I must admit to having not taken Coronavirus seriously in the beginning ‘it will all blow over!’ I insist, rolling my eyes as David or “Chief Doom-monger” as I renamed him, came home with a steady stream of loo roll and other necessities. But then it all started to look rather more serious than I had first thought. ‘Oh God’, I joked to my friends ‘the worst thing is if David has been RIGHT about this all along and then I have to live with him having been right FOREVER!’ But actually, it turned out to be even worse than that.
People started to panic buy and I started to think about what we perhaps really needed. I looked at our stocks of things that I batch cook; bolognese; shepherd’s pie; chilli etc (gosh should I start a blog called “Cooking with mince?!”) and it all looks rather low so I go down to the butchers to stock up.
‘Morning! Please may I have 500g minced beef, 500g minced pork, 1kg minced lamb, 12 sausages and six chicken breasts?’
‘You’re not panic buying are you?’ the butcher grins at me.
‘No, no! Not panic buying, not panic buying at all, very CALM buying!’ I say, sounding completely hysterical. I didn’t dare ask him for the diced beef I had planned for a curry.
David continues on with increasingly bizarre panic purchases:
‘I’ve bought a vegetable trug for us to grow our own!’ he announces ‘If it becomes like the war and they start rationing, I want to have a head start!’
‘SOD OFF TALKING ABOUT THE WAR!’ I growl at him.
A day later: ‘I’ve bought a chest freezer so that we can start freezing everything! We must have supplies!’
Then his company announces that the whole firm will be spending a day working from home to see if it’s doable. Consider that I could go and live in the chest freezer if it’s completely unbearable. David spends a day working from the kitchen table and this is when I discover that he has a work laugh and that he spends an inordinate amount of time on the phone. What the bloody hell do they all find to talk about? No wonder he always says he has to work late because he has too much work to do. I had always just assumed that he was having an affair but it appears he was telling the truth. I’m rather disappointed by this because after one day of him working from home I was hoping to ship him off to the mistress’ house to work there and irritate her.
‘I’m going to have to buy a monitor!’ he announces after a lot of head rubbing and huffing and puffing ‘I just can’t work like this!’ he makes a dramatic sweeping gesture towards his laptop.
‘I don’t understand?’ I say.
‘It’s too low.’
‘Stack it on some books?’ I suggest.
‘No. I need two screens, anyway it makes me more productive’ and he hurries off to Currys before I can protest any more.
I can’t help but wonder what the divorce rate in the country will be after all this.
‘Perhaps,’ I suggest later ‘you could work from Mum’s house?’
He agrees and thus our marriage is saved.
Rumours abound that schools will be closed and then it is confirmed by Boris. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having all the boys home for however long; they do nothing to help because soon after the announcement, the big two argue over a magazine whilst Tom takes the opportunity to grab one of their Harry Potter wands and runs around wielding it. Jack pinches Ruari ‘NO! You must not pinch! That is not how we treat each other!’ I say over the sounds of Ruari HOWLING. Tom runs up ‘EXPELLIARMUS’ he shouts, waving the wand in Jack’s direction and promptly poking Jack in the eye. ‘NO! You must be careful with that Tommy! Don’t wave it near people’s faces!’ I say over the sounds of Jack HOWLING. Tom starts HOWLING and throws himself on the floor ‘YOU’RE A BLOODY BLOODY MUMMY!’ he shouts at me.
‘Oh bloody bloody hell’ I think to myself, flopping on to Ruari’s bed and resisting the urge to join in the howling.