Life is changing fast and the UK is entering a period never before seen in modern times, where whole families are shutting out the world for 14 days in an effort to contain COVID-19.

But many isolated families feel the lack of testing means lives are being turned upside down unnecessarily – and that it also leaves the impression the government is losing a handle on the scale of the problem.

The Bullocks, who live in west London, were enjoying relatively normal lives until Monday evening, when the prime minister announced all families with one member displaying symptoms of the virus should isolate the entire household for 14 days.

TV producer Rob Bullock had suffered from night sweats the week before, but over the weekend it turned into a fever.

Speaking from his bedroom window, he told Sky News: I find it extraordinary that I’m not being tested, partly because I’m wondering how the government is making any decisions about their response to this if they don’t really know how many people have contracted this virus, because they’re not testing for it.

But personally, it’s hard because I’m taking my children out of school. My eldest daughter has got her GCSEs coming up, I’m taking her out of school at a critical time and it all might be because I got the common cold virus.

Not knowing for sure makes it harder.

Downstairs, speaking through the living room window, Rob’s wife Charlotte says the new advice came as a shock.

She said: Well, it seems a bit late. The kids went to school on Monday and then Monday night they said we were under lockdown.

So, if I’ve given it to anyone, I apologise, it was a bit late.

Charlotte is also frustrated that the lack of testing means they won’t know whether they have had the virus and therefore have immunity in the future.

If we all get through this, and we’re better, I’d like to get out and help people, she added.

Myroslava Coates is in isolation in Manchester.

The family member suspected to have COVID-19 is her nine-month-old baby, Cassian.

With a child that young, she cannot follow government advice to separate herself from the infected person within the household.

She says: We took him to the doctor and thought it was the chest infection which he’d had before.

The room had a big sign saying suspected case and my husband and I went ‘oh my God’.

And then a nurse came and said yes – that’s you guys. The doctor came in wearing a mask – did basic checks and said yes, it’s the coronavirus.

They don’t do an actual test with children of this age, so it’s done on symptoms.

James Thellusson, 58, lives with his wife, two children and his 95-year-old mother.

The guidance is that over 70s should self-isolate for up to four months.

That leaves questions over whether the family should somehow try to rent somewhere for Mr Thellusson’s mother and move her out of her current family environment.

Mr Thellusson told Sky News he is conflicted over what to do, but access to testing would make life easier.

He said: Number one, we can’t take a test so we don’t know whether we’ve got it.

Number two, if we have got it and we have to self-isolate with her for an extended period of time, then she’s going to get it and if she gets it – that’s pretty close to being a death sentence.

When times are tough, we talk about coming together as a nation, or pulling together as a family, but what families are already beginning to realise is the way to combat this threat is counter-intuitive.

To beat it, we have to separate and that makes it all the more frightening and, for many people, incredibly tough.

Nina Ozdemir has spent nearly a week in a one bed flat with two children, aged two and four, and her sick husband.

The children sleep in bunk beds and the adults on a pull-out bed in the living room.

She said: This is day six now. The kids have so much energy and they just need to release it and they can’t really run around in here, so they are fighting a lot.

You can’t explain to a two-year-old why we have to stay indoors. It’s completely impossible.

Cabin fever, potential lost earnings, illness and the threat of death; this bug is going to take its toll on all of us.

Many feel that tests for the virus could relieve them of anxiety and frustrations. But it seems we don’t have the resources to do them on a large scale.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

At the moment, the priority for testing is patients in hospital in intensive care and those with respiratory conditions.

But the government does hope to increase testing to other groups.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance said: The next group of people that Public Health England want to go is to get to key workers to make sure they are tested. As capacity ramps up, that’s where you’d go next, that is the plan.

He also told MPs the social distancing measures put in place by the government last night would have to last at least months.

(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: How families in the UK are coping with self-isolation