There are quite a lot of life-changing illnesses that I’m glad not to have personal experience of. And in the great scheme of things, ‘flu isn’t a big deal. But in our own little world, it has assumed a far too important place.
Here we are, more than one week on, and for both of us, day-to-day life is defined by what we can’t do, rather than by what we can. No energy to eat, which is as well, as we have no energy to cook (‘cooking’ in this context, means boiling an egg). No energy to get out and enjoy the frosty sunshine. No energy to keep the house tidy. Not even the energy to read anything but the most appreciated old favourites (thank you, Donna Leon, for reliably transporting me this week to the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of Commissario Brunetti’s beloved Venice).
We’ve both got what it takes to cough, loudly and constantly: we bark our way through morning, afternoon and evening, finally shutting up when sleep overtakes us. Talking makes it worse: not that we have much to say after our long-enforced house arrest. Maybe later I should find the energy to throw away all the uneaten Christmas treats that we didn’t have the foresight to freeze once the ‘flu took its stranglehold on everyday life.
Maybe later today I could resume my Spanish studies. I’ve been learning on-line the last few weeks, though much good it did me when Miquel came to stay: well, how useful is this? ‘Las tazas son feas’ (the cups are ugly): ‘La niña duerme cerca del gato’ (the girl sleeps near the cat). It wasn’t the stuff of fascinating conversational gambits.
Bits of gossip reach us from the world beyond our front door. That other friends had equally ‘flu-blighted Christmasses. That local seasonal gatherings saw the guest list diminish, thanks to ‘flu, from 20 friends or so to merely 7. That even households in far-flung Birmingham and Norfolk have not escaped. That even America is in the grip of The Epidemic.
So we can continue to feel sorry for ourselves, secure in the knowledge that at least we’re not alone.
Oh, and by the way. Happy New Year, dear readers.