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Juno's October Blog 2020

Well hello – and here we are in October.

I am writing this at 1355 on Monday October 12th – which means I am, as yet, blissfully unaware of any new lockdown measures for Southampton until 1700 today when I shall, once again, tune into the Prime Minister’s press conference, pen and paper aquiver.

Not since CJ Cregg graced the West Wing podium have I been so interested in political briefings.

Things are changing in so many ways.

Currently I lie awake at night wondering if it is ok to ask staff who are 26 weeks pregnant or more to continue to provide personal and intimate care during COVID. Equally I am wrestling with the Government access to weekly care home testing. Yes I actually lie awake thinking about these things and I am not alone I know – all around the country people lie awake worrying about these sorts of things.

You’ll note the language, this falls short of the saying ‘Government requirement’ or ‘legislation’ because on both of these areas no-one seems to be able to say either ‘yes do that’ or ‘no don’t do that’. So apparently I have to interpret the fact that we CAN access weekly care home testing (albeit we are not a care home in the usual 99% definition of the term) to mean that we SHOULD. And any way it’s only for adults and only for adults with LD since Aug 31st and any way the first batch of kits they sent us was recalled.

And that because if there is an outbreak of rubella I should suspend a pregnant staff member on full pay – maybe I should do the same for a COVID outbreak. I would actually do that because it makes sense – but what about the bit before the outbreak? Do I suspend all pregnant staff members in their second trimester now? Just in case? Who pays for that?

No one seems to know…..(and if you do know - please don’t just tell me that you know unless you can show me a bit of legislation or written guidance….because a virtual punch in the nose offends).

And another thing (yep – on a roll today folks….)

Who are your friends?

Asking for a friend you understand.

Asking because – I haven’t seen my actual friends for yonks.

We had to stop our walking group ‘cos there are more than six and how on earth do you decide who stays and who goes. Dinners at home stopped ages ago when we weren’t allowed to do them and just never got re-started what with the stress of it all and knowing that some folk only now entertain if there are individual serving plates.

I don’t have that many individual serving plates, I am a one-pot child of the 70s.

Anyway, my spare time is spent interpreting Government guidance.

Evenings at the pub with friends also stopped and now we go alone and are rife with angst – do we let that person come over and snuggle the dog without a mask on – who is meant to stop them? Us? The bar staff? The police? MI5?

Oooo look – John from across the road has had a few, he just went the WRONG WAY ROUND to the toilet…..WITHOUT A MASK……oooooo!

So my friends have also become (whisper it folks in case the HR police are listening…) the people I work with every day.

If a friend is someone who sees me a lot, knows when I am stressed, goes out of their way to try and help me, listens to me rant on, asks how I am on a regular basis and to all intents and purposes cares about my wellbeing – then yep – my friends are also the people I see and work with here at Rose Road.

We work together, strive together, get frustrated together, experience sadness and happiness together and they are the people I see more than anyone else now that social activities are so curtailed.

I am quite sure that this is unprofessional and wrong of me and will doubtless lead to some terrible downfall when I have to haul one of them over the coals for not washing up the spoons in the kitchen (yep – I will do that - whoever you are….).

But I have a sneaking suspicion that I may not be alone…..