Name: Don Foreman, over 65

When did you first begin to realise coronavirus was something out of the ordinary? 

Probably when I attended a "Heritage Paddock Wood" meeting on March 13 when we arranged tables (at the insistence of the Chairman) so we sat 6ft apart. The next day at the Capel Cricket Club quiz one team had a hand sanitizer.

When did it first impact you in a significant way? 

When meetings I was due to attend started to be cancelled from March 16.

In what way? 

My social diary emptied, friends and family rang to check I was all right and some shelves on Waitrose were empty on March 18.

How worried did you become and why? 

Not very worried, just concerned that the shortage of essentials - bread and milk etc. - would continue.

Are you still worried? 


What were the biggest problems coping with lockdown? 

No real problems once I had become accustomed to queueing at supermarkets. Having lived alone for 30 years I didn't notice much difference.

How did you manage? 

 I shared shopping with neighbours in the first week or two. I found much to do to keep me busy and returned to outdoor work at the Spa Valley Railway two days a week.

Were there times when you despaired ?


What kept you (keeps you) going ? 

I am grateful for the concern shown by many friends who keep in touch by 'phone, text and email.

What was your lowest moment? 

I haven't really had one, just a general disappointment that my usual activities - freemasonry, cricket etc. - have been disrupted.

What was your best/funniest memory? 

A kind friend (I know who it was !) anonymously left a parcel containing anchovy-stuffed olives on my doorstep.

Do you think the government handled/is handling the crisis satisfactorily? 

It's evident mistakes were made but hindsight is a wonderful gift. Would an alternative administration have done any better? Probably not.

Please add anything else of your experiences during the pandemic. 

Reduced road and air traffic brought welcome peace and quiet !

Were you also affected by flooding on the night of February 9?


How have you coped with both problems?

With fortitude, stoicism, patience and the knowledge that many were in a similar or worse position.