LIFE UNDER THE CLOUD:  The COVID-19 Diaries – Reflections of 2021, the year that became a nightmare.

The diary I never thought I would write while safely cocooned in my island home watching the COVID-19 nightmare play out on a global scale through dismal Downing Street briefings and grizzly news bulletins.


While 1,813,188 COVID-19 deaths were reported in 2020,
recent WHO estimates suggest an
excess mortality of at least 3,000,000

World Heath Organisation

At the beginning of what became a global pandemic, writing a COVID-19 diary helped me keep some sort of perspective on the chaos unfolding around me. I felt numb, incapable of expressing how I felt in the spoken word so, as I always do in a crisis, I started writing about it.  Now as we tentatively start venturing into an uncertain post COVID-19 world, here, for posterity, is my record of the unfolding crisis.

Black Friday 13th March 2020 – Getting Through the Coronavirus Crisis

Five days ago Italy quarantined sixteen million people. Such action may have been viewed as a Draconian measure to keep Covid-19 at bay, but for a country that, at that point, had lost over 1000 people, they believe this could work.

Two days ago, The World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic, a word they do not use lightly. Countries around the world responded by imposing more stringent precautions to protect their people.

After yesterday’s COBRA meeting, Boris Johnson levelled with us…

 ‘Many more families are going to lose loved ones.’ If you’ve got a cough or a fever, self-isolate. Stay away from the older members of your family and don’t go on a cruise.

I’m confused. We are caught up in the worst public health crisis for a generation. Yet, we are expected to carry on regardless with a big, black Covid-19 cloud hanging over our heads.

Why does the UK Government’s response smack of complacency?

One obvious precaution is to postpone the larger gatherings like other countries are doing.   Ireland closed their schools yesterday and, a school has been temporarily closed in Scotland today after a coronavirus case emerged. Yet, the Cheltenham Festival went ahead with over 60,000 punters expected to pass through the gates on each of the three days.  Liverpool welcomed 3000 Spanish fans to the city for a football match on Wednesday night which 52,267 fans attended.  The Spanish Coronavirus figures are much worse than ours are. And there was me thinking we are supposed to be trying to halt the spread of the virus.

Am I missing something here? If these large events are allowed to continue, the UK will be crippled in a very short space of time.

I’ve always been someone to err on the side of caution and, with a compromised immune system, I can’t afford to take chances, and neither can you! It’s the luck of the draw which one us is going to succumb to this thing, but common sense needs to prevail.

Its here, it’s happening now.  This is not a dress rehearsal and we need to get it right.  This time next week, things will be much worse, more families will have lost more loved ones.  

We live in a digital world, so it’s not like we are going to totally shut down.  Why can’t we all carry on talking to each other, via Social Media, as we normally do, and not run the risk infecting each other?

Business conference calls and Skype have been going on for years.

Sixth Form and University students can access lectures from their laptops.

It’s not ideal, it’s going to cramp our styles for a bit, but it’s not going to be forever.  Not if we nip it in the bud now.

14th March 2020                                   Under the Cloud of Covid-19

15th March 2020                                    Mental Preparation

17th March 2020                                    A New Dawn

18th March 2020                                     Bringing out the Worst in People

19th March 2020                                     Life as We Know It

20th March 2020                                     Baby Boomers

22nd March 2020                                    The Wind of Change

25th March 2020                                      The Beating Heart of the Community

25th March 2020                                      They Road to Becoming a Domestic Goddess

26th March 2020                                      Into the Eye of the Storm

27th March 2020                                      In Appreciation of Healthcare Workers Everywhere #ClapForCarers

29th March 2020                                      How To Get My (Writing) Mojo Back

30th March 2020                                      Lockdown

1st April 2020                                            Heads will Roll

4th April 2020                                            Silent Sunny Saturday

Life Under the Cloud – The COVID-19 Diaries

Living under the cloud, looking at life on the funny side has never been more difficult, as my compromised immune system and I prepare to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world to face the biggest battle of our lives, COVID-19.

Saturday 14th March 2020

A baby was born with COVID-19 in the UK today.  A jarring reality of the challenges ahead.

Living in Jersey, Channel Islands, defending ourselves against COVID-19 should be easier than in many places, but we need to be vigilant because it’s already here; all we need to do is close our ports.  Why this isn’t being done now, has been a puzzle to me. Although I am gradually getting my head around the fact that the population of the UK, as a whole, needs to develop an immune memory against COVID-19, to stop the disease from spreading, even if some of the population is not immune. So there is an element of tough luck achieving herd immunity, but it is a very effective way to protect the whole population against infectious disease.

134 people have been tested in Jersey and there are 2 confirmed cases. Otherwise, essential travel only, keep three feet away from the over 65’s and if you’ve got flu-like symptoms, stay home and self-isolate for 7 days.

Today, I needed to go to the supermarket and, on top of everything else, was raining which wasn’t improving my aura of gloom. After queuing to get into the car park, I joined fellow shoppers prowling the aisles.  It is a big supermarket by Jersey standards, and as anticipated, there was no loo paper, or anything antibacterial. Thank goodness I have some things left in my Brexit Stockpile.  Still, there was no flour, no cans of tuna, and coffee, which I desperately needed, was £8.00 a pot!

A group of over-80’s were congregated in the Health and Beauty aisle, radiating the blitz-spirit and making me feel like a wimp attempting to navigate my trolley a sensible distance around fellow shoppers.  Impossible in a crowded supermarket.

‘Clarrie and I were due to go to Spain on Friday, but that’s all gone up the Swanee now.’  One of the octogenarians cried.  I pulled a sympathetic face.

Did Nostradamus predict this? Coronavirus?  I think he might have done.

I wonder what he’d say to us now.  ‘I told you so!’  I suppose.

I was guilty of going out on the town tonight.  I don’t often, and it will be the last time I do for a while.  Little seemed to have changed, and the bus on the way in was busier than I remember. Plenty of people around, including hundreds of our wonderful French neighbours who arrived on the boat earlier in the day to enjoy our restaurants, because France has closed all theirs… à bientôt.










Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

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