Stop the world, I want off. So much for going to the Winchester for a nice cold pint and waiting for this all to blow over! All jokes aside, this evening’s developments are huge, and genuinely do mean that our entire way of living will change, both immediately and for the foreseeable. Even when normality resumes, whatever form that may take, the effects of what is occurring right now will be felt for years to come. Between unprecedented aid packages from the government to the degree of cooperation from the general public, this is unlike anything that has ever happened before and it is incredibly unlikely that we will ever see something like this again in our lifetime.
I really don’t have a great deal to say tonight. With all that is going on in the world, it is so hard to keep up with accurate and reliable information, so it would be wrong for me to comment on anything other than things I am up to date on the facts about. What I do know is that there are so many people suffering the effects of this outbreak, and these effects are much further reaching than just physical. From self employed staff losing business and having to worry about if they will stay afloat, small family businesses having to lay off staff to well known restaurants and pubs having to close and not know when they will be allowed to open again, my heart goes out to anyone and everyone affected. And that is before we even get to the uncertainty around those on zero hour contracts who live month to month reliant on the gig economy…
Sarah and I are lucky to find ourselves in the position of being able to look after Amelia at home, and therefore we can effectively self isolate. However, there are so many people who will struggle to do this, from our incredible NHS and healthcare workers to those ‘key’ members of staff such as truck drivers, store cleaners and emergency service workers. One thing that I have found to be incredibly lousy so far is the lack of definition provided by the government; they are leaving vague, unhelpful statements lingering in the air for far too long. Only 48 hours after saying that schools would remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers did they actually define the term, which caused even more anxiety in an already volatile situation. I count myself extremely lucky that I do have some level of certainty through all of this; at least I know I don’t have to worry about childcare.
As with any post around this, let’s say situation, I’ll always try to be balanced. I dont want bags of negativity in my life, so where there is bad there must also be good. For one, I get so much more time with Amelia. HAving spent the last half of last year in hospital I didn’t get as much time with her as I would have liked, so here is a great opportunity. Plus, we get the absolute privilege of helping her to learn at such a young age. Obviously we will have help from the school in the form of pre-set activities and ideas, but what a thing to be able to say to her in the future, that during the great plague of 2020 we taught you to read! Another good point is that in modern life, family time often comes at a premium. Hopefully some of those now required to work from home will benefit in that respect!
The biggest positive of all however has to be the sense of community spirit that is constantly being developed and demonstrated. I see community groups on facebook offering everything from people adding extra shopping so as to donate to food banks to people offering to grab essentials for isolated individuals. People are sharing their expertise; as students head home, many of my teacher friends have taken to facebook to offer help and advice wherever possible. Even things like brightening up people’s day by posting a nice picture have a profound effect; this really is bringing out all aspects of humanity. Hopefully we will learn many lessons from this, and not just about disease preparedness. We can all be kind, we can all work together, and we can all do our bit to make the world a better place.