Don’t Panic!

health covid panic cyprus pandemic

health covid panic cyprus pandemicI’m not known, dear reader, for my emotional outbursts and flapping of arms in a panicky sort of way. I rarely panic, and certainly didn’t over covid the pandemic and other health issues I’ve had recently. I am, normally, as cool as a cucumber and take what life throws at me in my stride.

But I do have my moments. I’ve had some sort of virus to contend with for a week and my chest is very congested. This morning I woke up with a start, unable to catch my breath and almost slipped into a full-blown panic attack. But no, I gritted my teeth and took short sharp breaths the way I was taught after breaking my ribs. It worked. But it got me to wondering what it would take for me to have a full-blown panic attack.

Moving to Cyprus & Lost Dogs

It was not exactly a panic inducing time when my wife and I moved to Cyprus and brought our two beloved English Springer Spaniels with us. But it was a close-run thing when it turned out the ground staff at the airport had lost our dogs.

How was that possible? They were on the same flight as us, in the hold, in large wooden crates. The staff in the airport seemed to know what was happening and told us the dogs would come through the conveyor with the normal luggage. Two hours later, nothing.

It was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. The dogs were shipped out to a warehouse on the airport perimeter, and nobody told the staff in the airport. We landed around 10pm and it was about three hours later that we found them. Harvey was especially traumatised. But they soon shook this off and had the most wonderful life thereafter until illness eventually took them both.

New York Police

Once upon a time I decided I wanted to see America and chose Los Angeles as my destination. This was in the 1980s and Cagney & Lacey were on everyone’s TV screens in the UK… probably still are.

My stopover point was New York but I cannot remember which airport it was. What did stick in my mind was that I had to walk in the open air between two terminals and as I made my way down what looked like a side-alley (yes, I was lost) a posse of three-gun toting NYPD cops came racing towards me, on foot, as fast as their short little legs would carry them. I stopped and moved to one side and watched them (all three overweight) wobble past. Nope, no panic there, just a small degree of amusement.

Panic Buying

I look at life, it seems, in a quite different way to most other people. When the covid-19 pandemic struck, I was amazed at how many people rushed out to the shops and bought, in bulk, toilet paper. Toilet paper? When I heard about the pandemic on the BBC News the last thing, I thought of was my bottom and going to the loo. Water, rice, pasta, oil and canned food was all we bought extra. You cannot eat toilet paper… well, I suppose you could try… no, not going down that U-Bend! There was no panic buying on our part, just a few extra essentials and the knowledge that if we get locked in our home there will be a certain ripeness to the atmosphere when we are released.

Mount Etna

I have to say this is one that perhaps I may just panic a little. Waking up to a lava flow going past your front door doesn’t bear thinking about. My heart goes out to those affected by the recent eruptions.


Earthquakes I would not panic about. I’ve experienced several, so I’m told. But the truth is, all those around me felt the earth move, but I didn’t.

Falling Down… a Cliff

Now this I have done and no, I didn’t panic… I just screamed in agony. Seven broken ribs and still, to this day, two years+ later, I suffer with aching ribs in the winter. But nope, there was no panic.

Six Feet Under

This is my bête noire, my ‘keep me awake at night‘ demon that I sometimes have nightmares about. And yes, I would panic. When I die, I want to be cremated and my ashes shot into space. Even better would be me frozen or embalmed and shot into space for some alien race to find years later and to study.

But I realise that is likely not to happen. For a start, I live on an island where cremation is not encouraged, so much so there are only crematoria for pets… so I doubt they can cram my big 6’ 2″ frame in one of them! So, I would have to pay to have my body shipped back to England for cremation. The price, as things stand now, would be prohibitive. So, burial it is and that is something I cannot get my head around.

I’ve left instructions to make sure when I die, the medics must pump me with as much poison as possible to be certain I am dead. The very thought of waking up six feet under in a coffin gives me the heebie-jeebies… and yes, I would panic the life out of myself.

Happy New Year Dear Reader.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2022


Now, dear reader, there is no need to panic buying where my books are concerned. And I’ll even help you along with a choice by letting you read a few free chapters.

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Book One – The Brittle Sea


Book Two – The Brittle Land


Book Three – The Brittle Sky