Day Two: A random and disordered Coronavirus list

Contributor: Richard:

  1. Will I see my Nan again? She is 60 miles away and extremely vulnerable. She brought me up for a while and is the light of my life. I have had 18 extra months with her since her fall, which are a blessing. I have been grieving her for a while. What will it be like not being there? Will there be a funeral? How will we celebrate the light of her life?
  2. My Dad and my father-in-law also extremely vulnerable. They are also too far away and need to self-isolate. They are part of the reason I am so angry about this Government’s response, and the wilful, naïve or thoughtless behaviour of those who congregate anyway. Our leaders condemn our families through their actions and omissions and carelessness.
  3. There is much grief coming. And it carries a significant potential energy.
  4. Currently, mourning trumps productivity. Work tell us: business continuity; business-as-usual; take care so that you can hit the ground running when we get back to normal. I want to weep. I shake my head.
  5. This is the new normal. The world-as-is, is not the world we thought it would be. Maybe it is not the world we wanted. Or hoped. Maybe it will become more possible for more people, rather than more austere for most. Maybe. Probably not.
  6. I still see too many people on the street, driving, walking the dog, carrying cans, sitting in back gardens smoking with friends, rather than socially isolating or maintaining distance. Oh. My. God.
  7. We are moving transitionally, from suggestions to stay-the-home, through distancing towards isolation, with occasional psychological dislocations thrown in, as we realise that pubs are closed and parks are closed and there is no football. I wonder how this will feel for many of us in a week, two weeks, a month. I wonder how this will impact our collective and individual, emotional well-being or ill-being. How will it recalibrate our being?
  8. I worry about those on the street and beyond who are vulnerable, old, ill, infirm, immobile, abused, locked-in, unsafe. I feel powerless. Mutual aid and state aid and local government aid seem weak in the face of the virus, which shows us how fragile we are.
  9. I will re-read the books that are in my soul. Geoffrey Holmes, British Politics in the Age of Anne (for the insight and the tapestry). Peter Davies, All Played Out: The full story of Italia 90 (for the nostalgia and the emotion and the loss). David Peace, GB84 (for the indignation). Philip Roth, I Married a Communist (for the loss of autonomy). Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (because we may be through with the past, but the past is not through with us). Andy Merrifield, The Wisdom of Donkeys (because chaos does us no favours). Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook (because it points to recovery and hope). The Angela Davies reader (because what comes next will be a struggle for many of us). Alec Clifton-Taylor, The Cathedrals of England (because spirituality matters). And there are others.
  10. I will make time to focus upon Spring on the road – Blue Tits and Great Tits in the buddleia, the leaves emerging on the Oak tree, Magpies in the Silver Birches, cherry blossom, the landscape of green at Western Park.
  11. I will make time to Skype my friends, and hopefully renew or sustain some kind of connection.
  12. I will try to play chess, and make sourdough bread.
  13. I will try to focus upon one thing at a time.
  14. As our emotions become more plain to see (if they can be seen), and as they are revealed because we cannot hide in our work and in our distractions, I hope that we can forgive ourselves a few things.
  15. I hope that we can persevere.

One thought on “Day Two: A random and disordered Coronavirus list

  1. Extremely thought provoking & well written.
    I am now limited to phone contact with my elderly vulnerable mother. She refuses to self isolate & I wonder if I shall see her again and whether, given shared history, how that would feel.
    I already made soda bread, listened to the birds, noticed signs of spring on perennials planted last year. I am grateful to have my significant other, a garden for private outside space, amazing friends via remote connection BUT I already feel my already fragile mental health slipping. I’ve no concentration for the books I live, music & TV are white noise, getting dressed feels pointless & so takes so much effort. I am trying so hard to look for all that is still good but I also wonder what will be left of “me” if I am lucky enough to come out the other side of this.


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