My COVID-19 Story

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Isolation for me started a year before the Covid pandemic in February 19. As well as COPD Asthma I suffer from spinal spondylitis and have lower disc damage due to an accident years ago, being bedridden for 7 months and housebound up until the Covid outbreak. 

Watching the media reports, I instinctively started to prepare by buying extra food supplies during Christmas 2019 and the start of 2020, people laughed and joked saying I was crazy and being silly.  But, after working and living in Central African countries during the Ebola outbreaks in the early nineties I took no chances.

Then began the epidemic the worry, stress and anxiety that the whole world would experience, the uncertainty of your own mortality, losing loved ones, job security and even food scarcity.  

I have been technically isolating since March 10th 2020 after my Doctor called me due to asthma and COPD.  If shielding ends on March 31st 2021 it will be 55 weeks and two days.  Its been a long ride, how did I manage to breeze through it, a good pair of headphones and stereo and extensive CD collection, you may laugh but getting away from media e.g. TV, radio and social media e.g. Facebook and Twitter were the main areas, not being reminded daily of the pandemic along with the fake news on social media and utter hopelessness. 

Practising yoga and meditation allowed me to detach from the dramas that unfolded.  Also being positive and giving hope to friends and people that I have encountered going past my ground floor flat.  Taking each day by day and when the going got tough taking each hour by hour and even minute by minute at some points.

My nan had a saying if your going through hell keep walking there is light at the end of the tunnel, its okay, to look back but don't stare for too long, being in the moment and moving forwards with hope, strength and faith in yourself  your community and country. 

For me this rang true when my Nan passed away in October 2020 during the second wave of Covid, unable to see her and attend her funeral at home, but I continued walking.  Shielding also opened up new opportunities for me as well, being asked to write this as I decided to join my housing associations scrutiny panel and also complaints and communication panel. 

This has kept me busy and on my toes, as the panel work is so variable, you never know what you will be doing from month to month or even week to week.  I occupied my time further with weekly Tpas webinars and training courses learning and absorbing information e.g. Green, White paper, housing law, taking part in online courses e.g. conflict resolution, dealing with difficult situations,  chairing skills and , scrutiny, and even equality, diversity and inclusion.  All these courses have helped to develop my social skills, see the world and people around me in a different way, and have even aided myself getting through shielding on my own, being able to analyse and apply logic to my thinking, checking my own attitude and improve my own well being and perceptions of myself others and the world around me for the better.

Strangers who I used to speak to passing by my door step decided to help by picking up my medicine, doing my weekly shopping and even bringing me a weekly Sunday roast dinner. 

Humanities mortality has been shaken globally not one person untouched and people have changed for the better.  There are good people out there and there is also goodness in the world, when strangers passing by my front door become friends, and friends passing by my front door become like family.  My housing manager has rung every week since Covid to check on my wellbeing, which was a lovely touch to have as well as family and friends.

I cling to hope that some day the world will learn and return to a better existence than before Covid. 

David Carter Baker

April 2021