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Team Underwood Lockdown Part One.

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

When we approached 2020 I just knew it was going to be a big year. I felt in my bones that something huge was on the horizon. I have had these feelings in the past, sometimes sensing exciting and immense change and sometimes a feeling of dread and fear. To date they have always proved to be strangely accurate. This time I was full of excitement and hope.

Our beautiful (but too small) beach side home was on the market in December 2019, Alice was enrolled in her new school for term one of 2020, I had even quit drinking back in October and had shifted 7kg that I didnt need. So naturally I was anticipating a wonderful new modern and spacious home, a better behaved and educated daughter, a liver functioning at full capacity and skinny jeans. What it seems I was in fact feeling in my bones, was a zombie apocalypse.

Im sure everyone and anyone has now hopefully moved past the "its no worse than seasonal flu" stage or the "it's all being blown out of proportion so I'll just carry on like normal" approach and is well on their way to the "Oh fuck this is actually happening" level of enlightenment. I certainly have, in fact I was there from day one. Anyone who thinks governments play this shit up, exaggerate or over react to any threat that could cripple the economy, is pretty misguided.

So here we are in Western Australia right on the cusp of a situation not seen in over a century. And you could even argue that you cant compare The Spanish Flu of 1918 because it was a whole different world then, so really this is a never before seen, shit storm of a situation.

If we are soon to follow the way things are going in Italy, Korea, Iran, UK, Denmark etc then its only a matter of time before our outbreak really gets legs and soon the schools will get shut, social gatherings will be banned and toilet roll will become a higher demand commodity than crystal meth. For those that dont know, Western Australians are rather partial to a bit of Meth.

With this in mind Ive decided to pull my kids from school next week, regardless of official protocol. That will give them about 3 to 4 weeks at home and then its 2 weeks Easter Holidays anyway, at which point we'll see where we are. Its been a tough decision but I think its for the best and I think I can do it without resorting to physical violence or selling my children to gypsies for a 6 pack of Quilton 4 ply. Naturally I had to decide if the threat to life from the virus was greater than the threat to my sanity from having both kids at home and my husband in the home office, all day every day for weeks and weeks without the option of drinking myself to oblivion by 2pm each day. If I was still drinking at least I wouldn't have to hold out until after the school run to numb the pain, but that's a moot point. I will be doing this dry and in full technicolor.

On the one hand you have to think, how bad can it be? I have a house with a pool and a big trampoline in the garden, we are close enough to the beach to walk everyday without encountering any of the Walking Dead, the kids have lovely bedrooms full of stuff to entertain them and we have heating and air con. What could possibly go wrong? Well here's the kick in the front bottom, our house sold last month and before this pandemic was really gaining momentum, we bought a plot of land with a really shitty old beach shack on it. We had the super exciting idea of living in the Shit Shack (as it will now be known) for one year, whilst we had a brand new house built at the front of the land. We then move in to the new home, knock down the Shit Shack and live happily ever after.

Here's the fun bit, the aforementioned Shit Shack, is damp and grotty and smells like, well it smells like someone with COVID 19 has died there. It has no heating, no air con, all the ceilings are stained and peeled, there is no cooker, no kitchen cupboards, some windows are broken, most doors are hanging off and it has one teeny tiny bathroom and a spider infested outside dunny (thats toilet to anyone outside Australia).

So if we go back to the question of "What could possible go wrong?" the answer is a lot and if my previous 47 years are anything to go by, a lot of stuff WILL go wrong.

Im sure all the epic fuck ups that will follow in coming months will make for funny reading to anyone not experiencing it first hand, so I may as well blog it and when we all die of lung failure in squalid conditions (but in a beautiful beachside location), you can read it in near real time up dates.

One last point I want to clarify is why I am pulling both kids if Western Australia is still less affected than most areas and when the least likely to be affected are kids? Heres my thinking:

1/ This may or may not affect Alice any worse than your average kid but common colds are serious for Alice and a seasonal flu can and has proved to be very scary. In the past we've required both breathing interventions and psychiatric support for flu. If this virus can turn like they say it can, then I need to be over cautious. Most older NKH kids die from complications from viruses and infections after all. In addition to this, any serious illness in a child with NKH, means they cannot also deal with their base condition. Essentially if all resources are going to fighting COVID then NKH can sneak in and take her down and vice versa.

2/ If myself or Greg catch this, even to the level of a bad seasonal flu (god forbid one of us ends up in hospital), then who looks after Alice? Her care is extremely complicated and she would need to be isolated from us. With no one to step in, and there is no one because all our family are on the other side of the planet,that could mean her going into care. And that will quite literally happen over my dead virus ridden body.

3/I think we all have a social responsibility and by lessening our social contact we are slowing the spread. You can ask whats the point in slowing it if it cant be stopped? Its simple, if this hits all at once we will be in the same position as Italy were the over 60s and those of any age with other medical issues are simply considered "non viable" and you are on your own. The hospitals and health system as a whole cannot cope. In a situation like Italy, my daughter is "not viable" as are so many of our parents or anyone obese or diabetic or taking blood pressure meds or on chemo and so on and so on. Still think its just about whether you get it and how you will be affected? If you only need a few days help with breathing and the hospitals are full, that small intervention is denied and something totally survivable suddenly becomes deadly. The "survived" statistics get added to the "died" statistics. Social responsibility and considering the bigger picture is what is needed here, not the "I'll be fine, Im fit and healthy" attitude. Slow the damn spread for the good of us all.

Team Underwood Lockdown will start on Wednesday of next week and ill try to post weekly diary entries of my slow and painful mental demise.

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