I’m writing this retrospectively till mid March as i failed to keep a record earlier.
By early Feb we were beginning to get an inkling, but still i personally thought it would be a bit like flu and not really worse. My facebook timeline was still full of concerns about Brexit, the impact of the flooding in the UK, and my kids. David sang solo in a concert on 15th Feb. Jamie’s band issued an acoustic set video on 18th. Cat’s theatre group began publicising their Shakespeare play and Cat cut her hair off for charity. I remember thinking as we planned to go to David’s concert – should we be going? But we didn’t want to let him down of course.
But to be honest we were beginning to worry. By midmonth we were hearing about the spread of the disease in Europa and Asia, and many countries were closing their borders or imposing quarantine. In the UK however, astonishingly little was being done. By late Feb there were cases everywhere but the UK remained “open for business”. Even passengers returning from potential plague areas were not screened.
By the end of the month even i was still posting on facebook that it was being blown out of proportion and it was considered more of a joke than anything. However people were beginning to worry. There was a run on facemasks – totally ineffective – and people began to avoid Chinese restaurants (as though being chinese was enough to carry it?) . And stupid conspiracy theories were already circulating – it was manmade by the chinese military or by a secret elite, it was intended to cleanse the earth, etc etc
28th Feb is in fact the first mention on my timeline.