Past, present, future

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?

10 thoughts on “Past, present, future

  1. Hi Annalisa – it was rather overwhelming as the journey took us all on a roller-coaster of no destination ride … I’ll do what I can, when I can – so a middler … but on my own, so no other influences … stay safe and we’ll get there … have a good week – Hilary


  2. That’s so interesting. When did we first think to write about it and what did we say? For me, the first thing I wrote where I had to set out my thoughts was my newsletter. I think I listed things we were doing, things we weren’t. I tried not to write about things we were worried about, though there were plenty. I didn’t mention washing hands, though we instigated strict quarantine rules for post and shopping. I didn’t speculate on how long it would last, but if I’d known we would still be this careful a year on, I would have worried.
    As for coming out, I think we should be very very careful. We’re getting vaccinated but we’re not safe. We’ve learned a lot of safer habits and we should keep them. Like you, I’m wary of getting back to normal. I think we’ll need a new normal. But thank goodness we have such instant, miraculous ways to communicate and connect. Imagine if this happened in the 1970s.


    1. Oh my goodness, technology has been a lifesaver, from talking with friends and family to home schooling to online shopping. It would have been so much harder without it.

      Fingers crossed this is the beginning of the very end…


    1. I agree. There are things I can now happily do without, but also places I want to return to. Just the thought of sitting in a cafe with my notebook and a mocha fills me with excitement and delight!


  3. We had no idea how crazy it was going to get, that we’d willing let governments shut us down, trying to imitate Communist China. If only we’d done the simple things first.


  4. What to say? I prefer Jane Austin or your entries to any of mine. I guess I’m abnormally adjusted to the new and now old abnormal normal, normally but not really. I’m abnormal or normal that way. I really don’t know. Kinda makes you question everything, am I right?
    Enjoy some peace and quiet, Annalisa.

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    1. I must admit, I’ve avoided thinking about the big things so far. I’m just trying to keep my friends and family safe and well. So far, so good, I think. But yes, the mental health toll may be quite large in the long run x


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