Dressing up safe to be naked for those I love


As my father’s body failed – his mind remained.  As his cancer grew – his mind succumbed to depression.  It was a time in our lives of three short months.  Beautiful days and moments – grounded always in reality.

Towards the end dad couldn’t go up or down stairs – the park outside out of reach – so too fresh air to breathe – and the sun on his back.

A stair-lift was arranged-installed … a big-metal-electronic-fixture.  It was dad’s freedom – his stairway to the fresh air and sun on his back!

From dad’s wheelchair those stairs must have looked very scary.

He never used it and died soon after.  It was sold back to the company at a fraction.  I always thought it an unfortunate waste.

But something happened recently that changed my mind.


This current lockdown. 

And my shielding for 12 weeks.

Which is “Lockdown-With-Attitude”: separate bedrooms and bathrooms – separate everything.

Mrs Paul and I haven’t touched for 8 weeks now.

Shielding for me – and lockdown (not like any other) for Mrs Paul.

But now lockdown is being unlocked.  Every government testing every scientific measure … all seeking to validate easing lockdown … All wishing us to be putting-back instead of taking-out (taxes obviously).

So … as your joy rises at the thought of (new) normal again – my 12 weeks is now a probable 52 – 78 weeks (or more).  Probably until a vaccine becomes readily available (or not).

So as your world returns –

Mine is pushed ever further away.


No fault or blame … no pity-party here … This isn’t about fair or unfair – this is about “is”. 

But whether fair or unfair – depression whispers ever louder.

And I don’t want to succumb.  Because depression is not a place of rational, calculated decisions – nor of joy, hope and love.

So as your normal virus-world soon takes up more and more of my safe-space – I need to be MORE aware and MORE alert (not less).  I desire love and those I love – and who love me.  But even in the past eight weeks …

Depression has already whispered.      

So my response – now looking ahead?


Blue-sky thinking. 

Letting conditional out-of-the-box to fly.

Free of this (soon to be) shrinking-world-of-mine.

Free of both prison and depression.

Wheeeeee …

The ideas flowed freely!

.From cheap “bodging” …

To expensive “bodging” …

(did you know the whole world is making barriers of Perspex and Plastic and PPE ?) 

And did YOU know that odd-ball crafters and builders use Powered-Air-Purifying-Respirators”, PAPR (with filtering standards up to ICU requirements).


Nor me.

It filters everyday particles and hazardous stuff – makes clean air out of dirty.  Because who wants plaster dust … MDF fibres … chemical vapour/spray  … in their lungs …

.Just like I don’t want coronavirus in mine.


What if …

I wore that and a builder’s coverall-suit … What if Mrs Paul and I cleaned “surfaces” even more …  Wouldn’t all THAT maintain a “portable shield” between me and this unlocking world?

A world in which I could then both interact AND remain shielded with my portable shield.

 Loads out of stock!  How many others are blue-sky thinking?


I found one in stock WITH superb-filtration
(and minimal “Darth-Vader look”)

Because standard PPE is not for socialising.  It hides the face as much as possible to keep us safe inside.

But I WANT to socialise.

I want our children – especially our young grandchildren – to see my face … See a proper smile – full frown – real laugh – genuine tear … And this does.

And this (when the time is right) makes hugs and cuddles possible as well.

And that makes me “me”.

I am dressing up safe to be naked for those I love.

We ordered it.

HEALTH WARNING: we both know this is a calculated risk – with socialising “surfaces” become hot-spots even more – increased levels of awareness and cleaning more  necessary – the possibility of infection risk increased beyond what it is now …

But –    

Staying sanitised is not living.

Not for another year or two. 

Not when there’s an alternative.


And that’s how I learned that the “big metal-electronic-fixture” we bought for dad which was never used and sold back at a loss and was a waste …


It was hope and an act of love where living was dying inside.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”


We are not the same dad and I.  Not his circumstances then – nor mine now.

But love is

Love is his and my circumstance – his and my story too.

Love is universal, eternal and right now – for him and me and you.

For all of us.  

If we allow.



6 thoughts on “Dressing up safe to be naked for those I love

  1. So what are the current lockdown “rules” in the U.K.? In the US every state is in charge of is own situation, so each state is doing things a little different depending on numbers of cases, etc. When I go out for food there are still the same looking number of cars and people out we just all have masks on now (required in my state) and the stores have clear guards up between the cashiers and customers. Restaurants are open for take-out only and most stores are still closed with the exceptions of Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and those “big box” type of stores. We do not have to isolate from family members in our house though. 🙁


    • Hi Rebekah, we are staring to see the same divergence. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are beginning to disagree with London – and the north of England thinks London is speaking more for the south than the north. Not bad for a little country!

      More shops are beginning to open, more businesses being asked to do the same. Social distancing rules and facemasks will soon become necessary. Schools will be next. But we are all finding out how easy it is to say “No – stop!” (shelter in place, stay at home) – but how much more complex to begin again.

      Our personal circumstances are not the norm. I have COPD – the underlying conditions – and along with 1.5 million others with similar and different conditions have been requested to “shield” at home. The percentages are not in our favour. But Mrs Paul is not one of those 1.5m. Families are still not allowed to mingle together, so it is still “one household only” socially here.

      Any help? 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Coming back to reply to this after reading your post about posting in your support group. That’s good that you have that and I’m glad you were able to get some responses, hopefully some helpful ones, to support you in your shielding circumstances. I wish I had more help to give! I do enjoy reading your thoughts and experiences, even as they are coming from a difficult time. Hoping these little pebbles reach you today. Sending hugs from across the Atlantic! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Rebekah – Your pebbles are always lovely!

          I have a very supportive family around me (immediate and extended). And this support group is as diverse as any: from those who have not set foot outside their room/home AND quarantine/disinfect every item coming into their space – to those who pop to the beach for a picnic at dawn WITH their immediate family.

          Yesterday, after talking on the phone to a “portable respiration expert” (he really was!) AND with financial support from family AND agreement from Mrs Paul … I changed my order to a top-of-the-range-self-contained-8-hour-battery-powered-full-face-go-anywhere-with-anyone-ICU+ (filtration) respirator! Gadget heaven! Freedom heaven! 😊

          Already planning a trip to the shops “because I can” (after it arrives AND I figure out how it all works). I haven’t been into a shop since before lockdown – I’ve seen pictures of the tape and queues and one-way-systems – but never been part of it. The thought of being in the car and driving there and standing in a queue and “shopping” … Wow! And then to see our little ones up close and personal – the thought of getting a kiss from a loving two-year-old on the other side of my full-face-visor …. THAT gets me dizzy with excitement! 😊

          AND the thought of being able to choose to sit on the same sofa as Mrs Paul sometimes, maybe even to hold hands sometimes , deffo getting a big fat “visor kiss” from Mrs Paul EVERYTIME … after all this time – Wow and WOW again!

          AND the thought of sharing all these pictures of “freedom” with my wonderful loving family AND the diverse support group (which may receive a very mixed response!) … suddenly life becomes full of possibilities and “moments” way in excess of “lockdown” and “shielding” – yet still being locked-down and still shielding!


          Doesn’t feel like I have lost the plot (but it never does from this side of my eyeballs).

          And all the regular/daily/necessary hygiene-cleaning-sterile-maintain-a-safe-space requirements of clothing and kit are part of this! When I talk like this – if I don’t say that – I get very concerned lectures!

          Liked by 1 person

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