Oh dear! Boris has spoken and the nation is under another lockdown. Whatever your personal thoughts and feelings about the decision, it has happened and we have to live with it. Time (and the data) will tell if it is the right decision or not, but something had to be done if we are to stand any chance of getting back to normality (whatever that is!).
I don’t know about you but I feel as if my whole life is on hold. I have been wistfully browsing holiday cottages and exotic locations, but never pressing the “book now” button. Mr. Monumental has a big birthday this year and I was hoping to have a great big get-together with friends and family in the summer to celebrate. Instead we are living in a “will we, won’t we” situation. All of those couples who were going to get married in 2020 and had to re-book for 2021 must now be wondering if they have to look further ahead.
However, my problems seem very trivial and I am brought back to earth with a bump when I witness the situation as part of my volunteering at our local community food bank. Every Tuesday, I sit in the Pembury Church Office, as part of the team taking phone calls and packing and delivering food parcels to people in need in and around Pembury and Tunbridge Wells. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have to decide whether to spend what little money you have on food or heating. Parents are going without food in order to feed their children. People are giving up their precious family pets because they cannot afford to keep them. The elderly are alone and frightened about catching the virus. Those with mental health issues are confused and don’t understand why they cannot hug their friends, or go to church, or to the pub. Then there are those without work who are continually rejected for jobs because of the sheer number of applicants. The self-employed who started their businesses just before the first lockdown full of hope and enthusiasm, but now must close their doors and put all of their dreams and plans on hold.
Then there are those for who the Coronavirus is a very real and tangible part of their lives. Either as patients or as carers, nurses and doctors – who have to witness the effect of this illness first-hand. Those who not only have to deal with their existing illness and the signs and symptoms associated with that, but now have to make life changing decisions about their treatments in case they are exposed to this dreadful virus. Those on the frontline who are working tirelessly, fire-fighting some say, to try and keep this virus in check. Risking their own lives in order to save others. We salute you.
So, I may moan and groan about not being able to see my friends or hug my (grown-up) children, but everyday I give thanks for those of us who are safe and well. I offer up a prayer for those who have the virus. I pray a blessing for those who are working to beat the virus. I try and follow the rules, and I do what I can to help my neighbours and my community. Everything else I have chosen to accept and trust that there will be an end to this and we will all come out blinking in the sunlight and live again.