The Coronavirus Diaries – Part 1
I never thought I would be as sick of a single word as I am of this one. But I couldn’t think of any other title for this. I have many posts lined up but it seems pointless sharing any of them when there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind right now. And that’s why I’ve decided to write The Coronavirus Diaries.
We are where we are. I’m not going to delve in to the whys and wherefores and I can’t think of the long-term right now either. Things are changing every day. And right now I’m dealing with it one day at a time.
MORNINGS ARE THE WORST
I wake up every morning and for the first few seconds, it feels like every other morning. I resent the alarm for waking me up and hit the snooze button. Just a few more minutes and I’ll get myself out of bed and on with my usual routine.
But then it all comes flooding back to me. I’m not waking up on a regular morning. This is not going to be just another day. Nothing I do today is going to be normal. My anxiety kicks in and my snooze works in a completely different way.
During this nine minutes, my heart sinks and a kind of sick feeling settles in the pit of my stomach. I feel lost and confused.
I’m sure it feels surreal for everyone. I’m sure we’re all questioning everything in our lives right now. Suddenly we aren’t able to do all the things we could normally, the things we took for granted.
The hustle and bustle of the morning, as we all get ready for work. The rush to do the school run on time. The stress of finding a car parking space outside the school. The peak hour traffic, as we battle our way in to work. The ‘good mornings’ to an office full of colleagues. The discussion around what we watched last night. The gathering in the canteen or at the tea/coffee station before everyone begins their working day.
It’s all change. And it’s all strange. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a radio producer and Sukh is a News cameraman and video editor. We both work in live broadcast.
We’re still running. We have to run because we have an important job to do; informing our audiences and entertaining them too during this tough time. We’re considered key workers but our organisation is putting our health first. So we’re going with it day by day, week by week.
IMPACT ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Thankfully, Shalini is old enough to look after herself if both of us need to be at work. Shivam has been offered a place at school but we don’t know whether we really want to send him, given the social distancing guidelines. So we’re all working around it as best we can. As many of you are.
It’s a testing time for everyone. I certainly haven’t experienced anything like this in my lifetime. My friends and I keep saying it feels like a film. We’ve all had to change our plans for the next few months.
Family members have had to reschedule weddings. My parents are stuck in India right now, as flights have been pushed back. I had a lovely cottage break booked with my gal pals next week that we’ve had to delay.
I have friends who are dealing with holidays abroad being cancelled. One of my friends has had to close her restaurants. Another friend is struggling to cope with the impact on his travel agency. So many people up and down the country will feel the full force of this virus and everything that comes with it.
Do you find yourself second-guessing everything right now? Things you can and can’t do? It’s hard to believe I’m not able to take the kids to the cinema or for a meal at a restaurant on a Saturday night.
Kids need to burn off energy and I am coming up with a plan for Shalini and Shivam. I’ll share my ideas and how they’re working out in the next instalment of The Coronavirus Diaries.
Not being able to go to school is one thing. But all the extra-curricular activities and clubs being cancelled is another thing altogether. Shivam’s swimming lessons and cricket season and Shalini’s netball matches. All gone in the blink of an eye for the foreseeable.
CREATING A NEW NORMAL
Thankfully, Shalini can still have her guitar lessons via FaceTime and Shivam can continue his Wing-Chun sessions via an online app. We’ve got to count those silver linings where we can. We have to find creative and innovative ways of doing things and keeping life as regular as possible.
I have so much more to say and so many feelings to share but I will save that for my next post. Over the coming weeks, I’ll also share some ideas on things you can be doing during self-isolation and quarantine.
WE ARE NOT SUPERHEROES
This whole thing is a stark reminder that we’re only human, after all. We aren’t superheroes, as much as we would like to think of ourselves as an advanced race.
We haven’t been able to stop the fast spread of Covid-19. We haven’t been able to magically find a cure overnight. We haven’t been able to just click our fingers and make it all go away. We’re not invincible.
So please listen and adhere to the advice being given. Please be kind to those around you and see what you can do to help others less fortunate in this difficult time.
I’d like to end this post by saying a huge thank you to all of those on the frontline at the moment – NHS staff, pharmacy workers, delivery drivers, supermarket and shop staff, teachers who are keeping schools open for the children of key workers.
We often think of bankers, businessman and celebrities as being the most powerful people in the world. Yet today, it is those who are paid the lowest who are keeping this country going.
I would also like to say thank you to broadcasters and journalists, who are working around the clock to keep you informed and educated. Without the news, we are just spreading fear on social media. Please remind yourselves not to fall prey to the anger and hate. Listen to the facts. Share the truth. Be kind to one another.
WHILE I’VE GOT YOU HERE…
If you’re at a loose end, why not check out some of my vlogs from Orlando or my first Coachella experience. It’s hard to believe none of that is possible right now, with events all over the world having been cancelled and non-essential travel not being an option.
It’s hard to believe our freedom has been curtailed in this way. Hopefully it will make us a little more grateful for the luxuries we have been given when we come out the other end.
I’ll be back soon with my next post in The Coronavirus Diaries.
I’m just posting a family picture here of a happier time to lift my spirits and keep me hopeful that there are plenty more memories like this to be made in future.