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 ;>)