Friday 22 May 2020

Things I have learned

Things I have learned so far during the coronavirus crisis.

I guess the first thing I learned was the apparent value of toilet rolls and butter in the economic life of the UK. I assume the butter shortage was due to so many people experimenting with baking during lockdown.  Most other panic buying at least had a logical base but I'm still not sure why everyone rushed out for toilet rolls.

One of my former colleagues (SS) is as kind and caring and helpful as ever.  As soon as we were locked down she was offerring to help in any way she could. 

On second thoughts I've always known she was a star so I haven't learned that as a result of the 2020 crisis. Similarly, I have extolled the virtues of the NHS and its people for many decades so that also is not newly learned. 

Meanwhile a local photographer I have only met on Instagram @jamiedoesphotos also offered to drop off anything we needed and showed that strangers can also be so kind and caring at times of crisis. 

If you are as introverted and have reduced mobility as I have, being locked down has been easier to cope with than it has been for many people. .  

Indeed, seeing more of Jo has been a real positive of the lockdown situation even though she has been working in the office most days.  I'm not looking forward to her resuming a seven day week. 

I am very fortunate to have a garden no matter how neglected. 

And no matter how ineffectual and questionable some of the UK government's actions may have been (and I say 'may' advisedly) at least we don't have a complete nutter as our leader.  (Sorry about the politically incorrect term.  I do take mental health seriously. But how else can one adequately describe a man who suggests bleach enemas. Don't try this at home.) Rambling Boris almost seems sane by comparison.  And, what is more, I've learned Donald Trump can get even more idiotic as time goes on.  He views their 1.56 million cases as "a badge of honour" and a week after saying testing was "overrated" he was boasting about testing 14 million!  After all if they had only tested a million then they wouldn't have so many cases....  

I have discovered my To Be Read shelves of books are nowhere near as long-lasting as I had imagined they would be.  But strangely despite reading about 6 books a week the number of books on those shelves has not diminished. Thank Heaven Amazon, AbeBooks and courier services kept going.  But I have really missed browsing in charity shops and finding authors by serendipity. 

The other thing I've really missed is my twice weekly coffees in my favourite café.

Skype calls and WhatsApp have helped enormously in keeping me in touch with my daughters.

A hamper from one daughter was turned into super meals by my son who also decorated the kitchen and bathroom while locked down with us.

Ànd I learned just how important my penpals and postcard swappers are to my life. Without Royal Mail and the postal services of Belarus, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain,  USA, etc. my life would be much less exciting.  I await the mail dropping on my mat with great excitement every day and the fact that Saturday has joined Sunday as a day of no deliveries has been quite a blow.  

Snailmail has kept me in touch with my brother and e-mails with friend-uber-special. Instagram and Facebook not only allowed me to share what I'm doing with old friends but also re-united me with a friend from my college days. 

However, when a friend's partner's mother died from the virus it reminded us that no matter how many positives one can find the negative has been, for many people, the ultimate one.  And that without a properly attended funeral. So sad. 

I wonder what you have learned.

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