In 2020 there was an outbreak of 'flu. It started in China, and by March 2020 the WHO labelled it a pandemic.

The UK government's response was to restrict people's activities in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. These policies meant many people, myself included, were unable to go to work.

I decided I should spend some of my spare time writing this journal. There will be no theme to individual entries; just whatever I feel like writing. The images are (with a few obvious exceptions) taken within a half mile radius of our house.

I decided it was time to get in to Sainsbury's, and prepared myself for the queue to get in. I was not dissappointed; it stretched along the front of the shop and then the entire length of the car-park. I estimate it was around 300 metres in length, which would accommodate 150 people if everyone followed the rules. It's warmer today, which is a relief, and I was advised to ensure I had been to the toilet before I joined the queue.

The queue appeared to go down in batches, and I was inside in under 30 minutes.

So what's in short supply today? A pint of milk was the only thing I struggled to find; it was available in long-life or 4 pint cartons. I heard on the radio today that broccoli is a "super food", and likely to help prevent contracting this year's plague. I don't really believe it, but sure enough, there's none to be seen in the supermarket.

The allotment is now providing broccoli for us. No need to worry. 

Clap for carers happens every Thursday evening at 8:00pm. It begins to feel like the scene from 1984 where the population is expected to applaud their leaders. Nothing wrong as such, but there are sinister undertones; what happens to those who don't applaud? Will they receive the help they need at a critical time? These concerns leave us all vulnerable to exploitation.

The UK news reports on NHS staff fighting on the "front line" of this "hideous war". The lock-down has been extended by another three weeks and the government has begun to deny many of the promises earlier made about providing PPE for carers and testing people for the disease.

Outside of the UK, there are doubts on the veracity of China's death toll; how can it be so low if it's the same disease we are experiencing here? I feel we do not know half of what is going on.

This plague will not be the end of the human race, but fear will cause huge changes to our society in the future. We have to wonder what the new "normal" will be once we are over this. I read a post comparing the situation to the "jam every other day" offered to Alice in Wonderland in the book "Through the Looking-Glass".

"You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today."

Lewis Carol - Through the Looking-Glass

The video conference socializing continues. I have a schedule of 5 gym sessions per week just now. There are are also a few meetings that are just social and conversational.

In general, the weekend is just like the week. On Saturday we took a walk on the Downs. Bizarrely there are more people up there than on High Street in Portslade. As we came down, we dropped in to the local farm shop; bananas, avocado and lemons. The main attraction of the shop was the lack of queue. Customers couldn't go inside the shop, you waited at the door to ask the staff to collect the things you wanted. Our social activity for the day was standing outside the local corner shop for milk (only one person at a time in the shop).

We have cooked a load of rhubarb from the allotment. We have made a load of rhubarb stew for the freezer; we'll use it as and when. We also potted several jars of rhubarb and fig jam (the lemons were for the jam).