Pandemic? It won’t happen to me!

Well, this time last year I certainly didn’t expect to be here. Even a few months ago my only worry about the future was whether we could afford to go on holiday or not in 2020 – now that problem seems moot. I do not want to belittle this current crisis in any way. Many people are really anxious and worried and there are also those who actually have tested positive for COVID-19, and also those who have already lost someone dear to them to the virus. My daughter lives in London and has just self-isolated on NHS advice as she has developed a cough and, although not displaying any severe symptoms, most likely has the virus. The rest of my family and I (so far) have not really been touched apart from taking heed of the advice from the NHS on social distancing, working from home and trying not to panic at all of the empty supermarket shelves. Every sneeze and snuffle is now analysed and God forbid you cough in public! Yet, there are still people who seem to think that they are invincible.

It reminds me of the story about Muhammed Ali. The story goes that at the height of his fame and success, Ali boarded a plane. As the time came for take-off, the stewards did their usually safety demonstration, followed by their walk down the aisle to check that everyone had their luggage stowed correctly and their seatbelts on. When the steward came to Muhammed Ali’s seat, she politely requested that he put on his seatbelt. Ali looked up at her and said, in his typical style ‘Superman don’t wear no seatbelt!’, to which the steward promptly replied ‘Superman don’t need no aeroplane!’

I guess we all take risks at sometime in our lives. Just take that quick call whilst driving; go across the road on a red light; don’t wear a hard hat on a building site; climb up a wobbly ladder on our own; walk across the road whilst looking at our phone; and so on. There is this stubborn in-built nature that seems to say ‘it won’t happen to me’ – until it does.

I think we all need a reality check. Those that make the decision not to self-isolate, or decide to ‘carry on as normal’ – I would just say THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT YOU! Your actions and decisions do not just affect you – they affect everyone around you. How would you feel if you became infected because you had taken the decision to ‘carry on as normal’ and then you somehow spread that infection to someone close to you and they became seriously ill, or even died? The risk is real. This is an invisible killer and unless we all take it seriously, and follow the NHS and Public Health England advice, it is going to get worse.

Be sensible, follow the advice, look out for each other and, eventually, THIS TOO WILL PASS.

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