JulieB By: JulieB
Lecturer in Global Health
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20 Apr 2020 : No more 3am rants

It's Monday morning here in UK and I thought I'd add another entry. I've spent a week focussing on other things (covid and non covid related) and occasionally reflecting on this diary. One of the things I learnt is how easy it is to rant online! Hah, that's not something I would usually do. My writing is usually much more academic, for start, and heavily edited - a journal article will usually have 10 or 20 or so earlier versions, read and re-read countless times, before it goes anywhere near the public domain. It's all too easy, and I must admit somewhat comforting at least momentarily, to unload and unleash some unpolished and unedited thoughts on here. Perhaps I should at least re-read what I write before pressing "save and publish"... 

I've also learnd that covid-19 insomnia is a thing for quite a few others - I read an article about it just a few days ago. To help me combat it, I have a new rule: no more watching press conferences shortly before bed! And no more journalling at 3am :) this is a marathon, not a sprint, so keeping good sleep hygiene and good mental health is going to be really important in the long term. But I can see how a 3am rant on the internet would appeal to many, and in the absence of any self-reflection, how this may become a longer-term habit. 

Yesterday I read about the three-phased return, starting May 11th with a partial life of restrictions (red phase), followed by the amber "extending freedom" phase on May 25th and then "wider freedom" green phase from June 15th. I think it was confirmed by the Welsh Minister though I didn't see anything on the actual news, only through social media. We appear to be plateauing in terms of new cases too which is good news (with deaths lagging behind still). A phased exit is going to be vital and I know the general public is keen to hear more about this, to have a plan - I sense that some people are starting to despair a bit without a plan, that sense of control over one's life slipping further and further away. And there is a risk that that despair leads to agression, even violence - there were some reports of clashes between the public and police once Wuhan and Hubei were re-opened, with some worrying videos from the area appearing online. I guess we'll see how these next few weeks go here and how much of a sense of hope and stabiltiy this exit plan gives people.

On the other hand it was on the news yesterday morning that the elderly may have to stay in this kind of locked away mode for up to a year (?!) - that does seem like a long and lonely time for someone in their late 70s, 80 or more. At least those who were lucky enough to live in their own homes, and not in care homes, can remain somewhat safe. What has happened in care homes throughout the UK is a complete travesty! It seems they were simply overlooked - in action, and perhaps also in the planning/modelling - somewhat like the migrant workers in Singapore were too - but that's a whole other journal entry there.... for another time. 



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