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Small Steps - the Coronavirus Diary or How the Heck Are You Doing?

Updated on May 12, 2020
Nell Rose profile image

Nell is a writer and author. With over 300 articles, and three novels in print. She is also interested in current topics in the news.


Coronavirus Felt Like We Had Been Taken Over by Aliens.

I started to write a diary about this annoying, awful, evil, Pandemic. But then I thought, what the hell is the point? Future generations will have enough information from the Internet.

So I gave up.

It is weird how the Coronavirus came about, and the way that it affects us all though.

I remember the first few weeks.

We all felt weird, as though we had been taken over by aliens or something. The virus was new, and it was terrifying. It left a sour taste, and let's face it, we needed a few bottles of wine to calm our nerves.

A couple of months on and we seem to have accepted it in a strange way.

We have bouts of terror which peaks, then it comes down in a rush towards indifference. But only for a while.

Obviously, if we watch the horror on TV the terror peaks again quite significantly.

Most of us are stuck somewhere in the middle.

Staying Indoors #frontdoor
Staying Indoors #frontdoor

Staying Indoors, The New Norm

Where I live we all seem to have settled into a very polite, 'How do you do, please after you,' sort of stance.

If we come face to face when out walking, one of us, usually me, let's be honest, gets out of the way. But then we smile and move on. I am lucky I suppose. I live in a small town where many people know each other.

I can't even bear thinking about living in a city. I heard that the shops are always full of people still pushing and shoving.

I remember a few weeks ago when people were grabbing toilet rolls and running over the feet of the people behind with the store trolley!

But we all carried on.

Being told to stay in and save lives was such a surreal thing to do at first. But as the weeks have gone on, it now seems the norm.

Then Boris Johnson dropped a bombshell.


Boris Bombshell

From 'Stay Safe,' it is now 'Stay Alert.'

And then we were told we could go back to work, and mix with others!

A strange thing happened when this was announced.

It was as if the Emperor had declared;

'Send them to the Lions, open the gates and put them in the Arena!'

Yes, it does sound strange, but that is exactly how I felt. And I know others felt the same.

I also believe that words can be so powerful.

When Boris told us to 'Stay indoors, etc, we picked up on the word 'Indoors'.

Now the door is open, and they are using the words, 'Stay Alert.'

What, no more Stay Indoors, safe?

Powerful stuff. Take the word 'Indoors' out of the equation and it has had a pretty big impact on the people.

We all know the word.

It's called agoraphobia.

The fear of outside. I am sure there is another 'ism' for being terrified of a pandemic when told to go outside and get on with your life. But I have no idea what it is.

So, let's stick to agoraphobia. It really was like that. Someone opened the door, and yelled,' Get back out there!'

Eek, no! Go to hell!

But of course, we have too.

People need to eat. Firms need to work to survive, and for the mental health of the nation, we have to see people and interact with them.


Escape Isn't So Good Without a Mask

Funny how we pick and choose the stuff we like though, isn't it? Over here in the UK, we have been told that:

  1. You can go out and meet one other person from another household.
  2. Play a sport with a small number of people.
  3. Go back to work if you can.
  4. Wear masks or face-coverings in an enclosed space.

So far I have seen people playing football, others out walking. Cars scooting along the roads as though they are trying to escape, and so on.

Wearing masks in the shops to stop the spread? Er, no.

So it seems we only do what we like. If it is inconvenient then forget it.

And this is us so far.

Scared at the next level. Worried about what comes next, and so on.

Let me know in the comments what you fear, hope, or dread. And tell me how you are at this stage of the 'Pandemic Drama.'

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nell Rose


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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      13 months ago from England

      Thanks Marcy, yes the whole thing is so weird! Thanks for reading.

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile image

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      13 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      Great article! I am very sure this whole experience has changed life as we know it forever.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      13 months ago from England

      HI Nithya, I do too. I get my shopping delivered, but do go to the supermarket in my town as its a good clean one. But yes, going out without worrying, how lovely that would be. Take care.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      13 months ago from Dubai

      I am hoping that a vaccine comes out soon. Here we get groceries, medicines, and food delivered at home. You can order online or by phone and they deliver it your doorstep. I miss going out for walks, I feel suffocated; I hope you are fine, take care, and be safe.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Oh Peggy, I am so sorry to hear that about your neighbor. How awful! Maybe the workmen brought it in with them, that is the most possible I would think. Please take care, and hopefully, they will find some help for it soon.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Dora. that must be awful. I do think parents everywhere should explain to their children though, that they can wave, but not hug. Take care Dora.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Thelma, it tends to be the lack of face masks on other people that panic/annoy me. If I can do it why can't they? Then all the cleaning of the food takes ages. Yes I do hope it gets sorted soon. Take care Thelma.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      We just lost a neighbor yesterday morning to pneumonia and Covid-19. She leaves behind her a loving husband and three teenagers. During this pandemic, they had their kitchen remodeled. Now all of those workers and other friends that recently visited will have to be notified. Where did she catch it? Who knows. All I know is that cases in the U.S. continue to rise and deaths are happening at a rate of several thousand a day. Yet states are opening for business, some faster than others.

      Since my husband and I are both seniors, we are being very cautious when we go out which is as little as possible. We wear masks and gloves. These are scary times. We need to listen to our scientists to know how best to proceed, and we certainly need more testing and tracking of the virus capability. Stay safe!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      14 months ago from The Caribbean

      In my teeny weeny country, masks and social distancing have become a way of life. You can be charged for being in public without the mask. We had 15 cases in a population of 53,000. My greatest fear is what it may be doing to the children. One more than one occasion a little soul comes running up to embrace me, and finds me less than welcoming. What's their interpretation? Still, the rush to get back outside seems frightening.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      14 months ago from Germany

      I can relate to what you have written here. It is scary. To think of a change in my life, there is not many change at all when it comes to going out as I only go out once a week for grocery shopping. I am a homebody. However, I can´t go out spontaneaously anymore and there´s that fear of going out, even for food shopping. All those precautions like wearing a face mask, social distancing and sanitizing the packets of food when at home puts me off.

      I hope this virus will go away soon. Take care of yourself and keep safe Nell.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      That's great news Donna! So glad you are back together. Its lovely when people are nice and friendly, and yes a smile does go a long way. Take care.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Thanks Greg, yes you are totally right. I wish there were more answers, but strangely enough we are still in the early days. I say strange, it seems like years to me. Yes respect everyone, and keep safe. Thank you

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Thanks Devika, ours has been around 8 weeks now. I am glad that there are not any in your region. Take care.

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      14 months ago from Greenwood, Indiana

      Nell, great article. I am doing well. Getting settled in from moving 2200 miles (my husband and I got back together Yay!) At first I didn't know what kind of journey we would have driven all that way but we made it with no problems and everyone was sweet and people in different states were happy and welcoming.

      A smile goes a long way and costs nothing!

      Have a blessed day,

      Donna Rayne

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      14 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Nell - we are doing well in the Pacific Northwest of the US. We live in a small town, too, and are a family of introverts. We do not see reason to rush into a reopening of the entire world, but we also understand folks want to have their jobs back, want to start earning a living again. There is nothing any leader or politician can say that will please all of the everyone. We have seen that play out here in many states and cities across the US. Watching Boris come up with coronavirus and go near the edge of oblivion was scary even for me over here a million miles away from your home. I am glad he survived it, but I wonder if anything useful was learned. At the end of the day, and as I've already said, there is no perfect answer to how to proceed I don't think. Perhaps the best we could do is have each and everyone of us do what we think is best for us and tolerate with respect and understanding what others do and think is best for them. If we could just manage that much we'd all be so much better off. Thanks for the very engaging article. Great work, great discussion.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      14 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Nell Every person has their own opinion and in such situations I think it is up to the individual to wear a mask and gloves. Due to the circumstances it is only you responsible for the way you carry out your daily routine. It is known to everyone of the symptoms and who are at a high risk. Here in Croatia we have been on lock down a month and a half and now in phase 3 nearly ending and no cases in our region. I for one isolated myself and made sure to not mingle. Thank you for sharing this hub.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Venkatachari, thanks for reading. I remember seeing a video that showed washing vegetables and fruit in warm soapy water. then rinsing. Once that is done it should be fine afterwards. But if you are anything like me, then yes wash again. I do tend to be over careful. take care.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      A good take on the present crisis of Coronavirus. It is really a risky job to go out and be safe unless you are well prepared.

      For me, three points are important, Nell. To wear a Mask, Keep Distance, and Wash your hands often whenever you feel that you touched some public property whether in your apartment, market, or office, or wherever you went. These are the primary protections to be safe.

      But, I am confused regarding vegetables and fruits. I wash them and store them in my Refrigerator. Even then, should I wash my hands with sanitizer each time I cut vegetables?

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Beth, good to see you. I totally understand. Over here we have been given money from the government to keep everyone going, but its hard if you have a business, and there isn't much virus there. I think we all need a sense of humor in this, so I will keep trying, lol! take care.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Ruby, I totally agree with you about the comment, I don't think I will ever feel safe like I used to. you hit the nail on the head. People will always be people. Some will carry on like a bull in a shop, others will wash and clean forever even if we get a vaccine. You would like a haircut because it is you, and its part of the sane world, not this mad one. Makes sense my friend. Take care.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Thanks Ann, I totally agree with you about Boris. Can you imagine if it had been that horrible whiny corbyn? He would have legged it ages ago! I can imagine when the virus hit he was very pleased he had lost! As for Boris, the trouble is, people are so used to doing things fast, that even though Boris has been really ill with it, they still expect miracles. They need to realise that everything cannot be done in a day. And yes they really do need to think for themselves. The trouble starts when they are told to wear masks for their own good as well as others, and they totally dismiss it! I am disappointed in the fact that I believed we had learned how to deal with this over the last few weeks. But still people sit next to each other, push past each other, and don't wear masks. we never learn. Thanks for reading.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      14 months ago from Tennesee

      Hi Nell! Loved your humorous but poignant perspective on this issue.

      I am glad to see the lawmakers in my state of Tennessee are starting to allow businesses to re-open. People have suffered so much from the restrictions (and very honestly, more people died here from the flu than this virus) - people denied opportinities to work, so-called "non-essential" medical treatments prohibited, folks prevented from seeing families in nursing homes, ect. My fear or dread comes from seeing liberal lawmakers and media, who want this to continue, and act like money for stimulus bills comes from the Wish Fairy. They want everyone to stay home, stay unemployed and dependent on government hand-outs; which is a sure-fire recipe for bankrupting the nation!

      I wish you all the best, and please keep the bright sense of humor!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Nell, I've been inside so long, I'm getting used to it. The only place that's open here is Walmart. The banks, the courthouse, beauty shops, all restaurants are closed. We only have two cases here in my county, one a child, the other an older person. I think the worst part for me is, I had to trim my own hair. I know that sounds selfish, but it's true. We wear a mask when we go to Walmart. I think what I'm most thankful for is living in a small town. We will get over this, but I don't think I will ever feel safe like I use to. Having a little wine in the evening helps. Take care my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      14 months ago from SW England

      I feel pretty much like that too, Nell. However, I do find it rather annoying that so many people are asking questions like 'But what do I do if....' Can they not work things out by themselves?! Each individual has a different scenario.

      If Boris had told us to relax the rules a little but be sensibly flexible, think about what we're doing and, where we have to, just be safe, then it would have made more sense. In essence, that is what he said but so many don't understand. They want to be told exactly what to do all the time. If that's what happened they'd soon be complaining that it's 1984! I don't think Boris has done a bad job and I would defy any other politicians to do better if they'd been in his shoes. It was so alien to anything else we've experienced that it was impossible to know exactly the best path.

      I'm worried what it's going to be like as people seem to be pounding out of the starting gates all at the same time. However, we only see the worst side of humanity on the tv. In our neighbourhoods we mainly see the best I think. We decided to self-isolate for 12 weeks which takes us up to 13th June, and we're sticking to that. After that, I might take some tentative steps further than our regular walk, just to prove to myself that I don't immediately disappear into a puff of smoke!

      Great article, Nell. It makes us realise that we are not alone in our worries and fears. The bit about panic to neutral really rang a bell!

      Keep safe and well.


    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Marcy, trouble is, if everybody comes back out it may turn out worse. I do understand your point though. I do hope it gets sorted soon, keep safe

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Thanks Chitrangada, I do hope they wear masks and use gloves. Over here its a nightmare! Keep safe.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Flourish, I know, selfish idiots! I am not surprised you have more migraines. I presumed, wrongly, that when we loosened the lockdown over here, people would act differently, with respect. but no, straight back on the bus and train with no masks!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Zulma, yes I think I would be surprised too, lol! seriously though it is such a weird time. I have noticed its the younger ones who totally ignore the social distancing, walking straight past you. Makes me so mad.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi John, its the same over here. This is pretty much the first day of let out, and for some reason, God knows why! I thought it would be different. But no, there are hundreds on the trains and buses, and nobody is wearing a mask! You cannot cure stupid!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      14 months ago from Gondwana Land

      I can relate to and feel your sentiments in regard to this situation, Nell. In my state, Queensland, there have only been three new cases of the virus in the last three days (two days of none and then three yesterday.) My small town hasn't had any recorded yet. New South Wales and Victoria have been the worst hit, but borders are still closed.

      Restrictions eased a little last weekend allowing people to by take away food and go to a park to eat it, and travel went up from 50km to 150km allowed. As from next weekend clubs, pubs, cafes etc can open but restricted to ten customers at a time.

      We have been wearing masks when we go to the supermarket or other store that is open, but most others haven't...and the town is starting to get back to normal as far as number on the street and road.

      This is a worry that we may be easing restrictions too soon when you look at countries like Singapore that are now having a spike much worse than the first time. My wife had a flu shot yesterday because she has a lung condition but I couldn't because there is none in stock for the general public at present.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      14 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Nell.

      I was most surprised to see our window washer yesterday. I had not seen him since before lockdown. Not gonna lie, there was an awkward moment when it came time to pay him. Do I just hand it to him or do I scrunch it up into a ball and lob it at him? In the end, I just handed it to him as the other alternative was just too rude. (Yes, I washed my hands afterwards.)

      He said his commercial jobs, shops and such, were still closed and his wife was still furloughed from her job. He needed to make money where he could.

      What can you do? If we carry on staying indoors till the all-clear signal, the economy will collapse. If we go out, even in controlled measures, we risk a second wave.

      Have a good day, Nell, and stay alert.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      14 months ago from USA

      People here at stores are either mask and glove wearing or completely not (meaning they commonly invade your 6 foot space, don’t wear a mask and bunch up in small groups). I wear a mask and hand sanitizer and wipe down everything with Lysol wipes. I suspect mask wearing and social distancing is a reflection of one’s political leanings, as there were protests in the state capital 12 miles away. I isolate myself as much as possible. My community is a hotspot for the virus in the state right now and I won’t even go near my mother to protect her (and vice versa). We are both high risk. My husband’s work schedule has not changed much. I’ve had more migraines because of the stress of all of this.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      14 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Nell for writing this piece. This is relatable to me, like many others on this planet.

      I believe, we are becoming used to, these unprecedented times. Life moves on—it has to move on.

      There are some relaxations, in the lockdown here, in a graded way, in the agricultural, industrial, manufacturing and other essential sectors. But, no educational institutions, no public gatherings, no retail stores, cinemas etc. will be opened. The essential services are working, some offices will be operational, with fewer employees, and with rotation. Needless to say, everyone has to observe, strict safety norms, such as wearing masks, sanitise etc. Rest others are working from home, as earlier.

      We have to continue to stay alert and safe. And, hope that things will be better in the coming times. How long it will take, is difficult to say.

      Thank you for sharing this article.

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile image

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      14 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      In Illinois, USA, our Gov. has us on double-secret-probabtion lockdown. He is treating the entire state like Chicago. I live in a rural area. My county has had 11 cases, and 9 of them were in the same nursing home (RIP). I have been off work for nearly 3 months and isolated, but recently seeing my girls and parents. I'm tired of all of this for 11 cases in my county. I truly feel sorry for the people who are so much more affected than I am, but I cannot relate to them. My life is normal except I can't go do anything:(

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      lol! no, you are fine Eric. I have to not go to work at the moment because my husband has a lung condition. So we have to stay home. I do desperately want to get back to my work but it will have to wait. This was just a muse I think.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just some notes I am taking. Did they stay home during the bombarding of London? Did they get to just shelter in place during the Civil War?

      Now my life only changed because I now had a full time house guest known as my spouse. She does not get to go back to work. They closed her store for good.She lost her job permanently because of the lock down.

      Dierkers do not do survival mode. She is taking online classes and has a new job about ready to go in July. Something about financial guidance so people can weather such storms and feel as secure as we do. Most storms are purely personal in families. Probably she will take the opportunity to go a couple of months strictly training.

      I reckon each catastrophe is a building educational time. That is how it should be.

      So we do not have to worry about getting back out there. I never did except for produce and the like -- which now stinks at stores but our Mexican/American folks are stepping up with farmer's markets and our Vietnamese/American folks are bringing the exotics back into restaurants.

      I hope I did not make one political note here. As I flail at politics.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Thanks Sankhajit, I appreciate your reading.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      I also got used to it NIck, that I think was the trouble. When Boris said it had changed it was a bit scary, lol! thanks for reading.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Hi Bill, I wear the mask and gloves too. Its just more of a mental thing with me. When Boris said get back out there, it was rather like a 3am soaking with cold water, lol! Stay safe x

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Maybe they will start to wear them over here more from tomorrow after Boris has nagged them some more. I get really annoyed when I see them going into the store without one. Thanks Pamela.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      14 months ago from England

      Same here Lorna. I am scared of the second wave. I have read enough books in the past to know exactly what's coming. thanks as always, and keep safe.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      14 months ago

      Hi Nell, Things are slightly different here in Ireland. Our approach is a more cautious one. I know we all have to get back to some form of normality, however, the UK still have high numbers of infections and of course one of the worst death levels in the world. We do not have a vaccine and herd immunity is frankly madness without a vaccine.

      I saw packed tubes on TV this morning as people rushed back to work and I'm sorry but I think this is madness. How will the NHS cope if there is a second wave - the truth is they won't. These are my worries and concerns about this virus.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      14 months ago from Sunny Florida

      More people are out here to walk, etc. but most stores are still closed. We wear a mask almost everywhere or we won't be allowed in some places. It is different now that things are opening up slowly and I really thing if we are careful, if do proper handwashing, etc. Time will tell I guess.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I almost feel guilty. My life has not changed that much since this all started, and if feels weird to say that. At seventy-one I'm not terribly worried anyway, not like if I was twenty-one. I've had a good life. But the bottom line, for me, is not much has changed. I wear a mask if I have to go to the store. I wear gloves. But for the most part, this social distancing thing is what I've always done. I'm a closet hermit at my core. :) Stay safe, my friend...or should I say stay alert? Boris and Trump should be roommates. Just sayin'

    • Nick Bishop profile image

      Nick Bishop 

      14 months ago

      I really don't know what to say. I have got used to this lockdown. I understand your sentiments in your piece though.

    • Sankhajit Bhattacharjee profile image

      Sankhajit Bhattacharjee 

      14 months ago from MILWAUKEE

      very important and realistic approach on corona...


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