The world is shutting down and closed for business as we struggle to get a grip on the Coronavirus. People are falling ill, losing their jobs, economies are reeling and as everything unravels it is not easy to stay calm in these unprecedented times.
Anything discussed yesterday seems almost irrelevant today, it’s moving that quickly….only three months ago we were all talking about New Year’s Resolutions, parties, weddings, holidays, weight, hair, jobs, relationships….we are now having to rub everything out and start again as we kick into survival mode. No one could ever have imagined at the beginning of the year that we would be here, desperately trying to get loved ones back home before borders shut down and running out of loo roll and pasta, with actual fights taking place in the aisles of supermarkets.
Just today, controls have been imposed by the UK Government that would have been unimaginable only a few weeks ago. We have been told that all pubs, restaurants, clubs, gyms, cinemas, anywhere basically where we like to congregate en masse have to close by end of play tonight. Devastating, not only for those who like to frequent them, but for all those who either own them or work in them….and it’s only going to be reviewed month by month – not even for the 15 days we initially thought.
What an absolute terrifying shit show (is that one word or two?) we are all collectively facing and it’s freaking me out.
Not all of the time.
But quite a lot of the time.
It’s the not knowing what we are actually dealing with that is causing the most stress. How do you fight an invisible monster? Or when and how it’s all going to end. The talk of an on-off cycle of the virus is horrific and the thought of this possibly lasting more than a year even worse as we all try and get our heads round the whole thing.
I am fluctuating between having moments of “OMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” and then I go for a walk and feel a little bit better and my outlook is more “BLOODY HELL, THANKS A LOT YOU EVIL F*CKER OF A VIRUS, YOU ABSOLUTE FUN SPONGE, YOU’VE RUINED OUR SOCIAL LIFE AND MOTHER’S DAY ON SUNDAY AND NOW MY CHILDREN CAN’T TAKE ME OUT TO THE PUB.
The only thing keeping me going at the moment is that we are all in this together and I have already experienced many small acts of kindness taking place in our community. So when my heartbeat seems louder than ever (perhaps that’s because there are no aeroplanes) and I can’t sleep I think about our collective mental health and what we can all do to try to keep people buoyant who are on their own and worried about catching the virus.
I’m hanging out with my children whilst working from home. I’ve been drinking wine with my friends via a video link-up, I’ve been watching plants grow and listening to the birds and very soon I’m going to have a drink over the fence with my neighbour who has been recently bereaved. Our street WhatsApp Group has gone mental – everyone offering to buy food for those that are self-isolating because they’re ill or because they’re old. Calpol has also been bought for the ICU nurse’s children – she is too busy to get out and when she’s managed to, it’s all sold out.
We are all going to miss the hugs. This will be hard. We are not designed to distance ourselves as social beings, but we simply have to get on with it to keep people alive and do what we can together. We have to stay in and we have to support our NHS staff.
I’m hoping we won’t have to stop getting outside for walks. I went on a two and a half hour walk with my daughter before work the other morning. We heard woodpeckers. Admired the views. Talked. Much better than commuting for now anyway, although at some point I’m sure we will all start missing the crowds big time – even the ones on the train:-
I’ve had to stop my Pilates classes for now, but maybe I can reinstate them in the open air at some point soon. Anyway, Pilates at least was designed to be performed in a tiny prison cell, so a good thing to do in a small space.
A Buddhist quote, that I don’t always love, but which works for me right now is:-
“Everything we experience is temporary”….so please try and remember that this too shall pass…not sure when, or how, or at what cost, but we will get through this together.