We both sat down and listened to our Prime Minister share the slight adjustments he and his Government plan to make to the Coronavirus lockdown. Whilst not the clearest of messages - ‘stay home’ was always going to be clearer than ‘stay alert’ – once again we were forced to face the fact that for us, and many, many more people like us, things aren’t going to change that much for a while longer. This reality is both sobering and vaguely depressing to us in equal measures; there will be no quick or easy solution to what’s going on until a vaccine is found and we can, finally, get on with our lives. Then we had a chat and as so often happens, started to get a changed perspective on this new reality, after all, it’s not all bad, is it?
After all, when was the last time we could watch National Theatre productions, without paying a penny? Thursday evenings have seen us tuning into the National Theatre At Home’s YouTube channel. We’ve laughed along with the audience of One Boss, 2 Guvn’rs starring James Corden, been entranced by Treasure Island and whilst expecting to watch Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein’s creation through (my) fingers clamped firmly across (my) eyes, to our amazement it was truly a-m-a-z-i-n-g! All for free! We could go on to mention Friday nights and The Show Must Go On, also on YouTube, featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals – oh, Phantom of the Opera was a visual delight – and Les Miserables really is!
Then there are the walks. Who knew our town had grown so much, or had created so many pathways for pedestrians and bikes? Or the delight in finding newly built estates that are really quite lovely, as well as reminding ourselves of footpaths we haven’t walked since the children were small. Then there is chatting (socially distanced of course) with people you don’t normally see, or know, saying ‘hello’ and ‘sorry’ as you seek to maintain that 2m distance, even if it’s by walking into an unusually deserted street! I could go on about the fun in getting a letter with the PO’s ‘Happy Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero’ franked on it, something we might never have had the time to notice before all this started. Then there’s the joy of an extra 30 minutes in bed as the commute is now a few feet, not miles, or putting the washing out and getting it in before it rains!
We could go on, but think you get the gist of where we ended up? It’s not all bad, it’s definitely different, but each day has something good in it and for our sanity, we’ve found that focusing on what’s good and trying not to let the negative overwhelm us can be the difference between a good and a bad day. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve both gone through tough days, but taking time to remind ourselves of what’s okay helps us to redress the balance.
So, there we have it, we, like you, will get through this. We will be able to meet again, one day, just not today. So until that time comes, don’t forget we are happy to ring you for a chat, email you with some funny jokes or even invite you to be part of a Zoom get together. Hope Trust hasn’t gone anywhere, we are still here, working to help older people. So please stay safe, stay well, until we can all share the amazing stories that this experience will give us.