Oh… my… gosh……… where do I even start?!? 😱💩👻
It’s a bit late in the day to enquire about your Christmases or even wish you a belated Happy/Happier/Happy-ish New Year (delete as necessary). But I hope you’re doing okay out there – I genuinely mean that. Because the last 10 months have been, quite frankly, horrendous. And while the pandemic has affected us all, it’s affected us all differently.
For some, it’s been a time of great opportunity. Back when the supermarkets sold out of sanitiser, for instance, my local corner shop started flogging theirs at £15 a pop; they must have made an absolute fortune! And my sibling, aka Bald Font, became an accidental social media sensation – 31.5k TikTok followers and counting! (She’s sitting next to me right now, reading about her success. “Boredom works in mysterious ways… or is it the Devil makes work for idle hands?” she mused. Lol!).
For many, it’s been a massive inconvenience (logistically and emotionally speaking. Which may sound like small fry under the current circumstances, but don’t underestimate the impact a little disruption can cause – I know my own mental health was shot to sh*t). And for others, it’s literally been the end of the world (how many people out there have lost loved ones and livelihoods since this waking nightmare began?).
So far, touch wood, I haven’t had the virus (as far as I’m aware). The few members of my family who have done avoided hospitalisation and made full recoveries. I’ve managed to keep my job and the roof over my head during this difficult time. And I will be forever grateful for these blessings.
It’s hard to believe that just a few short months ago, words like ‘coronavirus’, ‘social distancing’ and ‘Zoom’ didn’t even exist in the average Joe’s vocabulary, and face masks were mainly sported by surgeons and Asian tourists. But we’re all fluent in lockdown lingo and pandemic protocol now. In fact, the old life already seems like a dim and distant and distinctly unhygienic memory. Behold – a new BC (before
Christ Covid) is born.
There we were, frolicking about outside, roaming free range on high streets across the land… Cramming ourselves into tube trains and bars and restaurants and shops and cinemas and aeroplanes… hugging each other and licking our fingers and coughing and sneezing all over the place without a care in the world – or a clue about what was just around the corner.
On March the 23rd 2020, Covid-19 officially hit the fan when Boris Johnson ominously appeared on our screens and told us all to “stay at home”. I scooped everything on my office desk into my handbag (including the plants) and left the building. Lockdown came into full and virtually immediate effect. And it’s kinda felt like Groundhog Day ever since.
Now in 2019, there was already stuff happening in the background of my life which meant that I was struggling to find the headspace to just sit and write fun stuff. Or any stuff, for that matter. And once the virus reached the UK during its whistle-stop world tour the following year… well, inevitably, this precious pastime became one of the first things to fall by the wayside – there was just waaaaayy too much other stuff crowding my mind by then.
Because in addition to serving up a global pandemic, 2020 also casually threw in raging forest fires, biblical floods, plagues of locusts, murder hornets, racist killer cops, social uprisings, Kanye for president, Brexit, Megxit, my 40th (😱) and very nearly World War 3, among other delights. It truly was the (unwanted) gift that kept on giving.
So yeah – now that the dust has kind of settled on our ‘new normal’, it feels good to be in a place where I can start getting back to doing the things I loved doing BC again. I’ve missed these chats. 🤗
And slowly, slowly, things are changing. Yesterday, my mum received her first Covid jab (the Pfizer one – the second dose should be administered within the next six to 12 weeks, once the powers that be stop squabbling over the exact period). And while it’s a relief to know that this will afford her at least partial protection from the virus, I don’t think we should be dusting off the Champers just yet.
We see the word ‘vaccine’ and read ‘cure’. But to my understanding, the jab doesn’t actually give you 100% immunity; it merely mitigates Covid’s most harmful effects. There’s still a chance that you could go on to catch or spread the virus even after you’ve been vaccinated – which means that the days of endless lockdowns, obsessive handwashing, two-metre gaps and human bubbles are far from over.
So, my dear friends – let’s continue to be patient, kind and forgiving towards each other (and especially ourselves). Touch base with an old friend, call your mum, lend a helping hand or a friendly ear. Stay sane, stay safe, STAY AT HOME (are you listening, Hackney 👀 ?!?)
We’ll get there. Eventually.