March 17, 2020

Start of the self-imposed ‘self-isolation’ – Day minus 1!

Meg and I had intended to visit an elderly relative in North Wales next Wednesday but have called off our trip as the situation deteriorates. We will now start our ‘self isolation’ from Wednesday onwards but the Government announcements today may mean that we start on Tuesday, 17th March.

Today was an interesting day. I got to the pharmacy to pick up some medication at about 8.0am and then on to our local ALDI which had been pretty devasted the previous day – but the shortages were not as bad as I might have predicted. I did a ‘normal’ weeks shopping, my previous trip having been very light as we thought that we were going to be away. So we are stocked up with about 1.5 weeks shopping and have just learned how to utilise Ocado to have a delivery of supplies next Sunday (and for the foreseeable future)

Our local GP practice now has an online system – I learned how to navigate this to get a query answered about me medication for high blood pressure (I am 10mg Ramipril and I have learned this is an ACE type drug which latches onto the same receptors as the Coronavirus itself making any complication much more severe) I indicated that I had stopped my medication and the community pharmacist phoned me to say he had heard of the same report in The Lancet (medical journal) last week. If anyone wants the link, I will send it on to you! To cut a long story short, the pharmacist consulted with the doctors and they have issued me with an alternative Calcium Channel Blocker (Amlopodine) – I go into all of these details in case anyone else has the same medication issues.

Then onto my local ASDA to pick up one or two last-minute things before my self-imposed isolation – what a sorry sight (devasted, empty shelves, etc) I took some money out of my account using the cash machine to tide me over the next week or so. Now for a pleasant surprise – Holiday Inn in Chester refunded all of the money we had already paid for a three-night stay. However, it is going to be a long battle to get my money back from a holiday in Portugal planned for nest May – the credit card company say to contact your travel agent, the travel agent says contact the airline, the airline (Iberia) have written to say ‘Nothing we can do!’As all of these companies might go bust as people try to get their money back, they are all passing the buck onto everyone else. I am sure lots of you have similar stories.

This has been a long post – tomorrow I will regale you with two funny (and true !) stories about my experiences with the Spanish language