A New Life in the Middle of a Pandemic

Right now, as we know it, the world has come to a bit of a standstill as the whole world comes together to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. I don’t think any of us could have prepared ourselves for what was to come and I’m in absolute awe and admiration of the key workers who are risking their lives every day to save others.

Despite the awful tragedies of lives lost and families broken apart, it’s been wonderful to see human beings and communities come together every day to help one another out, from clapping for the NHS workers to offering to get an elderly neighbour’s shopping for them. It remindsĀ  you that most humans have an innate kindness and longing to help.

Of course, there’s never a right or wrong time for something like a pandemic to take place. It’s always heartbreaking and tragic. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m lucky that I haven’t lost anyone close to me from this awful virus and that I can still continue working while others have lost their job or been affected financially. The only strange thing for me is that I moved to a new city and started a new job just a few days before the UK lock down was put in place. It’s safe to say that it’s not quite been the fresh new start that I was so excited about! I ended up going into my new office for just two days before I was told to work from home, so I haven’t even met most of my new colleagues. The people I now spend all my time indoors with at home are people I’ve known only for a month. The only scenery I’ve seen since my move to Manchester is a couple of nearby streets and parks. Right now, it still doesn’t quite feel like my real life.

However, I imagine this is the case worldwide, as we’ve all had to get accustomed to a new way of living and working. It’s strange to think how normal it has become to queue to get into supermarkets and to keep a 2-metre distance from strangers at all times. It now feels normal to wander down deserted streets that resemble a ghost town, and it’s starting to feel hard to remember how lively pubs and restaurants used to look. Yet for some people in other countries, this level of restriction is a normality. If anything, this pandemic has reinforced how lucky I am to live where I do with the freedom I usually have. It’s made me angry to see people disregard the importance of following some simple instructions that will literally save lives. We’ve become so used to living a life of luxury in the UK that we see our own enjoyment as being more important than the lives of strangers. Yes it’s a shame that we can’t enjoy a sunny bank holiday weekend in pub gardens with a group of mates or on holiday, but the true shame is the slow measures we’ve taken as a country to protect people. The true shame is the lack of PPE to protect key workers. And the real heartbreak is the families who haven’t been able to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Yet we’ve seeing resilience. We’re seeing volunteers and retired NHS workers coming together to save lives. We’re seeing young teenagers putting together care packages for their vulnerable neighbours. We’re seeing people touch hands with their loved ones through windows. We’re seeing huge fundraisers to raise money for the NHS. We’re seeing individuals create protective masks for NHS workers who are lacking PPE. We’re seeing millions of people around the UK clapping and cheering outside their doors at 8pm every Thursday. We’re seeing the NHS finally getting the recognition it deserves. We’re seeing harmony and unity across the world.

I feel lucky right now. I could have felt lonely and sorry for myself, especially being in a new city and unable to visit my family. Yet I know I’m so lucky that this will only be my life for a few months. We all need to remember how lucky some of us are right now. And while we are sadly still going to lose more lives from this heartbreaking virus, we will still get through it as a country and as a human race. I’ve seen such a sense of community over the last few weeks, and I hope that we all learn something from this tragedy. I hope we all continue to remember those who have helped us in this trying times, and we become appreciate of all the wonderful things that have always been right in front of us. See you all on the other side.

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