The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

Like many millions of people, I’ve now had at least* one confirmed CV19 infection. Irony, as the UK released all restrictions and we learn to ‘live with Covid’, two of us caught it.
And while it was mild, I’m still tired, I’m still recovering, and I once again remember why my doctors are cautious of me, and I can’t even think or wonder how others might be coping with this, or not. And I’m just thankful for vaccines.

I’m actually thankful for a lot of stuff, which I want to talk about before I go after the government. Which I will be.
I am thankful for the support I’ve had, the care given for vaccines, the fact that my GP has been kind, caring and working with me as best they can. I’ve never had an issue with our local surgery, and because they know us, they know when I ask for something, there’s a good reason for it. I’m also thankful though, that we’ve been able to follow all of the guidance to ensure that we actually didn’t get sick until year 2. Given everything that happened with Titanboi and his extra kidney (which ended, as in, the stent came out, the morning we went into a sixteen week lockdown in March of 2022), we’ve been lucky, and safe for the whole time. A lot of the time, that has been down to the choices we’ve tried to make, following guidelines, but, we’ve had so much that we can do that others might not have had the luxury of, and that’s important to be clear on. A lot of why we’ve been ‘ok’ is because we’ve had the opportunities that let us protect ourselves and our community.

We did also lock down, entirely, for the week and a half @artenapan and I were testing positive for. She had a terrible cough, and was tired (and still both are), and headaches, while I had all that, and a temperature of 39.8(C) for more than a couple of days. That temperature was the worst for me, and I had a BAD chest infection, so was given steroids and antibiotics. Artenapan spent the first ten minutes of us suspecting that she needed serious help because she had a ten minute coughing fit. Those ten minutes, I have to be honest, were the most scary ten minutes with her, ever. But we got her to stop coughing, we tested, and our LFTs were out in record time. In her case, 2 minutes. And, we then did what we could to protect everyone around us. We cancelled my son’s visit for Mother’s day (which we had this weekend in the end), and for the week we were both sick, it was kinda miserable in the house. We are, however, recovering. We are lucky.

This may not be the popular opinion but…

I don’t go political very often, though I am an outspoken about a lot on my own profile, and I’ll go on the record and say that the NHS rock. They’re doing a job they are not funded for, and that’s the government’s fault. And at every turn, the government – especially the current Tory cabinet, who I’ve lost track of through various reshuffles where they play musical chairs – are just insanely inept, and at every turn, demonstrate why politicians SHOULD come from the communities they serve.

My partner and I both feel that if an MP wants to judge someone’s life, they should experience it. Let’s see them live on the average wage, especially with our current energy price hikes. Let’s see them live on what people are earning at their poorest. Let’s see them deal with children that need special needs and work through their SEN meetings, and social service support. Let’s see them get the mental health support they need after ten plus years of cuts (and again, the NHS are heroes for giving us the support we get. I am NOT going after them, despite some of the issues I’ve had with them. I’ve had issues, yes but, Dr C and M, my last psych nurse, were actually my friends by the end of it. I still write to them twice a year. They gave me … not the life I had, but the best life I can have now back. I’ll talk more about that when I get to P for Psychosis, but… one of the things we’ve talked about is that if the government stopped defunding critical services, and expecting us to be ok with that.
It’s not ok.

Full circle in one sentence

No thanks to the government, thank you to the NHS, who got me through a bout of Covid. Yes, we’ve managed to be the lucky family – so far – who lives with covid – but through no thanks of our local MP. He doesn’t speak for us, elected for us though he is. And the whole government? With the deaths and other issues that have happened since Brexit, and Covid (though some of it was unavoidable), they should be ashamed. They aren’t. But they should be.

I did also want to add…

I’ve mentioned the fuel crisis in the UK. Our energy price caps jumped by 50% now and it’s predicted it’ll happen again in October. We, as a family are still lucky, and safe, but I know many people that are not. Our government has done less than nothing to prevent the week of stress all of us have been through. And to be clear, we’ve been stressed and we know we’ll manage. It’ll be more money we pay out for our utilities, but we can do that. But we know families that are living in fuel poverty, and the insipid response, alongside the absolute clusterf*ck that was trying to get our meter readings in before the prices jumped, was absolutely insane. In my case, I was awake every two hours, and kept trying. Started at 11am on the 31st. Finally got my meter readings submitted at 4am the next day. I can only imagine what people living on the poverty line already are feeling, and the last thing we need, after two years of isolation, is to hit next winter, and be dealing with illnesses based on poor heating, and other problems related to poverty, let alone the mutations we are probably going to hit from Covid, the overstretched NHS, and the exhausted staff…many of whom may be just as affected by fuel poverty (no, I’m not kidding). So…this was C for covid, but it’s also C for ‘Can we vote them out and press charges?’.

*I say at least once because we don’t know if we’ve had it before now.

It’s a Lockdown in the U-K

It’s a Lockdown in the U-K

While AuthorInterrupted and other blogs will be talking about writing and stuff, Kaiberie.com has always, and traditionally been about everything – writing, artwork, photography, and life. And it’s life today that I’m addressing.

Corona, Lockdown, my government

I don’t hold a positive view, really, on my current government in the UK. I’ve seen exactly one action that seems to be in advance of everything else (cause last year, exams were stressful, and not worked out until June – so, props for that), but we’ve gone from ‘you can go home for Christmas,’ to ‘no, you can’t,’ to ‘and you’re in tier 4, to ‘hey, national lockdown’. Except….that’s a misnomer.
Takeaways are still open, essential services (and those have extended, thankfully) are still open, schools are closed, ans basically, it feels like a bitty solution to something really serious. We’re locking down until February, but I’m currently seeing reports that suggest we may be in it until the new tax year, which is April 1st.

What would I do differently…?

That’s the rub. I can’t really work out what that answer really is. I’m not a politician, I don’t know everything about all of the statistics that are being used to decide, but what I will say is that once again, it feels like mental health has become not just an afterthought, and that’s not pleasant at the best of times, but quite honestly, there’s been a total disregard for mental health entirely in this conversation with most people. Newspapers literally focussed on the impact of closing betting shops and pubs (hello addictive behaviour – of all the examples they could choose…) and talking about how terrible this lockdown is. I can’t really say I’m happy or comfortable with that, and the complete non-response from the government about how they’re addressing mental health and isolation, but if the NHS only has a finite pool of resources, and mental health was already cut down to bare bones and little else, it’s not surprising that this (and cancer and other life-threatening issues) are being put on the backburner. And critically, for that, I don’t blame the NHS at all – I blame the government. I blame Boris for a lot and while I try not to go overly political, I guess this is one of those times I am kinda.

So…what I’d do differently. I’d listen to the advice of the people I was asking to be my experts, I’d be leading by example, and I guess I’d accept my tenure wasn’t popular. Can we expect that of Boris Johnstone?
No.
Not at all.

What we can expect is non-lockdown, Lockdown.

What I’m actually doing…