COVID-19: Part 3 – the nation proudly comes together

15 April 2020

Fourth week of lockdown. On the whole, life is so much simpler, especially while we are blessed with beautiful weather and we actually have the time to enjoy Spring evolving before our eyes.

On reflection, life just seemed ridiculously busy before COVID-19 and it’s hard to imagine going back to that way of life.

Yet it will have to happen to save the economy, so many businesses are suffering and thousands of jobs have been lost, thousands more people are trying to manage getting by until life returns to some kind of normal.

19 April 2020

Today the UK death toll has topped 16,000, a horrific figure, and it’s fairly certain that it will reach 20,000 unless some kind of miracle occurs.

There are still many distressing reports of seemingly fit and young people dying of this virus and it’s a terrifying prospect that some people seem to be having symptoms much more seriously than others. T

here is virtually nowhere in the world that is untouched – how alarming the speed at which this pandemic has swept the planet.

But there are also some amazing, heart-warming stories too. A 99 year old war veteran decided to walk 100 times around his garden with the aim of raising £1,000 for the NHS.

When the media got hold of it and it went viral, in the space of just a few days the nation raised £25 million! It certainly restores my faith in human nature, that’s for sure.

26 April 2020

Generally, most people are keeping to lockdown guidelines and there’s an understandable feeling that maybe soon it will be relaxed.

It does seem that the world is at polar opposites right now with the lucky ones having a relatively easy time, having the opportunity to do things they previously didn’t have time for, or simply just enjoying not having to do something 24/7 because free time was so precious.

Meanwhile, the other half of the world is struggling to survive and keep the rest of us safe. Key workers must be facing the most horrific situations on a daily basis, and some are sadly losing the battle against this coronavirus. For so many people it must seem never-ending.

This week the BBC held ‘The Big Night In’ to raise money for worthy causes which are struggling to keep going. An amazing £27.4 million was raised, with the government promising to double that figure.

I was very happy to donate and sincerely hope that it will help some of these valuable charities whose fundraising has all but dried up. As one of the films highlighted, diseases such as cancer are still here, and will be when COVID-19 goes away.

There is a strong feeling that the UK press has wrongly gauged the mood of the country. Most of us don’t want blame or arguments between the political parties, we just want a contribution to the national effort to get us through this situation.

We want hope, optimism and faith, and shame on the journalists who haven’t picked up on that.

5 May 2020

I’m not sure if any of us thought that lockdown would last into its 7th week, or what it would be like.

Last week was difficult for me and other people I spoke to. People are tiring of being at home and desperate for positive news about relaxing the lockdown.

This Friday is a Bank Holiday to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.

Sadly there won’t be any big parties taking place and it’s very likely that lockdown will not be relaxed until after the event in case people use it as a reason to get together. Looking back to 1918 when World War 1 ended, people took to the streets and the result was a horrific wave of the Spanish flu that killed vast numbers. That can’t happen again.

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9 May 2020

Yesterday’s VE Day celebrations were a fitting occasion for the nation to come together, virtually or with social distancing, to show unity in the face of adversity.

The country did sterling work in showing Britain at its very best by decorating their houses and raising a glass to say thank you to those who gave so much, and for those who are currently giving so much on the frontline.

It was a wonderful opportunity to remember how brave the generation was who took up arms to allow us the freedom we now have, or will have again in the not too distant future.

Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will announce the plans to begin the relaxation of the lockdown, people are awaiting the news with mixed feelings.

Many have relished this quiet, reflective time and lots will not be wanting to rush back to their workplace. Others are finding it harder, especially if their home situation is difficult or they have no outside space to escape to.

One thing is for sure, 2020 is likely to be a year like never before. It will undoubtedly dictate how life will be in the years to come, hopefully for the better with less pollution, fewer cars, less stress, nature being allowed to flourish and technology showing us how much can be achieved remotely. We must learn some valuable lessons from this situation.

But it’s still hard to envisage what the next few months will look like.

Will the children go back to school before the summer? When will we be able to eat in a restaurant again or visit a pub? Will the high streets be damaged beyond repair because of the economic slump?

When will we get to dip our toes in the sea again? Will it be a lockdown Christmas? We simply don’t know, and only time will tell.