It was on one of my Heath sanity walks that I had the blinding revelation that the frantic cleaning, cooking and organisation of the past five days has been down to my subconscious telling me to get myself ready in case I get sick. I live on my own; my parents and sister are in quarantine, so it’s down to me and me alone to look after myself.
So my sister’s freezer is now full of home cooked and individually portioned meals, I have deep-cleaned the flat – I sent my cleaner Maria a month’s money a week ago and told her not to come in for the duration, so it hadn’t had a proper scrub since the 13th, there are clean sheets on my bed, paracetamol and a digital thermometer on my night stand, and the humidifier is plugged in. I’ve made soup for my freezer because I’ve heard that’s all anyone wants when sick, and dug out the 1500% RDA vitamin C sachets I bought in New York a few years ago when I had flu.
The final piece of prep was to pack a hospital bag and put it next to the front door: my sister and I have been in and out of wards so many times that we know what you need when you’re admitted. After all, no one will be able to bring me supplies in a locked down hospital, so better safe than sorry.
My bag contains a mobile phone charger, pen & notebook, novel, cables, battery packs, clean knickers, a new toothbrush in its shiny plastic wrapping, some exotic travel size face cream I was given recently, hand cream & sanitiser, flip flops (old hospital hands know that you want rubber footwear that can be sanitised as slippers are too germ-y), nightdress, and dressing gown.
Of course I’m hoping if I do go to hospital I won’t be going into an ICU where none of this would be necessary but, hey, at least I’m prepared for convalescence. On the back of the front door is now Sellotaped a piece of A4 with the phone number of my next to kin (sister) and a request to call her to look after the dog if anything should happen to me.
I can’t report that anything else of note happened today. It’s the first time in five days that I haven’t left the house for even a sanity walk. Instead, I’ve been editing and posting content on my social platforms, writing umpteen blog posts, researching Patreons, doing more cleaning, replacing all the kitchen implements I washed yesterday back in their respective pots and rails, chatting with friends on multiple WhatsApp groups, and eating unsuitable food at the wrong times.
Pancakes for lunch with sugar and lemon were a highlight, followed by deep fried eggs with soy sauce, sesame oil and rice for supper. My excuse was that the rice needed using up…
Mid-evening, my father rings me. I am delighted, even more so by the discovery that he is calling to ask how to cook cabbage as he is self-isolating away from his partner. Friends, he is 76. I end up giving him a demo on how to chiffonade cabbage leaves via FaceTime.