To prevent myself from going completely stir crazy, I went for a little drive this morning. It’s surreal. The streets are very quiet, as if we are in the midst of some kind of post nuclear fall out, which would be an invisible enemy just like Covid-19.

There’s still humour, but reality is now dawning on all of us. We don’t know for sure whether we are on the same trajectory as Italy but we can’t be far off, can we? An alarming 627 people died yesterday, taking the death toll to 4032, a massive spike. No wonder the government has felt the need to move to even more stringent measures.

The strange things that, after months of darkness and rain, today the sun shines and the skies are largely blue, with a few wispy, milky clouds drifting by on the spring breeze. It looks impossibly beautiful, yet life has ground to a complete standstill.

We should be preparing to go to the football, or the rugby, or to have a pint at the local, or to visit family, or to any number of the things we usually do. Instead, we are confined to a small little world, a self-imposed imprisonment in order to keep us safe, but more importantly to keep our loved ones safe.

I’m not going to lie to you: my mental health is taking a battering at the moment. I know for a fact that it’s taking a toll on millions of others’ mental health, too, and because we, as a country, don’t take mental health as seriously as we do physical health, we’re simply left to it. My depression makes me anxious and my anxiety makes me depressed and I know, from messaging friends, that I am far from alone.

Apologies to my loyal reader if my writing is not as clear as it might be because for much of the day my brain feels like papier-mâché and I feel I am looking through a fog. I hope to get through this both physically and mentally, but for many of us this will be one off the biggest challenges of our lives.

If our outbreak is as bad as that in Italy, Covid-19 will be catastrophic. However, some say it will be even worse.

No wonder the streets are emptying. It’s very real now and the odd cancelled holiday really doesn’t matter. Just surviving will be enough this year.