Would you ever have believed, two or three weeks ago, that we would be in the situation we are in today? I, for one, would never have guessed.
Would I ever have thought it possible that schools would close down, church services stopped, panic-buying would seize the island and the whole country would be in a partial lockdown?
The uncertainty of it all confuses us. The fact that we know a peak is coming but we can not fully prepare for it, scares us. Humans handle certainty much better than facing novel situations with an uncertain ending. We are now talking of weeks and months in this situation. Everyone is telling us to accept this way of living as the new ‘now’. It may sound scary letting go of all we knew and took for granted up till a couple of days ago. But it does not necessarily have to be so.
I open up social media as little as I can, and when I do I skip over the sensationalist articles. I update myself with the new figures and new directives, and move along. I do not linger on news articles, comments by readers or unfounded sources. They upset me and make my anxiety levels rise up.
The upside of such a terrible situation, is the way the human race has come out to support each other. It makes me smile when I open up Facebook and find it full of parents helping other parents with new games, new worksheets, book-reading, ideas to keep the children entertained. I find it so heartening and kind the way we all reach out to each other in such times. Strangers helping other strangers out. Authors releasing their books in an audio format free of charge, programme developers allowing everyone to access their programmes free of charge. This morning the girls followed a ballet lesson being shown live all the way from England! Teachers are being so supportive and helpful. Homework is being received, sent back and corrected. The girls’ PE teacher has even sent them their weekly workout, accompanied by the sweetest letter which made me tear up.
During this time of confusion and panic, I am trying to focus on the upside of it all. Because even though I miss my routine terribly, I find myself playing game after game of Monopoly with the girls, and Anthony has finally gotten round to finishing odd jobs round the house. We are cooking together, baking and eating together now – we are coming together as a family in ways we did not have the time for before.
How sad that it took a pandemic for us to start doing this.
I can not plan anything but the day I’m living in right at this moment. So that is all I’m focusing on. I try not to allow my mind to think about the weeks which are coming. Every morning I mentally write down a list of things I need to do. And every evening after our prayers, I remind the girls of how lucky we are. Even in this time when all seems gloomy, we have to be thankful for what we have. We have a terrific health system who is preparing for the tough fight ahead. Our police force who are helping us stay safe. The educators who never stop educating, the workers who can not choose to stay indoors because they have to keep going.
I can’t but say a simple thank-you. There will come a day when the sun will shine again and we will go out and enjoy it. I just hope that this situation will change us as humans, make us more appreciative of what we took for granted, and render us kinder and more sympathetic as a nation.
So yes, COVID-19 will change us. Our past won’t necessarily be our future. But change is often for the better and that’s what I choose to believe.