We are still experiencing a time of fear, sadness, worry and frustration.

While the threat of oneself or a loved one being struck down by the virus amongst us lurks as a constant shadow, (well for most of us,) the constrictions on our lives are frustrating and sometimes frightening. 

Occasionally we get angry and outraged at the ignorance, flagrant disregard, and downright cheating of those breaking the code of conduct for the pandemic or breaking the law and putting all of us at risk.

But equally, this testing time is illuminating some interesting and rewarding aspects of life.

The juggle and struggle of enforced lockdown, working from home, adjusting to life en famille, financial hardship, or, for some, an unexpected government bonus, re-arranging one’s lifestyle, professional and domestic routines, are proving to be disruptive and difficult for many, and on the other hand, a surprising bonus.

Hard On Kids

Children probably suffer the most, and while online schooling can be hard on everyone, the time spent together as a family is rewarding and revelatory. 

We’ve come to appreciate the gift of nature. The fresh air, the peace of trees and greenery, the tranquillity of quietness and solitude. We’re discovering the pleasure of planting and reaping vegetables, the delight in chickens and fresh eggs, of sharing  and swapping homemade meals and garden bounty with neighbours. 

We’ve connected with neighbours despite social distancing, to check on their welfare, we Zoom to dance and play and sing and catch-up with family and friends.   

We find we can function professionally from home thanks to technology. The sound of a background dog barking during a radio interview, a child bursting into the background of a TV chat, perusing the bookshelves behind a TV subject’s shoulders, all link us in a like minded world. 

Home is an invaded space, however. Sharing the kitchen-come family room-come office-come child play place, can be problematic. 

The contemporary Open Plan home is suddenly crowded. We yearn for our grandparent’s home of little rooms with doors that gave us privacy and personal space.

We find we’re wearing  casual and comfortable clothes, and bothering less with make-up and haircuts. We read a book. We sit in the sun with a cuppa. We play games and do puzzles. We plan meals and look forward to cooking.

Indeed cooking has become the new to-do, with efforts posted on Instagram.  And meals are now eaten together, chores shared. 

Changes In Our World

We are aware of changes in our world and around the world; new birds in the garden not seen before, less noise, quieter streets, clean oceans, cities with clear skies. 

We begin to re-think priorities; To maybe work from home part of the time, to treasure family time, and safe visits with friends and rellies, to look out for  neighbours and for those alone or struggling in our community. We gently prise kids off screen time and into the fresh air – a welcome break from online schooling for parents too. We appreciate our friends more. 

 But the shadow of lives lost, illness lingering, the fear factor from a simple trip to the shops, hovers.

We struggle to curb anger and outrage at heedless ignorance and non compliance with Covid rules.  More than ever before we are responsible for others by ignoring the rules that keep us safe. Safe from the unknown, safe from each other.

Until we can hug, take care.  AND PLEASE, wear a mask!  

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