This truly is one of the most extraordinary times not only I, but probably most of my readers and actually most people on the globe musty be going through….
….but to be quite honest, there are some aspects of this involuntary period of self confinement, which I am in fact enjoying …..
Yes, first and foremost it has – unexpectedly – brought together the whole family (plus my son’s exiled girl friend) under one roof, resulting in daily family meals, frequent and possibly more meaningful conversations and even in the odd joint online or board game, usually only reserved for Christmas. As the house is thankfully large enough to leave everyone their own space if needed, it is a nice state to find myself in, especially after periods of solitude in Sweden.
The other great advantage the lock down brings is : Time!……
It was for the last 10 or 15 years the commodity I was missing the most, which – to a large degree – was self-inflicted…
I had at times just taken on too much or I just wanted to do too many things at the same time. Admittedly a lot of these things were really good fun (traveling, sport, FECAVA and BSAVA activities etc) but they left me in a constant state of restlessness and with the feeling that I was always in a desperate race with all my commitments. Although I find that I am definitely more productive under these circumstances, I think that there is a fine line between “eu” – stress (when you think that you can cope) and “dys” – stress (when you think that you can not)…..
It is now 10 days since I finished my last emergency shift in Oxfordshire and to be honest, I haven’t really tried to get another placement at the moment. Without the pandemic and its consequences, I had expected to have met this week with some Czech colleagues in Prague to start organizing another congress and I had been due to attend the annual BSAVA Congress – this year for the last time in Birmingham (happy memories….).
All this and additionally a planed trip to the far East is now not happening and instead of certain unfamiliarity, I am finding myself surrounded by familiarity but in a state of complete uncertainty.
So how is the “Blue Vet” organizing his day during the lock down?…..
The biggest daily task is to finally get organized : in my study, there are still boxes of stuff from my latest travels, that need to be emptied and there are the mountains of seemingly never ending paperwork that can now be dealt with. For once even my accountant is impressed with me…..
As already mentioned above, thankfully our house has a few features which make it an ideal place to keep me busy. A decently sized garden and in addition to that a couple of weeks with excellent weather certainly helps. I also appreciate that the government has had the good sense to grant its citizens a single exercise session per day – this means that the military road next to the army training next to our house receives a daily visit.
And even if that would no longer be allowed, there is still a gym waiting for me just two doors away from my study, which I had set up years ago to curb the impact of too many hours at the clinic or in front of the computer combined with a sugar rich diet.
While we are on the subject – I have also declared war on the seemingly never ending quantities of tins and dried food stuff which have been stored away in draws and in our garage. Finally I am finding time to cook and I have five (if I am counting in our three legged cat….)
victims, who have to endure my creations….
An yes, there is also time for a good read….
Both, to keep up with the language, as well as satisfying my cravings for excellent “Nordic Noire” literature, I am working my way – surprisingly fast – through a more recent Jo Nesbø novel in its Norwegian original. Highly recommendable – no just during a “Lock Down”.
A further “life line” is also the network of friends (vets and non-vets) and colleagues abroad and elsewhere in the UK. Lets admit it – the internet is a brilliant invention (if you have a decent connection). Seeing how colleagues all over the globe are arranging themselves to continue to provide help and support not only for their patients, but often also to their neighbors and loved ones, is both inspiring and humbling and reinforces my expectation that we might progress from the current situation (which will be a matter of the past in a few weeks time) possibly even as better human beings…..