What is coronavirus doing to us and I don’t mean the physical effects of the disease? I mean the mental and social side effects of the disease and the hysteria that’s been thrown up around it!
This document is a work in progress as the
coronabollocks debarkle continues…
What is Coronavirus?
If you don’t know what Coronavirus is then, have you been living in a cave or living under a rock? Or maybe you don’t do mainstream media.
You can not go anywhere at the moment without being bombarded with information about Coronavirus or Covid-19. In brief, it’s a virus, like Flu but Coronavirus is a variant of the Sars Virus named Covid-19. I won’t go into the full explanation as this link on John Hopkins Medicine explains it much better.
First, let’s start off with the social effects as I see them. If you like from the point of view of a tradesperson and a few thoughts from my personal perception as a tradesman.
In days gone by when I visited a customer, they were happy to see you and would usually engage in conversation as you arrived, either as a pleasantry or to discuss the job or at the very least to ask you if you’d like a cup of tea/coffee.
Now when you turn up at a client’s home or office, they’re virtually pushing you back out the door before you’ve even started doing the job! Mostly, because of what they have seen or heard in the media. They actually don’t want you there because they think you might be carrying the plague that is coronavirus!!!
Let me give you a few examples.
Today I’ve been to see an elderly couple. A couple whom I’ve been to see many times in the past. Both of them are usually quite chatty as they’re both long past retirement age and don’t see many people even before we had Coronavirus. I spent many a day at their house chatting to the pair of them as I’ve worked away.
Today, however, was a very different experience.
Because of what they have seen or hear on the news they are both paranoid beyond belief about catching coronavirus and before I was even allowed through the front gates at the property I was instructed to wear my face mask and gloves at all times even though I was working outdoors. They also said that on this occasion they would remain indoors. I know they are being doubly safe and I appreciate this.
At no point through the day did I see either of them or their numerous dogs, nor was I offered a drink, something which I am usually offered several times during my work there.
Once I completed the work I knocked on the front door and was promptly called back on my mobile phone.
I then had a conversation with the homeowner through the window via telephone. Okay, it’s their choice, I respect that, but I’ll also say it’s fucking weird!
My second example is an office that had called for me to fix one of their PC’s.
On the initial call I arrived I was asked to bring my own keyboard and mouse so as not to expose myself or their staff to any potential risk.
On arrival, I was ushered into an upstairs office where the pc had been moved to and told to call down to reception when finished. Reception looks like they’re preparing for full on war behind their impregnable covid plastic screens with huge holes in and around!
However, in other places I go, I’m asked to do nothing more than sign in to their Covid log or take my temperature and email this to their Covid log email address or Microsoft Teams group.
The weirdest one is a business in Manchester. A day before I was due there I was sent a 14-page document, via email, which I had to read and sign and send back.
Terms and conditions of entry to their premises for coronavirus, Covid-19.
All I was doing at their offices was dropping keys off for a building I’d been working in.
Nothing weird about this you might say but I was dropping keys off at an empty building!
Yes, their building was completely empty!!!! No staff, no concierge. No one.
Even when you go out it’s the same story.
I see my friends and neighbors and they approach until they reach 2 meters away and then some impregnable barrier stops them in their tracks. Like everyone is suspicious of everyone!
So is this affecting everyone mentally? Is everyone suspicious of everyone else or are we all becoming paranoid?
Which brings me into something else, paranoia.
Paranoia and Fear
Since covid a number of my close friends have shut themselves away from all, “it’s to keep myself safe”, “I’m shielding because I have a high-risk disease” or “I’m too scared to go outside”, even “the news said…”
The fear element is one I fully understand as certain sections of our communities dont have access to information like others. The elderley are less likely to use the internet or search for things like news so rely on the absolute rubbish pumped into their homes on the TV and Radio who because they are trying to convey a message quickly do not go into the facts or detail as perhaps a website article might do.
I’ve sat with a few elderley friends and relatives recently and listened to them and the fear they have because they dont have all the information is quite scary. One friend of mine actually thought he’d get arrested if he went shopping, because he’d misinterpreted what he’d hear on the radio. So I took him shopping and we didnt get arrested.
A few of my friends have now been alone since March in their houses/apartments and communication with everyone is virtual. Even shopping deliveries aren’t face to face.
It’s May 2020 and you’ve been shielding as you’ve been told you are in a high-risk group. You haven’t seen anyone for nearly 8 weeks, well apart from the delivery driver or maybe a neighbor who called last week to see if you were okay.
No one has been in your house and you haven’t been outside, not even into the garden.
You are very lonely and crave the contact of others but…
You don’t want to be with anyone else. Everyone is potentially a threat and anyone could be carrying Coronavirus which could kill you.
The number of people I’ve heard say this chill’s me to the bone. My own mother amongst them!
An old couple I know are super concerned with deliveries to the house and only let the delivery driver through the gates once a conversation has been had and they have checked their visitor on their CCTV.
Let’s take the weekly shopping delivery. They let the delivery driver in and ask him/her to leave all the food/products in the relevant boxes outside their garage door.
Once the driver has left they leave the goods outside for a few hours and then go spray the packaging with anti-bacterial spray and then leave it for a further few hours. Only then do they both come out wearing masks and large rubber gloves before food and products are taken inside!
I just hope that when this is all over those people can trust other people again. This level of paranoia to me seems like madness especially as neither have underlying medical conditions but “the news” said they were in a “high risk” group because they are over 70.
I know my friend wouldn’t mind using her in this example but alas I can’t ask her as she’s dead now and I firmly place the blame on this Cornavirus hysteria. However, her mother has said what I have written is fine. I’ve left her name out for obvious reasons but RIP my lovely friend, I will miss you lots.
During the first lockdown, my friend really suffered with her mental health. She lived in Manchester City centre and first Covid lockdown hit the centre hard and Manchester became a real ghost town.
On many occasions, I visited her and found myself stood alone in what is normally a bustling vibrant place.
Now imagine you’ve lived in Manchester City centre for nearly 20-years and then all of a sudden, all the noise, all the people and all the daily commotion disappears. One day it’s there and poof, the next day it’s completely gone.
Now imagine that you’ve got used to that noise, the people and the commotion but now suddenly it’s not there and you instantly notice this. Would it begin to affect how you see the city if this was you?
Some people might say “well I’d cherish it”. But because of the sudden lack of noise, noise to which you’ve become accustomed to means this the silence is deafening.
This is what has happened to my friend and because of this, she has been struggling to function, struggling to sleep, and struggling with the lack of human contact.
On the number of occasions that I visited her apartment during lockdown, she was very reticent to let me into her apartment and because of this, we’d end up going for a walk around the city. This though, because of how quiet it was, would actually bring her to tears!
“I can’t deal with this Mikki” was something she said on numerous occasions.
Also on a number of occasions, she actually broke down and cried because she hadn’t slept for many days, mainly because the city was too noisy because there was no noise!
About halfway through lockdown in stayed with her for several days because she was in such a state.
On the last few occasions I went to see her, towards the end of May she looked very ill, extremely gaunt, and admitted to me that she’d spoken to her doctors at length because she was struggling to sleep, cope with daily life and the total lack of human contact. Human contact I’ll add she resisted because she didn’t want to catch anything off her family or friends!
Her doctors prescribed sleeping tablets but she was already on anti-depressants which I am told can stop you sleeping properly anyway. Apparently, they interfere with your REM sleep and lots of people taking these suffer with sleep!
Anyway, at the start of June none of us had seen her for weeks as she wouldn’t let us go round and wouldn’t even come out of her apartment. We even struggled to get her on the phone, Whatsapp, or Messenger!
Then on the 6th June neighbours started to smell something bad coming from her apartment and called the council and police who went around and broke in.
They found her dead in her bed and she’d been there for several days. 😭😭😭
We’ll never know if her death was accidental or if she actually took an overdose.
I’ve had another friend who’s also committed suicide recently and we know she was really depressed with life as she left a suicide note. She said she couldn’t deal with the isolation and lack of human contact and saw no end to the current situation.
I know lockdown and working from home has been great for some of us. Personally, I’ve lost 3 stones during the lockdown and a few of my friends are fitter because of it.
However, there is another group of friends, neighbours, and customers who have taken the time to chill out and in some cases a little too much. Some because they’ve sat and tried to “Complete” Netflix. Others have got depressed and either ate or drank all of lockdown.
Others haven’t left the house and even though they’ve worked from home the daily routine of commuting has piled the pounds on.
I know a few people who have sustained injuries while in from DIY (from falls, power tools, and even woodworking tools) or from Sports injuries (bicycle, jogging, or even canoeing).
I class myself in this bracket as it’s affecting me both as a business owner and also as an individual.
I’ll go into my personal circumstances in a moment but as the owner of a small business, I can categorically say the government has offered no help to small businesses who’s director’s pay themselves dividends and don’t use the PAYE scheme and as such, I have had to carry on working.
This has probably been good for me mentally at first as I had quite a lot of work in the first month of lockdown. However, as lockdown went on work dried up, and because lots of my clients are also small to medium-sized businesses they were either in lockdown or struggling for work themselves.
This has meant a massive shortfall in my business turnover over the months of April, May, and June. In relation to last year’s turnover, they are down 60%!
Now for the first time in my business history, which is 20 years this year, I’ve taken out a business loan to keep the business going. In hindsight, I wish I’d have closed it in May as the only folk I owed money to was HMRC!
Things have picked up a bit but with Lockdown 2.0 being imposed, yes I did say imposed, on us, this looks set to take a nose dive again as lots of my clients are based in the hospitality sector.
Because of the initial lockdown and business finances being bad I struggled to pay myself in May, June, and July.
Coupled with the fact that I haven’t been able to claim a single penny, yes folks not one penny has passed from the treasury to me during this because I am the owner of a Limited business who pays myself dividends instead of PAYE.
I’ve even tried to claim Universal Credit but because I live in a house with someone who gets an income I haven’t been able to get anything from this either. My first month’s claim after filling in a shed load of forms was calculated at £0.00.
On speaking to the lovely people (sarcasm mode off), that I’ve set up my company in a way that the furlough/support system isn’t willing to support.
So, I’ve had to work but I haven’t been earning no were near as much as I did prior to Coronabollocks and because I was driving up and down the M6 for the first 4 weeks of lockdown I got pulled by the Police quite a bit as well and was told many times I must return to my home and isolate to stop the spread. Ironically, by an unmasked man leaning into my car!
Anyway because of Coronavirus and the actions of the government I now am in debt both as a business and personally.
A number of my friends have done very well out of Furlough and I know people who have been furloughed by the company they work for but have then gone working for someone else! Double wage.
There does seem to have been a lot of renovations have gone on around here during furlough, which begs the question of where were people getting materials from as I’ve struggled to get sand, cement, plaster, and plasterboard.
There also seems to be a lot of furloughed folk who’ve got new cars as well.
Wish I could have furloughed myself.
I hear a lot of people saying, “I can’t wait to go to the pub”, “I wish I could have a night out” but I also hear people saying “This second lockdown is the pub’s fault”.
From what I’ve seen, and I’ve been out to Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Blackpool, and many more places is that the hospitality industry has done everything the government asked of them and more.
Don’t forget “Eat out, to help out”. The government paying 50% of the cost of your meal to help out the hospitality industry. Blaming them for the increase in R-value.
Remember the pubs re-opened on the 4th of July 2020 and the R-value only started to climb sharply in September. So, it’s definitely not the fault of an industry that spent millions of pounds making things “Safe” for its patrons.
I’ve seen what’s happened to the hospitality industry and if we still have one left after all this coronavirus bollocks then be thankful as its hit them hard. Hotels, cafes, Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, Clubs (which incidentally haven’t opened since March) and all the industries which rely on the businesses above.
Have you been out and supported your local pub?
When the time comes don’t be surprised if your local pub isn’t there anymore.
And, yes, yes I have. Lots!
This is the reproduction number (R) and growth rate (Value) of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. Hence R-Value.
I’ve never understood this as the government holds this up as its “Magic wand” to justify what’s going on but the numbers havent been consistant with lockdown. North West England R-value is lower than all the other regions in England and the North West is locked down first? Explain this to me please? Don’t get it!
And so on the 5th November we are forced to go into lockdown yet again.
Businesses are forced to shut their doors.
Staff are once again working from home or furloughed.
We’re all hiding from a virus and waiting for a vaccine (sorry I think if you are your deluded, its a virus, like flu or the common cold).
The average age of those dying with Covid is 79 for men and 84 for women. Here’s a link to the BBC so it must be true!
The average age of people dying with Covid-19.
So as we proceed into a month of lockdown before Christmas 2020 I hope that you stay safe and in these times of lockdown you stay safe and stay sane.