Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Brave New World

It seems incredible to think how quickly everything has changed. A few weeks ago I was out in Spain having the most amazing writing retreat. Now - well, I worry for the lovely people who run the Finca. They must be so concerned.

Every time I turn on the radio, TV or look on social media, there is almost nothing but news of CV19 which I find makes me very anxious. I’ve got that horrible swirling in my stomach and I find it difficult to eat. I'm exhausted by it all and very fearful, like most of us, particularly those of us who live on our own.

We all have our different ways of coping. I’m not in denial, but I listen to the news headlines to see what might affect me, and those of my nearest and dearest, and then I turn it off. To listen or watch endless statistics make me so fearful and that isn’t good for me or anyone else. I fully respect others react differently, but I don’t think it’s healthy just to focus on this virus for 24 hours a day.

We have lives that we have to live and for the moment that is the challenge - to figure out how to cope with self isolation and panic buying. How we can support each other, and keep fit at the same time.

In amongst the tales of bare supermarket shelves and widespread panic, rising statistics and the economy flatlining, are wonderful stories of how people are helping each other. People playing ping pong out of balcony windows in Italy, singing out into the darkness. Pubs and cafes offering takeaways.

Pip’s old local, the Seven Stars in Falmouth, is offering to deliver beer and prescriptions to those who are self isolating. My vet will post medication and say if you’d rather wait in your car until your appointment is ready, they will ring you. Endless shops in Falmouth are offering deliveries (not then supermarkets). Becky Wass has been delivering postcards around the town so that people who are on their own can give their details and post it through a neighbour's door if they need help or just contact.

I'm getting together a group of friends so we can keep in touch, share shopping, dog walking, visit those we can, and enjoy walks or other ways of keeping fit.

Being a writer I'm fortunate in that I'm used to working in isolation. I will really miss going out of the house to meet friends for drinks or coffee, though we can still walk and need to for our dogs. It all feels very surreal, and we have to get used for that for a while.

The most important thing, and this is very closely with the Connecting Lives organisation I am involved with - do look up their website - is helping those who are depressed and isolated. That may be you or me, our neighbours or anyone.

We all need to remember, or think of how there are so many little ways in which we can help each other keep strong, keep sane and keep safe.

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