Lucky number 13. I should explain that I started counting the days since I was officially stood down from work. With the staggered approach, the slow phase-in that the UK took to locking down, I’m sure everyone started counting from the start of their own situation. And for those who still have to battle on in the NHS and otherwise, well, they’re heroes.
There isn’t any doubt in my mind that I have it pretty easy. I can’t work from home due to the nature of what I do, so I’m furloughed on 85% of my normal wage. I don’t even owe time back. This is a pretty sweet deal. By pursuing hobbies I effectively live the dream. I am now being paid to do whatever I want.
Within reason of course. And within the bounds of the current restrictions of movement. I’m also still bound by my means; I can’t sit around drinking champagne in a dressing down, which is what all professional writers do.
I don’t know what the aftermath of this pandemic will be. Surely nobody could with any degree of certainty. What I do know is that there are a great many people struggling to deal with isolation, a change in their circumstances and situations occurring out of their control. To these people I would try to urge them to fill their time with positive actions and to try to put a positive spin on things. Empty words it might be, nobody ever told to ‘get over it’ (or whatever) actually does so. Cheer up is another good one that seldom works. What will work will be bettering yourself, working on your weaknesses or further developing your strength. Learn a new skill, hone your existing ones. Think of this enforced house arrest as bonus time to spend on yourself. You are your own greatest asset and it’s one that’s worth looking after.
We might not know where we’ll be in a couple of months time, but we can all meet it prepared.