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28 April

Coronavirus Diary with OV Jeremy Thompson: Entry 6

Following on from last week, here is the beginning of the next entry in OV Jeremy Thompson (S 61-65)’s Virus Diaries for Sky news…

OV Jeremy Thompson

Monday 20th April

It’s the hugs we really miss. Don’t you? All the bonding and banter on video chats and social media is great. But it’s no substitute for the human touch.

We have a birthday party for our pal Graham today – a Zoom gathering with family and friends organised by his daughters.

We sing Happy Birthday and raise glasses to toast another year – possibly the strangest yet in all our lives.

But it’s not the same as being together. Lynn’s dad, Nevil, is living on his own in West Yorkshire. He’s nearing 90 and has some health issues, so he really is in solitary isolation.

She rings him every day and he seems remarkably sanguine. She’s just sad she can’t reach out and hug him. The comfort of contact.

But Nevil’s got a good deal going with his young neighbour, who’s a professional gardener. He mows Nevil’s lawn in exchange for using his greenhouse and dropping off some freshly grown produce. Just one small example of the local sharing and barter systems flourishing in these difficult days.

Niece Emma volunteered to order garden supplies on behalf of her street. She ended up with two fully laden vans from a local garden centre dropping off dozens of bags of compost at her front gate.

Almost every neighbour had ordered the maximum of five bags. Distribution while social distancing took a bit of organising.

With similar tales of potting and planting from across the nation, Britain seems determined to recreate the wartime campaign “Dig for Victory” – 80 years on.

You can carry on reading the rest of this week’s diary entry here.