Shopping trips now are gloved, masked affairs where avoiding other shoppers a major priority. It’s bizarre and surreal. And yet food needs to be bought, these trips have to be made.
No more is there a 45 minute-1 hour commute to work. My desk is at the end of my bed and there’s no need to wake up at 5:15 am. No need, but I still try to get up at six because a routine is important damn it. Meetings are held over Microsoft Teams and instead of the radio, my own music plays.
Every day we are told the amount of people who have died – what caused alarm when we heard Italy’s, Spain’s and France’s death tolls, now seems part of the every day.
(Seven hundred today, I would call across the hall to my dad.)
(These are people – PEOPLE! With lives, and families and loved ones and hopes and dreams – all snuffed out and gone, leaving unfillable holes behind. A damn tragedy that can’t be communicated by numbers.)
(It seems that the Sword of Damocles hangs over everyone’s heads.)
It feels as though we are in a tonally off novel – I and my family are spending so much time together, enjoying nights around the fire in the garden, playing on the x-box, sharing meals, staring at the stars – and yet the world outside is one in which the illusion of immortally is thinner than ever and death seems even more present.
Reality intrudes in the form of crossing the road to avoid other pedestrians, a firm two metres between those queuing, the news online, tales from colleagues and friends on the front line, and delivery men who no longer wait for signatures but deposit their parcels on the doorstep.
And then the door closes, hands are washed and we are quiet again.
Keep going, friends – one foot in front of the other! Be kind – to yourself and others. Take comfort in beauty where you can find – a soft breeze, a blackbird’s song, a good conversation with a friend over Zoom or Messenger, or diving into a really good book.
I’ve found myself reading more than ever: Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Peters, and C.S Lewis are keeping me company these days. I will keep blogging, I’m sure, but I often pull up a draft and stare at the blank whiteness of it and think but why?
And that’s okay. I’ll post again, soon – rambles about books and things I find interesting and all that sort of thing – but for now, this will do.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.psalm 46 v 1-3