Comment: How I am adapting to self isolation as an 81-year-old in Wellesbourne

Retired journalist Peter Bowen writes for the Courier and Weekly News

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:00 pm

Peter Bowen is a retired journalist who lives in Wellesbourne. Here are his views on how he has adapted his life while in self isolation.

Here I am at home in isolation. It is a very odd feeling, doing what I am told by the Government. No contact with others. No trips to the pub. No tennis, no golf and no travel.

It goes against the grain as I have always been a rebel at heart. This time it is different.

Yes, I am fine, says Peter from his lounge window. Photo by Lesley Maynard.

We are dealing with an invisible killer. A virus which is aggressive and we know little about.

I am assuming it is rather like living in limbo, not knowing one's fate. Will I get the infection? Will it be bad? Will I die? Who will help? And when will it end? It is scary...those old black and white films of prisoners in solitary come to mind.

I am 81, living on my own. After a stroke and diabetes, it the high risk group. Do I want to be alone? Do I risk talking to others at a distance? Do they want to talk to me? Do I go out? This will last for months. It's a crazy world we live in but surely life must go on.

The more I think about it, the more certain I become about the right action. The big question for me today is: do I need to do it? If in doubt, don't. Leave it out. After all, I don't need to go to the pub. I don't need to talk to people?

I have got to make changes. I have to get used to being content with my own company. Keep myself busy. Amuse my self. Look out for others. Be imaginative. Exercise indoors.

Wash my hands..wash my hands. Use a tissue.. Be bloody sensible!

These are the changes. I have a schedule. A time for everything. Normal activities have a set time, no slipping back.

Social contact is important, so I write five e-mails to those alone, or off the Xmas list.

Phone close family. I plan a different walk. Work at new exercises using a chair. Decide what to chuck out. Plan a new long term project. How to do more for the environment.

What cricket to watch. Read a classic... You get the idea.

I do have worries. Will the family be safe. Whether I will always get the medication I need.

Whether I will ever get the hip operation, now postponed. Whether life will ever be the same again.

Comforting, although I never thought it at the time, is the knowledge that Brexit meant that Government has plans to deal with many of these issues in hand.

The big concern is the health service where demand is unprecedented. Here we can help by doing what we are told.

I accept the situation. I will stay isolated. I will come through it with the help of family and friends.

So why the confidence? I came through the Second World War, beat polio, and suffered a stroke…perhaps I am lucky after all!