The Coeliac Man Diaries: Life in Lockdown

Photograph of an open book

In these unprecedented times of flattening the curve, self-isolation and furloughing (and all the other buzzwords that we’ve learned recently) I felt it necessary to write something, more for my own sanity than anything else.

And what else is there to talk about at the moment aside from the Coronavirus and its buzzwords, and the impact it’s having on pretty much everyone around the globe? These are strange days for sure.

I’m now into my second full week of working from home, having bunkered down a little earlier than most thanks to Coeliac UK updating their advice to inform us coeliacs we should consider ourselves among the ‘at risk’ group.

The actual working from home side of things has been fine. My job is 99% computer-based anyway so it hasn’t had a huge impact on the way I work, aside from things inevitably slowing down now that pretty much the whole world has ground to a halt.

The self-isolation aspect has been the struggle. This weekend the reality has really hit home, particularly as weekends are usually mine and Rachael’s time together to do something nice. In an inconvenient bit of timing the virus has struck just a couple of months before we were due to move in together, so for the moment it’s daily phone calls and playing Words With Friends to keep us sane!

Part of me feels a bit guilty for feeling down about not being able to see my girlfriend, when there’s literally people dying and NHS workers putting their lives at risk to try and keep us all safe. However, I think it is probably acceptable to understand the seriousness of the situation and be thankful for those who are doing such extraordinary work, while also feeling a bit sad about not being able to see loved ones. I’m certainly trying to not beat myself up about it anyway!  

One vaguely positive thing to be happening at the moment is that the conversation around mental health is at the forefront of the media’s coverage of the outbreak. Aside from those people who are permanently happy regardless of anything that is happening to them/the world, pretty much everyone is experiencing a struggle with mental health at the moment. Being stuck indoors, the anxiety around all the unknowns and worrying about catching the virus itself are all pretty major hurdles that we are all struggling with. So it’s good to see plenty of coverage in the media on how we can all cope and get through this difficult time.

Social media as ever is a place that is offering both positives and negatives. Of course, keeping connected to your friends and family virtually is vitally important, and social media definitely plays a big part in that. However, there’s also been so many posts focussing on how everyone can be using the time to learn a new skill, smash fifteen HIIT workouts per day or get creative with arts and crafts. While everyone will have their own coping strategies and absolutely the bonus time does offer opportunities to do all those kinds of things if that’s your bag, it’s also ok to just, you know, not. I’m absolutely not feeling guilty for spending my spare time so far binging tv shows and reading books. Maybe I’ll get around to doing something more instagrammable at some stage, but if not, so be it.

It seems crazy that only a few weeks ago life was pretty much normal. We were of course aware of the virus but like most things it was probably a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. I’m sure not many of us really anticipated the scale of the thing as we now face up to possibly months of this new way of living. However, in the grand scheme of things staying at home seems like a fairly small sacrifice to make to help save lives.

Hopefully it won’t be too long until things get back to something close to normality. But for now, peace out, world. CM x


  1. Hi Dave. What an excellent piece on the lock down. I was only diagnosed 8 years ago at the age of 65 but having started my early life as a trainee chef I am now coming into my own with G F cooking. This has been keeping me busy over the last couple of weeks. Fortunately I had plenty of ingredients in stock before the panic buying started. I am fortunate that wife of 53 years and I are not separated like you and Rachael – but being back together will be something to look forward to. I am also binge watching – Line of Duty – all seasons which I missed when it was shown originally.

    Liked by 1 person

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