2020 – a different year but one that had its upside

It’s new years eve and I’m at work – sharing a two bedroom flat in the Blackfriars region of the City with my partner. Although we now share tier four lockdown with most of England, we are classified as part of Hackney which had around 2350 new Covid cases last week (that’s about 0.8% of us).  This is in line with the average London Borough (the east is worst  the west is better) this graph shows just how many of us are getting infected

Around 2pm last night I woke up with a sore throat and started coughing. I woke again at 4.30 am and started coughing again.

I wrote my blog , did our morning Zoom call and then ran down to the Guildhall for a test. I know it sounds odd but I now run everywhere that’s close to home and Boris bike when distances are longer than my legs can carry me. I have not been on a bus or tube since March. I am now 92kg, in early July I touched 118kg, exercise , good eating and no alcohol have done me good. This is my first lockdown win- the belly fat has gone.

When I got to the Guildhall I was asked two questions, “how are you feeling” and “how much battery have you in your phone”. I said I hoped I was fine and so was my phone’s battery – I was ushered into a booth and presented with my test kit. What followed combined self-help medicine – getting me in touch with my tonsils and my nostrils  – with a crash course in Q codes and the navigation of a number of Government websites resulting in me giving away rather more information than I care to admit on this blog.

I could see other city residents in other booths, most were over 50 but everyone was getting on with it – interacting with young helpers who patiently put us right as we tapped our way to testing.

Although it was still early in the morning, the cardboard box into which I tossed the package containing my swab was already full. Testing is on an industrial scale which partly makes sense of the spike in cases.

The spike in London cases hasn’t been matched by a spike in London mortality (yet)

I left the Guildhall and carried on my run, I am recorded with every step by a Fitbit to which I am a slave. At the end of every day it tots up the calories I have spent and then spits data at me, reminding me of the promises I have made to myself (and broken).

“I am not going to let my Fitbit down today”, I said as I circumnavigated the Barbican. Sadly things went wrong on the third circuit as my gammy hip interrupted my fluid process and I retired home care of the bail out Boris bike.

How my life is changing

Here are my five positive lockdown take-aways

  1. I now know how to use the majority of the functionality of my iphone
  2. I am now a healthy weight
  3. I have become a huge fan of living in the City of London (and Hackney)
  4. I am not scared – I am more resilient
  5. I am not being dragged down by alcohol.

When I got home I wrote and posted  some thank you cards for the presents that had arrived by Amazon , DHL and Royal Mail.

I’m not sure I want to do 2020 again, but I’ll look back at some days (like today) and realize they were enervating. I have 48 hours to know whether the test is positive and now my partner is lying in bed complaining of fever. Wish us well!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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4 Responses to 2020 – a different year but one that had its upside

  1. John Mather says:

    Try the book
    Your Best Year Yet
    Jinny S Ditzler

    Have an even better 2021

  2. Adrian furnell says:

    Henry, I wish I could say the same viz weight loss! more like gain !! However I hope you and Stella keep well .

    2021 beckons and surely it has to be better than 2020……..

  3. Nice blog post. Very energising.
    I hope that you and Stella recover quickly whether positive or negative result

  4. Robert says:

    Hope your test is negative and that you both recover very soon.

    As you’ve been adhering to a healthier lifestyle this should help your immune system.

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