Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. Marie Curie
I said goodbye to my parents (both in their 90s) as their care home and the country went into Covid-19 lockdown. Social distancing from parents is difficult; withdrawal is distressing.
I called on a couple of shops where the staff have become friends and wished them safety, and quietly prayed for jobs and businesses to survive.
‘See you in three weeks’
We’ve been on holiday often enough and said goodbye. ‘See you in three weeks’ has never seemed so serious. What’s different this time?
A few things, perhaps.
Usually, we have holiday plans, and the anticipation offsets the sorrow of farewell.
This time, there was no anticipation, just uncertainty. And no one was going anywhere. We are all just around the corner or down the road from each other — but unseen, unsure, wondering.
Usually, we expect everything to remain the same while we are away. This time there is no such assumption. How close will the virus come? How many will die? Will I know them? Will our businesses survive? Will our investments survive? Will my parents cope?
Three things to do:
- Reach out electronically.
Phone a friend, and keep in touch with family. A retired teacher reads stories over WhatsApp to her nieces.
Keep in touch with colleagues.
- Check every story before reposting — especially those that begin, ‘A doctor from xyz university….’
- Be kind:
- to yourself. Even if you are working from home, sleep a little more, notice your surroundings, listen to the birds.
- to others. We are all stressed. We just express it differently. Listen to those stuck at home with you. Talk about your fears, worries and uncertainties. Don’t fix each other, just listen.
A recent letter to the local newspaper, perhaps only partly tongue in cheek:
Having no sport on TV because of the Covid-19 containment measures has led me to notice new things.
Turns out the lady sitting next to me on the couch is actually my wife, and she is a really nice person.