Lynne and Robert Assirati, aged over 60

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

Before the end of January 2020 because it was dominating the news

When did it first impact you in a significant way?

March 13th when our holiday in Indo-China was cut short 

In what way ?

We had difficulties getting home

How worried did you become and why?

Not very worried - we had confidence that Trailfinders would get us back and there was very little evidence of the virus out there so we knew we had not been exposed to it.

Are you still worried and why ?

We are not worried because relatively speaking only a minute proportion of the population have been affected and mostly those with underlying health problems and health workers who are coming into contact with it. If you behave sensibly, wash your hands etc., you should be safe.

What were the biggest problems coping with lockdown ?

It prevented contractors from coming in and dealing with the aftermath of the flooding of February 9th. Fortunately, the kitchen was hardly damaged and the conservatory was easy to put back to rights so we have been living in there with some old carpet on the floor.

How did you manage ?

We have done most of the work ourselves including 80 hours of jet washing away the silt

Were there times when you despaired ?

Not really.

What kept you (keeps you) going ?

Keeping busy, lots of walking and cycling and Zooming with friends and family. Even without the massive amount of work generated by the flooding we would have found plenty to do outside such as repairing the garden sheds and re-modelling the garden, in keeping with most of the country

What was your lowest moment ?

Walking into the house at the end of an exhausting journey home on 19th March to find the insurance company had not done any of the jobs they had promised to do in our absence. They had urged us to go on holiday so they would be free to "get on" but they hadn't counted on us coming back early.

What was your best, funniest memory? 

Just a grind.

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

Robert: Yes, very difficult for them.

Lynne:  Very indecisive so many U-turns with e.g. schools and now the app for tracing. Undoubtedly, the original plan was to let the virus run and create herd immunity and they should have stuck to that. Probably no more than 1% of the population would have died and that is a very small number

Please add anything else of your experiences during the pandemic.

Will probably continue to use Zoom to keep in touch with friends and family.

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

Yes, and how!

How have you coped with both problems?

Obviously,  Covid has seriously compounded our problems in getting the house back to normal because of the difficulty of getting workmen but also materials. Unable for example to get carpets because weaving stopped and no carpets means no furniture which is in storage. Don't know when carpets will arrive. Thank heavens for the good weather which keeps people cheerful but bad weather would have hampered our efforts to clean up outside and do jobs like repair the garage and greenhouse.

Please add anything else of your experiences during the flooding.

Finding someone to take responsibility for, or at least to explain where the water came from and how to stop it happening again or what to do to protect ourselves.