Taking a break from the coronavirus news coverage

An oil rig sheltering in the bay was a major talking point of the weekend (photo by Richard Austin)

Philip Evans: My Isolation Diary – Day 14 (Monday, March 30 2020)

I TOOK a day off from writing this diary yesterday and stayed firmly ensconced indoors to enjoy a relaxing Sunday. 

I also took a rest from my daily walk to save my creaking knees, having walked the best part of 60 kilometers last week.

To be honest, the break was needed. As a news nut, I think I overdosed on the continual news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic to a level where I was starting to fear for my own health and that of my family. There comes a time when there’s a limit to the bad news you can digest.

I have stuck religiously to the advice of the government to stay indoors, apart from my daily exercise routine, I wash my hands obsessively (at least ten times a day) and have kept busy helping Francesca put together this Friday’s emergency digital edition for LymeOnline.

But come Saturday night, as the news channels were getting progressively more negative with number of deaths nationally doubling every two or three days, I started to succumb to the enormity of this crisis and the realisation that life would probably never be the same again.

I went to bed full of dread, unusual for me, and spent a restless night wondering  and worrying about what the future holds for us all. I know I’m not alone here –  millions of others are thinking likewise.

So that’s why I thought I would try to enjoy a normal Sunday determined that our current woes would not dominate my thoughts for the day.

After a hearty full-English breakfast (no better way to start the day), I spent the morning reading the Sunday papers from front to back and, whilst there was only one subject filling their columns, I managed to find one or two snippets of positivity.

The Sunday Times came up with a brilliant graphic using a series of dots to demonstrate how small were the number of lives affected by COVID-19 in comparison with the number of people whose lives have been disrupted. It was fiendishly clever and put this crisis into perspective to a great degree.

In the afternoon I settled down in my armchair to watch one of my all-time favourite films, ‘The Glen Miller Story’. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this film, starring the wonderful Jimmy Stewart, but I’ve always found it quite emotional.

It takes me back to the 1970s when I was a big fan of the Roland Halliday Orchestra, which included a number of Lyme musicians, including the Perry brothers, John and Pat, as well as Jimmy Sweetland and Joe O’Donnell. To be honest, I was a bit of a groupie and followed them all over the area, being a fan of big band music in those days.

Then I cooked the Sunday lunch (roast chicken and pear and orange crumble) as Mrs E spent her time making dresses as Easter presents for our two granddaughters.

An evening of watching some of my favourite television programmes – ‘Countryfile’, ‘Antique Roadshow’, ‘Belgravia’ – the new ITV costume drama written by Dorset-based scriptwriter Julien Fellowes – and ‘Homeland’, to which I’m addicted.

I went to bed feeling much calmer having had an almost coronavirus fear-free day and in a much more positive mood.

There’s differing opinions emerging on how much longer this crisis will continue but of one thing I am sure – the indefatigable spirit of the British people will shine through and life will return to some normality.

It is important to hang on to that thought – and if you waiver, as I did yesterday, mentally take a day away from all the doom and gloom. You will feel better for it.

I resumed my walk this morning, seeing for the first time the oil rig moored on the horizon and on its way to Flushing, the subject of much comment on Facebook.  And apparently there was a German warship in the bay yesterday as well. Hello Fritz.

As a family we are trying to engage with each other via Facetime and tonight we are looking forward to our son-in-law giving a masterclass on the making of Espresso Martinis to get us in the mood for taking part in Neville Causley’s virtual quiz on Facebook, starting at 8pm.

Although there will be no LymeOnline popping through your letterbox this Friday, don’t forget you will be able to read how our town is coping with the coronavirus by reading our digital version on this website.

In the meantime stay safe – and positive.

Woodmead Halls
About Philip Evans 712 Articles
Veteran journalist and newspaper manager Philip Evans has worked in the publishing industry for more than half a century. He started out as a reporter for Pulman’s Weekly News as a young man and went on to work for an international publishing company in the UK, South Africa and Australia before returning to Lyme Regis where he is still reporting on local events as he has done for more than 53 years.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent article. Felt very much the same and I agree, I am limiting news feed to once daily. Otherwise it’s too much for me🥴

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