Monday, February 24, 2020

I have even less to report this evening. I have done no knitting and have read only semi-trash. Archie came, and between us (= 95% him) we covered the basics of what Daniela would have done this morning had she not been in Romania, namely cleaning and tidying the kitchen, some basic hoovering, cat-tray cleaning, a load of washing. We’ll see how the week unfolds.

Helen came around. She has been in London, and feels that we are all going to be overwhelmed by the coronavirus any moment now. London is full of people from the East, many of whom may be presumed to have been home for the New Year, and all of whom are pressed up against each other in the subway.

I wish I had some sense of this new disease. Is it just a bad cold? Similar to a seasonal flu? Or are we beginning to think about the “Spanish flu” epidemic which travelled so far and killed so many in 1918 or thereabouts? The behaviour of governments – cancelling the Carnevale! – seems in excess of the symptoms.

I had pneumonia once, when I was in my ‘50’s. It is unpleasant. My husband had gone to Edinburgh (from Birmingham, where we lived) for a couple of days. I had managed to drive him to the station on Monday, but by Wednesday, when he was due back, I had to ring up his sister (with whom he was staying) to say that I couldn’t get to the airport to fetch him home. A dr had told me in the interval that I had flu, over my protests. I went on, in that telephone conversation, to wonder whether, if another pandemic like the Spanish flu happened again, there would be anything medical science could do about it.

“You’re not dying”, she said crisply. Pneumonia was diagnosed that evening.

And I think I’ve had my answer. No: flu can’t be cured. But pneumonia, at least sometimes, can be. I had an injection of an antibiotic that night, and could feel the disease cracking and letting hold of me, and blessed Alexander Fleming. Full recovery took a long time. Plenty of knitting.


  1. =Tamar3:13 AM

    I also wish I had found a good clear description. I gather that there is a high fever as well as coughing, but for the first ten days the infectious feel just fine. Spanish Flu survival seems to have been related to genetic resistance; some died the same day symptoms appeared, others were sick for weeks but lived, some never caught it.

  2. It looks like the SuffolkVicar is going to have a good meditation for lent again this year. I so much enjoyed his messages last year.