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Team Underwood Lockdown Part Three

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Saturday 21st March

I had hoped to kick off this week with some humour and wit. And yet despite the first words out of Alice's mouth this morning being "Smell my stinky bum Daddy" followed by her plonking her wee sodden, nappy covered arse on Greg's head to wake him, Im struggling to find anything else to laugh about.

Frankly the COVID19 figures in the last 24 hours are pretty bloody scary. The UK is (apparently) on a day by day trajectory, identical to Italy, Spain saw 233 deaths and over 3,000 new cases in 24 hours, Iran had just shy of 1,000 new cases, Belgium's death toll almost doubled from 37 to 60 over night and Italy (my god my heart breaks for Italy) had almost 600 deaths and has now over taken China in total deaths despite having almost half as many cases and a much much smaller population.

My Facebook feed is slowly filling up with friends being directly affected. Suddenly its no longer a mate of a mate or some anecdotal story from a random bloke your cousins friend works with. One girl I've known since I was 5, is absolutely certain her husband has it and he's at home in isolation but apparently really struggling and a high school friend who has been regularly updating from Lombardy in Italy, lost her Dad last night. No he didn't die of COVID, but due to the desperate situation in Italy, she was unable to leave her house, let alone visit him in his nursing home. As such she couldn't be there to hold his hand and say goodbye. No one could. I'm not often speechless but how do you even comprehend or effectively verbalise how that must make you feel? I'm just lost for words.

The severity of what this virus means has never been lost on me, not once. I was never part of the "We are all just over reacting" or the "More people due from flu" brigade of deniers, but right now I'm feeling a wee bit queasy and concerned.

Sunday 22nd March

Ok so I genuinely did not see this coming. Just five days in and I'm broken, defeated, depressed and at 3pm I was sat in the car park outside Woolies, alone, eating a family pack of chocolate eclairs in tears. Which child could possibly drive me to this? If you asked me that question 100 times, 99 of those times I'd answer "Alice". Today was the 1%. It seems my son chose this week, of all the damn weeks, to become a vile, face pulling, huffing, defiant and bloody frustrating teenager, despite only being 10. Now admittedly this shite of a mood has been brewing with George for a few months but today it really came out in all its glory. I've had things thrown at me, beds kicked, sneaky use of I pads despite being on a tech ban and not giving a toss when being caught red handed, he's stormed off when I've tried talking to him, slammed doors on me and been such a dick when we were out for a bike ride that he nearly got run down by a car. Even that was met with a "I don't give a fuck" face and snort. And at that point I was done and it was my turn to storm off and slam the door.

But in these strange times, when one storms off, your options are limited to the pharmacy or the supermarket if you want to stay safe. So I used it as an excuse to go in search of dishwasher tablets (the latest in a the chain of ever elusive household goods) and whilst at the supermarket I grabbed a 6 pack of eclairs, the last remaining pack of shite home brand dishwasher tablets and then sat in car park stuffing my puffy tear stained face.

Its now 8pm, I still feel sick from all the cream and chocolate, I'm still pissed with George but its also dawning on me that the reality of what is going on in the world, is probably getting to me. As an old school friend, quite rightly, pointed out to me the other day "you are at least more prepared for this than most", and in theory I am, but in reality its apparent I'm not. My daily levels of mind bending stress and anxiety with a child who spent 18 months on palliative care and a further 6 and a half years in the weird grey area between "terminal" and "life limiting" have now just been amplified and I'm suddenly questioning how I keep this level of stress up for much longer. At least before COVID I assumed the vast majority of the world gave a fuck about the vulnerable in society but this virus has proved even that belief was misguided. Everyone cares unless its an inconvenience to them, at which point no fucks are given.

Both me and Greg have had nightmares this week about the kids dying in one way or another. So it seems our subconscious knows we are pretty fucked up and panicked parents, even if our conscious brain is non the wiser. The fear we felt 8 years ago when we were told both our kids would die and there was literally nothing that could be done has left a deeper scar than perhaps we'd assumed. COVID19 has ripped off the band aid, torn out the stitches and shoved its fingers in the wound. Eight years of trying to rebuild my sanity and unsee and unfeel everything from those early days, and I'm right back in that room hearing the words "You might want to sit down for this....". Fun fact, they actually say that! Who'd of thought it?

I promise tomorrow will be happier and I'll find something funny to make you laugh but today I just cant find the humour.

COVID19 cases in Australia today are 1286 with 120 in WA. Thankfully the death toll of 7 for the entire country remains the same at this stage. Figures for dick heads not taking this seriously are approximately half the nations population.

Monday 23rd March

After yesterdays confiscation of Georges I Pad, TV removed from his room, Nintendo Switch and all his Beyblades taken away until further notice and suddenly he's not behaving like a dick anymore. Which is awesome, but with the guilt that comes with having to do this and feeling like an utterly hideous mother, I decided to just sack off any hopes of home study today and instead enlisted both kids to help me do some more packing for our impending move. Which in reality ment I tried to pack, Alice just unpacked it all, ran off with it and made more mess. In the end George was tasked to simply distract her for the day, so the trampoline was filled with pillows, the garden was covered in bubbles, the patio was slimey with bubble mix, more bloody stones got thrown in the swimming pool, a wide selection of balls are now on the roof and one tree looks like its blossoming blue Nerf bullets.

I taught George how to make a batch of the now rationed "Cheesy Puffs" and the entire lot were devoured in one sitting. All in all it was a much better day with minimal disasters and no tears were shed by any members of the team. Actually there were some tears when Alice threw herself down arse first on her Etch a Sketch in just her underpants but it was short lived.

At 4pm today we were supposed to complete on our house sale but it didn't happen. Under normal circumstances I could be a bit more laid back, but its not normal circumstances and I'm far from laid back. If we can't get the Shit Shack renovated to a livable condition, then we have nowhere to live and if we have to sit out Pestilence 2020 with Alice in a house that isn't safe for her to get through winter, then we have no choice but to back out. If we go into full lockdown (which is apparently imminent) then we cant buy the materials, we cant rope in friends to help with the renovations, we cant arrange a storage unit for half our stuff and we cant get a removal firm in to help us move out of this house and into the Shit Shack. We've already spent money on land surveys, and building plans and on endless fees that just keep coming and now its suddenly all in the air because people cant meet a fucking deadline. So now we wait and I quietly bite the skin down the side of my nails until my fingers bleed.

Attendance for Pestilence 2020 is now at 1,717 for Australia. Thankfully its still only 120 in Western Australia and at this stage the death toll remains unchanged at 7. Schools have shut in the Eastern States and whilst they are still open in WA, most parents have given up waiting for our Premier to act and have pulled their kids anyway. As a state we have closed our borders, along with three other states. Yesterday the country entered Stage One of a lockdown, which means that in addition to all the "Social Distancing" protocols, they have now closed pubs, churches, nightclubs, restaurants, gyms etc. I'm pretty sure things will quickly be in a tighter lockdown, particularly with New Zealand shutting up shop and confining its residents to home from tomorrow. I think we could learn a lot from New Zealand.

Tuesday 24th March

Today I found out my son can't spell, can barely write and his reading is pretty shite too. I knew it was bad what with Dyslexia in the family (yet more awesome genetics defects from his parents) and I knew he struggled with anything other than maths and science but the level that George is functioning at is shocking. Thank Christ for his good looks. Yesterdays thoughts of "lets just ease up on my unrealistic vision of homeschool and have some fun" have now changed to "lets educate the shit out of you, day and night". I have hopefully found a carer for Alice who is in semi self imposed lockdown herself and the only work she will do is to come here. With that in mind I think the risk is minimal and I can now dedicate time solely to ensuring George doesn't have a life long career in McDonalds. I will however be pushing his biology studies too though, because if this outbreak has taught me one thing its that being a mortician is about the only secure work in any natural or man made disaster.

Greg has a sore throat so he is busy digging his own grave in the back garden as I understand fatigue and malaise set in quite quick and its not a task I will be able to undertake with two kids to look after. Its been a good marriage on the whole and my years of insisting that each of us are heavily insured, now doesn't seem so stupid or paranoid.

It did also occur to me that if ones husband nearly dies with all cold and flus, then how does one tell when they are really dying? Everything we are supposed to experience with a severe case of COVID19 is standard for Man Flu as well. At what point do I stop telling him to "man the fuck up" and book a ventilator? In about 10 days time, I might just have the answer to that question.

Today has also been a day when the etiquette for a Lockdown Uniform has come into my mind. What do you wear in this situation? Its not like a normal day so do I need to get dressed? But then its not like a sick day so staying in PJs is a bit much surely? Especially if this is a six month situation. If I'm at home all day on my hands and knees picking up toys, clothes and scraping cereal out the rug then I don't what the restriction of skinny jeans, or even a bra, but daily track pants and free moving boobs is a step closer to accepting the world is ending and I'm not there yet. I don't want to venture to the shops to buy a new outfit, even though its still allowed, but next time this happens, and I'm pretty sure there will be a next time, I will have appropriate Lockdown Wear ready. I'm thinking something like a tailored yoga pant, which is comfy but smart, practical but easy to wipe Nutella from and maybe some fitted linen mix T Shirts. That way I can look casual and laid back (because I'm feeling ooooh so casual and laid back about all this) and yet smart and together. I also need to grow my hair longer so that I can do the carefree messy bun thing, rather than the Tina Turner bad wig thing. And make up, do you wear make up? Maybe the government will give some firm guidelines on this soon because really I'm lost as to what is and isn't acceptable right now.

Speaking of "firm guidelines" Scott Morrison, aka ScoMo to his exasperated minions, has once again confused the people of Australia with yet more restrictions that make no fucking sense whatsoever. All weddings are now restricted to 5 people in total. This includes the couple, the celebrant and witness. ScoMo made it quite clear that weddings have been responsible for some of our biggest outbreaks and groups of people in close proximity is the single most dangerous thing to the countries survival. But guess what people? You can still send your kids to school. So how does that work? He stressed again and again the 1.5m rule and that we mustn't be in groups but schools of 500 to 1000 kids are perfectly fine and safe. Any idiot knows that kids are petri dishes for bacteria and virus so I am genuinely baffled by this. Even more so when you hear our esteemed leader has already pulled his own kids from school. Arsehole.

Further confusing restrictions are that hairdressers can still operate but we are all restricted to a maximum of half hour appointments. Firstly, I haven't had a hair appointment last less than 30 mins since I was 12 years old and secondly, how do you cut hair with a 1.5m social distancing rule that we "must" adhere to? Im not even sure Edward Scissor Hands could tidy a graduated bob from 1.5m. I bet he could do it in under 30 minutes though.

Still no news on the house sale. At this stage I'm beginning to accept its dead in the water. Even if the buyer pulls his finger out his arse and gets his shit together, the possibility of us moving in four weeks time is looking highly unlikely and almost certainly impossible.

COVID19 cases in Australia are today at 2,144 with 175 in WA. The death toll has risen to 8 with a passenger from a cruise ship dying in a Sydney hospital. The Apocalypse is gaining speed.

Wednesday 25th March

By now some of you will have seen today's drama laid out in full in the separate post called Lockdown Series, Quarantine and Intimate Injuries. If you haven't read it please check it out now as to be honest I'm exhausted, I'm emotional and I'm wiped out and have nothing left in me to write about today. Greg still "not quite right" but I'm not sensing the need to take him out and shot him just yet. George now running a low grade temperature, so I'm quietly panicking about that. And Alice, well thats a whole different story that I've saved for my other post.

COVID19 cases in Australia are today at 2,431 with 205 in Western Australia. Oh and we are finally going to close our bloody schools.

Thursday 26th March

Things are a little better for Alice in the Cha Cha department. In acse these things interest you, she finally pee'd late last night and spent a lot of today explaining to her toys about yesterdays bizarre events. She even completed their responses with "Oooh no poor Alice", which was really rather cute.

Her humour remains en pointe and she has now taken to lying on the office floor, face down next to her Dad and telling us she couldn't leave because she was in fact dead.

Boredom is certainly setting in now and this was no better demonstrated than when Greg asked to instigate a game of throwing grapes across the kitchen for me to catch in my cleavage. Bizarrely I agreed without question. It was rather fun for all of three minutes.

Today we accepted that we have to make a decision one way or another as to whether or house sale is going through or not. So after a call with our buyer who insists its all going ahead and the delay is simply due to everyone working from home and on half staff at his bank, we thought "fuck it" and concluded we are just going to assume it is going ahead and carry on accordingly. If we go into complete shut down, then the least we can do is be 100% ready to shift, so tomorrow Greg has the day off and we are getting all the stuff we cant fit into The Shit Shack, into storage. Then we just hope we get the go ahead before close of business Friday and he can start renovating it enough to get it livable. We are going to assume that as we are about 3 weeks behind Europe with this virus, that we have about 3 weeks left to get everything ready. At the point of total Lockdown we will either be in our current house with half our belongings or in The Shit Shack in the middle of a large plot of land with our new house build dead in the water for the forseable. Greg is no longer feeling crappy, so he gets to stay with his family for a bit longer.

COVID19 has suddenly skyrocketed here. Total cases are 2,806 with 231 in WA. Sadly deaths have now jumped to 13. Things are picking up speed for sure.

Friday 27th March

Today was a weird day. Not weird in the usual Underwood Parallel Universe type way but in a "The world has changed into a pandemic movie" type way. I haven't left the house the last couple weeks unless for a few food and medicine runs, but today I headed out to get the last supplies before everything shuts. First I went to our local pharmacy to get more of Alices meds and it seems I may as well of been living under a rock for a decade. The floor was taped with crosses where we all had to stand so as not to be near anyone else, there was another thick blue line of tape to make sure no one stood too near the counter. The counter itself now had perspex screens protecting all the staff from the public and every staff member was masked and stood back from the desk. I nearly cried. I have no idea why but I nearly did.

Next I went to my favorite Health Food Shop to stock up on Vitamin C and a few other bits. They now serve you from the door, behind a table. You stand a good distance back, tell them what you want and they go and get it. These ladies have become friends of mine and whilst I am so pleased they are doing a roaring trade (this is a fairly new venture for them) it dawned on me that they are actually in danger and in a time when my impulse is to hug people, I just have to stand back. We wished each other well and talked about how crazy this all was from a safe 1.5 metre distance. It was weird and I felt teary again.

My last trip was to K Mart, simply because George needs new socks and undies and no one wants to face an apocalyptic event in baggy undies and socks with holes in. Not even a 10 year old. Once I had my goods, I went to approach the till and the cashier stepped back to a safe distance. I'm allowed to step forward to the till and ring up my own items. I then step back to a safe distance and the cashier (wearing gloves and a mask) moves forwards and totals up my goods. She then steps back, having not touched my items and again retreats back to safety. I can then step forward, pay and pack my goods. I have to say it was like a dance that everyone knew the moves to accept me. My rhythm was shocking and I was all left feet.

The only way I can describe my morning was surreal. If the penny hadn't already dropped as to how huge this thing really is, it certainly did today.

The rest of the day myself and Greg ploughed on in blissful denial that our house sale won't fall through. Everything that we don't need in the next year and that we can't fit into The Shit Shack went into storage because with all this crazy shit going on around us we just can't sit and wait for things to happen. The world is changing by the minute, quite literally, so until we have firm answer one way or another, we are choosing to be positive and assume this will all work itself out.

No one ended up in hospital today so that was a bonus but Alice pulled out a day of some of the worse behaviors I've seen in over three years. I am very pleased to see the back of this week on so many different levels.

Todays stats for Australia are a staggering 3,180 (remember it was 1,717 on Monday!!). We now have 255 in our home state of WA (it was 120 on Monday). America has no overtaken China for most cases and Spain is almost at 5,000 dead.

Update 8.44pm Bloody hell, Prince Charles was a shock but bloody Boris Johnson now. Can this world get any stranger?

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