The Guardian is investigating how the Government prepared for COVID19 and actively asking for whistleblowers.
We are postponing bed changeover until tomorrow. It takes us so long between stripping the bed, remaking parts of it and by the time we accomplish the return of the duvet-cover to duvet only five clean duvet-days have expired. My ostrich feather duster accessory was proving invaluable with housework and exercise until Zen confused its feathers for a dead bird.
Some people’s dreams are becoming more violent; others report that they have never been so serene, except the dreamer wakes to find they return to living a nightmare. I spend too much of the night listening to podcasts, which I invariably abandon, and music to send me to sleep. I would like to read but I feel my eyes deserve to rest.
I already have so many observations about working between Zoom and ether, but not yet the time to connect them. My own experience is that in some ways Zoom sessions can be more intense, or perhaps it is the conditions we find ourselves in whereby people are as concerned about me as I am about them. I think we are all, albeit perhaps belatedly, now concerned about each other. That is another technique I need to get up to speed with as a therapist: How do I negotiate the personal comments about ‘me’ ? One of the more difficult things to learn when you first become a therapist is not to feel you need to say something clever during every session, or to prove that you are understanding everything when you are not. Indeed, it would be an insult to assume you were. Many do.
Now, when everyone is trying to land meaning or certainty (which no longer exists) out of primal chaos it feels important to net- in a golden quarry of hidden meaning, or unconscious association. I resist my desire to transform what may have been a bland session into ‘a pot of gold’… I give you a golden thread only wind it into a ball, it will lead you to Jerusalem’s gates built in Heaven’s wall. I think that must be a concoction of William Blake and me. It flew spontaneously into mind, like much of my tangential writing does. We are learning to live without golden threads unless we can spin our own out of Nature’s tendrils. Such a beautiful word, ‘tendrils’ for which another word might be ‘filament’. And thereby I have a golden string as filament leads me to lineament. Everyone is now in need of lineaments. (I think it was probably string and not thread), that takes me back to Blake: What is it that men and women most desire? The lineaments of gratified desire.
On a lighter note I have just spoken to a ‘patient’ who is self isolating and doing well. She spends her time between sewing, knitting , reading sacred texts and eating super-foods. However, she has counselled me against my exotic ostrich duster and told me I am just shifting microbes from one settlement to another; that I must order a hand-held hoover at once! She too is over seventy and also tells, rather than instructs, me she is taking long and lonely walks on Hampstead Heath at dawn. I have counselled her not to fall over any of the many exposed tree roots because if she trips nobody will come to her aid. Even if I do not send off for my hoover, I hope that she will watch every step. That may sound severe or patronising on my part; even retaliatory but my expression was one of concern. Just now, ‘she’ has forwarded me, for self-enlightenment: Sefirat Ha-Omer’ the Counting of the Omer. We all have so much work to do. I need the discipline of the Omer just now because until I was alerted to the headlines in the FT below I was thinking of taking more risks.
I am angry because increasingly it seems as though we, ‘the citizen’s are having to protect the NHS, rather than the NHS protect us. By that of course I do not mean the fabulous front line worker-heroes and all the essential staff whatever their level of duty. Our Great NHS is crumbling before our eyes. The warnings which came fast and furious, long before COVID appeared, have been neglected over the years at our peril. What could be more infantile than turning the Excel ‘Inn’ into a ‘Nightingale’ and then finding there was not enough personnel to run the gig. I know my children hate me saying it and probably my ‘patients’ too…Having heard what I have heard from the front line, as well as from first hand reports, I will not be leaving my bed.
I persuaded John to come for an early morning walk with Dido around the neighbourhood. We haven’t left the house for weeks, literally weeks. I’m not sure whether we are in more danger of claustrophobia, or the agro kind. Our street and the adjoining one are populated by Victorian stucco villas and terraced houses dating from 1875. A mixture of those who own houses and those who own or rent flats. We live in the terrace and Priory Road is a bit grander. Two observations: in Priory Rd, which is more populated by villas, most of the villas are locked up and the only rubbish outside belongs to garden waste, whereas the flats appear populated. Secondly, as we passed by Belsize Road, which is a main but deserted traffic artery we noticed a long, long, ragged queue of people that extended about fifty meters all looking into space. I did not see many masks. I realised that although the bus stop was out of sight, in socially distancing protocol, this was a queue waiting for the 31 bus. Presumably many of them are key workers as it was before 8AM. It was an eerie sight. I was struck by a conundrum of what would happen regarding socially distanced seating when they filed onto the bus?
More accurate mortality statistics acquired by the Financial Times Yikes!