Saturday, 18 April 2020

Day 27 of Covid Captivity - "I Can't Explain But I Wanna Try"



DISCLAIMER: 
Purely my own feelings, thought processes and general opinion of things from my perspective and personal standpoint.

I felt that I wanted to write today, with no real rhyme or reason other than the fact that my brain is chock-a-block.
And as I started up a new post, I was listening to Fireside by Arctic Monkeys. 
The first lyric seems to sum up exactly why...
 "I can't explain but I wanna try"
And I can't explain anything scientifically or anything like that, obviously
But I can explain the things clogging up my mind at the minute, or at least, as Alex says, I can try.

It's day 27 of lockdown here in the UK due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. 
Just read that again.
Because when I read it aloud, it felt utterly ridiculous. 
But it's not 28 Days Later, it's 'the new normal' as I keep hearing it referred to.
A potentially fatal disease has worked its way around the world and forced us all indoors for the foreseeable to restrict and eventually eliminate the risk of catching or spreading its catastrophe. 
Across the world, different restrictions are in place but all with that same ultimate goal.
For us in the UK, it's a 'lockdown'. Everyone is to stay home at all times unless shopping for food, collecting medical supplies, caring for vulnerable people or for the permitted one walk/run/cycle of the day if absolutely necessary for our physical and mental wellbeing.
For someone who is no stranger to anxiety, rarely goes out and interacts with people anyway... easy peasy, right? 
Wrong.

It's taking its toll on everyone and everyone's dealing with it in their own way. 
From those people who have Covid-19 and their families who are going through the most unimaginable things right now, to those caring for and treating those patients and those at highest risk, to the key-workers ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the country during this time, to those spear-heading the decisions and management of our country's response, to those of us with just the one responsibility which is to stay at home and of course, everyone else in between.
We're all going through the mill in differing ways. We're all thinking about what's going on and how it's affecting people. And last night (and many nights, to be fair), I found myself laid in bed unable to sleep for all the different thoughts, feelings, questions whizzing around my head. Thoughts, feelings and questions that I would guarantee are echoed across the UK and indeed the world.
I'm no stranger to mood swings. In fact, sometimes even I'm surprised by how fast and intensively my mind can swing up and down the spectrum of emotions and feelings.
But that is amplified in the current climate and I know, again, I'm not alone in that.
Surfing through sadness and fear, bumping into anxiety and dread, fleeting through moments of pride and gratitude, trying to conceal a deep anger, not to mention the productivity AND boredom, the loneliness, optimism, cynicism and again, everything in between.
There's so many contradictions and confusions, that it's so hard for people to manage and navigate through, but the majority of people are doing their very best.

Well, mostly. Because of course, there are always morons.
Morons who seem to disregard the fact that:
- First and foremost, people are dying, being hospitalised, being made incredibly ill by this disease
- People are having to sacrifice their safety and that of their family by caring for and treating those people
-People are having to sacrifice their safety and that of their family by working in supermarkets, factories, emergency services, schools etc throughout this
- People are forgoing the right to see their family and friends, many of which rely heavily on that company and care
- People are missing or having to be flexible with huge life events; weddings, birthdays, births, holidays. And the one that really cuts deep, not being able to visit care homes or pay respect to loved ones who have sadly passed away in recent months.
So why on earth it should come across as plausible in even a moron's brain to go ahead and do trivial things like sunbathing in parks, letting kids roam streets, having parties and BBQs and goodness knows what other unfathomable crap people are trying to get away with, is beyond belief.

I also find myself torn between feelings with the whole debacle surrounding the NHS at present. Because Boris is right (something I've never said, nor will ever say again) when he says that they are the "beating heart of this country." They absolutely are. But they've been the beating heart of the country for years and years, not just in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. And whilst I have utmost sympathy for what he has been through himself with Covid in the last few weeks and would not wish for anyone to be in that position, let alone one that is in charge of the country. If that same sincerity and realisation he seemed to have in his post-hospital speech had materialised years back, when he and allies were plastering false promises across buses or voting down pay rises for those IN the NHS. I can't help but wonder, if we'd still be in the position we are in now where nurses and doctors are crying out for PPE, TV adverts are desperately encouraging people to start or resume a career in the NHS and field hospitals are being urgently assembled in a matter of days.

Only about a year or two ago, there were pictures all over the news of hospitals in despair, I think, during a bout of winter flu where there were shortages of beds and people lying in corridors. These people have been working miracles with the bare minimum for absolutely ages and that's not OK. We all know it and we've all seen it.
I have, like many, donated to appeals in recent days to help the NHS and their associated charities and branches of support because it's like a call to action and you want to step up however you can within your own personal remits. But at the same time, for me, it's tinged with such anger because it should not have to be that way. We're being told at daily briefings there's significant numbers of equipment and testing facilities being distributed but then being told that many places aren't receiving enough or any at all. Every other day, those numbers are upped and we still get the same messages at the other end. As though something's getting lost in transmission or there's a equipment related Bermuda Triangle somewhere along the way. It's baffling to the nth degree.

The uplifting side to this all is seeing how good, kind people pool resources and take matters into their own hands when those promises and targets fall flat. 3D printers printing their own PPE, embroiderers, machinists and seamstresses manufacturing scrubs, people forming community groups to get provisions to vulnerable people, artists and creatives helping keep people's kids occupied and give people small things to smile about. And the 99 year old war veteran, Captain Tom Moore who has quite frankly shown the government up in this last week. Because where their promises and targets seem to be smoke and mirrors, Captain Tom set his own goal, target and promise to the NHS and exceeded and multiplied it by more than 20,000, making over 22 million for their appeals. Something that makes me feel so warm, so proud and so grateful but also really bloody conflicted due to the frustration that it's even needed. Because he has more than done his duty for this country in so so many ways already. 

The nation-wide Clap For Carers response we all began over 3 weeks ago is a heart-warming, small but lovely gesture aimed to bring everyone together in gratitude and appreciation for the NHS and EVERYONE still working for us at the moment. But then you see images of busy streets and a packed out Westminster Bridge where people are choosing to go and do their applause. Which seemingly goes against everything we're all trying to achieve. Unless of course, the news that Westminster Bridge has a Covid repelling forcefield is amongst those things we're still yet to be told. And then you start to question, what's real? Is that footage even real? Is that advice solid? Should we listen to them, or them? Which news outlet is trustworthy? A constant tug of war in your mind to sieve out the fake from the real, the sensationalist to the genuine, the optimism, pessimism and the realism.
A battle of wanting to be on social media for the connectivity, the entertainment and distraction but not wanting to be on there because it fuels that tug of war further and further. It's the weirdest experience. Days of projects and productivity and positivity and then days of discontentment and hopelessness.

But there'll be an end and whenever that end comes, one can only hope that as a whole except for the morons, but who knows... they might surprise us, we are...
- More proud
- More grateful
- More co-operative
- More appreciative
- More confident
- More connected
- More respectful
- More creative
- More liberated
- More resourceful
than ever before. 


That we fight to get the NHS what it's been needing for years, that we give those who we lost to Covid-19, the most fitting and appropriate tribute and that we cherish everything that little bit more than before.

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