I was all set to continue my monthly catch-up posts, and then… well, things happened. I know this sounds like another excuse, but let’s be honest, we’ve been a bit short of good news of late.
So, in keeping up with the times, I’ve decided instead to keep a little diary while in self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a crazy time, and I’d say it was worthy of being documented! It’s been a week since I officially started isolating, so I’m starting it on a small milestone.
I’ve seen a few people judging others for not isolating sooner, so quick note: journalists were deemed key workers throughout all of this. Obviously I couldn’t just call up the newsroom and tell them I wasn’t attending work; the news waits for no man! Thank goodness for technology, because as of last Tuesday I am now working on the newspaper remotely. Let me tell you, it’s an incredibly surreal – if not exciting – experience to be working on a national newspaper from your living room. The first night we got it all sent to the printers totally remotely, I would not stop telling my boyfriend how I couldn’t believe it worked. My little pink MacBook is making newspapers and it’s totally mad.
I’ve been really lucky to keep ahold of my job in the meantime while this all kicks off. The newspaper industry is unfortunately taking a bit of a dip throughout all of this, between a huge drop in sales due to people not going out to the shops, and businesses shutting down resulting in a reduction in available advertising. So if you find yourself no longer reading print titles due to the pandemic – be it a newspaper or a magazine – please do consider alternative ways in enjoying them. A lot of titles are available in digital format; it’s a tough time for all, but there are so many ways to show your appreciation through monthly subscriptions etc instead.
I tweeted last week about wanting to go home before lockdown really commenced:
I still have a slight opportunity to go home while I still can – I’d self-isolate until I know I’m safe around my family. But my boyfriend’s not local and couldn’t come with me, and I can’t just up and leave him in our home during all of this. My heart is breaking over it all 😔
— Hannah Carmichael (@whathannahwrote) March 24, 2020
A couple of days after that, I decided it was best for me to stay put in Glasgow. It’s been a horrible decision to try and make, but ultimately, it took the NHS at home to make up my mind for me. For those not aware (how could you not be aware? I talk about it constantly) I’m from an island out in the west of Scotland, and it’s got a population of 3000. It’s an aging population, so this is obviously a really concerning time for them all. They were already warning holidaymakers against travelling out to the islands and rural areas of the country, so despite being a local, I felt I was already way too exposed to the virus having been travelling to work by train every day. It breaks my heart not having any family nearby while this is happening, and not being sure when I’ll be able to see any family members in the future, but it is for the best. My family are all high-risk. If I’d travelled home and infected anyone in the community, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. My mum is also a nurse, and I couldn’t imagine how she’d feel if her otherwise-healthy daughter came to her tiny island home, fell ill and ended up taking up a bed. So, I’m here. In my flat, which I am very allergic to.
We were all set to move into our new flat this week for that very reason. I’m not joking, I’m really allergic to this flat. My face constantly hurts, so we’d been all set to purchase a new three-bedroom flat – with WOODEN FLOORS. No more allergy carpets! But all house sales are now paused over here, so we’re kind of stuck in the middle of the process. Things could be a lot, lot worse, so we’re happy enough where we are for now. Very blotchy skin, though.
I’ll be honest, there isn’t much to report in this first diary. I’m isolating with my boyfriend (whose workplace shut on Friday, yay) and we’re both healthy. Both our mums are in the NHS so it’s all a bit of a worry, but there’s not much anyone can do. I get a bit weepy when I get into bed at night and think about how far away my family are, and I really do miss my dog right now. I’d love a golden retriever cuddle.
There are so many going through much more horrific situations right now, though, so we’re just getting on with it. We’re so very lucky to be going through this in a time where social media and things like FaceTime exist. Oh, and Disney+. Get on it, it’ll make things much easier.
Stay home, and stay safe! x