This year, I took a bit of a break from blogging. It wasn’t intentional, just life sort of gets in the way and all that. Time gets away from you.
Over February, I managed to get back up to date with Pilot Era , but nothing new has been come up with since then. I wanted to get back into writing something, maybe something personal, maybe something geeky, but something nonetheless.
Then the f***ing world ended. The Corona virus has cut a swath across the world, affected countless people and more besides. The response from many nations has been a lockdown. 80% of staff aren’t there, doors are locked, so getting in and out is a pain and I have found my mental health suffering over the increased workload and the overall increase in bad news, frightening statistics and overall sense of gloom.
How can I write about comics and recent TV shows I have enjoyed when all this is going on?
I don’t know, but I can find out. As scary as this thing is and believe me it is scary. When I have colleagues in with me, they talk about how scary this is, the underlying sense of disquiet and impending disaster. For me, that’s a Wednesday. The one upside of all this is that I know how to function when I am afraid, when all seems bleak. I have had to teach Giselle and the Disney Princess about coping techniques, including one I have found most useful. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and the walls are closing in, stop.
Speak outloud: 5 Things you can see.
4 Things you can hear
3 Things you can feel
2 Things you can smell
1 Thing you can taste.
I have used this a couple of times, since this Corona Virus thing has been headline news and I was thanked for sharing it with my colleagues who have had no experience with mental health struggles. I suppose that is going to be the next big problem. We are going to be looking at something of a mental health crisis before too long. I have felt the edges of it encroaching on me, just as they did this time last year, but now I can see it and can talk about it and hopefully head it off, the MIGHTY Rosie and SuperSam have felt effects as well, but that’s not a thing to be discussed here. My parents are well as are my brother and his family, my sister-in-law and her kids and we are in touch often enough.
It’s a strange situation we find ourselves in, but even though we are locked away from one another, we are not. In this era of social media, we can reach out to one another, we can ask how each-other are. We’ve seen sing-songs across streets, I took part in a virtual pub quiz a week or so ago and a dozen or so things aside. We feel the absence of community, but is it absent? Or has our sense of what community is changed? We are isolated, we are socially distancing ourselves, but we can still talk to one another, we can still share our stories and remind one another of hope. This is not going to last forever, we will come out of the other side of this, with the knowledge of who is actually important in society. We forget about the people who make this world run, we pay them little, we ignore them and yet when a healthcare crisis occurs, they are there.
Every Thursday at 8pm, we open our door and clap, a nationwide thunderous applause to those people on the front line of the National Health Service. Those underfunded and over worked souls who care for us, who heal us and provide aid even at their own risk. Seeing people do that, week after week has warmed my heart. I have seen people put notes through doors asking if we need things. In my own road, there have been students going home with universities closed donating the food they would leave behind to anyone who needs it. A handyman we know asking if anyone needs anything when he is out doing essential maintenance, so we can cut down on un-necessary shopping. I have read the news, seen the scum-bags who have used this crisis as an excuse to be worse, but I have seen so many people step up. Leaders fail to lead, but helpers have been helping. It’s been little things, such as printing colouring in sheets to send to people who we know that have kids to keep them entertained, face-timing with my son’s grandparents, because they miss one another and saying hello to anyone in the street, so we know we are not alone.
This is a scary time, can’t get away from that, but I genuinely believe that there is a place beyond this. I believe that this crisis will pass and we will get back to some version of normal. Maybe it’s because I need to believe that, but I believe it nonetheless. We are locked away from one another, but we are not alone. We will get through this, if you are person reading this, that means you. It is these scary times that show us who we are and who we need to be. We need to be physically distant, but socially? No we need to remind one another that we are there. If there is anyone who you can think of that you haven’t heard from in the last few days, a call or a text might mean so much more than usual.
To all those on WordPress, thank you. You have been here for me when I have needed you, something to read, a response when I have read or even just reminding me that I and my family are not as alone as we think. I have rambled, but I need to say something, to not allow this part of my life to go dark. We need to do the things that make us smile, to remind us that we still can. My favourite podcaster on his excellent show Palace of Glittering delights always ends it the same way. “It’s all going to be alright.”
You know what, I think it will be. We can look out for each other, we can care for one another and can love one another.
Now I have rambled enough, I am going to go and give the MIGHTY Rosie a cuddle, like I said do the things that make you smile.