The Corona Road Ahead

By now you’ll know how much I love images. Well, this image from Pixabay has been waiting in my media gallery for an appropriate time, and finally I have a use for it because the road ahead for us into the future, living with Covid 19 hanging around for probably years to come, is going to be a clouded and misty one with hidden hazards along the way.

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling very deprived of face to face social contact with my favourite people, as I expect are many of us have been. I felt fed up, and this led to creative disillusionment, which I suspect is a common pattern for creatives. Skype and other media devices can’t replace hugs and looking closely into the face of a loved one or a friend with care, understanding, and interest. Ironically enough, in the meantime, I’ve been trying to figure out what I can personally learn from this great retreat, with regard to my own habits and drives, and the one thing that kept coming up for me was badly missing my social outlets, my having long chats with good friends, along with people watching. So I’ve realised this is my particular Covid learning outcome  – to do without face to face contact, whilst seeing that these relationships are still strong nevertheless. The introvert in me has had plenty to draw upon during the lockdown if I can keep my disillisionment at bay, but the extrovert me wants to decide what to wear and drive to a coffee shop to meet a friend. Sounds trivial I know, but this is an entrenched habit of mine. But now that I am in acceptance mode, I do feel a lot lighter.

Over to the current Covid climate here in the UK. With Scotland (where I am), Wales, and Northern Ireland still in lockdown, England has loosened a few reins of restriction despite the still appallingly high numbers of Covid casualties – at over 34,ooo. The very next day after this lifting of restrictions, after a garbled and horribly unclear delivery from Boris on the way forward, people in London piled onto the Tube with no masks and no social distancing, and cars hit the highway only to end up in long queues into and out of London. The UK has done a bad job, along with the US. Why this is, I’m not sure, but I suspect there has been a degree of arrogance in thinking such devastation couldn’t or wouldn’t reach our shores, together with a misguided assumption that we didn’t need to heed what was happening in other countries or follow the world health organisation’s advice soon enough, as the virus ‘flew’ across continents from east to west at great speed, spinning and rotating with its protein barbs ready to attack. Right now, the NHS is having a reprieve from ‘the beast’ while the numbers of Covid cases in care homes are escalating. And we are spiralling into economic depression. And there is still no mass testing going on, no antibody tests for all yet, and still not enough personal protective equipment for the carers who need it. So there is no end in sight here, which brings me to the road ahead:

I cannot envisage a return to any kind of normal. I cannot envisage restaurants, hotels, shops and pubs operating the way they used to without causing wave upon wave of Covid cases, regardless of putting up dubiously effective ‘protective screens’. I can’t envisage schools opening, yet that is England’s plan for the beginning of June for the little ones, with the teachers swabbing down the desks during the day, over and over, as well as all the play and teaching tools, and children expected to stay 2 metres apart in the class room and in the playground. I can’t envisage people going back to working in offices where the air doesn’t circulate and gets breathed in and out by all who share a room space, where touching anything, even with gloves on, will feel risky and dangerous. With an easing of lockdown, the stress levels with surely be high, at least amongst those who take the virus seriously (and it has to be said, there are many who don’t take it seriously). The divorce rates will be high, after couples have been  forced to confront each other’s differences over the last 8 weeks, and of course domestic abuse cases have risen too. And I really can’t envisage anyone wanting to go on holiday abroad, despite the airlines asserting where there’s a will, they will find a way. Or maybe people will fancy inland? But if they venture there, they will find no shops to browse in, no hotels to stay in, no public toilets to use. And they might well be told to ‘Clear off, we don’t want you here!’

So I can see no normal ahead. Just a different way of life, which might, if we’re very lucky, and with some social and environmentalist pressure, instead of power-driven, money making pressure, be kinder to our natural world. But for us humans, even if a vaccine is created, it will be a life with the virus in the background all the time, and we have to live with this knowledge as best we can. And on a creative note, with the virus being in our midst for let’s say the next three years, do we ignore its effect upon our lives as we write our novels, our stories, produce our new dramas and films (using clever compression tools to make it look like people are closely facing one another) , or is its significance in our new reality simply too great to be ignored?

Meanwhile, I’m grateful that everyone I know is well and that we have nature to sustain us, at a time of year when buds burst open and seeds take flight to find new nourishing soil, where the sheer wealth of nature is always on display when we take the time to look and enjoy. Living in the now has never been more important, as well as letting go of expectations and desires which might not now be fulfilled. Let’s be grateful for what we have right now.

As ever, a little creative share for you:

A pic of some face masks I made, his and hers, after seeing Ann sporting her mask on her artists blog here

And a crocheted panel being embellished, which will go into a frame I have with a cream mount behind it.

I’m currently deep into novel 3, where, so far, Covid hasn’t been mentioned – hence my wonderings above.

Do let me know how you are doing in your part of the world, and take care :>)

(Spikey virus ball for Petra ;>)

mixed media by Lynne

 

 

About lynnefisher

Writer and visual artist living in Scotland, INFJ type Writer's blog: lynnefisher.wordpress.com Art: lynnehenderson.co.uk Twitter @writeartblog Writers page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnefisherheadtoheadhearttoheart/ Artists page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnehendersonartist/
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21 Responses to The Corona Road Ahead

  1. terrepruitt says:

    Well, here it is over a month later . . . . your crocheted panel is gorgeous – I love it. Here in the area (county) where I live we are still under a “shelter-in-place” directive which basically states to stay home unless you have to go out. But some people feel they “have” to go out to shop and eat because at the beginning of the month restaurants in my area were allowed to open for outside dining and at some point this month stores were allowed to open for shopping. All business are supposed to follow strict protocol. I have several friends who have gone out and said, “It felt so nice to be waited on.” But they also say that not everyone is following the protocol. Even if business try to some people just don’t think they need to wear a mask or stand far away. I guess I am not so fond of being waited on that I need to go out. The area (County) in which I live is much stricter than the state in which I live so a lot of people from my county have traveled to other counties to get their desires met (haircuts, ocean visits, dining out, etc.). It is crazy.

    Since the state had loosened restrictions – from what someone told me – the numbers are going up by the THOUSANDS daily (for the last 3 days). So many people argue that the number of cases doesn’t matter it is the number of DEATHS . . . but . . .

    It is crazy. The world we knew in 2019 is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rick Ellrod says:

    Along with the notion that we can ignore the pandemic and it’ll somehow go away . . . I think we also need to avoid the contrary extreme, assuming things will always be as they are now. We had the flu pandemic in the U.S. around 1918; we had the Black Death in the Middle Ages; but eventually we ended up with handshaking and hugs and romances again. So I wouldn’t expect a return to the _status quo ante_ immediately, but I don’t think we have to be writing stories set three years from now in which people are still wearing masks either. (Though of course we _can_ do so, if it makes for a good story.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. galenpearl says:

    How interesting to read about people’s experiences and observations in different parts of the world. Alexander in the first comment certainly described the US well. I’m in the Pacific Northwest, so easy for me to get out in nature, like going to my cabin, and get away from it all. But really, when I read that people are being shot or injured over wearing masks, I just shake my head and think we have lost our minds. It makes me curious about how people behaved during the 1918 pandemic in different countries. Of course, what we see happening here in the US is just an expansion of what we were already seeing with the cultural/ political polarization manifesting here.

    Love that crochet piece! Gosh, how many talents do you have?! Is there anything creative that you can’t do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      We are so lucky to be close to nature, Galen, but it does make what’s going on elsewhere seem surreal. And this whole fake news/real news stuff makes it impossible to get your head around it. I stopped trying a week ago or so. This post is pretty much where I’m at with acceptance coming in for a ‘long haul’. I have not heard of people over the pond being shot or injured over wearing masks – that’s seriously disturbing and just plain crazy, and yes it is feeding on polarisations there. You couldn’t make it up! Emotions are running very high in places over there. Regarding the 1918 pandemic, it was Andy who first mentioned this to me, and I now wonder why it’s never really being covered in a documentary of some kind – it is the nearest parallel we have. They keep on and on using the same word ‘unprecedented’ over here for covid, no synonyms, just that word over and over, and yet it is not unprecedented.

      As for my many talents – I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time. It all started with drawing as a child, and then a battleaxe of a sewing teacher at school ‘teaching’ us how to use a sewing machine. Her name was Mrs Seed, so she seeded sewing in me! The embroidery came in later when I was working in the department store (in after black) and wanted some quiet time at home in the evenings. All of my art and craft stuff is driven by an ‘interior design’ passion, so i’m not a purist, and the writing came after my degree. So I suppose I just keep going with it all! Thanks for sharing, Galen, and I’m so glad you’re in a nature place :>)

      Like

  4. Well said, Lynn. People here in the U.S are clearly in denial and demanding to be set free etc. To what? Early death? I am astonished and embarrassed at the idiotic behavior, both in Washington and across the street.

    As for me, my work and writing continue as usual. I am blessed with regular income and something to keep me busy. My sons and their families are healthy and doing as well as can be expected. No one I know personally has come down with the virus as yet, and I sure hope it remains that way.

    As to ignoring the pandemic in our novels and stories, I wrote a post on this very subject last Wednesday! Each author will have to decide for themselves what to do, and much of that may well be driven by what our readers want. Complicated issue, but one we must face.

    I’m glad you’ve found some valuable lessons in the midst of this storm. Stay well! Hugs from across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Yes, Alexander, I’ve seen on the news what’s happening in parts of the US and it is crazy. This virus has proved it is not to be trifled with. Without social solidarity, it will keep raising it’s ugly head. Great to know all is good with you and yours. No one I know has come down with the virus either, which adds to the surreal nature of it. So you’ve written a post on the covid and writers dilemma? Great, I’ll be over to give it good read. There is still time in my current writing to bring it in! Hugs back to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. anne54 says:

    I agree, Lynne, that we will be living with the effects of this virus for a long time. Lockdown in Victoria, Australia, has eased slightly, but we have also seen spikes in a few clusters. I worry that people think it is all over, and social life can return to normal. I will be very cautious about going back to restaurants, shopping centres and cinemas. It will be interesting to see how these times play out in creative work. I have been intrigued to see how companies quickly pivoted to accept reality and created ads that carry a social message while still promoting their brand.
    I love the crochet panel; there is a whole landscape in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks, Ann. So England is at roughly the same stage as where you are, only we/they are yet to see the spikes as it can take a few weeks for them to show up. The biggest thing that strikes me is that social life can’t return to normal and we have to get our heads around this. Even if we put ourselves into a social group, a cinema, a shopping centre, it will be wearing masks and being on alert for a hidden enemy. That will take any enjoyment out of the equation until attitudes can change to fit the ‘new norm’. I too have noticed how fast the advertising world has ‘pivoted’ to adopt the virus in our midst. In fact I think it was also this that made me realise what we’re going to be up against for years. As for the crochet, you’re so right, there is a landscape in there – below the earth and up to the sky, my default design for my textile craft! Cheers, Ann :>)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A.P. says:

    I think you nailed it with the word “arrogance,” Lynne. Our leaders, so accustomed to thinking of us as “strong” nations, think we can prevail against this pandemic with the same manipulations and devices that served them in other arenas. And as to what outlook we as writers, more-or-less reclusive by preference to begin with, ought to hold toward the situation, you raise a good question. Do we pursue our work with abandon, as though the pandemic were not happening? That would seem unconscionable.

    Our own tools for dealing with adversity have not yet been tested in this new field of battle. So in a way we differ not widely from the politicians, whose tools will no doubt prove completely useless. I would say it’s one day at a time, and one moment at a time, at times. We need to all keep our eyes open, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Yes, Andy, you’ve expressed the approach of our two countries very well – and heavy consequences are being lived and will go on being lived for years to come because of the attitudes right from the start. As for whether we touch on it in our writing, I suppose it is a real dilemma. What about romance writers, how will they fare? Will the plot of any novel seem pointless with no paying its realist respects to Covid 19? I haven’t mentioned it yet in novel 3, but it keeps bugging me, that I should hint at it as a past or future event. But one things for sure, I’m not scrapping it or starting again with Covid as a leading character! Whole creative industries are surely going to be affected too. Fashion will seem pointless when big gatherings are out of the question. Film and drama will particularly be in the same position as writers, despite camera tricks. And people may want to see true to life drama with the virus very much present. OR will people simply be sick of it all and what the old normal reflected?

      Yes, our adversity tools have not been tested, and it’s only the beginning of a long road. One day at a time then, and any plans must remain fluid! Cheers, Andy :>)

      Like

  7. The colors in the crochet panel are so vivid and beautiful, as are the few sequins and other sparkly touches. I’m glad your creativity has not been hampered.
    I cannot see a way forward, to normal anyway, either. Every scenario sounds dreary. I think (just my opinion) we will be slogging through this for the long haul. Some will rush; some will break rules; some will stay somewhat isolated. Leadership is definitely a big problem here in the US, but I really like how my state’s (North Carolina) governor is handling coronavirus precautions and openings.
    I’m ok staying at home. I finally had shoulder surgery last week After a couple cancellations, so I’m relaxing in the garden, reading, and writing. Not too much different. Although I’m really starting to miss meeting a few good friends for coffee or lunch. I know it will all pass eventually, but so many are suffering right now.
    We also have the presidential election this fall that weighs heavily on my mind.
    Yes, we have nature. Yes, we have gratitude. And yes, we have many other tools to help us through this time.
    Good to hear from you, Lynne. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks for the corchet compliment, Cheryl. I had the panel ready months ago, so I’ve been able to go back to it during this time and I’m finding the embroidery really relaxing. It also makes me realise how long I’ve been doing this ‘creative stuff’ for! I’ve been wondering how you are getting along. ‘The long haul’ is what I almost called this post. I was affected by a writer I saw being interviewed about the virus in our lives. She must have been some kind of authority. Anyway, she said the best scenario would be that the virus will be in our lives in some form or another for at least the next three years. It was hearing this that settled me into an acceptance mode. It’s so good to hear that your governor is handling the situation well for your state – thank heaven for that! And I can understand how you would be worried about the presidential election. I didn’t realise it was getting so close on the calendar. It gets a lot of coverage over here, as does Donald.

      So you’re missing friends and lunches too – I’m with you there! But I got thinking even if things open up, how can it be the same as it used to be. How can it be even approaching relaxing? Well time will tell. About the masks, when I looked for patterns on line and youtube videos, mostly it was american women doing them, so maybe there will be pretty printed masks being sported in the months ahead, with pockets inside for special filters, no less. AND they have been added to shopping sites as fashion items too. The ladies had better get to the hairdressers first though before wearing fashion masks! I’m glossing over the high numbers of casualties, because I can’t really absorb it, Cheryl. It’s just nightmarish. But Margaret Atwoods, The Handmaid’s Tale and sequel keep haunting me, espcially when I wore a mask in the supermarket recently and felt muzzled!

      Stay well, Cheryl, and I hope your shoulder recovers well :>)

      Like

  8. inkbiotic says:

    Everyone keeps saying to me ‘These are strange times’ and of course, they are right. I’m in a similar head space to you – annoyed that the UK have ballsed it up and landed us with the second highest death rate from covid in the world. Sad for so many people’s whose lives have been lost or turned upside down. And then very grateful that I’ve been able to get paid, but not going into work. But I have no clue where all this is going to lead or what our lives will be like afterwards. Like you, I hope we’ll learn a few good lessons from it, but a recession/depression tends to lead to desperate, angry people and that can cause more hate and division. So I have no clue. This was a very unhelpful reply, to a thoughtful and interesting blog!

    Good luck with the writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Hi Petra, thank you for sharing. I’ve been wondering how you’re getting on. So pleased you are well and getting paid. I agree that learning good lessons in a time of recession is a tall order, and I’m pretty cynical about it being accomplished. People have been tuning into nature, getting on their bikes, learning at least a few new good habits, but when there is more freedom, and when they want to get ‘back to business’ will they keep it up? There are no answers, my post is an unhelpful one, but what can we truthfully say that can be helpful when we have no idea of what lies ahead? I hope your writing is going well too. Luckily, for me, there are no ‘do I include Covid?’ self questions in my painting!! But I bet you have noticed all the floating illustrations of our beasty bug on the TV and in the media – endless inspirations!

      Liked by 1 person

      • inkbiotic says:

        Maybe covid will sneak in and you’ll find yourself painting lots of spiky balls!
        I am writing a fair amount, I even did a couple of paintings – one for colleagues still working, and one for my parents’ wedding anniversary, so that’s been good.
        By freakish luck, the book I’m releasing now has a quarantine/isolation feel to it, so that feels a bit like a commentary. Now I want to move onto to non quarantine stories, as an escape!
        Stay safe! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        I have my own spikey ball here already, Petra, one I painted years ago. I’ve put it at the bottom of the post. Excellent news about your painting! Hmm, that’s another way to go about it in the writing, somehow echoing the covid situation in other ways, questioning, isolation etc. Lovely to know about your new book, I’ll be reading it for sure! Stay safe yourself XX

        Liked by 1 person

      • inkbiotic says:

        I love it! The new face of corona!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Well it will be now for me!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Bryan Wagner says:

    I have taken the time to look at my wants and needs. Noticing the holes that opened up and the things that came to fill them. And being kind to others and myself. And writing. I really like this post. Lots to think about! Thanks..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you, Bryan. I like your concept of holes opening up. This fits the feelings of ‘deprival’ very well. And then what comes in naturally to fill them or by a conscious choice deciding what to fill them with – hopefully a bit of both! Cheers, Bryan

      Like

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