The Coronet Diaries Wednesday 18th March

This is going to be a short entry. I did five Skypes today and while most people were sanguine about what is happening to us two people were not. To witness, in the course of a few hours, two women sobbing and broken-hearted because they cannot reach their families due to European lockdown was so, so sad and emotionally exhausting. And it is very different when you are not in the same physical space of your consulting room but just have a button to press which says: End meeting. It could just as well say ‘Execution!’ Even though that evening I received one subsequent text: ‘Thank you Jane. It was such a release of love and I feel serene after I spoke with you.‘ (Permission given to quote.) I felt so, so privileged to have shared their terror and isolation and I also have to say that being on Skype didn’t seem at all to quell the emotional cadence of these communications of brutal grief, fear and confusion. I feel my face contorts more and more with these bulletins of pain ever day.

About six months ago I decided I wanted to do something that would take me out of my comfort zone and something that I would not find easy. The answer was to learn bridge. I find it very difficult but I am addicted. It’s a bit like meditation as for two hours nothing else enters my mind except those tricks.. Now, in partial lockdown, we are playing on an extraordinary application called BBO where the four of us and our superb teacher assemble online. Tonight, one of the group is in bed with a fever of 39.8, which is worrying as she has only just recovered from a virus. The jury is out as to whether it is now COVID because there are still no tests to be had on the NHS.

Just now my husband, John read me the saddest Government post recommending that now the schools are closed Grandparents do not look after their grandchildren. What kind of first birthday has my little grandson experienced on Zoom? How will his development be affected by this long term segregation from his own age group. Bell gazes down the stairs at her grand parents in an unconscious state of exquisite beauty and sadness at our social distancing. As for those women who have recently found themselves pregnant well that requires a different discussion another time, but their fears must be multi-fold.

The rumour on the street has it that we will be in lock down by Friday. People ask me if I have seen a military presence on the streets. I have’t been on the streets for two weeks now as I had a respiratory virus which did not have a coronet but made me feel ill. Perhaps the military will be patrolling Regent’s Park before the end of the week and dog walking will become illegal. Who now knows what’s fake and what’s true and can someone please tell me since when have a team of mathematicians at Imperial College become society’s best modellers of the impact of the pandemic on London. If we had even an elemental knowledge of the virus’s tricks and turns and mortal body blows it might have been a good thing to go for ‘Herd Immunity’ but what we needed and still need is Time, That is what our nursery Government has robbed us of. Those brainy modellers can and have changed their collective mind mid-field, but the virus will always outwit mathematicians and ‘know alls’… Bring back the medics Boris. While any mixture of disciplines is beneficial to provide an independent overview, it is only the awe-inspiring devotion of the front line intensive care doctors and nurses who witness this trickster disease destroying collective lung-power. Computers remain immune to suffering.

Prescription for the day which starts off well but then seems to deteriorate but it is unusual to find the Chinese complimenting the Japanese.

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