a trying start to 2020

each time i head outside for a walk with my family (whilst we are still allowed outside for exercise – please don’t ruin it for us, the ones that have no access to outside spaces or the luxury of a garden) i am overcome with sadness. last week was my first trip into a shop in a while as we had been isolating with symptoms. all recovered and feeling better i went to get some a few bits of food and saw all the seperation markings on the floor both outside and inside the shop to maintain people stay two metres a part.

it is incredibly surreal having to dodge the few people allowed inside a supermarket at one time. i witnessed people being told to seperate if they were suspected of shopping together flouting the one adult per household rule. i have seen the signs on shop doors saying closed until further notice and it widens it up with just how many people are being affected by this.

i have friends and family members being advised to stay home and in isolation for 12 weeks who i can still connect with online and through video calling. friends who can thankfully work at home and those that have been laid off or furloughed from their job. on my walks i have seen people maintaining distancing but also giving a smile and a hello as they walk their dog.

i have heard stories on how this is hard and how i should be grateful for what i have because i’m one of the lucky ones. that’s true, i am. i am fortunate enough to be with my partner and kids in a social housing home without the threat of being evicted and the safety net of some student finance at the start of may to help us pay our rent and bills until the furlough scheme comes in. i should be able to claim some money from the taxable self employed grant in june. we’re not keyworkers so we don’t have to work right now.

there are of course others that are much better off than us. those that are working from home on full pay, those with a garden and access to outside spaces on their property. those that have savings to cover their bills for the time being. anyone that has a delivery saver spot and can get a weekly online shop. those without kids that are working from home but don’t have to also figure out how to homeschool and explain over and over why they can’t see family or friends or touch people or run or climb or do anything that could involve a trip to a & e because we can’t put pressure on the stretched nhs like that. those that have the privledge and virtue signalling to tell us ‘it could be worse’.

of course i know that it could be worse but it doesn’t mean it’s not hard. it’s all relative isn’t it? someone else’s hard doesn’t invalidate how hard it is for me and my family. i of course feel sorry for people that fall through the gaps and have much more restriction than i do, of course i do. i am overwhelmed with sadness reading how many people have died due to this disease today. i am angered by the amount of conspiracy theories going around. i am frustrated at the lack of work available right now. i am feeling just about everything too.

these are trying times for us all, times we didn’t expect to have to deal with in 2020. a part of history we don’t want to be part of but will be. a time when we are likely to lose loved ones or see the grief of others. regardless of what happens we are going to feel the effects of this for a long, long time.

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