‘Covid diaries: I’m 71, alone and haven’t left my house in seven months’

Oct 29, 2020
Like many seniors, Robyn has faced difficulties since the pandemic hit out shores. Source: Getty

This is the first blog I have done since Covid-19 hit our shores.

I have been feeling so many different emotions and have actually been anxious and upset with the various local and world news. It has made me rethink many things that I was doing and I didn’t feel like writing it down until tonight.

I was always a little OCD about germs and the current situation has made it rear its ugly head again with a vengeance. With the various protocols in place outside in the world, I have been struggling to keep it together. My mind is constantly thinking about Covid-19 and every move I make on a daily basis has made my life quite miserable. A good example is my internet shopping. When it arrives I have gloves and a mask on and bring it upstairs (I live in a three-story townhouse and there are 18 steps from my front door to the kitchen). I also count constantly with my OCD (that’s a story for another day) and then the preparation starts for putting the food and sundry items away.

First, I have gloves and disinfectant wipes (hospital grade) and of course soap and water in the sink to prepare the various items. A good example is the small dog food tins I purchase for my two toy poodles. I purchase 30 at a time and set to work to wipe down each and every tin before they are put in the cupboard. Bags like salad, chips, vegetables and non-porous items get washed and then rinsed in the sink.

Things like cardboard-covered items get wiped down with the disinfectant wipes. It’s a long and horrible process but I wash or clean every single item from the shopping bags. When I’ve finished, every spot on the counter where I placed the items is then cleaned down with surgical spray. I take off my gloves and then wash my hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. I have been getting more shopping orders delivered that are smaller as I’m too old and often too tired to wipe down a larger fortnightly shopping order. I’ve been ordering two smaller shops every week since the outbreak.

Also a very good friend of mine gave me about three weeks worth of shopping for emergencies, which I put under the dining room table and I still have items that haven’t been used. The process was that if I used something from that shopping I had to replace it in my next shopping. It was an absolute god send and I am so grateful to her for helping me.

I have caregivers who come in seven days a week, one at lunch time and another for my evening meal – so of course I have to wipe down everything they have touched after they leave, door handles, handrails and the table where they sit. It’s an ongoing daily grind. I’m finding it quite hard and frustrating but I know it is necessary.

I am 71 and I am also diabetic so I have a compromised immune system. The women who look after me wear masks and gloves as well for their safety and we social distance. It’s so much to think about and it’s been going on for such a long time. How I wish for a worldwide vaccination as soon as possible. My doctor gave me my flu shot and a pneumonia jab in January, so that was one less thing to think about.

I haven’t actually left my house for over seven months but am starting to think about going out just to see people I don’t know (even though they will be wearing masks and social  distancing). I have felt so isolated and quite frankly somewhat depressed. Tomorrow will be my first day out to see my GP and have a small procedure to fix a mole – not looking forward to what he will have to do but it will be an outing and I’m looking forward to it. Fancy that!

This blog is a total vent, but I needed to get it off my chest.

I know that many people have been having a far worse time than little old me and at the beginning of 2020 I thought we would have a great year. Well it certainly has been unusual.

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