March started amazingly well, we’ve had the external render done, the plumber has completed everything for the first fix and we’re ready to start plastering the inside.
There’s always something that goes wrong…
At the start of March, we were feeling like we’re on the home stretch; everything was going well with the house and we’re almost at the stage of decorations and choosing paints! Which is mental… On the days the plasterers were working but it was too wet to work on the outside, they plastered a few of the upstairs rooms on the inside.
Throughout January and February, we’d seen a few news articles about a virus in China in a city called Wuhan. It had been killing quite a few people but the world wasn’t too scared as it was only reported as elderly and sick. However, by the 1st of March England had its first cases. Europe was already 2 weeks ahead with many more reported especially in skiing regions.
On the 12th of march news was ramping up and the virus was much worse in places like Venice, Milan and Spain. The whole of northern Italy was on lockdown. Elliot and I had been to the supermarket and purchased Dettol and hand wash for the staff at work and I began buying long-life essentials.
A Hospital Trip
I was booked in for my usual infusion at Addenbrookes on the 12th which I thought would be called off. I wasn’t sure if I would be told I had to skip an infusion due to the increased risk of Immunosuppressant medication. It went ahead but we took precautions like not touching the buttons for a ticket and using Dettol wipes on our hands.
When we were in there we spoke to some of the nurses who all said they were scared; they had been told they would be on the front line and that it may get to a point where healthy people would be given help over those with underlying conditions. When we questioned her about dads bronchitis and mum’s collapsed lung from when she had DVT she looked scared and said she wasn’t sure they would be a priority. Meaning they might not get a respirator if it came to it…
Stocking up, in it for the long haul
This really shook us, on the way home I did a big shop, the second of that week only this time the supermarket shelves were empty, quite literally empty! I got what I could, I filled baskets with milk, and bread and fajita mixes and peppers. There were no veg, no frozen foods, no canned foods and no flour left; people had even bulk purchased loo roll.
On my way back to work I took a detour to the local farm shop butchers to pick up meat to last us a few weeks. Mum and dad had recently got rid of their fridge freezer for a new one and Elliot and I had commandeered it. Fortunately, we had space to fill it with the meat.
The following week panic buying was well underway, the country was spooked but the building project continued as normal. We started to social distance ourselves as the nurse had suggested, only going out when it’s absolutely necessary. We decided to also put the workshop on rotation to help keep them separate from each other, thus keeping them all safe.
Started to Hit Home
While everybody else thought we were mad, the stark warning and advice from the nurse had really hit home. She knew people were dying from this and she knew I was at most risk. Elliot did one final panic shop buying fresh veg and wine to keep us going. By this stage, we’d totally stopped seeing the builders or the staff. That was on Tuesday the 17th of march.
By Friday the 17th of march the government had advised all those with underlying conditions or on immunosuppressants would need to isolate for 12 weeks; shortly after pubs, clubs and restaurants were told to close their doors.
While the whole COVID-19 was going crazy unfortunately my baby cat was found dead in our neighbours garden. Badly injured and what looks like she’d been hit by a car. I was totally heartbroken because only a few days before we’d had the cat flap put in the side door of the house for her. She was supposed to move with me to my new home, and sadly she’d been taken way before she was ready.
It just gets worse…
By the 23rd of March Priminister, Borris Johnson gave an address to the nation where he told everybody to stay home and not to go out unless it’s completely necessary.
Elliot and I had moved our camp to mum and dads house to share our food with them and wait it out with them.
Time for some DIY
On Friday 27th march the house had been empty for over a week so Elliot set about sorting out the shower tray base. He had cut out the floorboards and then braced it from underneath to ensure it’s dropped down ready for the wet room floor.
While he worked in the bathroom I started priming the plaster in the bedroom, one of the rooms which had been done on a rainy day in January. To find the bright side, while holding a big paint bucket I managed to fall off the ladder I was on, spilling paint all over myself and the bedroom floor! Which really made Elliot laugh!
Monday 30th March
Much to our surprise the plasterers still arrived on Monday 30th of march to start plastering our house. Dressed in full gloves, and masks we went in to have a sneaky look and WOW is it starting to look like a home!