I've been daily blogging the early days of the UK outbreak for 30 days straight. I've only ever done this once before when the sabbatical started and I wanted to remember what it was like to stop work after decades of it.
Should I keep going with this one? Is 30 days enough?
The 'new normal' has kind of been established. The rate of change has slowed. For the average person living in England, the lockdown is now a known thing, with set rules to abide by. There is talk of opening up UK Plc again but other talk that says restrictions will go on for the rest of the year. There is less 'news' to write about so is there any value in doing this publicly? Everyone's experience of this thing is different – what's interesting about mine?
[Pause to say that a local squirrel is walking very, very slowly, step by step, across the garden fence right in front of me, eyeing me up as it passes. It's nice to see it going at a slow speed so I can see it rather than the usual scampering fly-by. Here s/he is from winter, monkey nut in mouth]
Is anyone reading this?
Ok, so KPIs… Around 40 visitors a day come to the blog; min 14, max 112 in the last four weeks. Y'all are looking at just under 1.5 pages on each visit. Some have left comments (unusual these days but probably a Facebook avoidance technique!) And there is at least one email subscriber I know of.
Tbh, I started writing this for my future self so I'm not exactly sure what people are getting out of reading my personal diary of a pandemic. Still, a few people have told me they are reading it daily so that's a reason to continue.
If I do continue on, are there things you guys would like to know or read about? Let me know?
Or should I just plough on with whatever goes through my mind each day?
Are things changing enough to write daily, weekly, monthly?
If the pandemic is here to stay for a year, maybe two. Daily blogging seems a lot in that time scale.
I'm wary that there are many perspectives on the situation, and this is mine – and that's fine. But reading about my holiday in the back garden is a bit fucking twee if you're working on the key worker frontline or have a confirmed case of Covid-19 or have lost someone.
It's one thing writing about my experience but I am very aware that I am doing this while having the privilege of being well and (mostly) able to stay at home. This diary may well come back to bite me in the proverbial.
I am encouraged by the fact that lots of other people are doing this all over the world and even being asked to write diaries in order to create a social history of this time. Type 'pandemic diary' into a search engine and you'll find lots of other people blogging across the globe.
I guess I do want to be part of that social history tapestry in some way. Even if it is on the understanding that I'm of a certain demographic living in privileged part of the world where a welfare state exists.
Coronovirus stats update
The last time I looked at 'the numbers' was on 11 April. As of today there are:
133,495 confirmed cases in the UK (up from 79,865 on 11 April) 18,100 deaths (up from 9,875 deaths in the UK on 11 April) 759 deaths in past day (down from 917 UK deaths recorded 10 April) The (first?) peak may have been reached on 8 April. Birmingham: 2,431 cases in population of 1,141,374 Midlands area: 3,241 Covid-19 deaths from confirmed cases (confirmed cases only include those testing positive for the virus, not all will have been tested.) USA: 833,674 cases | 45,819 deaths World: 2,569,696 cases | 181,218 deaths | 663,668 recoveries
Data source: BBC.
These numbers are terrifying and terrible but they also feel cold and distant. Each one hides heartbreak, however. And perhaps anger too – particularly, when it is NHS staff who are dying because they are not getting the protective equipment they've been promised and the abject failure of the UK government to act swiftly or prepare for this.
Today I am thankful for the good weather and time to work on some collage responses to the pandemic in the sun.
Update on my elderly friend who went to hospital yesterday – he's ok and back home.
Commission/hire me: fiona [at] fionacullinan.com