When lockdown began back in March, from a personal point of view, being at home all day—but being allowed to go out for a walk—wasn’t dramatically different to our normal daily routine.
Of course, not being able to see our children and grandchildren regularly, as we have always done, was a big blow—and the end to the freedom, which allowed us to come and go as we pleased, was quite an imposition.
However, seeing the huge numbers of people, all over the world, losing their lives everyday to Covid-19, made me realise that we were all doing the right thing to take the advice from government and scientists to try and stop a major outbreak here in the UK. And that the sacrifices we were being asked to make were almost irrelevant.
And so now, into the ninth week of lockdown, I am struggling to understand why I feel the way I do. I can’t wait to go to sleep at night and have no desire to rush out of bed in the morning. I always have things to do, but struggle to find the enthusiasm. I look forward to a cup of coffee, make the main meal of the day, and clean the house as is needed. But collectively it feels like a function rather than I’m actually doing it.
I absolutely know that I have nothing to complain about. We are protected—I’ve been able to get a ‘Click & Collect’ slot at one of the supermarkets most weeks—and we’re certainly not short of anything.
I am a ‘people person’ and miss human contact a lot. And even though we have the technology to link up with family and friends 24-7, it doesn’t take away the emptiness of not being physically close to other human beings.
I don’t want to catch Covid-19 and I don’t want to die. But I’m not afraid of dying. I had a ‘near-death-experience’ many years ago, and the feeling of peace I felt then is something I haven’t found since in life. I want to live as long as I can to enjoy life with family and friends for many more years.
I’ve been feeling selfish because of how I feel, until this morning that is.
Today I have realised that, although we’ve been compliant with government rules and listening to the scientists, I have grave doubts that we are actually doing the right thing.
Each day that passes the government is showing that it seems to have lost the plot. There has been no-one who’s stood up and taken control, spoken with authority and, even if unsure what they’re doing, at least try to make us believe that they do.
Where is Boris (Johnson)? He should be at every press conference, everyday, leading proceedings and giving us assurances that what needs to be done is being done.
I believe, however, the reality is very different.
I have no faith in any of the ministers who take part in the daily press briefings, while the scientists they wheel out to try and convince us that they know what they are talking about are, in my opinion, a joke. They may be very clever in their specialist field, but they are not good communicators.
I have listened, though, to many virologists and professors of epidemiology and I do feel somewhat reassured by their knowledge and understanding of viruses and how they behave. And I have great respect for those who are working tirelessly to find a vaccine, and feel confident they will.
The situation we are in today should never have happened, and responsibility for the spread of the virus has to lay wholly at China’s feet, where it all started.
Foreign travel should have been halted at the beginning of the year, as soon as the virus began to spread in Wuhan. Scientists haven’t been slow in coming forward to say that a pandemic of epic proportions was imminent, so why did it take so long for borders around the world to be shutdown? The UK seemingly being one of the last.
And just how many people came into the UK from overseas between January and March?
The UK has been on the back foot right from the beginning, and it’s clear to me that a military-style shutdown at the beginning of the year could have greatly reduced both the terrible death toll and the economic impact which is going to be felt for many years to come.
I would also lay a great deal of blame at the feet of the media in this country.
It has become impossible to know whether anything you hear or read about is genuine or ‘fake news’.
Just to get a story they have intruded into the lives of families who have lost loved ones, at what is a devastating time, making for very uncomfortable viewing.
And then there’s dear old Captain Tom, who was just trying to do something for a good cause and now has been turned into a celebrity. His achievement in raising millions for the NHS as he turned 100 was remarkable, but did it really warrant a military fly-past and a knighthood?
And now we hear that Boris is asking people to nominate a key worker who they feel should be recognised in the Honours List for what they have done.
In my view this is just about as bad as it gets. If one should be recognised, shouldn’t they all?
Every single one of those employees, whether it be the NHS, care workers, emergency services, supermarket staff, delivery drivers, factory workers and many more who have kept this country going, should be recognised for their dedication and for putting their lives on the line—some sadly paying the ultimate price.
As nice as a medal might be, for God’s sake pay them a salary which reflects their worth for the job they do.
I’ve heard people saying that when we come through lockdown and Covid-19 is under control, the world will be a better place; people will be kinder and more considerate to each other.
Right now I have my doubts, but I really hope I’m wrong.
’Til next time,