Chris Geiger

The Cancer Survivors Club

Don't be a #COVIDIOT - 'Stay At Home'!

LET'S BE HONEST, none of us like being told what to do. Yes, we all initially liked the idea of social distancing, staying at home, not having to go into work every day; until we thought about the financial implications.

Then we soon discovered we equally hate being isolated and unable to visit our family and friends; or go shopping. The idea of having to watch dozens of so-called 'experts' on YouTube, who have sprung out of nowhere, teaching us a new language, how to bake and get fit is as irritating as listening to someone open a packet of crisps during a movie.

None of us had heard of Coronavirus until last month, be honest, who took it seriously anyway? If I were told the Prime Minister would give a televised address to the nation, telling everyone to say at home to “squash a curve”, I’d have thought I was going mad; or had drunk way too much coffee…

A Coronavirus pandemic sounds like something out a film… Are you also wondering like me why the producer of Mexican pale lager is sponsoring a virus?

The numbers we hear about the virus seem way too big to believe or understand really. One minute 250,000 people in the UK alone could die, the next minute ‘only’ 7,000 could lose their lives — much better news unless its someone we know or love!

In today’s urban world, most of us are more concerned about the barista in our local coffee shop, and the impact on local businesses, and obviously the supply of toilet rolls than a neighbour we have never met.

How much worse than the flu can it be. We’d all like to think we are healthy and relatively fit. Yet the moment we hear Prince Charles and Tom Hanks have both been diagnosed with COVID-19; we swallow hard. If these two high profile pampered people, who want for nothing can contract the virus, what chance do the rest of us have?

Yet every morning when we switch on the news, or our partner wakes, all we hear is how the virus is spreading or the list of jobs they want doing around the house. Mrs G is now acting like Nick Knowles from DIY SOS, urgently wanting rooms decorated and the garden landscaped. I do wonder if more people might die from injuries caused by a circular saw or hedge trimmer, than the virus itself….

How do you know if you’re infected with the Corona sponsored virus anyway? Every time I think about it I feel hot and sweaty. Right now, we have no immunity to prevent us from getting the disease. We keep being told it’s especially lethal for older people or those with underlying conditions. My immune system is ‘compromised’ since all the chemotherapy I received, yet I’ve not heard one word of caution aimed towards cancer patients.

The BBC news keeps reporting hospitals don’t have sufficient resources, like beds, people, protective gear or ventilators, should god forbid we need it. Initially I couldn’t understand why doctors and nurses needed ‘protection’ at work. It’s not exactly the right a place to sleep with work colleagues. Perhaps that’s why there is a bed shortage….. Then the screen flashed up images of medical staff with face masks and gloves and I released I’d misunderstood. Even my trusty ibuprofen, which relieves me of most aches and pains, could now make the situation worse.

So there is only one thing we can do, #StayHome

The virus is already in our town, or it may be soon, the local papers suggest. Until you hear otherwise from Boris or other health officials, we must stay at home and learn to love all these YouTube or TikTok videos. That means not going out to get our morning paper, popping down to the shops, having a party or even going to church. We must avoid everyone!

I appreciate the two very people who stood outside Downing Street and told us we must not exercise outdoors for longer than 30 minutes and to only shop for essentials, have both contracted the Coronavirus. So this really is a case of doing as they say, not what they do.

Staying connected on FaceTime, Skype or Zoom sounds like the sensible thing to do. Unless your broadband, like mine, is now so slow, it’s almost unusable. I guess we could pick the phone up and call someone, but I’ve not done that since I got my first smartphone, ironic but true. But it might be wise to “check on our loved ones and friends frequently”, says Boris. Just don’t visit them. As those old BT commercials once said, “Its good to talk”.

Official guidelines include helping people in our community, with food supplies, financial donations or personal hygiene items. I’ve more chance of making a board game out of biscuits in a tent, than doing any of the above. However, Coronavirus health leaders have been telling us almost hourly to keep away from people as much as possible. Their guidelines about helping people appear to contradict everything they suggest about social distancing and going to the shops.

Now Mrs G has always been a bit OCD where cleaning is concerned. So being told to keep your house clean and wash your hands regularly, is music to her ears. She doesn’t need an excuse to strip the beds, clear out the cutlery draw and wash the windows twice in a week.

If we are going to spread anything, I think now is the time we should be spreading laughter and humour. Easier said than done when the internet dies halfway through a Davina workout video sure, but it’s better than calling someone, coughing and sounding like the voice of doom.

Above all, do not panic. Remember, like a cheap box of red wine, this too will eventually come to an end. Until then, stay at home and learn a language, preferably the one your doctor in ICU speaks!


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Bad Cells

Bad Cells by Chris Geiger - Newspaper Columns

Bad Cells is a collection of Chris Geiger’s thought-provoking and witty newspaper columns. His weekly column rapidly grew in popularity, eventually earning him the prestigious Columnist of the Year award.

Bad Cells includes Chris Geiger’s wide-reaching Guinness World Record column, published on World Cancer Day and an excerpt of his top selling book The Cancer Survivors Club. It also includes an exclusive and moving article, titled Bad Cells, describing his thoughts when first diagnosed and receiving treatment for cancer.

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