Reflections on the coronavirus from an Arran resident

Coronavirus reflections from an Arran resident- aged late 70’s.

Living alone and self-isolating in an unprecedented situation for the UK and this planet we live on.

At time of writing, the writer is on his 37th day of isolation. It is like living in a false bubble, life goes on with little or no change to the daily routine, emails, postie daily when there is mail, food delivery every Tuesday (many thanks to the service being provided by the Coop), bins every Wednesday and spending time in the garden. Exercising by walks on the golf course and immediate area.

Isolation compounded by the fact that travel is restricted and the only contact with family is by the media or the internet and telephone. While all around the virus is escalating world-wide with some countries recording fatalities exceeding 12,000 and rising daily. USA recorded 2,000 in one day. (April 10th)

The daily news / reports of the Covid 19 keep reminding us of the reality of this awful situation, which we have no control of, with this invisible enemy. Seems more like a bad dream, which you have not wakened from.

Living on my own with weather conditions and temperature improving the trials of this emergency are varied. However, at the moment I am not stressed, not frightened by the prospect of the virus, which is helped by the fact I have not been in contact with anyone for almost 37 days and counting. One benefit of being on my own is that I can decide what and when to do my chores etc without anyone nagging!

In the first few days of the emergency I had a lot to do with my various contacts, putting action in place for the lockdown. Now time and the days drag however, I try to keep active within reason and have a few brief walks. There is no magic wand, but the secret if there is any, was acceptance of the government advice for the duration of the lockdown. (STAY AT HOME)

One of the benefits of this enforced action and advice for those over 65, has been renewing contact with friends and family who are far from home in other parts of the world. Yes, it is good to talk or write, email and Whatsapp etc.

In the later part of the 2019 news was being broadcast by the media of a new pneumonia type disease identified as a coronavirus occurring in Wuhan, capital city of the Hubei district of China. A young doctor who diagnosed the virus was charged with causing alarm and was arrested for breaching protocol.

As the spread of the virus increased in the region, Doctor Li Wenliang died on [7.2.20] as a direct result of the virus, he became a victim trying to save others. Within a period of 8 weeks it became a world-wide problem. People who became affected by the virus travelled from Wuhan International airport, to many world-wide destinations before the symptoms of the virus became evident. (Many were carriers)

Memo: Politics in United Kingdom was concentrated by the result of the December 12th election and the exit from Europe on the 31st January and it was considered that the virus would not affect Britain. The effects of many travellers returning to Britain from abroad, including China and the Wuhan district was not considered until the end of February.

Timeline of the virus

13th November first case of the virus detected in Wuhan.
8th December WHO reported cases of the new virus.
31st December WHO China Country Office informed a number of cases of an unknown etiology pneumonia. By the 4th January this increased to 44 cases.

January 7th Chinese authorities identified the new disease as a coronavirus. 1st European case reported in France, person had been in China.
January 11th first fatality reported in China
January 13th first case reported in Thailand
January 21st 1st confirmed case of disease in the USA by a man who had been in Wuhan. Cases confirmed in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
January 23rd Lockdown in Wuhan
January 30th WHO declared global health emergency 6th time in history.
It spread rapidly to 177 countries World Wide.

March 5th 1st death from Covid 19 registered in England.

March 11th WHO registered the outbreak as a global pandemic and issued health advice including ‘social distancing’ events in the UK began to happen rapidly.

March 13th 1st death from Covid 19 registered in Scotland.

March 16th marked the last social meeting on the Island of Arran
Auchrannie hotel complex closed all apart from self-catering.

March 21st Local paper reports Island virus free.
March 21st Golf courses instructed to close locker rooms.
March 22nd last game of golf played on the Island.
March 23rd Golf courses instructed to close facilities.
Lamlash golf course was founded in 1889, this is the first time in the club’s history that the course has been closed. Even the two great wars did not manage that.
March 28th Local paper confirms Island still virus free.

April 4th Local paper reports several unsubstantiated cases of the virus on the Island.
Travel on the ferries restricted to vital supplies, Island residents, hospital appointments etc.
April 5th Sunday service on the ferry discontinued until further notice.
Good Friday.
April 10th Arran Medical group and the Banner confirm there have only been 2 cases confirmed by testing. Scottish figures today are confirmation of 5,275 cases and a further 48 fatalities by Covid 19 taking the total to (495)

Easter Saturday April 11th.
Scotland has registered another 47 Covid 19 fatalities. (542) in the past 24hrs. England figures are at 819 Wales 36 and N.Ireland 15 taking the UK total to 917 (9,875) With the USA recording over 2,000 deaths in one day.

April 20th.
Arran update several people have the virus but only 3 tests have been confirmed at the hospital since the outbreak began.

April 27th
Scotland’s hospital figures are now an increase of 197 confirmed positive cases to a total of 10,521. There is also a further 13 deaths bringing this total to 1,262.
Since the 5th March 2,380 patients confirmed with Covid 19 have been released from hospital.
N. Ireland has now reported 309 deaths and Wales 796.
UK figures now at 153,000 confirmed cases in hospital with deaths totalling 21,092

In Ayrshire and Arran the 6th most impacted health region in Scotland 721 cases have been confirmed by testing. In Arran there are a few cases but only 3 have been confirmed by testing, all of them connected with being abroad or on cruises.
By the weekend the total figures in all cases will have increased, but signs are that hospital admissions are reducing, the level is flattening out and also patients in intensive care.

Memo: The figures quoted are hospital confirmations and fatalities. If the cases that occurred in care homes and at home outside of the hospitals. The gross figures would be much increased.