As we watched the news about how serious Covid-19 was becoming during February and early march, we realised that this would soon be a serious problem for us here in Somerset. My wife, as a nurse in Musgrove was always prepared for an emergency situation to affect her at work, but not also at home. We spent many moments discussing how we would cope when the virus hit and what we would do to keep our family safe. We had a backup plan for if she got infected, and a second back up plan to use in case it affected me as well – who would take our children? What about the dog? Could we self-isolate in part of the house and keep the rest of the family safe? I’m sure many others have had similar thoughts in the past couple of months about how to adapt their own situations to this new temporary reality.
When my wife finished her shift at the hospital, we had a well drilled routine of how I would greet her outside, open the car door for her to get out the clean the steering wheel and other controls. She would go inside (without touching any door handles) and put all of her clothes into the washing machine, then straight upstairs into the shower before we let the kids or dog come near her. This was the best strategy to keep both her and us safe from a virus we could not see. At times it felt as if we were doing a dress rehearsal for a scene from a hospital drama, but it was all a small inconvenience to pay for our health. We made sure that we were following all of the government advice to the letter, even if others around us were not.
When the lockdown began to ease in mid-May, we still stayed with our routine that we had carved out in the six weeks prior. We did not think that we should put ourselves at risk and also, because of my wife’s job, put others at risk at the same time.
We hope the peak of this pandemic has passed so we can start to return to normal life, but with a few exceptions: Our children are now well versed in how to properly wash their hands and now do it without asking; shopping is now more orderly and calmer; when going out for my weekly shop I saw many more families taking to bikes than I ever thought possible – I hope some people continue to choose the bike instead of the car! Small positives to try and take during a time that has taken loved ones and put such a strain on our lives.