Covid Isolation Week 7 Day 2 – Rain rain rain rain beautiful rain

Two interesting things happened today:-

  • I learnt that a little bit of rain stops 95% of people venturing outside
  • I got offered a Data Scientist role in work

 So all in all a good day.

The data science role is one I’ve been cheering for and promoting for a while and when the opportunity came up I went all in. It’s definitely my area of interest so it’s great to get some alignment between work and play interests.

One of the key things that nailed it (probably) was my summary diagram:-

This focused not just on the crunching of data but importantly on how that data is then conveyed.

I like it and so did they…

As for the wet weather – it didn’t stop me and Isaac having our normal ramble…

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Damp but doing good

Covid Isolation Week 6 Day 1 – close call

I actually came close to thinking I might have contracted the virus….close.

I was aching yesterday morning from the Chest and Triceps workout the day before but then about lunchtime I just got hit with a wave of tiredness…accompanied by a killer headache. It was to the point where I had to go to bed – and pretty much just passed out for a few hours. Even after that I didn’t feel right – slightly light headed and ‘spacey’. However, temperature remained ok and after a good night’s sleep I felt a whole load better.

I’m putting down to over working and not getting enough sleep – but I really did think it might be Covid at one stage.

So today was back to the normal weekly routine, which Isaac has been getting used to (last week he was great all week), but today he had a wobble. Not sure why it started with school work and him essentially trying to get us to do his work for him – but it quickly spiralled into a full on meltdown. Now this isn’t the first time and given the current situation isn’t surprising – we’re all feeling the frustration, but it’s almost as if his frustrations build up to a point where it has to hit a crisis point before it can get better. After his melt-down he was back to being his normal wonderful self for the rest of the day. 

I need to start working our the warning signs and start trying to defuse them ahead of a meltdown – easier said than done.

But we did have a great walk in the woods and across the ridgeway…

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Close but ok so far

Covid Isolation Week 4 Day 5 and a half? – 3am reflections

For the first time in a very long time I can’t sleep.

Often when I’ve had a few drinks (or more accurately more than a few) I wake up early – so maybe this is linked to too much alcohol and too early a night. Or maybe it’s more things on my mind…

This virus is taking its toll on people and getting ever closer in terms of people we know – i just pray that they find an effective treatment or vaccine soon. 

Prayer is a funny thing that I never quite believed the power of, and it’s easy to pass things off a co-incidence. But more co-incidences happen when I pray for them than when I’d just have a desire for something to happen.

I suppose part of the power of prayer is taking the time to reflect on what hasn’t gone right in the day, saying sorry and accepting that it’s ok not to get things right 100% of the time. That forgiveness is good for your mental health. The next part for me is linked to reflecting on the day and saying thank you for the good things in it. Those are easy things to take for granted and again its good for your mental health to reflect on what’s good in your life. Then finally it’s about looking forward and asking for help with things – which helps focus your mind on the important things in the future.

So my reflections tonight are more on that last part of prayer…asking

…and in that I ask that in this time of change and isolation I hope that people can reflect on the modern routine of life and take time to pause and in pausing feel the closeness of the holly spirit that is there for all of us. And for those battling the virus and battling for their lives I hope that they lift the cynicism of the modern view of God and reach out… and in reaching out find comfort and peace.

Covid-19 Symptom Check

All still good

Covid Isolation Week 4 Day 4 – Seagulls

I’m not sure if it’s related to the lock-down but there seems to be far more seagulls around.

Living in a city you tend to get more pigeons than gulls…and certainly I can’t recall ever really noticing the sound of gulls of a morning. After-all it is very distinctive and reminiscent of holidays. But the last few days have started with the streaks of gulls. Maybe it’s them moving further in-land due to fewer people heading to the coast. Certainly there have been stories of rats migrating away from closed fast food outlets and even goats reclaiming deserted streets.

So today has been another quiet one. 

I decided to take a few days off work before it gets crazy busy next week. Not that we can do anything – but I just feel my Monday to Friday has very little me time. This is mainly due to how we’re having to split up the day and look after Isaac:-

  • I get up early and try and get logged onto work for 7 to 7.30
  • Then I work through until 12:30…
  • Lunch and then I take over looking after Isaac
  • Take turns to have a shower and get dressed
  • 2 mile walk down to the nature reserve and along the canal, while doing maths (maths on the move)
  • 20 mins of reading and copying out a page of the book to practice his hand-writing
  • This normally takes us up until 3pm – so it’s free time for him (xbox/youtube) and back to work and a few emails for me
  • Around 5 I log off and we normally play a little minecraft
  • Then it’s dinner and the bedtime routine…getting him down around 8
  • Then we eat dinner normally watching some series (Ozarks or Better Call Saul at the moment)….which takes us up till around 10
  • ….and by that time I want to head to bed….

So not a lot of time just to pick up the usual projects.

But then I’m in a better situation than most….so I’m not complaining.

Other acheivement of today (before I forget) I helped Isaac build an Airfix Spitfire – took me right back to my childhood. Although I did most of the work – it was damned hard and fiddly.

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Still all symptom free….yay!

Covid Isolation Week 4 Day 1 – Lockdown Blues

It’s been an odd Easter – odd times….same refrain.

Nothing much is happening in terms of the virus – the rate of increase looks to be flattening – so the peak is within sight. Or at least that’s the propaganda at the moment. The issue I don’t get is how we get out of this lock-down scenario without a vaccine being in place. It’s understandable that as the death rate lowers people will naturally think they’ve made it through – but the infection/death rate has will drop due to the lock-down impact. Relax that and the virus can spike again – similar to what the WHO is warning about. I suppose the country to watch would be China but their reporting seems a little too good on the numbers. The next one would be Italy – so we’ll see what this next few weeks holds in store.

The other complication in all this is the recent reports of re-infection in South Korea. Hopefully this is just down to some false test results as this could get very very bad if having the virus doesn’t give you some form of immunity to future inflections.

So in other news Easter came and went yesterday. It was a bit of a reflective day filled with too much food and chocolate (as to be expected). We’ve got into watching a film from our youth every Friday and extended it to Easter Sunday. Surprisingly the Easter film doesn’t seem to attract the same kudos as the Christmas film – so on this we had ‘Knocked Up’ which was just as funny as I remember.

Apart from lashings of chocolate Isaac had a few little gifts from the family – the current favourite being a cheap Meccano set. He was really good at it in fairness.

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Stir crazy: 1

Covid-19: 0

Covid Isolation Week 3 Day 6 – something of a nothing day

It’s been an odd one today – more meh than anything…boredom is setting in.

But then I always find the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday a little…meh… It’s kind of not one thing or the other – a day of waiting more than anything. And given the current situation, there’s more focus on the waiting.

It was definitely a day of low motivation levels. The most I achieved being some exercise and getting my work-out routines changed around a bit.

I did play a good solid 3 hours of minecraft with Isaac – which he loved…but nothing productive.

The highlight of the day was probably Isaac beating both of us in Monopoly in just over an hour….he was so happy…

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Apart from a slight tight chest – all is still well…

Covid Isolation Week 3 Day 5 – the blackest Good Friday

Well today seems the bleakest Good Friday I think I’ve experienced.

Growing up and through most of my adult life this has been the start of a great weekend (usually) – no work, drinking, dancing, partying…life lived to the full spending the fruits of hard work on having a good time.

But over the years the meaning and significance of Good Friday has crept up on me.

I don’t normally talk about my faith but it seems apt today in the midst of this weird period we find ourselves in.

For me there has never been a crisis point that led me to faith – I’ve never hit rock bottom, never messed things up on such a scale that I had no where else to turn, or a plan to get things back on track. I didn’t come to believe out of desperation or  losing everything. For me it’s always kind of been there and as I’ve gotten older I see His hand more and more in life around me.

I have a comfortable life, one of contentment, close family, good friends and all my needs fulfilled. I can’t say I’ve always worked hard, the truth is that in the past I’ve always been able to do just enough to get by. That being said when needed I have worked hard to get things done and I’m especially good in a crisis – where a stoic practicality keeps me calm and focused. I often see solutions quicker than others.

There are many things that have shaped that – the whole nurture/nature debate. But as I get older I see more coincidences that join up and light a path to Jesus. People I’ve met, situations, opportunities – that could be passed off as simply that coincidence but when those coincidences stack up it makes it harder and harder to ignore.

This seems the start of a longer post about the events and people that have brought me to faith – which wasn’t my intention for this post…

Today it struck me that isolation is insulating us all from the harsh realities of how things are out there. We all watch the news and hear the statistics and talk of flattening peaks. But the reality is that for thousands of people across the country (millions across the world) this is the blackest/bleakest of a Friday with no goodness. They have lost love ones, or are maybe separated from friends and family, unable to reach out and offer comfort. Or maybe they are in hospital, worried, fearful unable to breath and scared about what happens next.

In those moments I pray they feel the presence of the Holly Spirit and take comfort in the knowledge that this is all temporary, there is a better place and entry is simply through belief.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may diehe shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die

How things get presented…

The reality for many across the world…

Drone pictures show bodies being buried on New York's Hart Island

This picture was taken in New York – 40 people buried in a mass grave in the leading Nation of the World.

Covid Isolation Week 2 Day 7 – Palm Sunday

It’s been another quiet day – hardly any surprise there.

And rather than the usual Palm Sunday routine it’s been a day of chilling and catching up on a few internet projects.

Finally finally finally I worked out the issue with the front page of this site.
When ever I was changing the ‘page’ it stubbornly remained exactly the same. I spent ages looking at caching issues and even thought it might be an ISP issue to help lower internet traffic…. but Occam’s razor – it was me not remembering how I’d configured the template. That took a good few hours running through all the possibilities – and to help my memory in the future I’ve added it as a note to the home page in the edit suite. I’m bound to forget again.

The other success of the weekend has been setting up Skype on the TV – now we don’t have to all huddle around a phone or laptop.

So Palm Sunday always feels a strange start to holly week – Jesus riding into Jerusalem with rejoicing crowds celebrating his triumphal arrival. From the Old Testament, Zechariah described how the King of the Jews would come onto the scene as the triumphant, victorious leader.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zechariah 9:9

The crowds didn’t get the Messiah and Saviour they were expecting – he had bigger plans than just delivering his people from the Romans.

In Roman athletic competitions, the winners were awarded palm branches as a symbol of strength. And maybe the crowds were looking for him to be a strong warrior King – not the King of Peace. Certainly now Palm branches typically symbolise in Christianity the victory of the faithful over enemies of the soul. 

I remember a sermon last year where the Pastor explained that one theory on the waiving of Palm branches was more to do with an early Israelite Victory when they crossed the river Jordan into the promised land, rather than it being around the time of Sukkoth.

I need to track more on this down…

 

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Apart from the regular hang overs we’re all good…

Covid Isolation Week 2 Day 6 – finally feels like spring

The sun is shining, birds singing over the faint hum of far off lawn mowers – it really feels like the start of spring today. But everyone is stuck in-doors unable to do all the normal social activities.

So today’s surprise has been reports of a number of 5G masts getting attacked and set on fire:-

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/apr/04/uk-phone-masts-attacked-amid-5g-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory

This has been driven by 2 nonsense theories that either 5G suppresses the immune system or that it is being used by the virus to target people! 

It’s amazing, almost astounding, what people will believe… and believe so strongly that they would go out and take direct action. However, if you did believe in conspiracy over cock-up this virus is perfect cover to implement some draconian controls on wider society. If you needed everyone off the streets to be able to do something clandestine then what better cover than a pandemic. Which could even extend to us all having to have a Covid-19 app on our phones to track who we’re interacting with – to trace any future outbreak. The tin-foil had brigade would have a field day with that I’m sure.

Anyway – as it’s so nice we’re all off out for a longish walk – you never know when it might rain.

Covid-19 Symptom Check

Still all ok…

 

Covid Isolation Week 2 Day 5 – 1 degree of separation

It’s creeping ever closer.

Today was the first day where people we know have started to lose loved ones… getting ever closer.
The preparations ramp up…millennium stadium converted to a hospital…2000 beds! That’s not planning for a few hundred deaths.
We’re getting to the really difficult part… as we all knew it would.

But I think the hardest bit will be when the infection rate and fatality rate starts to tail off. This has always struck me as the kind of infection that will have a double peak. People’s behaviour and desire to get out of lockdown will mean they take chances too soon. The hope is that by then we have some effective tests for carrying the antibodies.

But but but… it stuck me earlier today that this is the third Corona virus epidemic – SARS, MERS, SARS-2 (Covid-19). And the fatality rate has stepped up each time. So the real scary part is what’s next?

Statistically we have been overdue a pandemic for sometime – but it seems odd that the same family of viruses seem to be causing increasingly ferocious diseases. Is this a factor of the modern world or just nature as nature is…   

Covid-19 Symptom Check

All good in the hood 🙂