I wake up before my alarm goes off. I keep doing this on the days I’m due to go in for work. It looks gloomy and grey outside and is in fact raining. The April showers have finally arrived. It is the end of April and my crocuses never bloomed. The showers came too late to rescue them. The sunshine has been lifting our spirits and making us forget that all is not well. The plants however need the rain just as much as we crave the sunlight.
As the clocks struck eleven the Nation stood still to remember the hundred plus healthcare workers who lost their lives in the fight against the Covid virus. A minute to say that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. A moment of truth when we realise that we have survived so far and hope that Lady Luck will continue to look after us and our colleagues till the enemy is beaten. When I see Mano coming to work in the morning looking like the masked Zorro complete with goggles and gloves, I wonder if it is enough. When I come in to work, I walk in trying not to touch anything, kicking the doors open and not waiting to keep it open for those behind me. Courtesy and politeness now limited to smiles, waves and a nod in the corridor if you can recognise the faces behind the masks. A young lady dashes past me, her curly hair bouncing in tandem with the rest of her youthful figure. It looks like she is running for an emergency but I see her a few seconds later joining the Costa coffee queue. Caffeine fixes can be regarded as emergencies I guess especially when it is free.
The lockdown has given the nation extra time to tap into their inner selves. Some have found their inner chefs, some musicians and some artists. Baking is on the rise, so much so that the supermarket shelves have run out of flour. The supermarkets have been running low on many stocks. I read that people stockpile in response to crisis situations to bring a semblance of control into a life where control has been taken away by outside forces. I find our local Polish shop has many goods that I cannot find in the supermarkets and there is no long queues. Blackened bananas are no longer wasted. Baking banana breads and cupcakes have been keeping kids busy filling their kitchens with wonderful aromas as children learn essential life skills. Walking and exploring the countryside is turning into a new pastime for those who were uninitiated till now as they take pictures and share their experiences of wildflowers and bluebell filled woods with a newfound enthusiasm. Long forgotten tubes of water colour, oil paints and easels are being taken out of storage adding more brightness into lives that are beginning to lose a bit of lustre. I find out that my niece is quite the artist, a talent she kept hidden from the rest of her wider family.
As the sun takes a much needed break to fire up his soul and return to brighten up our lives, the trees and plants are quenching their thirst and turning a brighter shade of green. In the meantime we get on with our lives hoping that the nation will regain the strength to recover from this tragedy. It will be a long road to recovery and we still don’t know if we are at the beginning of that journey yet.