A year in a pandemic by Miranda Foster
23 March 2020 -23 March 2021
It has been over a year since I was last in Rothwell and it has been hard not to go and drink coffee in my favourite cafes or wonder around the beautiful Springhead Park with my pooch. I’m looking forward to being able to meet with some of the lovely residents, to catch up with everyone while we have been going through a truly remarkable year.
Coronavirus – a timeline
Lock down hits 23 March 2020. Nowhere is safe to go, nobody is to be seen face to face. Hugs are not to be had! Our relatives told to shield. Frightened is the feeling of most. Isolation from all the people we hold dear.
April 2020 – the world of zoom comes alive, a platform never heard of before for most people becomes our lifeline to the outside world. The chance to see those friendly faces from all around the country, to communicate and be in this together. Solidarity is everywhere, we are all in this together.
May 2020 – The reality of lockdown is getting harder but there is light, hope, and being able to go out again more than once a day. The days are longer and brighter and there is optimism in the air.
June 2020– finally able to see family even if it is only in the garden. My thoughts put out there for all to see and hear. (see blog)
July 2020 – restaurants and pubs reopen but face masks are to be worn. The new fashion accessory that MUST be worn but this gives us the chance to be out and about with friends and family. The feeling of freedom. Seeing each other in the flesh rather than on a screen, still no hugs!
August 2020– we eat out to help out. First time in a restaurant in six months, not having to cook and do the washing up is bliss. A conversation over the dining table and to feel the energy from each other; not to have that awkward time at the end of a zoom call where no one knows how to finish the conversation.
September 2020 – all kids go back to school, parents all over the country are praying that it lasts but struggle to let their little cherubs out in to the big bad dangerous world. I get to travel to see my mum but still no hugs.
October 2020 – things take a turn for the worse; there is concern again for all. We all look back to the beginning of the year, what is in store for us this time? A sense of dread.
November 2020 – another lockdown but for just a month, we can do this again. Zoom fatigue is now spoken about on a regular basis but we can still see your face and share our thoughts and feelings. Talking to each other is important and that fighting spirit kicks in again, still no hugs!
December 2020 – Christmas devastation, celebrations via screens. The madness and the chaos of the festive season is replaced with quiet and reflection. We find new ways to celebrate and some we quite enjoy, is this the start of new traditions for some?
January 2021 – yet another lockdown, the despair of how long is this going to last?
February 2021 – so much harder during winter months, the short days, darker evenings, and the colder months make this extremely difficult. The feelings of isolation and loneliness seem worse than ever.
March 2021 – the roadmap is announced to get us out and about again, 4 months is the plan.
March 23 – one year on, lock down is still in place but hope is on the horizon with the vaccine program rolling out at a fast pace. Children are now back in school and everywhere is preparing to open their doors again. We look forward not back and optimism is the best feeling ever.
All through this year, we have listened to the stories some good but some bad. The communities have pulled together and made some incredible moments. Our neighbours have become our friends and allies, the go to people in the street, and over the fence they have listened and talked us through the most strangest of years.
What has been learnt? Well I can only speak for myself. I have learnt that we all have a story to tell, we have all made memories that will last a lifetime, connectivity is key and we have (well most of us!) learnt how to use zoom! Fingers crossed come June we can hug again!