People were dashing everywhere stacked up with masses of toilet rolls.

At the doctors the check-in screen had a handwritten note on it saying it was out of use until further notice. The notice advised that you were to sit down and wait to be called. The rows of chairs in the waiting area had been split up. I estimated there was two metres distance between each chair.

There were only old people in the waiting area, and they kept moving chairs closer together.

Apparently, the doctors were seeing no one except in a dire emergency. But nurses and clinicians seemed to be seeing patients as usual. I think they have some sort of special immunity. My clinician, taking my blood, said things were changing daily. They were due to meet again that afternoon.

From the doctors I needed to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy across the road. There was a queue at the door. I gathered they were not letting anyone into the shop. The window was plastered with notices. One large notice said, “Please, Ring The Bell For Attention”, next to a white button.

We did not need to ring the bell because there were so many of us queueing.

Two assistants kept coming to the door. One was Chinese. She wore a face mask covering most of her face, you cold just see her eyes. She opened the door fractionally and pulled back from anyone speaking to her.

The second one was English. She wore no mask, threw the door wide open and came out to us. She served me.

As I awaited my prescription, I read the notices on the window. I found them as compelling to read as I do chic-lit.

“Coronavirus”, “What is Coronavirus”, “What to do if you think you have Coronavirus”,  “Ringing 111”, “We do not have any toilet rolls or hand sanitiser”, “Due to the Coronavirus pandemic some medicines maybe in short supply or be more expensive”.

You felt what they were trying to say was “Just get off our back, go away, and leave us alone we are trying to Self-isolate”.

I then returned home to wait in isolation for the call giving me my blood results. As I waited my thoughts turned to my grandchildren.

Fears were building within me, what if our grandchildren forget who we are. Yesterday and today we should have looked after Rory and Ewan. Tomorrow it should be Freya and George.

Then it came to me, I’ll make them a 12-page A5 comic full of pictures of me and Mamma. Two characters based on a cross between Dennis the Menace meets Minnie the Minx (ex Beano) with the Fat Slags (ex. Viz).

My creative juices overflowing I soon put a masterpiece together and placed four copies in envelopes to catch the last post. Hopefully, on Wednesday instead of me and Mamma turning up on the doorstep the postman would be there with a comic to remind them of us instead!




The shortest recorded period of time lies between the minute you put some money away for a rainy day and the unexpected arrival of rain. –  Jane Bryant Quinn


Happiness is…making the best of a bad situation


Why is the letter ‘V’ like a monster?

Because it comes after ‘U’.


Love is… when a kiss works wonders




©2020 Phil M Robinson