well, well, well. it’s the end of the world. for real. or so it seems, at times.
the bogey man, this time around, is called COVID-19. a pandemic. a corona virus. and it is invisible. and terrifying.
i have watched it sweep from east to west. it’s not discerning. it favours not the pretty nor the tall; the rich nor the hirsute; the male or the dog.
it is a new contagion. a new threat to life as we know it. worldwide economies are breaking, thousands of people are dying. life will never be the same.
i have watched it shut down our neighbouring countries. Italy. Spain. France. and i’ve wondered why our limp Governments have been so slow to react. lock us down, please. full lockdown. if you want to ‘flatten the curve’ you have to stop the migration and congregation of people.
today, first official day in lockdown (is it lockdown?) here in Fife, Scotland where we have currently 19 cases of Coronavirus confirmed. out of a population of close to 335k, that may seem like a blip, but given that you can drive around Fife in 3 hours and that these cases have emerged since March 17th, i would say we have reason to be concerned.
but i had to go out today. latex gloves on, antibacterial gel in my pocket – like a gun a holster – i ventured outdoors with my boyfriend, Robert. we needed to get some essentials. yes, we are in isolation together. i guess you could call it ‘twice-olation’. keeping a sense of humour when adrift in unchartered waters is essential. as is toilet roll, it would seem. it’s been 5 days and i’ve yet to see any on shelves when i’ve made a trip to the supermarket. it’s as rare as hens’ teeth!
we got, pretty much, what we went out for: food for us, and food for Alf – our cat.
i have been self-employed since 2012. now i am not working.
i have had to claim emergency benefits. having paid my taxes for all my working years, i feel thankful that i can do this, feeling no shame in it, and that my claim has been dealt with swiftly. i only applied yesterday. and after a brief telephone interview today, i should have an emergency advance paid to me by Thursday. that is a relief! at least i know now that my rent is covered, for another month anyway, and that i will be able to pay my bills (hopefully). yes, i have to pay that advance back, but on my terms. i was not expecting that.
so here i am. no work. all been cancelled or postponed. how do i stop myself from becoming engulfed in the fear, swallowed up in the mass hysteria and going stir crazy? it’s all everyone is talking about. and rightly so, it is a strange and terrifying time to be alive. and we are all scared.
and things are going to get worse before they get better. i can see it coming.
so we are doing what we are told. washing our hands. staying indoors. not making any unnecessary journeys. avoiding contact with anyone and everyone. i am not even visiting my family (some are high risk with underlying health conditions stacked against them). it’s just me, Robert and Alf – the cat.
initially, i had moved in with Robert to continue working on a solo music project that he is producing for me, as i have four new songs that i wanted to lay down. that was 10 days ago. we have decided it best that we isolate ourselves together, keeping our shared car in one spot – in case of an emergency. it’s working out well. and we give each other space – that is essential. but it isn’t all that bad, being locked up with your lover and cat. we have some fun times. singing in the kitchen, cooking together. making music together. i have been playing a lot of guitar lately.
so this is where i wrap this blog post up for today… it is 1.31am and i am having my supper: onion bagel with peanut butter, blueberry jam, chilli flakes, toasted garlic and jalapenos. i know… it sounds weird and disgusting, but i swear… it tastes like hope.
stay safe people…
(c) Kat McDonald – March 2020