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Surviving another four weeks of isolation

If the headline sounds stark that’s exactly what it is as other words can’t change the reality of what we seniors face in prospect.

There are a number of things that we have had to adapt to in the last four weeks and although we may have tweaked our daily routines to get through the days, another month of this isolation will be tough and it is a ‘big ask’ from Government.

From our own perspective as a senior couple we have had to change the exercise routines various times as the shine of exercising indoors grew dull over the weeks.

Outdoors is not the staircase but in order to get a bit of cardio and a change of scenery, masked and gloved I ventured out to walk around the corridor outside our front door and lap that a few times to stretch the legs before negotiating the staircase.

On no account did I ever leave the confines of our block for the great outdoors. I don’t recommend this activity as it cheated the isolation.

Another modification that I made in the last two weeks was to buy a S/H static bike stand which allows me to cycle indoors.

£30 allowed me to take up biking again and although my old legs may scream stop, I try to do twenty to thirty minutes every other day with the help of music in my headphones or the phone on the gooseneck clipped onto the handlebar providing other entertainment.

I consider myself privileged that I can do all this and when I realise that so many seniors can’t my heart goes out to them. The next four weeks will add more physical and mental strain especially to those elders.

In spite of exercise being kept up I have to say that my back is not better, with stiffness, especially in the mornings increasing. There is no substitute for walking about as before, or as in my case swimming, which has been a Godsend for the last four years.

In our splendid isolation (it could be worse), we now do sessions of exercises for seniors in which we use chairs and water bottles as weights and use a table top propped up ipad to follow the forty minute routines.

Being honest, many times these routines drag on because we don’t really want to do them-but we know that we must. Why we should be couch potatoes instead is the little devil on our shoulders but we soldier on and are glad to get through the evening routine before we sit down for Newswatch on GBC.

Face timing and door stepping relatives keep up the family contacts but really there is a feeling of emptiness when the contacts stop as ‘their’ world goes on and we continue in our mandated isolation.

Of course we can clearly see that the precautionary measures in place have worked and applaud that we are being taken such care of as seniors.

I have had various calls from GHA and Social Services asking whether we need help and we’re really grateful for that but the call we eagerly await for is the one inviting us to go out and enjoy our freedom again.

On a light hearted note have you thought that we may all be looking a bit like Neanderthals and Nana Flint when we finally emerge to seek grooming once we join the rest of the folk who will have had a head start on us and be smartly turned out as ever? Just a thought as is the need for getting our toe nails clipped again.

Hairdressers and barbers? Where are they now? In the midst of those minor quibbles let’s try and strengthen our resolve again to help us beat this ‘thing’ and keep it at bay for another few weeks.

One final thought, as the weather improves use your windows and balconies to catch a bit of sunlight.

It’s essential vitamin D which we need for our mood lift if we are to avoid SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which we can well do without at this time. Whilst it’s most welcome that we see each other daily at 8pm for the clapping of our heroes, it would be nice to see more of us making use of our windows and balconies earlier in the day.

Before mobiles we used to chat from windows remember those days? Well maybe we could have our daily elevenses there and socialise in that way for the next month.

May the leaves of the spring calendar fall quicker than autumn leaves and hopefully may Autumn find us all here and in good health saying ‘We did it - we survived.’

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