It’s Easter Saturday morning and the sun is shining, through the gaps in my window blind. I lie in bed listening to the early morning bird song, crystal clear and uninterrupted by traffic or any other man made noise.
The roads are deserted and as I peer through the bedroom window into the clear blue sky there are no vapour trails. The aeroplanes all but a few have stopped flying. There is a calm and serenity, a paradox as we could easily forget the chaos that rages around us, as we all try and come to terms with this new way of life.
COVID-19 is a menace, a pandemic that has unleashed terror, death, economic meltdown and uncertainty since its outbreak in the Chinese province of Wuhan in December 2019.
The whole world is affected and the latest death count is 103,512 as of today 12:02 GMT, 11th April 2020.
In the UK, the latest figures show just over 70,000 registered cases as the death toll edges towards 9,000. Our NHS staff are on the frontline of this war, doing their job and risking their own lives to fight this silent enemy. They are brave, exhausted and stretched to their limits, this great British army of angels struggling to cope with the huge influx of COVID-19 patients, which includes our very own prime minister.
Global, national and personal, there are so many stories to tell.
At that personal level, my mum suffers with dementia and is in a care home. The home is under lockdown and we cannot touch, hug and hold in her time of need, so we rotate bi-daily visits to blow kisses via the glass window pane that separates us. She becomes agitated because she doesn’t understand what is happening and why we can’t go inside. Each visit ends in heartache, tears on either side of the glass that divides us. This tragic play happens daily in every care home across the country, our family just one of many.
What about work life? A very strange predicament for millions of people across the UK and indeed the world. I’m the owner of a Cafe Bar, which was forced to close on 20th March 2020, the instruction came directly from the UK Government . COVID-19 had arrived and lockdown was now in place.
Despite huge government support funds for UK business being announced, I like many other business owners have not been able to access a single penny to date. It’s clear that unless something changes soon, certain businesses will will run out of time. Hibernating a business costs money and with no cash flow many businesses across the UK could close within weeks. Again, our business is just one of many with a story to tell in this crisis.
In addition to the business I have a day job in media, but a third of the workforce was furloughed on the 1st April 2020. We have no idea what the future holds? Again we are not alone as millions face financial and economic uncertainty.
Yet despite all of the above, the world is still turning. Is this nature’s way of cleansing this planet that we’ve taken for granted for too long? What’s clear is human beings are not in control at all, this world was spinning a long time before we arrived and will probably continue to do so a long time after we’ve left.
It’s so peaceful now at 14:00 GMT this Easter Saturday. We await the latest government statistics. Another minister flanked by medical and scientific advisors, unleashing the latest news, advice and guidance including the usual instruction – “Stay At Home”. These are predictable yet uncertain times.
It’s a beautiful day. The birds are still singing, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Spring is definitely here and flowers are beginning to bloom.