22 March 2020

Worries about parents

My parents aren't twenty anymore! And haven't been for a long time. And the thing is that anyone can of course fall over at anytime, but let's face it, with octogenarians and almost-octogenarians, it's a bit more likely than with relative youngsters. And I know that if something happens, and I want to rush back to the Netherlands, it'll take me a while to get there. And I might not make it in time! But now things have gone a lot more complicated. Travel is frowned upon, flights are cancelled, train services are being reduced, the world is full of stranded travellers that see flight after flight cancelled, and elderly people are supposed to self-isolate. Hospitals and care homes don't let visitors in. So I suppose that if something went wrong now, that would not be the best time! But it would also be an unlikely coincidence, wouldn't it? Well, maybe not...

My dad is getting older. You can tell he gets slower, and has less stamina, and forgets more. He's never been famous for his photographic memory but he says it's a lot worse now than ever before. But he hasn't shown any sign of falling over yet! Good. Let's hope it stays that way.

My mother, however, managed to fall over and land in hospital. In the middle of the epidemic! I was very worried. Should I try to get to her? But she didn't tell me until the day she would get surgery (typical) so it made sense to await results. She told me at 6.15; I didn't get her on the phone until about 9:30. It was good to hear her voice! She sounded unexpectedly cheerful. The reassured me. She promised to let me know how the surgery had gone. I had a little cry.

She phoned me the day after. She sounded chipper! Fortunately. And she expected to be home again in three days. She also said they wouldn't have let me into the hospital! Everyone except patients and staff were stopped. So having come over wouldn't have done much. And of course I could try to get to her afterwards, when she's recuperating at home. If I would find transport (I had a look at flights; that wasn't faith-inspiring!) they would be let into the country. I'm a citizen! And I think trains still go so getting to her town wouldn't be the issue. But I would also have to go back at some point! And I'm not a UK citizen. The UK may well close its borders! I don't think being a resident counts for much. And the UK is rather inclined to try to keep foreigners out in the best of times. Add an epidemic and it's not looking good. And the radio news today said that social distancing and all the disruptions that gives can last for a year! I don't want to be stuck in the Netherlands for a year. Imagine that! I also don't want to be stuck there for 'only' three months.

I'll just stay home for now. I should just phone my parents a bit more often! That still works fine. And just hope this epidemic goes away and I can freely go see them again...

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