Two Necklace of Stars writers share their thoughts on the pandemic.
The Good, the Bad and Covid
Strangers crossing the road to avoid passing me by. Social etiquette changed, no shaking hands or hugging and no standing next to someone you do not know. Throughout the world our perceptions have changed. The old normal is no longer relevant and new normal is here. It is one year now since the world has lived with Covid.
While I watch the news, questions arise in my head. Why were the Government slow to act? Why too late in their actions ordering PPE? Why no border controls for 12 months? Why did they not follow medical evidence in February? Why no strategy, or half-baked at best? Why no explicit target on how to drive the virus out? No explanation on the failure in Track and Trace and the lack of disclosure or suppression of data. Scientists not challenging Government proposals when evidence suggests action needs taking immediately. U-turns in policies and non-action causes me to think the mistakes made amount to a state failure of mismanagement. My exasperation grows and a deep mistrust surfaces within me.
But the Vaccine roll-out is a success. The lockdowns caused by Covid gave me time to hope, to dream, to create and have time to act on my thoughts. It gave me the space to finish tasks that needed completing, to breath fresh air and connect with nature. I can pursue my hobbies cherish my family and friends. I learnt of the caring and kindness of neighbours. It allowed my imagination to wander to put my thoughts to paper and most all realise through the difficulties of 2020 — the human spirit is alive and well.
And now Lynn Ezea, and the summers ahead:
How have things changed? Trust has changed, because more is hanging on it. Some people can be trusted more than others. Some family members will stay safe within their bubble, some won’t — or can’t. For some people, the NHS is heroic, for others who couldn’t attend the death of relatives, they’ve lost trust in it. And what about trust in politicians? The politicians waited last year, trying to leave the difficult decisions ’til this year. A bigger lockdown could’ve happened a year ago. We have a Prime Minister who takes his time, but time is life. So many people have died in the hospitals. I’d be surprised if Covid has gone this year, what with the variants and the politicians.
My advice is to fill your mind with other things. Reading, writing, radio, TV. Go out if you can. People are dreaming of holidays, but that can’t be right now. The only thing you can possibly say is — it won’t last forever. Have hope – and look forward to the summers ahead…
A Necklace of Stars, working with older people in Derbyshire, is supported by Arts Council England, Arts Derbyshire, DCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service. This project is particularly aimed at countering isolation; during the pandemic we’ve been working using distance methods – post and phone conversations. Alongside writing and embroidery themed around childhood lullabies, we invite written responses to the pandemic, so that people can share their experiences as an antidote to lockdown loneliness. The photos are by volunteer Sue Dean.