“It is not given to human beings – happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable – to forsee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events.”
Winston Churchill, Euology for Neville Chamberlain November 12 1940
Never has a truer word been said. Warning – today’s blog might not be uplifting
Anybody else here feeling a bit uneasy? Something amiss in the pit of my stomach. Not a feeling that I am comfortable with. But I know what it’s about. For the past 2 months we have all been in lockdown. An experience I can share with most of the country and certainly my friends. This shared experience bought about a sense of community of belonging and I felt secure, relaxed and in control. The Brits are very good at banding together when there is an external threat and creating a culture of strong social reliance on each other. Certainly, I have seen this on my street.
So, for the past 2 months I have been in control of my situation and enjoyed immensely the sense of community spirit. But now with lockdown easing slightly everything is shifting. And it is this shift which is making me feel uneasy. I cannot ease up as I have an underlying condition. But for many people including most of my friends they will be able to get out more, go back to work and socialise. And I am already starting to feel a bit ‘left out’.
In addition while I have been having social distance walks with friends cause I know they have also been in lockdown, once they are out in the community again I will have to think carefully about who I will walk with.
So, the future is a bit bleak. Just more of the same but now doing it on my own and sadly I can’t make any plans because I have no idea when I will be getting out. What a bundle of sunshine I am. I did warn you.
Interestingly I am not alone in this feeling of unease. Many people I have spoken to also have uneasy feelings. Some have so enjoyed being furloughed that they are now not looking forward to returning to work. Ironically they quite envy me. The grass is always greener. They have said that they have never felt so healthy. The lack of pressure and the relaxation has really worked for them. I commented to one of my girlfriends yesterday when she sat in my garden, that she looked fantastic and her reply was; ” yes because I have not had work hassles and stress. Am just loving it.” Another friend who is a child minder for the past 15 years has given the parents notice as they have decided they have so loved the peace that they no longer want to look after other people’s children. Others have said that they are now looking at ways of changing the way they work.
I do realise of course we are a privileged bunch of people and we live in a bubble that is not shared by the majority of the UK or the rest of the world. And experts have warned that post lock down the UK may well face a tsunami of mental health issues.
But COVID19 has created a paradigm shift in every part of our society. Both positive and negative. On a positive front it is forcing us to redefine how we live, what we value, how the government works, how society works and the relationships we have with people. Whereas prior to the virus society focused on status, power, wealth and celebrity – now other things will take precedence.
On the negative front I think many of us felt, unwisely as it has turned out, that science and technology would keep us safe and sound. But this virus is bigger than anything we have ever had to confront before and currently we have no defence against it except social distancing and face masks. And this makes us all feel very vulnerable.
I am convinced that by this time next year they will have found perhaps not a vaccine but treatment for the virus. But in the meantime, I am going to have to find a way of making the most of this enforced isolation without becoming over emotionally indulgent. I will remember the words of Emily Dickinson “I dwell in possibility”.
On a happier note I just watched Obama graduation speech, and that voice and that face makes me feel instantly happier.
Note to self: find more things every day that make you feel happy.
“Let’s be careful out there”