My name's J (that's my pen name - I thought I'd stay anonymous). I work for Solesmith. I'm an absolutely fantastic human being, I'm lively, talkative, funny and interesting... For about 10 minutes a day, I spend the rest exhausted.

I have a disability called ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and is a condition of the immune system. That basically means I have the energy of a 100 year old. So when the government advice came out stating I must isolate as I am ‘high risk' I thought Great! Some time to relax and do the things at home I can't normally do because I'm too worn out! I was very wrong!

The first hurdle is that; my wife works at a nursery, my step son is going between his dad's and our house, and my daughter is still going to her nursery. So the chance of catching the virus is high.

I started to search for a safe place to isolate.

Who else is isolating? Who else has room for a disabled person? And who's going to look after me while I'm hiding away from something I can't even see? Who's going to treat me like a Prince and cook and clean and give me a foot rub? (there is no one on this planet who would do that, but I thought I’d aim high)

There was one bed available, one safe place to isolate myself, a very lovely relative’s home. (I’m calling him ‘The Relative’ as I think anonymity will help us both in case this blog gets turned into a movie one day and he becomes inundated with requests for selfies)

I thought great, this could be ok, a mini holiday.

This relative anyway, this relative lives in a flat not far from where I live, and has a room he doesn't use. I grabbed the essentials (a TV, some books, my phone charger) and moved myself in.



Woke up feeling calm and relaxed. I felt safe from the virus. As I opened the curtain the sun shone in through the double door (I have a Juliet balcony). Great  - I get the morning sun! Open the door, let the sun in, get a tan, this isn't going to be that bad at all.

Just think of all the books I can read and all the films I can watch with my new free time!

I walked into the kitchen to make my morning porridge, no cooker. The kitchen has no cooker. No hob. No oven. Shit, well this is going to be difficult. One of the problems with my illness is food sensitivities and blood sugar control problems, so I have to eat real food, usually made from scratch. I'm starting to panic, how can someone live for a year in a flat without a hob and oven?! The reply I got from The Relative was 'I'm too poor to buy a cooker, I have only just got a washing machine'.  Bloody hell. 'there's a microwave and a slow cooker'. That'll do, I'll have to get creative.

After breakfast it was back to my room, time to enjoy a book. No, I think ill watch TV. Actually, I'll play on my phone. I think I'll just lie here. I'm in a strange mood. This room is smaller than I thought. There's about 10 houses looking directly through my window. Starting to feel very overlooked, very trapped and isolated. Usually I have my daughter around to cheer me up. When I'm too worn out to do anything and have to sit for hours on end on the sofa at least I can watch my daughter dancing around and pretend to be a princess. She'll pass me her teddies and make a game up. I usually end up wearing a some girl’s clothes and have to pretend to be a mummy and look after the teddies. Now I just sit here starring at 100 windows hoping no one is looking at me. It's only been 3 hours since I woke up. The rest of the morning was just more of the same, I couldn't get into a book and there was nothing on TV. I had lunch and had a nap.

The afternoon was hard, I became restless, a strange feeling of exhaustion and not being able to sit still. If I was a healthy person I would have gone for a walk, but I can only walk for a couple of minutes before I run out of energy so that's not an option. I keep saying to myself, ‘it hasn’t even been one full day yet and I'm like this, get a grip.’

I got in bed in the evening frustrated. Normally I take my daughter to bed, it's one of the only things I can actually manage to do with her. I usually make up a story where she is a giant and her Bear wakes up when she sleeps and goes on adventures. She always gets well into it. Hope she's OK.

Tomorrow will be a better day.



This is the diary of J. He is living with a disability in isolation during the Covid19 outbreak. He works for Solesmith and we thought his story is one that should be shared.

Stay Home, Stay Safe and Keep Others Safe too. 


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