It’s been a long winter. Here in the UK, it has rained almost solidly for months. I know everyone thinks it rains a lot in the UK, but this has been a lot even for us. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and as such my mood has reflected the atmosphere over the past few months – very heavy. I’ve just about managed to keep my head above water.
This week, the first week of spring, has been glorious. Sunshine has warmed our souls.
But there’s just one thing, we’re all at home.
You see, in case you have been living under a rock, or are reading this in a hundred years time… we are in the midst of a pandemic called covid-19. We have all been isolating for a few weeks but on Monday we were told by the government we could only go out for essentials and to exercise once a day.
I myself have been in a sort of quarantine longer than most. My daughters have both had chicken pox for a week each – and not at the same time. So I haven’t socialised for a while and life has been far from normal for ages.
But I can’t help thinking about all the good things this virus has brought with it. Across the country on Thursday night people stood outside and clapped for the key workers. They showed their love and appreciation for those people keeping our country going. The UK have pulled together, posting notes through doors offering help and dropping supplies off. Social media has of course become somewhat of an outlet but it has been such a positive space over the last couple of weeks.
Families are staying home and enjoying one another’s company. Couples who spend most of their life apart are now together all day every day. Board games are being dusted off and people are making the effort to call that person they haven’t spoken to in a while.
Apart from those panic buying food, the irrational impulse to spend money has disappeared overnight. There is nobody to impress. Nobody to look good for. Most of us are make up free and in our comfy clothes every day. We are taking the time to invest in our children’s education, which we had previously left to their teachers and child care workers. We are reading more, creating more, resting more.
The government mandated “one form of exercise per day” has actually meant people are going out for walks, jogs and bike rides more. People are finding time for those things that always fell to the bottom of the list of priorities.
Of course, it’s not all positive. Being at home is boring, its lonely. Being at home with kids is still a job at the end of the day.
People are sick, people are dying. Some workers are facing the toughest time in their career.
But we can’t emerge from this crisis unchanged. We can’t just go back. We will all go forward, whatever that looks like.