I don’t think there are many people who would have anticipated the full impact that Covid 19 would have on our lives. Earlier in the year when the pandemic struck China at first I tried to bury my head in the sand and ignore it, that moved to a gradual acceptance that this was a real problem but it still wasn’t necessarily on my doorstep so to an extent I still hoped that the whole thing would quietly go away but here we are 8 days into full lockdown and we are well and truly feeling the impact.
This experience is like no other I have seen in my lifetime. Sure, there have been other similar instances like foot and mouth, swine flu, SARS and so on but for me there is something very different about this situation. We are working from home, those of us who are lucky enough to still have jobs at this point, we are self isolating, crossing the road to avoid people as we try to find a safe space to walk with 2km of our homes, we are washing on our hands and sanitising until they are dry and raw, we are hopelessly flailing around like fish out of water desperate for this situation to pass so we can breath again. It’s one of those moments where no emotion is the wrong emotion but even that becomes tiresome. So far I have survived this by sticking to the old cliché of one day at a time and that is how I continue to try and get through this bizarre phase of time seeming like it has come to a standstill.
It has opened my eyes to the fact that one simple action can change the world we live in. It can have a drastic impact on the economy, population and on a smaller scale the perspectives and priorities of us as individuals. It has opened my eyes in a very real way that at times nothing is within your control, you can’t stop certain things from happening, you can’t control the actions of others no matter how detrimental that behaviour may be to themselves or society. You can’t always protect the people you care about. It’s something I have always struggled with, the what if’s, the catastrophising, the sheer panic it creates in my body is at times suffocating.
Like most, my concern is not so much me, of course I want to protect myself, but my absolute priority in this is to protect my mother and ensure she’s okay in every aspect. Being separated from her and only being able to communicate over the phone and from the car is the most unnatural thing in the world for me and yet I know this is what is necessary. The woman is a pillar of strength which gives me some comfort but nonetheless I long for this to be over as quickly as possible so we can all breath easy in what at the moment is a very strange world to be living in.
Yesterday morning I walked to the shop before starting my work day at the kitchen table because I had so much excess energy pulsing through me I had to get it out. I listened to the radio while walking and they played some upbeat music in a bid to keep people’s spirits up and to remind them that we will have good days again where we are free to go and come as we please, to hug whoever we want to hug, to go out and dance, to meet friends and loved ones. As I walked I laughed to myself at the absolute absurdity of what is happening and at the same time my eyes welled up with tears on the verge of spilling out and down my cheeks.
I think I speak for everyone when I echo what my Mom said to me earlier this week when she said that after all this we will all have a new appreciation for what we have and I wholeheartedly agree.
Image – Pinterest.