After almost 3 weeks of being indoors, M, my youngest daughter and I decided to take a walk just outside our house. My oldest daughter K, is shielding from Covid 19 and is not even allowed out of the front door. K was upset to see M and I leave. I felt bad about it but explained to her that it was a short walk and in a few months she could come out too.
The last time I left my house before today was March 20th. The last time my children left the house was March 18th. The country went into lockdown on Match 23rd because of Covid 19. I was meant to be at work on March 25th but we had to self isolate as M had mild symptoms. We are also further restricted by K needing to shield. We have kept ourselves busy at home and using this time to do the things we have always wanted to do in the past, and wished we had the time.
Although we were allowed our 30 minutes of exercise when our 14 days ended 5 days ago, we did not feel the need to go out. The current government guideline is to stay at home. Only those who can’t work from home can leave their house for work. Also there is an allowance to exercsie for 30 minutes a day.
M and I felt awkward and tense walking out of our gates this afternoon. I had already talked to M about distancing ourselves from other walkers and to not touch anything outside our own grounds.
My husband N also advised us on what routes not to take; the narrow lanes where it is almost impossible to distance from others.
Being obsessive is not in my nature normally. But I wanted to do the right thing.
I was quite shocked at the number of people out and about walking, jogging and cycling. They were not at a distance. Cyclists passed each other with close proximity, joggers leisurely jogged past other walkers and some walkers behind us walking at the fastest pace approaching us at close proximity.
M had to keep away from someone and without realising it brushed herself against a lamp post and she hadn’t even realised it till I told her. We immediately washed her top and washed her hair when we got home.
There have been various reports that say that if you are jogging or cycling or moving at a fast pace, you could easily walk into droplets in the air that are infected with the virus from a previous jogger/walker/cyclist that sneezed or coughed into that air. The virus itself is not airborne but can persists in droplets for a short period of time.
The coronavirus is known to survive on hard surfaces. So touching a lamp post while you catch your breathe, sitting on a seat in the park for a rest or opening a bin to throw rubbish, isn’t what you want to do. Then there is the shoes, we left ours outside of the house so not to contaminate the house.
That walk for fresh air seemed so unnecessary to us. We are fortunate to have a garden and we can get fresh air and relax in our garden safely. We exercise daily in the house and I feel myself getting fitter.
However there are several people who do not have the privilege of a house with multiple rooms or a garden that is private. These are the people who will beneft from getting their 30 minute exercise outdoors.
There are also the families who will struggle to keep their children in doors, eg those with autism, Attention Deficite Disorders or Anxiety problems, and also adults who have claustrophobia or anxiety who will benefit from getting out for 30 minutes to help their mental health.
There has also been a significant rise in domestic violence since the lockdown. Getting out of the house may be the only way to move away from a situation.
The Government today addressed the issue of Domestic Violence and released this number for victims ; 0808 2000 247 (National Domestic Abuse Helpline) or call 999 if in immediate danger and press 55 if you can’t speak but need urgent help.
There is also the NSPCC ( National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) Telephone 08088005000 or email email@example.com, that can be contacted for help.
For those who can stay indoors comfortably for a few more weeks, have a garden and room in their house to exercise in, this is probably the best option to #StayHomeStaySafe.
This will create a safer and quieter environemt for those who desperately need to have this daily 30 minutes of respite.
I watched Horizon on BBC 2 This week and recommend it as it explains why it is so important we stay safe and protect ourselves, each other and the NHS. Please click on link below.
As a family we have decided to not walk out of the house if it wasn’t for food or work.. We have the benefit of technology to keep in touch with close ones and to keep ourselves entertained at home.
I strongly feel the need to protect our health workers and other key workers who have no choice but to leave their homes and families to go to work.
I am sure no health worker or key worker wants to be made a hero or a martyr. They all will fear for their safety and health, and the lives of their close ones.
Clapping the NHS is a good way of showing appreciation. However it isn’t going to ‘help the NHS’. Personal Protective Equipment, the public staying at home and thinking of each health worker as a human being is what will help the NHS.
Take care every one. Happy Easter. Let’s keep looking out for each other.