The house is quiet. Half of us are back to school today (teaching and being taught); the other half (including me) are still waiting for our jobs to re-open. Our local secondary school is having a phased return so all the kids can be tested before restarting their lessons, so the streets are still quiet. The sun is shining, it’s frosty underfoot. It’s rather limbo-ish.
If you use Facebook, you’ll know they share your past posts as ‘Memories’. Some people hate it and delete those old posts as they appear, erasing their past selves from the internet – but I love reliving what I was up to last year/three years ago/eleven years ago – ah, the good old days.
This week, I’m seeing posts about the imminence of this thing we now call a global pandemic. People were beginning to hoard toilet roll, pasta was scarce. According to me on Facebook, this time last year, we were being advised not to shake hands with people, despite the fact cases were erupting in Italy – a rather tame origin to the rules and regulations which appeared soon afterwards.
On the 10th of March last year, I wrote in my 5 year diary:
It seems quite innocent and charming now, doesn’t it?
A few days later, Boris was telling us not to go on cruises and to wash our hands. And around that time, he also said ‘Yes, people will die, but remember to wash your hands.’ The incredulity I felt when I watched that press conference was the spur to start a specific Covid diary. I had a horrible, stomach-churning feeling that four lines were no longer going to be enough.
Thirteen days after the diary entry above we went into the first lockdown. As we were entering it last year, so we are coming out of our third one now. As I write this this post, I’m referring to my Covid diary – it mentions a headline saying we could be socially distancing for a year. I scoffed, other people scoffed. And yet, here we are…
It still feels surreal to me that we were ever in this situation.
I’m wary about getting back to normal. I’m eager for it. I worry about my friends and family suffering. I look at the numbers and note how low they are. I give people a wide berth in the street. I want to hug them. I’m a mixed bag of everything at the moment. And I really need lunch in a cafe with my best friend!
How about you? Are you excited, or concerned, or somewhere in the middle?