As a writer of historical fiction, I never imagined I would be part of an epic, historical (and devastating) event that would change the lives of nearly everyone on the planet. The Corona virus global pandemic has taken us all by surprise. There are many who will say that we should have saw it coming, however I never envisaged everyone in the UK would be distancing themselves from their friends, families and work colleagues, as I served our family’s Christmas dinner at the end of 2019.
Never before have we valued the key workers of our society to the extent as we are now or miss the face to face contact with the people we care about. Hopefully, something good will come out of this tragic unfolding event and that we will become a better society for experiencing it.
And I, like many others I suspect, feel a little guilty that my contribution to this pandemic is not as heroic as many who are confronting this virus head-on and trying to keep life bearable for the rest of us. I am simply doing what I have been told to do, staying at home in the comfort of my own home, my only excursions to the outside world is for a daily walk, food and delivering essentials to my parents… all at a safe distance.
Perhaps the hardest thing for me is missing out on seeing friends and relatives.
Old skills have been indulged…
I have been reading much more, even revisiting my own books as at one point I had run out of paperbacks! I’ve rediscovered my love for baking and probably contributed to the shortage of flour and eggs.
I have learnt new skills…
For the first time in my life I have had the time to improve my gardening skills. I have a new garden, so it has been quite exciting to watch the plants in my garden emerge this spring. I’ve learnt their names and how to care for them and I am extremely grateful that, unlike many, I have this safe space to enjoy.
I’ve learnt how to video with multiple people. Many have had to adapt their working lives and Choc Lit authors are no exception.
Even my local choir leader has adapted and provided online singing lessons! I certainly need them!
However, as the lock down dragged on, I wanted to be of more help. I had retired from nursing too long ago to be recalled, but I still wanted to do something for the carers and medical staff who are working today. Due to the global demand for PPE, the UK supply chain was surely tested. Scrubs and masks ‘hubs’ sprang up all over the UK, where amateur and professional dressmakers offered their services to make scrubs and face masks for free. I became a member to a Cornish Scrubs and Face-masks hub and offered my amateur skills. Within a week the material (bought from donations) arrived and I began sewing! NHS workers, GP surgeries, care homes and community workers have all benefited from these free scrubs which allow workers to go home to their families, safe in the knowledge that they are not carrying the virus on their clothing. At a time of crisis, we should all do our bit, whether that is staying home or doing a bit more. All is valued.
So, life has changed for us all and it will be a long time before it returns to ‘normal’ again, but we will get there. I know this because the human race is extraordinary in its ability to adapt and solve the problems in this world… it is only the lack of will to solve them which has prevented so many problems being solved. Thankfully, the world agrees that the Covid 19 has to be controlled, with the goal of eradicating it one day, so I am confident that ‘normal’ will return to us again as the will is in the global community to beat it.
Stay safe. Stay well.