My Week In...

North Norfolk

April 10th to April 17th

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First things first.

As we said at the top of the front page of the print edition, everything might be out of date. Well it pretty much is, with some exceptions.

What to do

You can still get into the woods on foot or bike, but they have to be local and preferably not involve a car journey. The coastal beach car parks are all closed, and so is High Lodge in Thetford Forest. (Sorry, we thought we were onto a real winner there. The forest is vast).

As for bike hire, check direct.

No sign of police drones over the beaches yet, but we’ve all got the message.

Steam Trains. All cancelled, even the open air Wells and Walsingham Light Railway.

Home Entertainment

Thornage-based film producer and composer Tony Britten has generously made available a six-month free subscription for his pioneering online arts channel, Either go to the home page and enter the code TACFREE or click here for direct access. There are some real (and rare) gems to watch. We recommend.

Back Page: ‘Food and Drink in a Time of Coronavirus’

(excuse the nod to Gabriel Garcia Marques)

Soon after we went to print, having with some effort compiled what we hoped would be a really useful list, the government announced its support for small businesses, and many of the venues who were planning take-away and delivery quite reasonably decided that furloughing staff made more sense than keeping them on to service what would be a very low number of customers.

BUT… some are keeping the ovens going and they would love to cook you a meal. So far we’ve had confirmation that they are open for business from:

Back to the Garden, ready meals, order online

Bircham Windmill, ‘serving regulars and locals’ with staples, so no sausage rolls etc. to take away.

Bluebell Langham, takeaway includes beer, and they are offering barrels plus serving kit for £72 each (£1 a pint!)

The Little Dairy Shop, as per listing

The George and Dragon Newton, has got their mobile 'Silver Belly' into action, offering steak burgers, hot dogs and fried onions, milkshakes, whole cakes, wine and Ale of the week and more. Delivery to Narborough/Pentney on Wednesdays; Gayton on Thursdays; Castle, South and West Acres on Fridays; Great Massingham on Saturdays. For more info and orders, call 01760 755156 or email Insta: wellsdelisilverbelly  

The Sculthorpe Aviator, as per the entry in the paper

Real Ale shop, open at weekends, and online

The Rose and Crown Snettisham (worth double checking)

PLUS Farm shops and delis all seem to be open and serving, with restrictions on numbers etc.  

Definitely shut for the foreseeable are:

Byfords, Cley Windmill, Crab House Wells, Carpenters Arms Wighton, Creake Abbey, Crown East Rudham, Erics Holt and Thornham, Golden Fleece, The Hoste Burnham Market, Jolly Sailors Brancaster, Orange Tree Thornham, Titchwell Manor, The White Horse Brancaster.

Local Info

There are some useful online resources being uploaded. Good example here, from Burnham Overy Staithe. If you have something similar, do send in and we'll link on this page.

A Covid-19 Case in North Norfolk

I hope this short piece helps to calm the concerns some people might be feeling about the Covid-19 virus.

My name is Mark Kitto and I am the publisher of My Week in North Norfolk. As well as publishing the paper I am an actor, which takes me around the UK and abroad. I am in my early fifties and fit and healthy.

I am 100 per cent certain (I initially said 95 per cent) that I have had, and recovered from, the Covid-19 virus. On Monday 16 March I developed a cough unlike any I have ever experienced: out of breath, dry, involuntary, gave no relief yet was not uncomfortable. I self isolated on Tuesday 17 March. That day my symptoms expanded to include shivers, body aches and headache, fever, tight chest. The night of the Tuesday was very unpleasant. As well as a heightening of all the symptoms I was extremely dehydrated. In the early hours of Wednesday 18 March I started sweating it out. By 10 am on Wednesday morning the fever subsided and I felt fine, just a bit beaten up.

Two days start to finish. Definitely unpleasant but I have experienced worse. The worst bit was the fear that it would get to my lungs, and that was caused by the media reports. Although my chest was definitely affected, never did I feel I was struggling to breathe.  

My son was obliged to isolate with me, for 14 days. I am 95 per cent (and increasingly) certain that he has also had the virus but is asymptomatic. See below.

I think I caught the virus when I spent a couple of days in London in early March. I was at my most contagious during the weekend of 13-15 March. Over those days I spent many hours travelling on my motorbike. Much of my virus went into my helmet and neck warmer.

It took about a week to feel fully recovered. The chest tightness was the last to go, along with occasional shivers and general malaise.

One day after the end of my isolation I rode my motorbike along the coast to check on the paper’s distribution points, see who was open. I was out for a couple of hours. Soon after I returned home I felt awful, like the virus had come back. I was knocked for six and had to go to bed. But the symptoms were not the same. This time just headache and hot flushes and all fine in a couple of hours. People who know more than me say it was my antibodies reacting.

I realized that my bike helmet and neck warmer were laced with virus, which had survived for eight days. They have been thoroughly disinfected.

I am now a walking test kit. If I come across the virus in public, I react. Nothing too dramatic, just a mild allergy. The reason I am convinced my son is asymptomatic is that for about a week after my case finished, if I spent time in close confines with him, I had an allergic reaction. I acknowledge this is not uncommon with 15-year-old boys, whatever their health.

I hope the antibodies calm down, but I’d rather have them than not. The frustration is not being able to get tested for them. I will then be 110 per cent certain I have had it and can make myself useful.

My thoughts in brief summary:

1. They are right, you can have the virus with no or very mild symptoms.

2. In my case I was most infectious just prior to showing symptoms.

3. The virus can linger on clothing and other items for a long time, much longer than we think.

4. Once you have fully recovered, and depending on the response of your antibodies, you probably want to avoid close contact with people with the virus, for your own comfort. I consider myself immune and I cannot pass it on myself, only by touching something that is contaminated with it.

Please note this is purely a personal story and personal opinion, based on experience and common sense.

I hope it’s helpful. I think if you are young or middle-aged and in good health you will have to be extremely unlucky to be badly affected when you catch the virus. By far the most important thing we can do is protect the vulnerable and slow the spread of the virus in the community. If I was a spokesperson I’d say to the average person: ‘Worry about the community, a lot, but don't worry about yourself. You’ll be all right.’

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