Hello from Lancashire, UK

As someone who doesn’t watch the news everyday, because it is so depressing, I was a little oblivious to what was going on in the world.

I first heard about Coronavirus through my boyfriend who lives in a different country. He was quite concerned by it all whilst I was clueless and felt that it was nothing to worry about as such – it was in China and far away from us. I had faith in science and medicine to save the day.

It started to get serious for me when I went on holiday in February and had to fill in a medical form in the airport declaring that I had not been to China and stating where I was staying – I figured they were checking movement.

Even so, in March when I started planning to go book again to see my boyfriend, I was frustrated that he told me to wait. It was only when I realised it was because of his fears over the Coronavirus that it hit home that this was getting serious and I started to watch the news. Within two weeks, our borders had closed anyway.

Currently, there are 141 cases in my county – there are over 1 million people who live here. The number of those infected has doubled this week.

As a teacher, coronavirus has been challenging. Trying to support scared children and stressed staff is difficult. Trying to plan for a situation that is unique and challenging seemed impossible at times. This week, I was in work on Monday for a few hours, Tuesday for an hour and now will not be back in until next Tuesday.

The first few days at home were fine. I created a schedule so that I could support my two (reluctant) sons with their school work whilst also taking the opportunity to get on top of the housework I never have enough time to do as a full time working, single parent.

A few days in and I started to flag. I’m used to being so busy that I barely sit down. Too much time = too much thinking and that’s not good for me. This has been particularly hard when my children went to stay at their dad’s for a few days.

On the one hand, whilst really needing a break to mentally recover from the horrible two weeks I’ve had, I’ve struggled being alone. All I want is to be bunkered down with those I love – my sisters, mother and my boyfriend seem a million miles away at the moment. I’m missing the companionship and support of a fellow adult.

I’m worried about my children moving between houses but know that they need to do this whilst they can.

I’m scared for my youngest sister who is in the third year of a nursing degree and has been asked to start working as a nurse early to support the NHS. She’s not sure if she is ready, is scared she will become ill as she has a four year old autistic child but desperately wants to help.

I’m worried for my other sister who works as a florist. Her shop closed because it had to, but they were also at the point where they had no flowers to use anyway. I’m concerned about how she will manage financially.

I’m worried and sad for my 15 year old daughter who will not now sit her final exams or get to go to her prom.

Whilst I am eternally grateful for the support of my long distance boyfriend, there’s a part of me that is wondering if we will get through this. I don’t know when I will get to see him again. In the long term, I’m concerned about how this may affect our ability to close the gap as there will be no evidence of time spent together.

I’m grateful for the fact that my dad isn’t alive to experience this. His distress would have been extreme as he would have been anxious for us all. He would have been 80 and had COPD and cancer. The thought of what could have happened and what some families are now going through is terrifying.

I’m grateful that I live in a semi-rural area and work only three miles from home. That rather unkempt but large garden is going to be wonderful as a diversion this year.

I’m amazed at the generosity and kindness of some people through this tragedy.

I’m glad that, finally, if not sadly, the NHS staff are going to get the recognition these deserve. They are our forgotten heroes. Boris – they all need a payrise and better working conditions. As I’ve said for years, take some money from the ridiculously paid sports celebrities.

I’m grateful it’s spring. The sunshine and birdsong gives me hope of brighter days.

I’m hoping that as a species, those of us who survive this will be better people: knowing what to value now.

This is a response to a post from Third Eye mom:


2 thoughts on “Hello from Lancashire, UK

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is such a difficult time for so many. For us, the weather this time of year is usually awful and still winter but this year we are having an early spring. It has brought so much hope. When I get out on my daily dog walks to hear the birds and see the tiny blooms of the trees coming back to life. It feels so symbolic. It is hard being apart from the ones you love most in life. While my immediate family is here my sister and her family, parents, brother and my husband’s family are all spread out across the US and I feel sad wondering when we will see each other again. Take care of yourself and keep writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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