This is going to be the year we will all remember well, the year of the Coronavirus. All over the world every single person was affected by this in one way or another. Some worse than others and unfortunately many lives were lost, part of me feels grateful for what I do have. But that hindsight problem I have makes me wonder ‘what if?” ie. what if I had been leading a different life? Hold that thought.
Going back to March, when the UK first went into serious lockdown I still don’t think I realised how serious it was going to be. When BoJo announced it, I think I started to realise how serious this is. I remember thinking, it’s like the flu it’ll be back to normal in a few weeks but unfortunately it seemed to get worse. That day that it was announced I was due in work the next day, but that day everyone that was in the office spent hours packing and locking stuff away. I remember having a call from my boss to say “stay at home until further notice” also asking me if I had a laptop I could use. It sank in a little bit more, but still part of me wondered how long it would last.
All through the summer it didn’t seem so bad because we had a garden (unlike others) we were incredibly lucky. We were able to go for walks, have picnics and do outdoor activities. The things we normally take for granted but at a time like this we realise there are things we can do, of course people took the piss there’s always those who think they’re invincible.
Communities were connecting via social media, rainbows being put in windows, and neighbours clapping to appreciate the NHS. Houses were getting makeovers because people couldn’t couldn’t do much else. On the opposite spectrum people were loosing their livelihoods, being put on furlough and even worse loosing jobs left right and centre. Businesses were going bankrupt and the only people that were benefiting from this seemed to be the online shopping companies and supermarkets. At one point there didn’t seem to be any sort of light at the end of the tunnel.
I work in a University where I put through invoices for research journals to be published, then one day it happened. I put an article through for Coronovirus research, I remember the day and the authors name still rings in my ears (funny because I can’t remember anything else nowadays!). That was when I started to see that little light, and wondered how long it would then take. That was in July, now I realise how long this stuff takes because it wasn’t until November that they actually announced it as an effective vaccine. I remember being in the car driving, going shopping after the school run and hearing it on Radio One and Greg James was singing researchers praises.
Things felt like they were going back to normal and all the children had gone back at school in September, it was hard for lots of children because they didn’t see their friends when they finished school. In the UK most schools have staggered start times, which means you could have siblings that start at different times in the same school. Lots of parents waiting in their cars on the main roads because it’s too far for the children to walk there, back home and then back to the school forty five minutes later.
Half term in October we were able to go out, BoJo had introduced a new Tier system; Tier 1 seemed to be places that had lower occupancy and Tier 3 was the most affected. We went straight into Tier 2, Tier 3 were cities like London and Liverpool.
As it got closer and closer to Christmas I wondered more and more what would happen, I knew Christmas wouldn’t be the same as usual anyway because of this. We saw this coming, I think most people did but then I think on some level many were in denial. We were then put into Tier 3 and a few weeks later a new Tier was announced, Tier 4. Tier 4 was the highest you could be, if you were in this Tier you couldn’t go anywhere and at the same time it was announced there was a new virus going around that was more contagious than Covid. ON Sunday 20th December, it was announced that from midnight that night London would go into Tier4. So that afternoon and evening Waterloo was full of people not social distancing, trying to get away from the City before Tier 4 commenced. The roads were also busy, people were heading towards the Tier 1 and 2 areas with no thought for anyone else but themselves.
I think everyone will agree with me that this year has pretty much sucked, it will go down in history. Still not as bad as going through the world wars our elders been through. That recession we had in the eighties in the UK was pretty close to this, I wasn’t old enough to remember but I’ve been told that this was almost as bad.
The one good thing was the internet, being able to make video and voice calls to loved ones to keep in touch nationally and internationally. I was struggling for many reasons which I won’t go into because people have been a lot worse off, but the thing that kept me going was ‘at least it’s not the eighties’.
There are a lot of strong people out there, that have done so much volunteering to help others. We had people in our community that were picking up prescriptions for us when we couldn’t get out, and even someone giving me a packet of nappies. Mental health issues went through the roof like I’ve never heard of, an old work colleague of mine committed suicide because he couldn’t cope with it all.
We went into Tier 4 on Boxing Day, so we have made the decision that William won’t go back to preschool at least until my husband (who is classed as vulnerable) has had the vaccine. Unfortunately we cannot see any of our family, and we will have to have William home 24/7 which is going to be quite a challenge.
Let’s just live in hope that 2021 will bring health, normality and hopefully some joy and happiness.
As we wave 2020 goodbye, we can also tell that year to F*** OFF!!
I am not making resolutions for 2021, I just want to be happy.