Journal of the Plague Years (Days 2-4)

Farce to face teaching was cancelled as of Wednesday 18 March 2020. In effect, as I had no teaching, I was already locking down in my office.

Journal of the Plague Years Day 2

First Skype call – and persuaded a student we can Skype not face to face. Sorry, you don’t understand the situation if you want to meet face to face today.

First benefit of OneDrive – looks like I can access my files remotely on iPad. Not tried reading yet.

Apparently adopting the over 70s for shopping is being gamified. Recruit as many as you can.

Day 3 Noon

It’s so tedious to have to keep logging into email for work. Time out is too quick. Meanwhile odd things with Outlook calendar — it seems to think I’m in Samoa. Settings think I’m London though.

Venture into the centre to download a PowerPoint — must get computer working — and pick up prescription. The health centre has barriers at its desks, as does the library. Big queue at chemist and I opt to collect tomorrow. Go into BigSupermarket and nearly don’t buy anything — shelves are bare. Even at times of pancake day I don’t recall lack of flour. I buy sponge flour for emergency and go to cheese shop to panic buy unpasteurised.

Back at home, I catch up with podcasts, eat, note that Towner has finally closed but I am still getting emails about buying theatre tickets.

I fall asleep to Front Row and wake again for Moral Maze. Bah. I am exhausted but I suspect this is the stopping everything exhaustion — although I shan’t be stopping. Sleep during Today in Parliament.

Awake again for 6am and get off to sleep again to vivid dream of checking out of hotel but forgetting to pack clothes, a visit to the New Inn and then panicking about closed stations. A ginger cat is caught up in yellow earphones and I take her for a walk.

So I can read files from OneDrive, but remote editing is bollocksed.

I’m meant to be at pharmacists for 10, but run into two neighbours and the pharmacy is closed 11-1 for restock. No flour in supermarket but at last there are eggs. No flour in wholefood shop but but stock powder and cornflour.

Make it to the library — deserted.

Day 4 Early PM

Back to the pharmacist and they’ve removed the pick up queue. As in the big supermarket, there are black and yellow stripes a metre apart. You are meant to stand two metres apart, but no one is. Keep two chevrons visible.

So much for nudge theory.

I swing home as usual via DaJoPuPa, and there’s a young woman with arm crutches putting on a fair turn of speed. I am weighed down with shopping, but decide to drop in to Cheapish German supermarket, but they are still picked over. I do score a bag of purple onions. As I went through the underpass, I noted how many of the anti graffiti tiles have fallen off.

It’s a metaffa.

Corner shop: no flour. More expensive eggs.

Still catching up on work emails — we know about the assessments for next week, but it’s not clear if we can tell anybody. Various emails, and various non-committal replies. The word seems to be out though, but we don’t know it’s out.

Rembrandt bookI read a couple of chapters of the Rembrandt biography — the grey brown paper does not help legibility. It’s covering the years of the Young Rembrandt exhibition and I’m about to get onto the Rembrandt and Light stuff. I might be able to catch up with reading catalogues.

The acres of free time have yet to kick in — I am tired, but I think it’s the stress of uncertainty.

This morning a neighbour asked me how the Clarke Award was going. Well remembered madam.

To work via Thais R Us — self-raising only — and picking up a work laptop.

We’ve rightly focused on student access to technology, but a colleague has a partner home working and two school age children and lives on a boat. Is this going to be practical? We have a virtual crisis conversation via Blackboard.

Norman Collier lives.

I’m persuaded to pick up a headset. Who knew we had all this kit? It’s in Anselm, by the chapel, through the door, not the first room, she’ll wave you through.

I go to Anselm and the chapel. Through the door. She waves me through.

One more face to face meeting. Then emerging for food and exercise.

I wonder if this will kill off all the post-apocalyptic YA? We can get enough of it at home.

Shortly off to middle class supermarket. Campus closes at 5pm.

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