Last month, Swindon councillor Jim Robbins tweeted that his wife Jacqui had been advised by the government to totally isolate herself for 12 weeks. The couple agreed to keep a diary of their experiences for the Adver and here is the second instalment...

Jacqui’s diary

I was made for this lockdown!

Wine and food deliveries, no driving Georgia round to her many clubs, eating like a queen, working in my pyjamas and watching Netflix. Sounds like a dream come true, but I should be careful what I wish for.

I am still mentally recovering from a very serious illness last year that led to me waking from a coma after eight days on ECMO. Having come round from the coma I suffered from delirium and I cannot begin to describe how scary and confusing this was.

As a consequence I suffer flashbacks of being in hospital and feel the anxiety from when I was in there. These flashbacks seem to be triggered more frequently at the moment from the news and pictures of hospitals and talk of respirators.

I have to try not to think too much about the people currently going through the same trauma that I went through. It brings back strong feelings and memories that lead to panic attacks and an overwhelming sense of fear that won’t go away.

On the home front, it has been another week of schooling for Georgia. I was pleased that at the end of last week Georgia won a headteacher's award for her home learning, however this week has been a challenge.

My days seem to be filled with one voice on a continuous loop of "mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum". I love my daughter to bits, but she has pushed me to the limit with her constant need for attention with no space to escape. I definitely have more respect for those who work in schools.

On a positive note this week, despite being locked in by my four walls, I have managed to be as sociable as ever.

On Wednesday I joined a weekly family quiz via FaceTime Messenger. I am proud to say we came second from last.

Then I hosted via the HouseParty app a Friday night pub quiz for my closest friends which had us in tears of laughter by the end, probably aided by the wine consumption.

I also had the pleasure of joining a group chat with my old school friends so we could talk to our friend who emigrated to New Zealand. I have not seen her lovely face for over a year.

My brother also dropped on the doorstep a wonderful pamper package to cheer me up, lots of chocolate and bath bits – it worked.

Jim's diary

These continue to be strange and scary times.

As I write, the Queen has just addressed the nation, news has broken that the prime minister has been admitted to hospital and the daily reports of the numbers of deaths continue to shock.

It is really hard to reconcile the alarming news with our daily existence, which is staying at home and trying hard to observe the guidance and that keeps us removed from the harsh realities of life outside.

We are getting used to the new routine of trying to juggle our work and my councillor commitments with our parental responsibilities. I’m pleased to announce that Georgia got a certificate from school for doing good homeworking, so we must be doing something right!

I’m still getting a lot of casework in as a local councillor, with people very worried about their financial situation, about how they can access local services and people who are needing support to get through this period of lockdown.

I’ve been calling residents who I know are on their own, shielding or vulnerable and they are all saying how strange it is, how hard they are trying to do the right thing, and how scary the news is.

This week, I’ll be taking part in a virtual Labour Group meeting of councillors, which is being held using Zoom. I use Zoom a lot for work, but it will be a new experience for some of the councillors, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of council meetings virtually over the next few months…

I left the house to go shopping this week, and it was bizarre to see Swindon’s roads so quiet in the middle of the day. I was impressed to see how well people were carrying out the social distancing orders, and how efficient the supermarket staff were at serving people while keeping safe and at a distance. I know lots of media reports haven’t said this, so it was very good to see Swindonians doing their bit so well.

Over the weekend, I’ve been tidying up the garden, but am resisting any demands for me to do serious DIY on the grounds that I shouldn’t risk any potential accidents when the NHS are so stretched!

I also caught up with the Labour leadership election result. It was strange waiting for the result to be announced online and seeing Keir Starmer’s acceptance speech as a video as I would have been there in person if the coronavirus hadn’t meant that the announcement event was cancelled.

I’ll finish by paying tribute to all of the key workers in the town doing so much to support us at the moment. It has been humbling and emotional to take part in the 8pm Thursday clapping for them and great to see so many people joining in!