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The Covid 19 challenge

March 11, 2020

Sometimes being organised can be a distinct disadvantage.

It was last November when I received the official invitation to an event for those at my College starting their degree between 1955 and 1960 . A group of men either in their 80s or close to it. Probably the last one that I would be invited to as it would normally be 5 years at least between invitations. It would also be the last opportunity to see many of those of my university contemporaries still surviving that enjoy meeting over dinner and an extended post dinner scotch hour. So I accepted the invitation and paid for a room to stay overnight in the college, and also took advantage of one of Air Canada’s offers to purchase my ticket to London. I also noted that the play, Upstart Crow, would be having a limited run in London at the time I would be there. I therefore purchased two tickets for a matinee so I could take one of my sisters in law to see it in return for the use of her spare bedroom while I recover from my overnight flight. I also planned to go and stay for a couple of days with another of my sisters in law who is now 91 and suffering from Parkinsons Disease, while I was over there.
All carefully organised.
But it is not just me
My middle daughter was scheduled to cover in a conference San Diego this week, but that was cancelled yesterday. Both oldest daughter and youngest daughter have entries for the Boston marathon, and the oldest has also been entered for the world age group Marathon championships at the London marathon, now both at risk. Youngest daughter is also meant to give a course in England in May, also probably at risk .
Now comes Covid 19, and a dilemma. Do I go, and risk being quarantined while over there or on my return, and risk catching the disease myself and giving it to others? I am after all in the most vulnerable age group, even if I try to ignore it. I gather that I could rebook my Air Canada ticket without penalty if I make the decision two weeks before my scheduled departure, which is now 8 days away, and the UK situation is still not clear and the event for over 80s has not been cancelled, yet. Actually the cost of the tickets is trivial compared to the loss of capital in the last couple of weeks. On balance I think I shall wait a while to decide.\
Now comes a new feature, an email from Oxford saying they are not sure about whether the dinner will go ahead, and the final decision will come on Friday. They too must be conscious of the vulnerability of 80 year olds. This sounds like a cancellation to me, and if it is cancelled I shall postpone my trip to the UK. As I was forced to do last year as well.

I have mailed the Upstart Crow tickets to my London sister in law so that with luck she can use them with a friend, but the way things are going they will probably close the theatre.

I am pleased to say however, that both my wife and I are healthy and not self isolating, yet!

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  1. And I thought rail blockades were a disruption…. it’s going to be an interesting few months. For now stay healthy! I guess a group Skype call for the Oriel graduates isn’t likely to happen as a substitute 🙂

  2. Nice description of what so many people all around the world are having to cope with. And all the associated events and venues losing scads of money, and with that having to have layoffs. It’s extraordinary. Glad you’re not self-isolating yet. We’re getting close! 😉

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