The schools are off and a sparkling (but still chilly) early spring day brought the north folk of Norfolk out of hibernation to swarm around the lanes of Norwich in search of a bargain (and there are bargains galore to be had). I watched the throng from a kerbside café. I was out alone in fat jacket and shades to pick up provisions. Liam has been laid low by a nasty bout of gastro-enteritis caused by the norovirus he picked up visiting his mother at the weekend. The virus stalks for prey along the corridors of her care home like the Black Death. As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, my mother-in-law has been struck down and confined to bed along with Liam’s father, brother, sister and nephew. Liam has withdrawn to self-imposed quarantine (except for emergency dashes to the loo) in the vain hope that I won’t be the next casual casualty. I await my fate like a man on death row. We’re rather hoping to drop a few pounds.
The norovirus is particularly perilous for the sick and the old. Does my mother-in-law’s care home have adequate infection controls in place? Your guess is as good as mine but I doubt it. The cynical may see this as a great way to manage turnover. I do know, after working in both adult and children’s social care for many years, that the State’s (and therefore, society’s) willingness to pay for the care of the most vulnerable diminishes as they age. Mark my words, eventually the shit will hit the fan (or the sheet, as in this case).
The good news is that mother-in-law is on the mend and will live to fight another day. We are mightily relieved.