Living Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Week 2 – 21st-27th March

Day Four – Saturday 21st March

It’s Saturday! Hurray! But wait, social distancing…great!

I actually got up really late on Saturday morning, well past 9am. I had this nightmare that had woken me up at 5:30am. In my nightmare I had a pet bearded dragon and we were playing together. Suddenly the bearded dragon lunged at him, his little hands grew giant claws. He wrapped his claws around my neck, drawing blood and essentially trying to kill me. I couldn’t scream. I woke myself up shouting the word ‘mum’ and feeling very hot. When I’m having a nightmare, my body heats up in a way to wake me up.

My sleep was very interrupted after that.

I managed to go on a dog walk with the dogs, Freddie and Luca, and my Mum. We practised social distancing. It was just nice to get some fresh air and clear the mind for a little while.

Once home, I decided I was going to read a book. I usually read books on my bed, but I had gotten a little sick of the view. So, I tried reading downstairs in the living room. The thing about the living room is that it gets cold quite quickly and once I was halfway through my book, I actually retreated upstairs to my makeshift office space to continue reading. The chair is really good for my back problems.

I finished reading my book but ended up having a good long soak in the bath because I still felt chilly. I spent the evening on my Xbox, playing ‘Two Point Hospital’, which is basically a remake of the classic ‘Theme Hospital’. It’s really good, check it out if you can.

My Dad is working really hard during this pandemic, he leads a team in Imperial Collage London who are fighting to create a vaccine to COVID-19. I have great respect for my Dad and all that he does. I am trying to remind him not to overwork himself.

I thought I would be going slightly crazy this weekend, but I am actually enjoying being in isolation now I can do my own thing!

I started something on Instagram for Saturday’s and Wednesday’s, that I thought I’d put out here also. It’s just a little activity to keep spirits up and get creative juices flowing.

I’ll be posting a writing prompt from ‘642 Things to Write About’ from ‘The San Francisco Writer’s Grotto’.

Saturday’s prompt was: A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

If you’re interested in participating, let me know. I’m happy to display peoples work on the blog, or if you’d prefer to display it on yours, make sure to tag me.

Day Five – Sunday 22nd March

It’s Sunday, and I’m in a decidedly grumpy mood. I slept in past 9am again, I never put my alarm clock on, on the weekends, because I prefer to give my body a chance to catch up on the sleep it missed during the week.

Unfortunately, I woke up with a killer headache. I had a small Mother’s Day moment with my Mum. She liked her card and present, and it was nice to be able to revel in something positive. I tried to have a nap around 11am, as the headache was threatening to split my skull open.

I’m used to headaches, I’ve had daily headaches since I was 16 (14 years), and I’m a regular migraine sufferer – though I am on medication to reduce them. However, with people panic buying in the UK, I’ve had to be more creative in how I deal with head pain. I only have 2 packets of paracetamols – and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else – so, when I have a headache now, I am stricter with how I cope with them.

If the headache is level 1-4, I’ll use 4head stick.

If the headache is level 5-7, I’ll take some paracetamols.

If the headache is level 8-10 or becomes a migraine, I’ll use a forehead cooling strip, eat carbs, and retreat to a darkened room.

I’d usually take paracetamols for all three types of headaches, but that is not possible right now.

I have stayed in bed all day. After my failure of a nap, I watched the latest episode of Picard, followed by the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I did try to do some reading, but my eyes couldn’t focus. I had about 40 minutes where my eyes were really itchy and sore, and then they started crying and stinging. It must have been hay fever.

At about 3pm I started to watch NCIS season 9 on prime and started colouring a page from Kerby Rosanne’s ‘Worlds between Worlds’ book. I ended up finishing the page by the time I was sleepy enough for bed.

Day Six – Monday 23rd March

As I am writing this, I’m experiencing a headache that feels mild but one that is making me feel dizzy and giving a slight lag on my vision. I know it’s not an iron attack, so I can only assume my body isn’t happy in some way and is making its presence known.

I’m back in the makeshift office with the window thrown right open. It is a lovely day and the sun is shining. I have done two tours of the garden and I am overall feeling happy, except for the weird headache I’m experiencing.

I actually had a list of things I needed to do today, work wise, and ended up having to go into the office twice to help out with things. It was actually pleasant because it got me out of the house and it got me face-to-face contact with others, even if we were the required distance away.

I have been listening to ASMR videos today to calm the anxiety and focus my mind. I have stayed well away for any and all social media related to COVID-19. I don’t need anything clouding my judgement or making me worry more than I already am.

This week I’m going to try and read two books.

The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

The International Yeti Collective by Katy Riddell

I’ll see how quickly I read those and might add more to the list.

Disney + comes out in the UK tomorrow, and I’m super excited for that! There is a lot I want to watch, and I want a chance to re-watch the Star Wars series in chronological order – not the order in which the films came out.

Day Seven – Tuesday 24th March

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Laura. I sent her presents in advance, so she’d have something to open on the day. Predictably for me, I sent her books, but they were well received, and I got to cheer her up as she works from home.

So, today Disney + came out and I took full advantage of that. I had some mental health posters to work on, which while creative, can be a little boring just starring at a screen. So, I decided to look at two screens instead – why? Because I’m clearly an idiot who enjoys multitasking!

I watched Mary Poppins Returns, as I’ve been wanting to see that for ages and missed it at the cinema. It got me through one mental health poster. Then I decided to commence my Star Wars chronological marathon.

Today I watched:

Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

I also managed to get a lot of work done because I was feeling relaxed instead of feeling anxious and coiled like a spring.

I didn’t get any reading done though! I thought I’d get loads of reading done in the evenings but at the moment I have no interest in reading because I’m experiencing the ‘meh’ moment of being cooped up inside.

I did get permission from my boss today, to take my ‘lunch break’ as a dog walk in the morning, so at least I have that to look forward to. I have missed not taking my usual lunchtime walk, so am looking forward to stretching my legs and getting some fresh air. It is particularly sunny in the UK at the moment, and I can’t wait to feel some of that sun on my face!

My colleagues seem to be getting used to how Microsoft Teams works, and I have been inundated with meeting requests for face-to-face conference calls. It seems everyone wants to talk every day! It is lovely that my colleagues want to keep in contact and make sure everyone is alright and coping in this difficult time, but if I get any more Teams requests, I’m going to struggle to find time in the day to do actual work!

I’ve been adding new puzzles to my puzzle profile on jigsawplanet. I know there are a lot of people looking for distractions and outlets at the moment. I started just posting Harry Potter puzzles, but have now expanded to; Disney, Star Wars, Fantasy, Magic, Gaming, Lego, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, etc. If you fancy doing a 300-piece online puzzle, come check me out! It’s free – www.jigsawplanet.com/Zyii

Day Eight – Wednesday 25th March

There was a big palaver today at work about how I was going to get access to the building to check our servers daily while we were closed. As you can imagine, this was quite a simple thing to solve, but the company I work for never likes to go for the simple easy option. It was finally resolved but it did make me laugh at the roundabout and complicated decision that was made.

I had to go into the office today to help with the end of month payslips. Meaning, I folded payslips, placed them in envelopes, franked them, and then made the postman wait while I finished them before he left! It’s a task I do in a much smaller scale every Wednesday, and I wasn’t quite prepared to do it today. It knotted my shoulders and neck quite badly. I had to have a bath when I got home, do some exercises, put some icy hot over my shoulders…and still, the pain continued.

However, it’s a pain I’m used to. I regularly have muscle pain due to a condition I have, so I try to just get on with things. The pain was a real burn today though.

I watched two more Star Wars films this evening, continuing my chronological watching of them.

Star Wars: Solo

Star Wars: Rogue One

TV was off by 9:30pm. Trying to get an early night here and a better sleep.

I also started reading The International Yeti Collective – it’s good!

Day Nine – Thursday 26th March

Thursday already! For a week that’s been working from home, it’s sure gone quicker than expected! I have a killer headache today right in the centre of my forehead, so that’s irritating! I didn’t sleep well last night, and I was up a lot. Stupid insomnia!

I had to stop at work first thing to pick some things up and when straight from there to the dog walk. Freddie didn’t get lost today – a miracle – and Luca didn’t stop at every tree to scratch his back!

It was quite an easy day for me, or rather it worked out quite nicely for me. I needed to put into envelopes some papers for every employee of the company, but I had to hand write the envelopes. It took me all day but it was good because I wasn’t starring at a screen for 8 hours and it gave my headache a chance to die down – which was a relief because at one point it was making me feel quite sick and I thought it might develop into a migraine!

Just as I was finishing up working for the day, I started to watch Star Wars again – I know…I need a break.

Today I watched:

Episode IV – A New Hope

Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

I only have 3 films to go before I’ve completed the chronological viewing.

Afterwards I’m going to watch the Mandalorian series.

After a break, I’ll watch the Marvel films (Phase 1, 2, and 3: parts 1 & 2). I started that chronological film marathon a while ago, but I didn’t have all the films then and do now, so thought I’d give it another go. I’m going to skip The Hulk though, I’ve already lost 2 hours of my life watching that, I don’t need to experience that again!!

I haven’t had any time for reading today – which makes me sad – but hopefully I’ll get to do quite a bit over the weekend.

My best bookstagram friend, BlottedInkBooks (or Dannie), got the box of treats I sent her today. I am so excited that she got it and enjoyed the books I sent her and the craft I put in for her kids. I just wanted to do something kind for another in this chaotic time and I am glad to have been able to give some joy to a friend.

I have been feeling less anxious this week than I was last week. My Dad and his team are working especially hard at the moment, fighting to beat COVID-19. It has been inspiring watching his hard work and his commitment to the cause. I have told him off for working too late though! Even scientists need to sleep to function properly.

My Dad and I stood outside out house at 8pm and clapped for the NHS. It was something that went around facebook and twitter, encouraging people to step out of their houses in unity at 8pm and thank all those in the NHS who are fighting continuously to help us survive COVID-19. Three out of our six neighbours also came out in support and clapping. It was a bizarrely odd and yet hopeful experience.

Day Ten – Friday 27th March

I’ve finally made it to my first full week of working from home. Honestly, I’m not mad at it. There have been some moments of ‘bleugh and meh’ mood swings, but for the most part, I’ve coped quite well. I kind of forgot about Instagram this week – I haven’t posted anything – I was more focused on getting settled in my workspace and planning out what I was going to be doing in the coming weeks.

I went into work this morning to change the tapes, sort the post, and frank some mail. It was very weird being the only person in the office and it filled me with anxiety and bizarre unidentified feelings. I didn’t go on a dog walk today as I was in the office, but I did walk to my local post box to post everything I’d needed to frank while in the office. It was nice to get some fresh air as it is yet again sunny and relatively warm.

I started my online course today ‘Business and Administration Level 2’. There are 6 units and each unit has 6 sessions to it. I have almost completed session 1 of unit 1. Each unit has an assessment at the end of it, unit 1’s assessment needs to be completed by the 17th April. So, I have 3 weeks to study and complete that unit in! It will, if anything, give me more to do as I work from home, and if I commit myself to studying and I pass, I’ll gain a new skill and certificate.

I got paid today, a little early (usually paid on the last working day of the month), and most of it went straight into my ‘flat saving’ account. I am now at the halfway mark for saving for my mortgage deposit and feel quite pleased with myself.

I did wonder what I was going to do over the weekend, other than read and try to keep my spirits up. Hopefully, the weather will still be nice enough to go for a dog walk on both Saturday and Sunday. Although, it looks like it might rain on the Sunday…I’ll read if my mood feels right, but I might also colour or watch stuff on Disney+

I had two Teams face-to-face meetings today and it was nice to catch up with people from the office that I haven’t seen in a while. It was a good end to the Friday workday.

I have been lucky this week. Not much has changed for me and I have been able to survive pretty well. I am currently living with my parents, so I haven’t had to worry about rent of how I will pay any bills. I am in a safe environment and feel a lot of gratitude towards my family and the friends I have around me.

I know not everyone is as lucky or as fortunate. COVID-19 has upturned a lot of lives and it is something that the world is struggling with. We’re all in the same boat. We can all learn from this. I hope everyone manages to keep their heads up over the weekend, and if anyone needs to talk, I’m here to listen.

Love you all!

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