Actually, its a long 40 days since I arrived in the UK. When I arrived in the UK on Sunday 12th April 2020, it certainly felt like I had arrived into a post apocalyptic Britain. The plot of an epic British film, ’28 Days Later’, released in 2002 depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus and this mirrors how I felt about my situation when I arrived here. The UK was in the grips of the Covid-19 virus and still is, but just over a month ago, the streets were empty, towns and cities deserted, lock down had effectively closed the entire country. I was only allowed to leave the house to have no more than one hour of exercise outdoors and a visit to the shops only permitted for essential items. Other than those people evacuated alongside myself, the local people were not warm and friendly, nor welcoming, more worried about the raging virus and, I suppose, the presumption of transmission from the strangers that had landed in Larkhill. It certainly felt like the zombies had arrived and I felt somewhat unprepared in a desolate land that had previously been bustling with life.
To make full use of the permitted one hour of outdoor exercise, I have taken to running. Something had to be found to replace my newly acquired taste for gin!
In my quest to explore my new surroundings, I have rambled and wandered as far as my legs will carry me and I have now progressed to going slightly faster than an amble and I’m running everywhere. I’ve even entered a competition known as the BATUK 100 which is to complete 100 miles during the month of May. The distance to be covered is however, limited to 25 miles each week. This may not sound like a lot but as I am in no way a runner in any shape or form, this is somewhat of a personal challenge. In my solitary rambling, I’ve actually started to enjoy this form of exercise.
I have seen so many wonderous sights whilst out and about including the wonderful wild life such as cows, horses, sheep, hares, deer and I even spied a fox as he darted across a path in front of me while I trotted along. The country side is colourful with an array of flowers blooming in the sunshine, making for a cheerful landscape betraying the feelings of loneliness and the despair of troubled times.
I’d much rather be taking in the countryside from the back of a horse but this is simply not available to me during lock down. The area has an abundance of horses and they seem to haunt me wherever I go but in these challenging times, all such horses are taking a rest and keeping the grass under control in their fertile paddocks. Riding is not an option at the moment but I look forward to the day when I can clamber back on board. The Salisbury Plains are just begging to be galloped across!
I’m hoping that with all this extra physical activity with running and cycling that I will become a leaner version of my previous self, fighting fit to continue to take on the world! (obviously along side the rest of the Nomadic Family Unit when we are reunited).
Mr Nomad has assured me that he has been taking the dogs to work in my absence where they have been honing their skills and Hound Solo continues to be useful (questionable) as ‘sniffer dog extraordinaire’ and Princess Zuri has shown potential as an ‘attack beast.’ (whatever this may be!)
Just over a month after my arrival, whilst the pandemic is still in full swing, gradually the lock down is easing in the UK, and in other areas around the world, including the source of the virus in Wuhan, China. Italy and Spain are tentatively re-opening, along with other countries around the world.
As at Friday 22nd May 2020, the UK has 254,195 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has suffered a monumental 36,393 deaths. Sadly, the UK appears to be the capital of the continent in terms of deaths from this deadly non-discriminating virus. Some shops and businesses are re-opening albeit with social distancing to be maintained. There is to be a phased return of children to school in or around June 2020 and hospitality businesses to attempt to re-start around July 2020. We are able to go outdoors at any time, and for as long as we wish as long as social distancing is maintained. We are also now allowed to meet with one person who is not within our own household. The same rules apply if one is exhibiting any symptoms of the virus. There are still enormous difficulties with families reuniting, and gatherings of people in large numbers such as weddings, funerals, social and leisure events and pursuits. All sporting events remain cancelled including the Olympics which were due to take place in Tokyo in July 2020.
The country that I have been evacuated from has nowhere near the same statistics. In Kenya, there have been 1161 confirmed cases with only 50 deaths. Kenya had closed its borders on 25th March 2020 and imposed curfews from 7.00pm until 5.00am. There was a cessation of movement from Nairobi and this has ben extended to the counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera. President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the country on 16th May 2020 in which he extended the curfews and limited movements for a further 21 days until 6th June 2020 and he stated quite wisely that they would step up their defences by “deploying stricter, localised prevention actions.” I guess therefore that whilst the figures are low in Kenya and the country certainly did not follow the predicted curves, that the President is keen to ensure no further spread of the infection. It was stated that out of 47 counties, the virus has been confirmed in 22 of those counties. The strict halting of movement and rigidly enforced curfews may have paralysed the economy temporarily, but it appears to have also paralysed the spread of the virus. That said, one must wonder how much testing is being undertaken. Civil unrest has not yet arrived in Nanyuki so I am ever hopeful that I will be able to return sooner rather than later.
Covid-19 has not made the impact that had been expected in Kenya so hopefully my departure from the UK will be imminent. I await with baited breath the outcome of the next Presidential address to see if the borders will be re-opened albeit with restrictions but crucially, whether flights will resume. Kenya relies heavily on the tourist industry and I have no doubt that there is a level of urgency for some form of normality to resume in order to save the country from destruction. There is also a major worry that poaching will become more prevalent so the big animals that Kenya is famed for become even more threatened as time ticks on. It always disappoints me that mankind still cannot unite in such dire times to baton down the hatches and save all species from extermination.
Whilst I find myself in a beautiful part of the country, I am still alone and in a constant state of disharmony, waiting for Covid-19 to relinquish its vice like hold on the world and waiting for the day I can resume living my life. I do have to count my blessings in that I have escaped the grips of this virus and I remain in good health, and luckily, this is the same for all of our nearest and dearest.
I still feel lost without my husband and the furry Nomadic children and I miss them greatly. I look forward to reuniting with my family so that our adventures can continue. In the mean time, I will continue to run aimlessly and without passion or purpose until I can: 1) borrow a horse or 2) learn to use my newly acquired roller skates without fear.