I was out running at lunch time in my almost deserted local park. In front of me there was a girl in her early 20s who was probably in the (surprisingly large) contingent of people who have just taken up running in the last couple of weeks.

She was on the right edge of the path, and coming the opposite way were an older couple (70s) who were on the left. This is a wide path, there’s ample room for people to pass in single file while maintaining ‘social distance’. So, did the couple move over onto the left? The (presumably) wife did, but the man had other ideas. He veered over to the right towards the running girl and said something aggressively to her which I didn’t quite catch, but the end of it sounded like “get over, bloody fiend”, while making a kind of swatting gesture in her face by swinging his arm as if to push her away. I presumed the context in his head was that he felt she was violating his “social distance”, though she really wasn’t.

By this time I was probably 10 metres behind her. She completely ignored him and just kept going (good choice). I was expecting something similar and as I was full of adrenaline I would have told him exactly what I thought. But then he probably guessed that from looking at me, and didn’t try anything with me. Which makes him a bully, only picking on people he doesn’t expect to retaliate.

A few seconds later the path forked, she went left and I went right and that was that. These things just happen so quickly, you don’t really process it at the time. I probably should have asked if she was OK but she might not have appreciated it.

I hope she’s not put off running again.

Working from home

So for the first time in my life I’ve spent a full week working from home. I did the odd day or two semi-frequently in my previous job, but to be honest I only really did it towards the end of my time there and it was because I wanted any excuse to not go there.

It’s been weird and also not weird. My manager and I have had daily video calls. We seem to have adapted. The work itself hasn’t changed at all. It’s been nice to potter around the garden before starting work.

I don’t think my new employer’s business will be affected much if at all by the country shutting down. Most of our clients are public sector (councils and hospitals) and should continue to function, and some of our funding is from government R&D grants. Probably the biggest risk is that the Managing Director is about 70.

I wonder how things would be different had I still been at my old job.

I don’t think the same is true of my previous employer at all. Their customers are mostly small businesses or individual entrepreneurs who’ve secured a chunk of money. I can see investment for those types of projects drying up pretty quickly. My ex-employer also has the disadvantage that they won’t be able to use the government’s scheme for helping with 80% of their salary bill should they have to suspend or cut back on operations, because a large percentage of their workers aren’t salaried due to being contractors in Russia. I might be experiencing a certain amount of schadenfreude with that. I always got the impression that their profit margins were quite small as well.

Overall I’m glad to not be there anymore.

Days 11 and 12

Good: The cough has eased off, which has made sleeping a lot easier. I went for a walk at lunch time yesterday and survived (first time leaving the house for a week and a half!), and today I did a 5k run. It wasn’t the best run but it also wasn’t the worst. My lungs seem to be fine, I’m just tired.

Bad: My throat is still sore and my resting heart rate is still sitting a good 5bpm higher than it was a few weeks ago. I’m much improved but I’m not 100%.

But overall I’m feeling pretty good again.

Day 10

Not much to report from day 10. It was a lot like day 9. I’m still struggling a bit with the cough. It kept me awake for a few hours last night.

So far I’ve avoided trying any kind of exercise because I think at the moment my throat is too dry and breathing hard sets me off in a coughing fit. I feel like I’m up to it except for the cough. I’m getting frustrated and want to be out running again soon… Probably by the time I feel more recovered Boris will have barticaded us all in our houses.

I’m finding that paracetamol helps though.

Day 9!

Not much to say really, I feel a lot better. But I’ve been here before, so let’s hope I also feel a lot better tomorrow!

Work has formally announced working from home now, so I feel more relaxed about that.

Oh yeah, and we’re in a lockdown. Just my luck that as soon as I start feeling better Boris starts putting restrictions on movement.

Day 8

With day 7 going quite well, I thought today would be the day I’d wake up and feel like I’d finally shaken the virus off, but actually it was the opposite.

I woke up feeling pretty horrible – sore throat, headache, general flu symptoms really, and then I spent all afternoon asleep. I really can’t remember the last time I had a virus that affected me this much for so long. When I had flu last year I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days, but after that it was a definite upward trend and I was back at work 5 days after it started. With this one it’s cyclical. I feel better, then I feel worse, then I feel better, then I feel worse…

Garmin told me my resting heart rate this morning was 60, which is crazy for me (it was 43-45 just over a week ago), though since sleeping this afternoon it’s been adjusted down to 55.

So I’m definitely not better and I’ll work from home tomorrow and the next few days probably.

The work thing is causing me a bit of stress. The reduced train service currently is going to be adding about an hour onto my working day, and that’s assuming there will be enough space to actually get on the train.

I’m not dealing with this while I’m still unwell. First, it’s a bad use of energy which my body needs to use to heal itself, and second, I don’t want to expose myself to more viruses while i’m still fighting this one (for all I know this isn’t coronavirus, and it would hit me harder because my immune system is weaker right now. Not worth the risk).

I will need to address the train situation with work soon, but, as with a lot of things in life, there’s an argument for ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away: 1. The train timetable may be revised if NHS workers (for example) start complaining they can’t get to their shifts on time. 2. Hopefully my work will officially make working from home a policy.

I think it’s pretty bad that work haven’t made any official announcements on the matter yet. Not only does it reflect badly on their care towards their own workers, it also means they’re putting unnecessary strain on transport infrastructure, which is being stripped down to its bare minimum to just support “key workers”, of which I am certainly not one.

I have decided to stick to my principals on this and put my welfare before my employer’s, and if it means job-seeking after the country starts running again then that’s what it means.



Apart from the cough I’m actually feeling pretty OK today. The cough is still driving me completely insane and making my throat hurt, but it does seem to be lessening now.

My heart rate is coming back down again, too.

I’ve noticed a few days this week that I smell. There’s no polite way to put it, my armpits are smelly when I wake up. This is odd because I’m still showering just as often, and I’m not doing any exercise.

I googled it and apparently you do smell more when you’re fighting an infection. It’s some kind of immune response. Maybe it’s an evolutionary thing – who wants to mate with someone who’s sick? That doesn’t make sense though. Natural selection should go the other way too and suppress the odour, shouldn’t it? Hmmm…

So again today it’s mixed signals. I feel like I’m doing a lot better, but apparently my immune system is still working hard.

I am officially allowed outside again tomorrow (the 7 day isolation period ends) and in theory can go back to work on Monday.

Whether I will make it to work is another matter, as the trains have drastically reduced their timetables, which was only announced on Friday. With not having been at work this week I don’t know if anything has been said about this. I’m really not impressed by the fact that my workplace hasn’t proactively switched to home working like many others have.

I also find it frustrating that the train services have been cut at all. There is the obvious point about overcrowding and infectious diseases, but also there’s the fact that it’s not the commuters who decide whether or not to come into work – it’s the employer. There’s a mismatch here. Don’t cut train services unless you’re also willing to enforce that workplaces close.

Day 6

Cough: yes 😞

Heart rate: high

I did a full day working from home today and I felt like I handled it better than the previous day, so that’s an improvement. I seem to be less tired but my heart rate is up quite a bit. I’m not really sure how to interpret that.

The cough is starting to drive me insane…

Day 5

I took the day off sick today instead of trying to work from home, given how tired I was yesterday. I didn’t sleep very well last night – although the cough had improved during the day, it came back overnight and made sleeping difficult at times.

This morning I felt a lot better but I ended up sleeping for most of the afternoon. I got under the covers after lunch because I was cold, and the next thing I knew it was 4 o clock.

The cough is still pretty bad, but overall this evening I’m feeling a lot better and I’m intending to do a full day working from home tomorrow. My heart rate and stress levels are still high though so I don’t think I’ve got rid of it yet.

Day 4

Day 4 has been a bit different.

The cough is improving rapidly (which is good because I think I’ve strained a muscle in my chest from coughing so much!).

Today the main problems are a headache and tiredness. I’ve spent all day in bed and had an unintentional nap after lunch, which I felt better for.

I think the tiredness actually has me feeling worse than I did yesterday. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to work from home tomorrow or not. But since the cough’s improving I hope that means I’m getting rid of the virus and things will start looking up?