What a time to be alive! A pandemic that has seen the whole planet grind to a halt. Banks and businesses are closed, schools and shops, cafe’s, restaurants, factories and flights, but the biggest shock?… The pubs are closed and how the hell are we supposed to cope with that?
The days of simply walking into an establishment to order a cold pint of larger or a nice glass of white wine seem like a distant memory. When socialising with our friends on Friday night down the pub was the norm and now what? FaceTime or House-party? Better than nothing I guess.
I keep thinking about how much worse it could be. If this virus could exist as an aerosol the way measles can or if you got it, you definitely died and there was no recovery. What would that have meant for the world? Anyone seen the movie 12 Monkeys with Bruce Willis?
COVID 19 you are not wanted so please piss off and leave us alone. Recently I spoke with someone on the frontline. Someone working in a hospital on a daily basis and the details were harrowing. Hundreds of doctors and nurses being forced to self isolate, meaning a critical shortage of staff. Frontline workers risking their lives going to work and they're afraid. They have families, children to take care of and they don’t want to die, but what else can they do?
We’re all depending on them to save lives and rid the world of this terrible virus.
On top of that, vital life saving operations are being put on hold because there simply aren't enough resources to cope. What can we do to this help? As we’re been constantly told, stay the fuck home. It’s not going to be easy, it’s probably going to be for a few more weeks, but it’s the least we can do.
I’m currently self isolating with my three sons, two of whom are teenagers and one a university student. What does this mean? I’m basically living with vampires who go to sleep as I’m getting up and instead of sucking blood, they inhale every bit of food they can get their hands on. Their rooms need a warning sign on the door and when I’m asked why their shit all over the floor bothers me so much? I tell them I’m a normal human being who prefers to live in a house, not a pigsty and that actually irritates them.
However, I’ll take that over the millions of parents having to homeschool young kids, at least mine take responsibility for that themselves, when they can be bothered to get out of bed. As for keeping them entertained? That’s the job of PC, Xbox and PS4, nothing about me is remotely interesting to my children and I’m more than okay with that.
What Are The Positives?
I’m eating dinner with my sons every night. We’re watching movies together and if I nag enough, they’re helping me in the garden. We’re all in this together and there’s a feeling of closeness and camaraderie that wasn’t there when we were all busy with our lives.
I’m in a Whats App group with my neighbours, who are checking on each other, relaying information about the local Sainsbury’s or M&S and seeing if anyone needs anything. I’m walking my dog without thinking about the other ten thousand things I have to do. My kitchen floor has never been cleaner, for the first time in my life, the sock basket is actually empty and I have knitted a scarf, as in finished it, cast it off and am wearing as I write this blog.
The stories of people coming together and communities helping each other are amazing. We’re singing on balconies and socialising in our gardens, while maintaining safe distance. We’re doing virtual yoga and the nation’s kids are doing P.E on TV with Joe Wicks. People who despised Boris are loving him as he leads the country from his COVID 19 sick bed. The incredible global clap of thanks for emergency and key workers had many of us sobbing like babies, moved beyond words..
As well as that, Elephants are getting drunk in empty vineyards in Wuhan, Dolphins are swimming in the Venice Canals, parts of China are seeing blue skies for the first time in years, the ozone layer is repairing and deers and goats are roaming through empty towns. Whether these stories are true or not, this global shut down is giving mother earth a chance to breathe, to repair and to heal. In my book that can only be a good thing.
I don’t know what will happen to the global economy after this, I’m not a business person and I feel for business owners and anyone else worried about the impact this will have on their lives. The conspiracy theories are absolutely terrifying, but one thing is for sure. The world will be changed after this. We will be changed after this. This pandemic has shown us how fast we were all moving, how fast the world was turning and how unsustainable that pace of life had become.
We’ve realised the job we were told couldn't be done from home, can be done from home. The ten thousand flights in the air at any one time, is excessive and probably unnecessary. The factories spewing greenhouse gases into the air, while burning fossil fuel twenty four hours a day could probably take a day off and the poisoning of our foods with chemicals simply to meet demand is avoidable, if we wasted less.
After the isolation ban is lifted, people predict house parties, street parties, pubs, restaurants and cafe’s being overrun as we all scramble to get back to some sense of normality. I cant wait…but I hope we’re a little nicer to each other. That this time in isolation has helped us value the things that matter most and the people that matter most in our lives. That we realise the true heroes of our society are the frontline workers, from doctors to hospital cleaners, ambulance drivers to truck drivers. That our obsession with wanting more and celebrity culture will diminish and we’ll learn to value and appreciate the simple things in life.
The smell of fresh coffee, the birds singing in the morning, meeting a friend for lunch, hugging your parents, seeing your boyfriend, going to work, waving your kids off to school, buying hand soap and toilet rolls, having your hair and nails done, going for a walk whenever you feel like it.
The post pandemic world can be a better world, if we all remember this time and do our part.