Today marks one week in coronavirus lockdown and already the cracks are beginning to show in some places.
Mrs Mike shouted at the cat, who was only playing at chasing her, pawing at her ankles.
But then, Mrs Mike wasn’t very happy when she woke up today. She has fibromyalgia. Some days the pain is worse than others, and this is one of those days.
As she was getting dressed she was muttering about the noise made by children in a back garden up the street.
Stepdaughter has been champing at the bit to get out since the lockdown began. Her fiance is in the armed forces, meaning they were apart from each other when we were all told to self-isolate, and even now he is on leave they aren’t allowed to meet up. And what if he gets called up to go abroad for dangerous work?
She tells me her employers have launched a series of uplifting (ha ha) webinars, to happen on a regular basis. She says the thought of taking part makes her want to hurt herself.
I’m okay because I’ve been keeping myself busy, but even I can feel things starting to niggle.
I usually write stories for Vox Political quite late at night, because there are fewer distractions, but lately Mrs Mike has been staying up with me – or rather falling asleep next to me while I work.
Then there’s hell to pay when I try to get her to go to bed. It usually takes six or seven attempts to get her to go, and she is always in a bad mood when she finally shifts herself to get up the wooden hill to Bed-fordshire.
Every night I get a little more annoyed. This morning she was complaining because she didn’t get up bright and early, laying the blame on staying up late, and it was all I could do to hold my tongue.
Mind you, I have been finding it hard to get up too.
And I do wonder if it’s because the pandemic, and the lockdown, has affected my state of mind; you know what I mean – that subconsciously I might not think it’s worth bothering to get up, or that if I stay in bed there’s no chance of catching the virus.
Who knows? The subconscious is a mysterious thing.
One thing I do know is that the tabloids are going to be full of stories about what locked-down people have been doing to each other, for weeks and maybe months after the crisis ends.
Already there’s a case of a family of four – and their dog – found dead in a house in Woodmancote, West Sussex. The bodies are understood to be those of a man, his partner and their two young daughters.
Police have opened a murder inquiry but said they aren’t look for anybody else in connection with the incident.
The family was last seen alive taking exercise in a field near their home at the end of last week. All seemed well.
Who knows what else is going on in other homes across the UK?
That’s why it is genuinely important to take care of your mental health.
My stepdaughter might think her employer’s webinars are a waste of time, but they might help others – so good for them, I say.
There is advice on how to keep chipper in these socially-excluding times:
Be aware that anxiety and fear are normal.
Talk to other people about your feelings so you can get help and support.
Take breaks from the news because if you’re feeling down already, it will make you feel worse.