Pause for thought
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
― Brene Brown
I'm currently reading Pandemic by Sonia Shah.
Like many of the books I buy on the spur of the moment, it's exactly what I need in these troubled times if for no other reason than it's helping to allay my thought-induced fears about humanity.
I'll spare you the detail but one thing's for certain, this pandemic is not unique. If there's a difference, it's the fact that air travel has made it spread quicker and more widely than would otherwise be the case; but I think we all know that.
Like you, I'm keen to stay on top of the outpouring of news from across the world, but apart from feeling the pain and anguish of everyone affected by Covid-19, it's not helping my sense of helplessness. In fact, it's like part of me wants to go so deep that I'm almost in the eye of the storm.
Thankfully, at least for now, the UK numbers are nowhere as bad as China, Italy and Spain but something tells me that it will only be a matter of time. And, in fact, with the lack of testing against the population as a whole, I suspect that many more people have the virus than the Department of Health and Social Care figures currently being shared across the media would indicate.
Yesterday, I largely stayed in apart from a short trip to our local Tesco to buy a few supplies and get my car washed. What amazed me — I was aghast if I'm honest — was the fact that no one was masked up (I wasn't either), there was no evidence of social distancing — whatever that really means — but most especially, there were lots of elderly people who were happily going about their weekly shop. In a way, I suppose there's not much else people can do if they need to eat and buy supplies (there was no shortage of bog paper but no pasta or rice) but then again, I wonder, like me, how much of what they were buying was absolutely essential? Better still, how many of those milling around the store could have ordered online, assuming that is there are enough vans and food in circulation. To be honest, even if we do go into lockdown, I don't expect the situation will be wildly different.
I don't know about you but I feel helpless and need time to reflect on what's unfolding. It's not just a superficial sense of 'this-thing's-too-big-to-comprehend' but rather a sense of it doesn't matter how well informed we are or the steps we should be taking to mitigate the risk, there's a sense of the inevitable. I mean, we can self isolate all we like but unless we live in self-contained bunkers with enough food for, say, a year there's no way of knowing that once this outbreak diminishes it won't come back again. Indeed, that's what everyone appears to be saying. In a sense, I wonder, as crass as it sounds, whether I might as well live normally and expect to get Covid-19 but that seems so reckless and unnecessary.
In the end, all we can do is follow the self-preservation part of our psyche that, currently, is on high alert. I'm not saying we should ignore the news or science — far from it — but then again, I'd wager, we instinctively know the best thing for us and our families. Also, my outlook on Covid-19 is different to my kids and my wife. They seem much less worried but then again, as someone who has a rare blood disorder (pyruvate kinase deficiency) which affects my ability to heal because of the way my red blood cells breakdown and late-onset asthma, I've this overwhelming sense that if were to contract to Covid-19 that it's not going to be as straightforward as toughing it out with gallons of liquid, vitamin C and rest. Am I worried I might die? Not really. I know that sounds flippant but there's nothing much I'd be able to do. I'd be in the hands of my immune system. I'd be much more worried about transmitting it to my family, community and work colleagues.
Anyhow, it's Sunday. Time to take the pooch for a decent walk. And then to head off to the gym but I'll only train if it's very quiet. I'm only going because I know my youngest has missed training. I appreciate this looks a tad irresponsible/stupid but I'll take as many precautions as possible — handwashing, wipes and the like.
Blessings and love,