15 May 2020
5 minutes Read

Well, we didn’t see this coming, did we? I’d just started a new job, Alfie and Tom both doing great- then Booooooom – Corona lands. The little demon that we know as ‘COVID-19’ is ruining lives on a daily basis. The best we can do as a nation is to indeed #Stayathome. Doesn’t sound like much does it? But it’s the best shot we have. To keep ourselves and those we care about safe.

Now we’re aware of what COVID-19 is and it’s symptoms, I’m 99.9% positive that Tom and Alfie had it back in November.

After finishing Strictly Come Dancing I was so ready for a holiday. We booked a trip to Dubai in November. Once on the flight, a young, seemingly fit and healthy man collapsed several times. Feverish, Gasping for air and coughing profusely. He lay in the walkway next to our seats as helpless passengers looked on. It was clear this man was very poorly. We finally made it to Dubai and the gentleman was taken away in an ambulance.

The next day I woke up in our hotel and my husband Tom was missing. I checked the spare room and there he was – feverish, coughing and struggling to breathe.

The hotel called for an ambulance and  Tom was immediately taken to hospital. After a day in hospital, given oxygen and two drips the doctors sent him back to the hotel  with seriously hardcore antibiotics (a strength that our own doctor said “I’d only really give these to someone as a last shot!”)
We spent 4 days in our hotel room nursing Tom. I’d never seen him so poorly. By day 4 Alfie picked up the virus. His temp shot to 40 and the hotel doctor had to pay numerous visits to both my boys.

I’m not sure how I escaped it – but I did. I had a slight cough, a ‘tickly throat’ and a bucket load of anxiety. We extended our stay in Dubai as we figured whatever this flu-like sickness was – the boys would recover quicker in a warmer climate.

Upon returning to the UK, I mentioned our little nightmare on Instagram… Low and behold –  I received several DMs from other passengers that were on that same flight:  telling me that they also picked up the same virus! Now I know lots of bugs are around on aeroplanes- but now I’ve seen the ‘COVID 19’ reports –
I’m convinced that little cretin of a virus was on that flight with us. Like many others, I believe this has slowly been building since September.

Today we’re in the midst of this shitty pandemic- and my parents have been infected. They were very poorly for three-four weeks. Especially my father. The last few weeks have consisted of dropping food parcels and medicine for my parents, grandmother and sister (my sister has asthma and had some of the symptoms).

I’ve never been so worried. Ever. Luckily I’ve been able to get medical gloves and masks… and luckily I’m completely OCD about germs. So we’re being extremely careful on a day to day basis. Spraying post/deliveries with dettol and wiping everything down. Setting alarms on my phone to wash our hands at least once an hour even though we’re at home in isolation… I mean if I could bathe Alfie in hand sanitizer – I would!

But there’s only so much we can do right? We go on a family walk or cycle each day and sometimes people get really close, even when we’re clearly trying to move out of their way. I hold my breath when they do that.  A guy coughed right next to me the other day and I nearly screamed at him. I just feel so fiercely protective over my family right now.

But we’re doing it!!! We’re getting their guys- so long as we keep isolating, the law of science says- eventually we WILL win!!

Lockdown in our house has been made as fun as possible. Week one was actually pretty wonderful. How glorious has this sunshine been?! I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a garden spade in my life, and now, suddenly, in Quarantine I think I’m Alan Titchmarsh! Previously, planting veg was my only gardening qualification- but suddenly I’m planting trees and landscaping! I’ve baked cakes or bread most days and haven’t worn a stitch of makeup. If any producers out there are up for doing a remake of The Good life’ I’m pretty sure I could nail it!

Week three it’s safe to say my ‘head fell off’ … I went from being super nanny/Delia Smith to Miss Hannigan (from ‘Annie’) . I felt the only time I got to myself was a shower. As much as I love being with my boys and love being a mum… I need that me time. We all do. So we’ve started to make a point of going for an individual run or bike ride as well as our family ride. Just to get out. Just to put headphones on and get away from the fact the world appears to be falling apart before our very eyes.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m very much a ‘glass half full’ kinda girl but it’s clear to see on a daily basis that some members of society are still not taking #CoronaVirus seriously.

People having secret parties/lock-ins/ BBQs … I’ll be blunt with you if you’re one of those people – you’re a selfish rat and in my opinion, you will in some way have blood on your hands.  I just don’t understand what people aren’t grasping?!?  The longer you don’t play by the rules- the longer we stay in isolation and the more people die.

If you know someone that’s acting in this disgraceful manner- I plead with you – GRASS THEM UP!

Rant over!

I made my first ever Sourdough loaf this week! Who knew it took days?!? Feeding ‘the starter’. I’ve got to say, it was completely worth it! We also made cornbread and seeded buns… there’s a theme here isn’t there?! I’m exercising well, we’re staying very active as a family… but I’m not going to deny- my jeans are feeling a bit too snug! However – if ‘Bake Off’ ever come calling – I am FULLY prepared! Ha ha.

Alfie has been doing well with his homeschooling. Better than I thought if I’m honest. He’s adapted himself really well. I, on the other hand, would make the worst teacher (unless teaching musical theatre in which case I’d smash it).

Some days I feel incredibly anxious… to the point where I could be overwhelmed by everything at any second, but I somehow push through to the next day.

Mornings are easy for me, I’ve always been a morning person, but by 4pm anxiety kicks in.

As much as I enjoy time at home with my boys, I long for everything to return back to ‘normal’ (but to take the love, sense of community and new-found creative skills with us all!). I function best when I’m working. I’m not ashamed to say I’m a bit of a workaholic in fact. Which is why we’ve still been maintaining a little schedule each day. It keeps us going – some structure and a little bit of goal setting/visualisation can work wonders for your mental health. I’m not saying we’re moving mountains guys but it’s certainly helped us as a family. Here’s an example:

Like I say- just simple things but having some structure to our day really helps.

Easter was lovely. Lots of time in the garden and beautiful food! I’m really enjoying all this cooking. I don’t get to do this much normally so it’s a great chance to get creative and experiment!

Work is still busy with online read-through, learning scripts and voice-overs- thank God. Really watching the pennies, as much as we can. We’ve saved a fortune on petrol obviously, and not a scrap of food is wasted in this house! I’ve become awfully militant about it… it’s certainly given me a greater appreciation.

Keep strong everyone- we CAN do this!

Keep active and eat well- it will help protect your body AND your mind.