So, Have I Got Coronavirus, Or Not?

It’s time to recognise that there might be more Covid-19 symptoms than we think

When Matt Hancock returned to work after recovering from Covid-19, he told the BBC about the “Incredibly painful throat” that had been one of his main symptoms.

“It was like having glass in (there),” said the Health Secretary.

But when I got a sore throat just over a week ago, I didn’t immediately think: Coronavirus.

I thought it was just a passing thing, possibly hay fever. It was fine the next day, but then came back much worse – accompanied now by an aching in my limbs that reached to my fingertips.

I tried to watch telly with the family, but I was grumpy, and my wife ended up sending me to bed.

And, just in case, she told me to sleep in the top room on my own.

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How Coronavirus Can Lead To A Better World

Things can change – and yes, walls can come tumbling down!

The coronavirus as a wrecking ball
Original images: Sylvain Acher/Pixabay; Pete Linforth/Pixabay

THERE IS, literally, something in the air at the moment.

It may just be coincidence but, when I switched on the radio this morning, they were playing Walls Come Tumbling Down.

Remember that? Paul Weller’s rabble rouser from 1985, the zenith of Thatcherism, when he tried bravely to convince us that things didn’t have to be this way.

“You don’t have to take this crap,” Weller sang, adding: “Are you gonna try and make this work, or spend your days down in the dirt?

Well, we all know how that went…. two years later, Maggie got voted in again, and then John Major succeeded her. It wasn’t until 1997 that we got another progressive government.

Today, of course, there’s yet another Tory just been installed at Number 10, and still no end in sight to their dominance of UK politics.

And yet… the sense that things can change is perhaps more tangible these days than at any time since the 1940s.

What’s made the difference is, in a word: Coronavirus.

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I’m Pretty Fucking Far From OK

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, so I’ll be honest: I’ve had it up to here with this m************ lockdown

Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis in a scene from Pulp Fiction

“ARE YOU OK? Are you all well?”

Have you noticed that, since the start of lockdown, people are asking questions like that and sounding as if they actually mean them, for once?

It’s one of the nicer aspects of being in the middle of a global pandemic – a sense that the person asking actually cares how you are, and isn’t just doing it out of politeness.

I reckon this comes from a tacit acceptance that we’re all vulnerable at the moment – so it’s all right to admit to a certain weakness.

Which is not the worst way to be in Mental Health Awareness Week.

But even now, when someone asks if I’m OK, I’m not laying my entire soul on the line.

I might say something guardedly revealing of certain susceptibilities – and then slap back on the stiff upper lip and add: “Of course we’re coping better than expected.”

So it’s not exactly full disclosure – but this is: today I feel pretty fucking far from OK.

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Who’s Up For Homes Fit For Heroes II?

It’s all very well clapping them every Thursday night, but why not thank key workers properly when the Coronavirus storm blows over?

AT THE END of World War One, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George promised to build 500,000 new homes as a reward for the sacrifices ordinary people had made.

Only 200,000 of them were completed, but for many of those lucky enough to move into a new home, it was their first experience of electricity, running water, bathrooms, indoor toilets and gardens.

By 1939, more than a million council houses had been built across the UK, and in 1948 – three years after victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two – the Government again thanked people for their fortitude with the creation of the National Health Service (applause!).

The Coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the greatest challenge to face this country – and the world – since the 1940s, with ordinary people likes nurses, care home workers and bus drivers again at the forefront of the fight.

When all of this has blown over – and we look at ways of saying ‘Thank You’ to our key workers – we could do worse than building them somewhere decent to live again.

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How I Gave My Kids The Beer-o-Virus

It isn’t just Covid-19 that’s catching in lockdown London

Original Images: Vektor Kunst and Clker Free Images/Pixabay

BACK WHEN the Coronavirus was just getting warmed up, I woke for a few days in a row with some worrying symptoms.

My throat was tender, my body was hot and sore, and I had a blinding headache.

I started to tell my wife, already imagining being isolated in the top room.

I pictured myself sweating and moaning on the lumpy sofa bed, constant bloody Netflix, meals left outside on trays…

Which was when I remembered the five beers I’d had the night before and realised that I didn’t have Coronavirus: it was just a hangover.

“You’ve got the Beer-o-Virus,” my Better Half declared.

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Hurrah for the Tories! No, really!

I thought I’d never say this – but the Government is being quite cool…

I’M NOT A FAN of the Conservative Party. Never have been. Never will be.

I couldn’t stand Maggie and her ‘No such thing as society’ nonsense.

I hated austerity, and I’d be deliriously happy if we never, ever, ever Got Brexit Done.

The way the Johnson administration has handled the Coronavirus crisis has also been lacking in many ways (although, to be honest, I doubt that I’d do any better if I were leading the nation).

There was the early, misguided, flirtation with herd immunity before social distancing was imposed. There are still big problems with testing, and now there’s the Prime Minister’s distressing failure to heed his own advice about social distancing.

But I’m proud of one thing that the Government has done: at least they’ve tried to treat us all like adults.  

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Running Round In Squares

The famously rude people of London have re-discovered politeness – via slightly manic social distancing

A meandering Strava feed

WE GOT TOLD OFF by Housemaster Johnson on Monday, so now we’re on our best behaviour.

Initially, Londoners treated the whole Coronavirus thing as a jittery sort of half-holiday and went thronging the city’s parks and open spaces, despite official advice to keep well apart.

Next thing we knew, most of us were being told to stay in our dorms and threatened with Sir cancelling PE – the same as in Spain and Italy – if we couldn’t be trusted.

Not many of us want to be cooped up 24/7, and so London’s green spaces have been chocka with people stretching their legs again this week.

Except this time, we’re thronging responsibly.  

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It’s Oh So Quiet (But The Last Trump Is Coming)

I dare you to try and steal my asparagus when the End Times come

Bjork sings "It's All So Quiet" while Coranaviruses and bags of poo fly around her
Original Covid-19 image: Vektor Kunst/Pixabay (and with apologies to the wonderful Bjork)

WE’RE ALL STUCK at home because of the Coronavirus, even though none of us is remotely ill.

My son’s school closed due to – Covid-19 related – staff shortages yesterday, while my wife’s firm has told all non-essential staff to work from home.

My daughter’s lecturers – who’ve just come off a three-week strike anyway – are teaching online and me….well, I’m always here.

So far, being in semi-lockdown has been lovely, particularly because none of us has to get up early any more.

I’m normally roused at six by the wife’s alarm and then stagger up to make cups of tea, feed cats, clear up last night’s mess and make Ready Brek by 7.15.

But today, since Her Indoors didn’t have to spend 90 minutes commuting in – and because The Lad could get his own breakfast – we slept soundly until 7.30.

And my first thought was: It’s all so quiet.

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