Sometimes you just have to laugh. Or cry, the choice is not that easy nowadays and there’s often very little between the two. Anyway, this is an interesting blog; not because of the content (which I hope will be interesting) but because of how I had to write it. Delete it. Write it again.
Pictured – also, this blog starts out heavy so lots of fun pictures to cheer you up. This is the full kitty Kitty look, including an actual cat collar which fit surprisingly badly 😉
See, I started this blog two weeks ago when I was self-isolating. That conjunctivitis I got that made me miss the last session? Well, that turned into a vicious cough, bit of fever, general feeling of utter unpleasantness. And following the UK government instructions I decided to self-isolate myself because of the symptoms.
In the mean time the world stopped.
Just when the self-isolation was due to be over, and when I had managed to re-organise another set of sessions, the world got sick. And now we are in lockdown which resulted in me having to delete the text of my blogpost because it was completely out of date. Everything changed so fast.
Don’t worry. This blog won’t be all doom and gloom. We have a crisis, yes, but it’s a new kind of crisis. In fact it’s the world’s first virtual pandemic.
Let me explain that before I get to the things us people blessed with the urge to dress can do to get through the isolation period. There’s a lot of grumpy people now who are sat at home bemoaning the fact the government has told them to stay inside, and they are all missing the point.
Pictured – pink, pink. pink and blonde, what’s not to love
This isolation isn’t for the people suffering from Covid. It’s for you. It’s for when, in two weeks time, you drop a glass and cut your hand badly. Or when you come down with appendicitis. Or when you fall of your bike during your one exercise period a day (UK rules, bear with me if you’re not locked down on the green and pleasant land right now).
See, if we can stop the massive rush of infection right now the health service will not be flooded with people requiring intensive care. And that means when you trip over your heels while dancing around the house dressed in a 1940’s frock and dislocate your knee, there will be medical professionals to help you.
People have been quoting terrifying statistics at us for a while about all this, but in reality the virus is not that deadly. Yes, it is horrendous for the people who have compromised immune systems. The virus load is the problem here – Coronavirus is a doozy of a beast, it runs around inside you like a ten year old who has consumed way too much Coca Cola. And in return your body reacts. The white blood cells go after the manic intruder and the body steps up a gear to get rid of the damn thing. Your temperature spikes out because your body has to work supremely hard generating defences, but also defending itself from your own defences.
Pictured. Yes, I do have legs and yes, I know how to use them. And yes, that’s a hint of panties. You’re welcome.
The body is an amazing engine but it gets a little carried away when you get infected. It throws white blood cells at the invaders like it’s going out of fashion, and some of these white blood cells get carried away themselves. This reaction is what makes you ill; in the majority of viral diseases it’s not the virus that does the damage, it’s the body reacting to it, or being unable to react to it.
The majority of deaths from Coronavirus/Covid-19 will not be from the virus. They will be from complications arising from the immune system reaction. Organ failure, sepsis, the unpleasant shopping list goes on.
But you need to remember this. For all the terrifying stats and doom laden messages, the VAST majority of people will feel nothing. When the governments talk about 3-4% death rate they are talking about 3-4% of people infected, not the total population. When the UK government talks about 600,000 people dying this year as a result of Covid-19 they are failing to tell you that 500,000 people will die this year anyway. And the 600,000 is not in addition.
100,000 is a horrible figure. But compare it to the Spanish Flu of 1918. 218,000 people died in the UK directly due to that epidemic. And of those the majority of people dying were aged between 20 and 30.
But the government has to say this. And the reason it does is that people need to isolate right now. Because if you don’t, and you don’t take it seriously, if something else happens to you over the next couple of months the chances of you dying from it are far, far higher if the hospital is full of people suffering from respiratory failure.
So stay inside people, please. I’ve had serious Asthma attacks, and I’ve, luckily, had my appendix out. Both were unpleasant and not fun, and that was when the NHS was not full of people suffering from a containable virus.
Pictured – an interlude, 1950’s diner waitress, ready to take your order and have the inevitable bottom pinching.
Anyway, I really hope that makes sense to people reading this. I call it a virtual pandemic because for the first time in history we have the infrastructure and the communications in place that we can do this kind of magnificent effort that will genuinely save thousands of lives. And all you have to do is sit and home and be miserable. Hell, most of us do that fine already without being prompted.
And on the subject of isolation, and how the hell to survive it without going cuckoo-bananas…….
1: This will be over. Think about what you can do when it all gets better
What you’re feeling right now is grief. I know that sounds mad, but there has been such a radical change in circumstances that we obviously look at what has gone, not what remains, and the brain has a multi-stage mechanism for getting over grief. It’s all denial, guilt, anger, depression, bounce-back, acceptance, all those wonderfully fun stages. And everyone needs to process them in their own time. But what I’ve been doing, alongside the black dog moments and intense exercise (more of that in a moment) is planning what I’m going to get up to when everything starts to get normal again.
Pictured – hint, hint. A lot of new frocks on the eventual horizon, methinks.
I am going to party like it’s 1999 all over again. Again. I have tonnes of new frocks and ideas and, courtesy of the mind-flush of grief, a much clearer idea of what I want to experience and do if I have the chance.
And that’s a good thing to draw on. This will finish. They are already talking of relaxing and removing the lockdown in Wuhan and eight weeks ago that was like a scene from the Walking Dead. The virus is containable and, due to it’s frenetic lifecycle, not a cautious or slow-moving beast.
So get planning on what you are going to do when the pubs and clubs open up again. And believe me, when they do, we’ll all feel like we are in our twenties again. So you’ll see a lot of inappropriately dressed t-ness. You can look forward to that as well.
2: Lots of spare time. Reflect on what you’ve done in the past and relive the best bits
I hate isolation. Not because of loneliness but because I have literally spent all of my life wishing that things were quieter, that I could have my own time, that I could be a hermit (true story, that’s what I told my first teacher I wanted to be when I grew up….). Only when it actually happens it’s not as much fun as it once seemed. Not being able to pop out for a beer, for example. Yeah, not what your standard Hermit wants but turns out, shock horror, that my idea of hermitage was far removed from the actual reality of it all.
But on the plus side, I have a lot of spare time now (I can work from home but given the fact I spent most of my time in London doing 17 hour days with travel, 7.5 hours a day is like a slightly extended toilet break).
And I have just under 17,000 pictures of Sarah. In fact, I’m finding ones I had forgotten about. And that little Indiana Jones’esque bit of digital archaeology is a joyous thing.
Pictured – it appears I had my own little Goth Girl phase early on. Hmm, I think she may have to come back for a bit of fun
It’s like I finally have a chance to take a breath and enjoy what I did before. And, in the absence of any other kind of choice, that’s not a bad one.
Now is not the time for questions of morality. We have been blessed with a society (although you could easily argue that that blessing is also a curse of sorts) that has access to an amazing amount of material online. Sure, you can binge watch series on Netflix, and Disney+ has just dropped (in the UK) with 630 episodes of the Simpsons, but I have itches that need scratching and if I can’t frock up and spend hours posing in front of a camera then I will take advantage of other modes of enjoyment.
Mind you, I get a warm feeling watching 1940s frocks being modelled so my idea of pr0n isn’t that extreme, but it is an easy way to get some relief and enjoyment by yourself, and that’s what self-isolation is all about.
Pictured – just remember to use protection when surfing your favourite naughty sites.
It’s not surprising that the sites that are getting the most traffic at the moment are Netflix and Pornhub. We can argue morality after the society-changing virus has gone the way of smallpox.
4: Be nice to yourself and to others
It’s a tough time for everyone and in some ways I think people who had conditions before, the depressives, the self-haters, the gender-confused, are probably a lot better equipped to deal with this kind of crisis, but I have found myself needing to be nicer to me and the people I can still interact with.
Check up on your friends on Facebook. A couple of swapped messages across the messenger are like a little hit of joy. Comment nicely on something someone has put up. Fill your newsfeed with bright and fun stuff. It’s not a case of being ignorant to the situation, far from it. It’s making sure you don’t drown in an electronic flood of negative news.
A couple of wonderful tips from Stephen Fry on this – turn off the notifications on your phone for everything, and don’t believe anyone who doesn’t start a sentence with ‘we’re not sure but’. There are plenty of ‘experts’ out there right now who think this is the best time to get themselves some social media bright lights by preaching doom and destruction. This will get better, and when it does would you rather have spent the time commenting on how luscious my latest 1940s frock looks or on worrying about something you have absolutely no control over?
Pictured – my latest 1940s look, as it happens.
So I’ll leave you with this – when it all finishes and we get back to some semblance of normality wouldn’t it be nice to look back and say ‘I came out of that stronger than when I went in’? It’s entirely up to you.
I always say it at the end of a blog post but this time it is so important you take it onboard – stay beautiful, inside and out. This will pass.
Pictured – and when it does, my smile will be twice as wide as hers.