Covid-19 Chronicling the Crisis
What started as a way of passing the time during lockdown has turned into an obsession.
The first reported death from a virus originating in Wuhan, was reported by the Chinese State Media on 11 January 2020. The coronavirus appeared on my radar later that month. Two days a week I work as a creative consultant for a shipping Protection and Indemnity Club in London. They have offices in the far east and their Hong Kong Office was their first to start working remotely. We were soon posting regular Covid-19 updates on Twitter. A colleague returned from a skiing holiday in Italy and had to self isolate for two weeks on his return, another travelled from Australia via Singapore and had to do likewise. Two days after their return on 12 March (nearly two weeks before the UK went into lockdown), the London office of Britannia P&I Club started to work remotely.
Coronavirus was all over the news. We looked from afar what was happening in Italy. Obviously this wasn’t going to happen to us in the UK! We were told to wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday twice. I’ve always hated using hand cream and my hands became red raw from my obsessive hand washing and on 19 March, not knowing what I was letting myself in for I posted my first Coronavirus Graphic on my regular Instagram page. Over the next few days I posted a few more. New phrases emerged – ‘social distancing’, ‘working from home’. And on 23 March our Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown.
MY FIRST POSTS
By this time I had become a news fiend. I had always listened to the radio while I worked. Now. I was addicted. The news became the source for my graphic posts. I started a separate Instagram page and I started to post every day. I thought initially I’d post one a day, but like the virus, was soon out of control. I’d wake between 4 and 5am. I’d read the news on my phone, copy and paste items that had potential as a post. After a couple of hours, I’d go downstairs, let out the dog, make a coffee and sit at my temporary desk in the living room and create my first posts of the day. I had to post before everyone else woke, before home schooling started and zoom calls filled the day. Friends liked to read my posts instead of listening to the news. I’d soon posted 200 times and was starting to feel jaded by lack of sleep and the horror of the crisis. I was encouraged to continue.
Now lockdown has lifted. Many think it’s all over, but looking at what’s happening around the world I feel a second wave is inevitable. I’m approaching my 500th post. I’ve started to put together a book. Followers are asking me to keep going to 1000!