Lockdown Thoughts from Home

9th June 2020

I have been reading of many problems that have to do with lockdown and the effects it has had on many peoples’  lives and which are very real and I hope I don’t come across as taking them too lightly because I do not. 


I am retired from work and I know that when the time is right I will be able to get back to my volunteer work and start to really enjoy myself again. 


I have been concerned at different times about whether the family would be able to get food delivered and whether I would be able to obtain the many medications which help keep me ticking over and hopefully delay that time when I must shake off this mortal coil. I have however been able to overcome some of the problems with a bit of forward planning, some luck and with the help of all those lovely people who are putting themselves on the frontline for all of us. I think that there are very many of us who are so grateful to these people.


One thing in particular that shocked and disgusted me was what happened to Trevor Belle He was a decent hardworking man, a taxi driver, doing his best at a difficult time. He had fallen ill after being spat on by a passenger in his black cab, who shouted: “I’ve got the coronavirus and now you’ve got it, too,” when he was challenged for refusing to pay his £9 fare. I think it struck home more because it happened in the same borough I live in. I hate the thought that such an evil and inhumane could be done by someone living in my borough. I even forgave Trevor his support of Arsenal – from a Spurs supporter that means a lot. How can anyone do such a wicked thing to him? 


I take my hat off to his partner Kelly Esqulant who gave consent for a sample of Trevor’s blood to be taken to be used in the Genome project which appears on our Covid-19 page here. It was a kind and considerate thing for her to do at such a difficult time. I wonder if she had the opportunity to download our card and talk things over with Trevor before he became so seriously ill. My condolences go out to her and family and also my thanks for doing such an unselfish thing. 


Speaking for myself I really do miss not going out and doing things when and where I want but this is a very low price to pay for helping to control this pandemic and I know that by staying in I will definitely not be able to infect anyone. This is important to me. 


I also have the time to do the things I enjoy such as being at home with my wife and my son when he gets in from work each evening and weekends. I have also helped with the work being done by TrialsConnect and the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre, I have struggled through the high learning curve (for me) of social media. I have also had time to read and follow the news. Now tell me all this is a hardship.


I have spent a fair amount of time in the past confined to home and this may have prepared me for long stints indoors. The worst being a period of over a year when I injured my back and had to have an operation on my spine. No sympathy needed, these things happen and many people go through much worse than this. To some extent though it taught me some patience and a realisation that it will end at some time. I have learnt to simply not worry about it. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. 


I have an online meeting coming up later in the month with the Diabetes Lay Group and the brilliant Dr Gill Hunt and her lovely team and also my GP’s PPG group. If I do enough of these I may even become proficient, who knows?


In the meantime I will try and do things that keep my mind active as I find this helps. Perhaps I will think up a problem and then try to see how to overcome it. 


A knotty problem that occurs at the moment is what will we (TrialsConnect and fellow patient volunteers), do when things open up for students at Queen Mary University of London and the William Harvey Heart Centre. 


We normally have 30 plus Students on a day of work experience week and amongst other exciting things they get the opportunity to speak to and interview real patients in a Clinical Trials Clinic setting. You can guess the problem yourselves. How can we do it safely! Getting a headache now – will be in touch again soon.

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