• Lara

Life in the time of Corona

Week Three ~ The one in which I lose it

Sunday, the day after my birthday, was a down day for us all. I suspect that the effort of trying to make it special took its toll on all three of us in the house. We didn’t really leave home other than to get the groceries. We used up the last of our BBQ gas and had lunch in the garden. I wonder how much worse this would all be if it was cold and wet? I suppose it would make it easier to persuade everyone to stay at home.


I have noticed that when we don’t get our daily dose of exercise it does us no good mentally. We have managed a bike ride every day this week, now averaging 20 miles a day without repeating the same route too often. It is mere minutes before we are in the countryside and it’s easy to forget that there’s anything remotely wrong with the world. We hardly see anyone when we cycle because we can leave the town behind us so quickly. On Wednesday we thought we’d walk instead of cycle for a change. I don’t think we will do that again. There were so many people, and not all of them following the rules of social distancing. Some were even sunbathing.

This week also saw another big birthday in the family. Ian celebrated his 60th birthday in quarantine in the best way we could… with a new drum kit! He has been a drummer for some time and in London has a drum studio in the garden, where his poor drum kit is currently sitting unloved.




For sometime he’d been trying to decide what he was going to do with it when we moved here, he can’t play it in the house and we don’t have the luxury of a large garden to build a studio in so he had decided to find a local studio in which to store and play them. Of course when we moved house really quickly just before the first proper week of lockdown we couldn’t bring his drum kit here so he has been a little lost without it. So for his birthday as he can’t currently get his intended present (a new camera whose release has been delayed due to current circs) I gave him a digital drum kit. Not only is he thrilled with it but it also

occupied him for several hours just putting it together. As it’s digital it’s compact and you play it with headphones. It’s a win-win to be honest.


We completed his day with tapas, champagne and a family Zoom, with a cake, naturally.











I was finding Week Three tough going, but safe to say on Saturday it got worse.

On Saturday night my personal Facebook page was hacked (despite two factor authentication being turned on). Because of whatever the hackers then put on my FB page it was disabled within minutes of them hacking it. No one I know saw what it was, my husband saw that my profile photo on Messenger was briefly changed to a photo with a Jihadi slogan but then it was gone. And so was my account.


I’ve appealed to Facebook three times now but they have permanently disabled it despite my email proof that my account was hacked. Even worse, because my Instagram was linked to my FaceBook, that was disabled too.


10+ years of memories, chat, community and my beloved hashtag #101thingsthatmakemesmile, all gone, without so much as a “was this you?”. I am absolutely heartbroken, and even more upset at the unfairness of it all. Facebook are clearly Faceless when it comes to things like this. I don’t believe for a minute that my appeal was looked at by a human. An 8 year old could have looked at my account and told you I’d been hacked.


I’ve read nothing good about this online.

The only occasion I could find of an Instagram account being successfully re-enabled was when a professional photographer, who was also a writer for a large publication, made such a big deal about it they had no choice. That turned out to have been caused by other pro-photographers “reporting” his account so often that the sheer volume of complaints meant he was disabled. An entire account lost due to malicious behaviour.

Unfortunately I am not a famous photographer/writer. I am just a small fish in an ocean of 2.4 billion Facebook users and they don’t give a crap. At a time when Facebook and Twitter face criticism for not removing fake news fast enough they sure managed to disable my account quickly enough. And in a time when we are all trying to stay as connected as possible, a huge slice of my connection has been severed without a care.


Over 10 years of memories, happiness, sadness and carefully crafted posts gone. I can now be found on Instagram under my other account LaraSlaterPhotography (link at the bottom of my home page).

I will never have a Facebook account again.


Stay well all





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