I just wanted to check how is everyone feeling today? Are you on your way to a more normal existence? Out of lockdown with your natural hair colour showing and your face protected by a mask? What a time we have lived through, and I’ve been starting to think how will we tell this story in years to come?
So I put on ten pounds. I discovered, cooking and baking put my mind at ease, so I did that a lot at the start. I then lost the ten pounds as I discovered, like thousands of others, that running is really good for the soul. I have felt an overwhelming sense of creativity, wanting to create in lots of different ways. I have also felt the exact opposite. Struggling to do the day to day tasks feeling as deflated as a forgotten birthday balloon, lost down the back of a sofa. When lockdown came I felt safe in my bubble with Smooth FM and my puppy Trouper as my companions, whilst hubby still worked. 5.00pm came and I would sit with a stiff drink awaiting Bumbling Boris and his advisers to update the nation. Why could we not have Jacinda instead? It felt like a scene from WW2 all gathering around the wireless except its 2020 and we swapped make do and mend for fast fashion and the wireless for BBC I player.
As lockdown went on, we got used to mixed messages. Stay home if you can, but don’t if you cant. The number of deaths rising, the amount of loo roll decreasing. We sent love letters, argued over lost jigsaw pieces and made Instagram worthy banana bread. We taught our parents how to use zoom “no Mum I can’t see you, your camera is off… Dad turn the camera the other way I can’t see your face.” We sighed a huge sigh of relief when we got our furlough, bounce back, self employment grants, we rallied round small business that could still operate, we asked our elderly neighbours if they needed us. Hand sanitiser and baking materials became the hottest trends of the season, we embraced lockdown birthday with locktail hours, we all got given the gift of time, time to be at home, time on our own, time with a house full.
Every Thursday evening we would clap for carers, an overwhelming sense of pride for the front line workers, we drew rainbows and displayed them in our windows. We did our best at home schooling thank goodness for google and gin. Our hearts ached when we heard Covid had touched the life of someone we knew, we cried at the thought of watching funerals of loved ones via a video link. We dismayed at the lack of PPE, got told to wash our hands – what you think we didn’t do that already? At one point we thought, is this going to ever get any better? Weddings rearranged, festivals cancelled, a few glorious days of sunshine to perk us up, if you were privileged to have a garden that is. Otherwise even the sunshine sucked. We missed the profile of peoples faces, we missed having a brew with our best friends. Could we please reset 2020. There must have been a glitch.
But there was no glitch, this is the world we live in and we are the care takers of it and would you say we've been doing a good job? And just when you think a pandemic is the ugliest thing to rear its head in 2020 we hear about police brutality and George Floyd fatality. Silent before because we felt uncomfortable to talk about race, not understanding our own white privilege, but the world found its voice and not even a pandemic can stop us showing up and protesting, using our voices, re-educating ourselves. Black lives matter. I say it again Black lives matter.
Now the phrase the new normal gets used a lot, covid has been one big reality check, it’s taken so much away but has given us a departing gift. A chance to design a new path, a new future. So I go back to my original question how do you feel today? The roads are clearer, we can work from home, we can go to the pub now, have you had a hair cut? Yet I still feel we need to batten down the hatches, redundancies and restructures are on the horizon, jobs are being cancelled, but lets not let that be the legacy of this pandemic. They say times like this is when ideas can evolve, we have the time to create businesses, time to grow, be inspired and flourish. Follow your heart, be the person that lived through this pandemic that you would be proud to tell your grandchildren about.