Arthur Smith on diabetes and coronavirus

So, the pandemic is here and the word ‘unprecedented’ is being said an unprecedented number of times every day on every radio and TV station. Restaurants, pubs, and theatres are closed and there are a whole new set of heroes, none of whom are in the cabinet. Goodness, these are strange times – unprecedented you might say. I hope you are all coping.

As a 65-year-old with diabetes and chronic pancreatitis, I was fully expecting to receive the letter from Boris Johnson saying I was a high-risk kind-of-a-guy but it seems either the postman is self-isolating or Johnson was too ill to put it in the letterbox because it never arrived.

I am actually a lucky man; my situation is much better than a lot of people’s since I have a partner with whom I am happy, no children to try and educate at home and there is rarely a queue at our local Co-op. Our flat is big enough and we have a tiny garden into which I like to escape and listen to the gentle music of Brian Eno’s ‘Thursday Afternoon.’ (It could be any afternoon since days come and go without anyone remembering which is which).

Also, I am pleased to report that my blood sugars are better than usual as I am testing much more often and I really don’t want to trouble the NHS with random hypos. Although I am one of the few people in the country not baking my own bread (My wife Beth tells me the emergency services have enough to contend with), I seem to be eating more sensibly than usual because I have more time to think about my diet.

Money is a bit of a problem since all my live gigs have been cancelled, but Beth can work from home and we have enough to tide us over for a while. I have taken the lockdown as an opportunity to write the brilliant novel I always meant to and am delighted to report that I’ve already written the first two words! They are ‘Chapter One’ – what do you think?

You may detect a certain comic undertow to this blog, but I am trying to be careful about any jokes I make because this is a very serious time we are living through and I am aware there are thousands of people having to cope with grief, stress, poverty and loneliness. Uncertainty seems to hang over everything but, from my desk in South London, may I send a wave and a virtual hug to all you readers. In the end some things will go back to being ‘precedented’. Hope to see you on the other side. Smile emojis.

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