I find that some days during lockdown are good, some even wonderful. To be at home, in the garden, enjoying the sunshine, with my family, is about as good as it gets. Work has been busy and stimulating and I have learnt a great deal. There are certainly silver linings to this dark cloud.
Then there are other days when the enormity of what we are living through hits me. When I wonder if we can ever get back to normal, whether we’ll ever be able to hug, or even stand close to people again. When I’m fed up of queuing for the supermarket or not being able to pop out for something I need or to have coffee with a friend.
Sometimes it’s just the little things that bother me – like not being able to send a birthday card to a friend abroad because really, it’s not an essential trip. Or not being able to get through to a company on the phone because they’re all furloughed or working from home. And other times it’s the big things, like the grief and loss I see around me or the knowledge that the poverty which results from our economic shutdown will kill as many people as the virus did.
And in those times I wonder how I will make it through until there is a time when things are better. And at those moments this brings me comfort:
And then after that I feel that at least I can keep going even if it feels hard right now.
And then I think about those people who are suffering, and about all those who have reached out to help them. I have never seen a bigger outpouring of love and support than has happened in the last few months. The overwhelming number of people who signed up to be volunteers. The gifts to the NHS, the painted signs on the road thanking key workers. The notes dropped through neighbours doors and the way people greet each other in the street. The staff and volunteers keeping families in touch with their loved ones in hospital and being available to share their pain.
We are still very much ‘in’ this. We’re not yet through it, but even ‘in’ it there is wonder to be seen. Alongside the pain and the immense challenges people are facing, are some moments of real light and real hope. That’s what will keep us going.
Every day is a step closer to being through this. So when it feels like you’re drowning. Just breathe and hold on.