The short answer = Covid19 and my mother’s death.
Now let me answer in more depth.
2020 began and I was instantly on edge. All my family are italian and live in Italy barring my mother and sister who live in the uk and a cousin and his family who are in America. So it was with absolute fear and horror as we watched coronavirus ravage Italy. I had a cousin in the north of Italy but she was protecting herself and her family with rigorous determination. I found out another cousin was trapped in Brazil and we were all desperately worried for him and his family who became trapped there. The rest of my Italian family are all in Naples and I’m proud to say Naples handled the whole thing wonderfully and even had one of the best hospitals in the world to deal with it. But still the worry churned within me and I feared I would never see them again, I still do..
March came and being a high risk person, as was my mother and sister, we all self isolated a week or so before it was mandatory. When England went into lockdown it was hard because I was so shielded I couldn’t even do what normal people did, like go out once a day (I also have no garden so I literally couldn’t go out.) I couldn’t see my mum or anyone else. However the thing that stressed me more than anything was the fact that I couldn’t get food in the first two months.
I couldn’t go to shops, I don’t drive, I’m too disabled. I couldn’t get an internet shop. Supermarkets weren’t implementing priority delivery to at risk people quick enough. The government promised food parcels. (by the way they never came and I don’t know anyone personally who got them) So I had to really be frugal with food and plan things out. So instead of fearing the virus I began fearing my mother and I would starve. (this is why when others gained weight over quarantine, I lost weight)
Thankfully I was able to utilise a company called Beelivery. It basically consists of cab drivers going to corner shops and getting supplies for you at inflated prices. But I didn’t care about the price at that point because my mother and I were able to eat!
I began hating supermarkets for their incompetence and vowed that after Covid I would never use them again (a blog about this will be coming). Eventually they got their act together and began giving priority to at risk people who had gotten a letter from the government. Weirdly I hadn’t received mine yet so I called the doctor. Turns out because my illness is rare and it’s not understood, my GP refused to put me on the most vulnerable list even though I have a weakened immune system, I’m asthmatic and disabled. I vowed that instead of threatening to change my GP as I had for years, I would just do it after Covid was ended as this is yet another example of their incompetence. But as I said, my mother was on that at risk list but since she was elderly we were using my online account to get her shopping and they banned new people signing up so she was also punished that I didn’t get a letter. Plus as I said before, no food parcels ever turned up for her even though she did have a letter.
Whether I was on the list or not I was going to continue following the at risk shielded rules. In the meantime I had to shut my bookshop business down as I couldn’t get to the post office to do deliveries or to where I store my books which were in a room at my mother’s house.
Months dragged on. It was a strange time. I think we all wanted to be more productive and in a way I was. I took time for myself and tried to improve my mind with learning a language but it did mean that I took a long break from writing on my blog.
For us shielded people, quarantine was declared to end for us on the 1st of August. But my mum and I decided that on the 7th of July we would risk creating a social bubble with each other so we could celebrate her 76 birthday. It felt so weird going out but we had a lovely day together.
Then I left and that was the last time I saw her alive.
My mother and I talked everyday, sometimes many times a day. She started having problems breathing. She had called the doctors but they just changed her medication. On the 22nd of July she was talking to me again about it and I told her I was worried it was her heart and told her to call the doctors and my older sister who knew more about heart conditions, having one herself. My mother did neither. She died on the 23rd of July. And that’s all I’m prepared to say about it for now.
After her death everything was a blur. The council gave us a few weeks to clear the property, I also had to move my business out of her house and into a storage unit as that house was taken a month later by the council.
In a blink of the eye I had become an orphan, lost the family home and had to move my business. And I still worried about my Italian family, especially my cousin in America where Covid was rampaging and I was seeing such horrors against black lives.
August the 1st came round and us high risk people were finally allowed out once a day for exercise, we were basically five months behind everyone else.
My health unfortunately began to decline as September rolled around and I have been forced to simply rest. Life has been hard. I have been re-evaluating my life considerably and also obviously taking a break from many things.
So excuse me for being a tumbleweed at the moment blowing hither and thither but I feel adrift. Please be patient with me and everyone else going through the same thing. Have empathy for others and wear a mask at all times, not for yourself but for others.
I am trying to find my centre and maybe writing this blog will be a step in the right direction. It’s been nice to chat, thank you for listening.