I am frightened. Very frightened.
I listen to coverage of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 epidemic.
And I despair.
I keep hearing the experts tell us who is at risk.
The elderly. Well, I’m 66, a pensioner. So I’m elderly. I can tick that box.
People with respiratory problems? I have Stage 4 COPD which is as problematic as it gets. There’s no Stage 5! So I can tick that box too.
People who are immunodeficient? I have had to infuse immunoglobulins every month since my Bone Marrow Transplant 12 years ago to try and boost my immune system. So I tick that box too.
Three out of three.
Any wonder I’m worried?
The result is though, that for once in my life, I’m doing what I’m told, at least what my doctors have told me to do.
I mentioned before that I’ve missed six gigs for which I had tickets.
Two Door Cinema Club, Mick Pyro, Scouting for Girls, Divine Comedy, Villagers and Aoife Nessa Frances all had to perform without me in the audience to watch and listen.
That can’t have been easy for them.
But it wasn’t easy for me either.
And I suspect Brian McGrane and Liam Geddes, Hudson Taylor and 10CC are going to suffer the same fate.
I’m not quite housebound.
I take the dog for a short walk every now and then.
I drive but with only family in the car.
I take oxygen 12-14 hours a day.
Actually, that’s fun.
You would be surprised, or maybe not, how many people see the oxygen tubes on my face, and jump to a conclusion. They can’t help a look of horror appearing on their faces and all but run away in case they catch whatever it is they think I have, but don’t!
(Someone told me that the best way to get rid of a queue in front of you at the supermarket is to cough and then mutter something about that being the worst cough you’ve had since you got back from Italy.)
People can be incredibly stupid.
I’m not going to name the people, some of them well known, who have taken to social media to tell us all that this is essentially a storm in a tea-cup. That the St Patrick’s Day parades should go ahead. That we should wash our hands and just get on with life.
I have reached the stage now where that kind of nonsense makes me angry.
I don’t even know why people feel obliged to share that selfish and extremely stupid opinion with us.
I’m being careful.
I’m missing out on lots. Not just gigs, but going for a pint, meeting friends, shopping. Normal stuff.
Three boxes. All ticked.
But there is one box I haven’t yet ticked.
And I’ve no plans to.
That’s the long brown box with the brass handles.
Please God, I can avoid that for a while…
(Just by the way, I’m positive, optimistic, buying tickets for gigs in October. This blog isn’t intended to be downbeat. Just realistic!)