Month: April 2020

Returning to normal. Slowly.

Things are getting there. Wendy tried to go back to work last week, but with the two bank holidays, and her being lethally contagious an’ all, they said leave it until this week.

She went back on Tuesday. She suffered a bout of the horrible weakness in the afternoon, but made it through the day. She was OK today. I’m more or less back to normal (it’s a relative benchmark). I had a dire headache all day yesterday, but that’s par for the course. I went back to work on the 1st of April, I walked across the yard, up a few steps, and was panting. A week later I did two short runs, both panting badly, but I did them. I was worried I might have got the lung damage associated with the plague, but today I ran again and my lungs were no more panty than you’d expect for an unfit, fat bloke.

The bug was the perfect storm. I was too poorly ill to run, or move much, and so weak I was constantly eating to try and give myself some energy. Today I pulled on my lycra running shorts and they squashed all my blubber up into a big tyre. That was my wake up call. No more sweet stuff, back to the running.

I decided to do a 10 mile run. Actually that was really stupid, they say to increase by a maximum of 10% per week, and I was utterly exhausted doing 6 miles last week. I was mortified by the blubber though. Also I was a little miffed at the self-appointed Twitter Police who monitor people’s activities through their exercise apps and get shouty about anyone exceeding the (advisory) hour per day of exercise. So I wanted to annoy them.

On the bright side, I managed to do the full 10 miles, I held my pace in under 9m/m (all in the 8s) even though it was hard work, and my lungs were fine, so no damage, hoorah!

Not so good is that as soon as I stopped it hit me like a train. But still, good effort, I’ve started on my weight loss and fitness revival, and hopefully incensed a few self-righteous sorts.

 

The supermarkets are returning to normal as well. They’ve still got the maximum occupancy thing going on, but if you pick the right time of day you can often get in without queuing. Once inside you can get virtually everything again.

As an aside, I saw some New Zealand store manger on the news (on Twitter) saying he’d just had his first hoarder trying to get a refund on 150 packs of 32 roll toilet papers and 100, 1 litre bottles of hand sanitiser. He was a bit miffed as they are the morons who have caused the empty supermarkets. He told the guy (I assume it was a bloke) where to go.

 

Something else that is looking to return to normal is my hours. I’ve been asking to go back to full time for about 6 weeks or so. This shift I’m on isn’t 4 on/ 4 off as I’d been lead to believe, and since we became swamped with drivers (absorbing our other companies who are basically dead due to lockdown shutting their customer’s businesses) I am struggling to get extra shifts as overtime. Anyway, inexplicably they’ve just advertised for 6 new drivers. I whinged to my manager, saying that if they’ve got work to employ new drivers they should give me my hours back first. She’s got back to me and said they were going to offer me full time again. Yay!

It’s not a done deal. It’s not until June, and I don’t know what rota or start time they are going to offer me, but at least I know they aren’t just snubbing me outright.

 

Things outside of our bubble, and control, are still awful.

The government’s “herd immunity”, “take it on the chin”, “loved ones will die” policy has lead to them releasing figures of about 1,000 dead per day, but the Office for National Statistics has been saying the figures are likely 80% higher.

Then there’s the economy. I read that lockdown is costing £2 billion a day and the IMF are stunned, they’ve never seen a recession so savage and there’s no clear way out of it. The thinking now is that the Tories are desperately looking for a way to change the narrative to get everyone back to work, and let the surplus population dying be the price we pay to restart the economy. They are already hinting that it’s going to be Austerity with a vengeance afterwards. The NHS privatisation is going on even through it’s hour of greatest need.

And don’t get me started on Bozo going into ICU for 3 days then, over Easter, miraculously walking out, doing a 5 minute speech without a gasp or a cough, then going to see his pregnant girlfriend at his second home.

 

So, nothing to look forward to in the wider field, but for us life goes on as normal. It is very odd.

 

Another thing, while I was off today I had another crack at fitting my new, lower, handlebars. I ordered a cheap second headlight fairing and I was going to cut it into shape, so they handlebars wouldn’t hit it.

Luckily I started the job by getting at the fairing that’s on it now (rather than fitting new handlebars first. It must be a fairing for a later model. It didn’t fit! I didn’t even know they were different.

So that was three screws out, take off the outer fairing, compare the old and new inner fairings, swear a bit, three screws in.

I’m going to do it if it kills me.

 

Other than that it’s just gardening. This is the year of the garden. Lockdown is forcing us to garden out of boredom, if nothing else.

 

My running Twitter account, apart from the self righteous crew, has been keeping spirits up. The exact opposite of my politics account. Let’s not go there.

 

Queeny made the rookie mistake of wearing a green-screen-able frock for some address in which she didn’t offer her £20 million a year to the NHS.

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So Twitter went for it

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Other cat news

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There was news that cats could catch Covid-19

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I was sad that it was all bad news on my politics account.

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In animal related fun

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The police got threaten-ey with more overreach.

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People not happy about lockdown.

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And after the morons burning down 5G masts because a radio wave “causes Covid-19”, someone helpfully explained the science.

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And, of course, the Tango Hitler

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Right, I’m off.

Stay safe people.

Recovery Phase

We are stubbornly refusing to die. I went back to work after 7 days off, following the ‘herd immunity’ government policy. I’m still not 100%, but nothing to write home about. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still contagious though. The W.H.O. say to isolate for 14 days *after* ending symptoms. UK say 7 days from exhibiting. Who’s right? Ask Boris Johnson.

 

The better news is that Wendy has turned the corner and is getting better. I was worried as it hit her harder and went straight onto her lungs, which is where the bug gets serious. Now she’s got through that phase and is just feeling weak. She’s trying to get back to work next week.

 

My plan for today was to fit my new handlebars (lower to make for a better, racier riding position) on my motorbike, go to the shop, then go for a run to test my recovery.

I struggled for ages getting one grip off the handlebars. I thought it was glued on, but eventually realised it was just the rubber was gripping the handlebar so tightly. I pushed a screwdriver inside to open it up a bit, sprayed oil inside, and it pulled off easily. Annoyingly easily after the time and effort I’d put in to it before realising. Once that was off it was a simple job to strip the rest. I put the new handlebars in place,… and what do you know? The won’t fit as they’d smack into the headlight fairing.

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Aaaaarrrrggghhhhhh!

I put my old handlebars back on.

I’m thinking of buying a cheap, second hand, headlight fairing and butchering it so the handlebars will fit.

So that was a bust. Again.

While I had the bike out I thought I’d give it a wash, and Wendy’s car, and the house windows.

By the time I’d finished I was breathless, hands on my knees, panting like a dog. Even the really mild mild version of the bug that I had batters your lungs.

I had to go to Sainsbury’s, by which time my headache had kicked in pretty bad as well so I didn’t even attempt the run. I’ll give it a go first thing in the morning, before the day has a chance to exhaust me.

Having the bug for a week, (feeling so, so weak and doing no exercise) coupled with my innate gluttony means I’ve put on a stone. I think a lot of muscle has turned to fat so it’s not a true indication of just how much I’ve put on. I don’t need to scavenge for food now,I just open my mouth as it gets drawn into my gravitational field. I heard that a lot of beached whales die because without the buoyancy of the sea their lungs collapse under their bodyweight. This is probably what’s happening with my lungs.

I’ll try and shuffle my girth into a waddle in the morning. I’ve serious doubts I’ll make a mile, but unless I try I’ll never know.

 

Everything is odd at the moment. The roads are great, but we’re banned from driving. The weather has turned really nice and sunny but we’re semi-banned from going out, soon to be totally banned. And work has died. When I went off for a week they were desperate for drivers as the panic buying was driving demand through the roof. Then phase 2 of the lockdown shut all the pubs and restaurants and basically killed one of the company’s smaller companies (that primarily delivers to pubs and restaurants). Their drivers with an artic licence have been moved over to our bit, some without have been trained to do order picking in the warehouse.  Wendy and I are really lucky to both have jobs (so far) with all this going on. So many have just been sacked off, zero money for 5 weeks while they put in a claim. It’s scary times.

 

But in the face of the apocalypse, Twitter keeps on making me laugh.

There was a feel-good story of someone embracing the social distancing/ self isolation thing with a conversation by window signs to their neighbour.

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Which was cheering for the situation.

So Twitter got in on the act.

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Home schooling was popular.

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Some random home tales:

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The police accused of “overreach” as they implement Bozo’s lockdown suggestions as if they were law:

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International:

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Life tips:

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A story of a bunch of wild goats taking over a locked-down Welsh town:

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And the Scottish version:

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Some insightful observations:

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Whimsy:

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(There has been a campaign for everyone to go outside and clap at 20.00 on a Thursday to show appreciation for the NHS. And 5G is the next generation of mobile ‘phone signal, which has some tinfoil hatters incensed).

Just to show however bad things are, there’s always one barking loon trying to make it worse:

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After that post went viral, two 5G masts were burned down!

 

Stay safe people.

Later,

Buck.