Barnes and Noble

From Tweet to Blog to Book

I started tweeting more during the covid pandemic to campaign for help for my small business. This progressed quickly into areas of my professional and personal life unseen by others, but common to many.

I am a physiotherapist, mother to school aged children, a city centre resident and a small business owner. I was positioned to witness the brunt of restrictions on several fronts. And through my professional background, to fear their immediate and prolonged effects on the nation’s health and wellbeing.

My covid chronicles were written at pace. I had fallen ill with covid for the second time, two years to the day after my first infection. During my seven days’ isolation in that small room, in February 2022, I started to collate my covid experience, constructing a month by month series, focussing on a different aspect of the pandemic for each post.

I have since had time to reflect. I extensively redrafted the chapters and wrote this up as a memoir, using my education and experience to explain my perspective more clearly. I hope people find this insightful, allowing them to acknowledge and reflect on their own experiences, even if theirs were different. Even if they disagree.

As a Physiotherapist

I have more than 30 years of postgraduate experience. I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Physio and an MSc in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in the 1990s. My clinical experience ranges from NHS MSK outpatients to a military hospital, elite sport and West End theatre. For the last 20 years I have run my own practice, initially by renting a room and building this up, then selling my flat to finance a move into my own premises, then taking over at Barbican Physio in 2015 after finding out my lease would not be renewed. I continue to own, manage and work within Barbican Physio and our 3 in house clinics within large corporations.

During covid, I treated patients throughout, returning to in person appointments, when allowed, at the end of May 2020, and worked in person throughout the subsequent lockdowns, including a stint at the Nightingale hospital. I put myself on the NHS bank, and trained in test and trace and as a vaccinator.

As a Small Business Owner

As the sole director of a limited company, I had no government income support. In the first months of the pandemic, I had no grants to help with rent, rates or costs of my business. Like many other limited company owners, our needs were ignored as we plunged further and further into debt. From the first week of lockdown, I was accruing debt at the rate of £5000 per week.

As a Parent

With school aged children, I saw first hand the devastating effects of lockdown: not only at home, but in conversations with teachers, patients and other parents. Impositions and restrictions were placed on them that we would never ask of adults.

As time has gone on, this division became more and more apparent. Their lack of power has meant that far from being our most precious and important priority, they were been subjected to earlier, longer and more severe restrictions than almost any other group, despite being the least vulnerable to illness.

As a City Dweller

Living and working in Westminster, I witnessed the rapid descent of central London into a ghost town. In the first lockdown, this experience was concentrated in the tourist areas of town, within walking distance of my Pimlico home. By the third, surveying the then empty carcass of the city.