Covid 19 and we Stoic Brits

We have lived so long in a world moving faster and faster, that we have forgotten how to be human beings, how to laugh, care, enjoy simple moments.

Then Covid 19 comes along and is now reminding us that we are very frail and society is rather vulnerable.

I have a friend who I played (in a band) along side over several years. She then met a chap and had a wee lad and now lives on one of the western isles and looks and sounds very happy.

A simpler way of life, clean air, open space, community… I just love the beach 10 mins from her house.

My mother died a few days ago after what was a short illness. Her voice started going last year and she was struggling to speak in December but perfectly able to do things and fully cognisant to her last breath. All went wrong in January and by the end of the month was in a nursing home with a terminal Motor Neuron diagnosis. Now MN has a very variable speed but is 100% fatal. The surgeons thought Autumn/End of year at best given her age,and my brother and I very quickly realised we hoped for a swift ending given the prognosis and probable path. As it turns out  she was one of the fastest declining any of the medics had seen and from going to hospital, to going in a box was around 11 weeks.Care homes have been locked down to visitors but we are grateful they called and despite a 2 hour dash I was able to see mum just before she passed… peacefully in the end.

My brother and I are sad mum has gone but we are so relieved she is not suffering. A very active and full life bar 3 months is not a bad account.

Although she liked to think she was born in an Anderson Shelter (Home made bomb shelter in WW2), gran’s labour started then but Mum was born in the house in 1940. The country had rapidly moved to a full war footing and the realisation of what was to come was dawning.Some of mum’s earliest memories were of her dad coming home in his home guard uniform (he was very bitter they would not let him join up but he was a very good engineer so valuable at home). Our country was, as now, rather divided what to do. One pathway prevailed and we dug in.

Now we have Covid-19 and we must again dig in. Our nation, (like most),  have grown soft and whiny banging on about individual rights to identify as anything we feel like, do anything we feel like , and not care much what anyone else thinks. National service left most places decades ago and yet, neighbours are starting to report neighbours over ‘not following the rules’. In our village we contribute to the Covid cause. My wife is making (at industrial levels) wash bags for  NHS uniforms so they can isolate any infection, I (and others) daily deliver medications from the pharmacy to the most vulnerable who must stay isolated. In a very small way we are ‘doing our bit’.

In this time of a modern plague, the village we live in is adapting, people distance and even in one of the narrow walkways where it is impossible to distance people hold their breath and hustle about quickly. There is a the stoic Brit approach and almost everyone is ‘making the best of it’. One of the village characters was 80 today and people were encouraged to wander past his house, tap on the window and wave …. he could not be in the pub having his daily beers and chatting, so the next best thing for a man born not long after WW2 started was just to wave.

I come back to the simple post my fried posted from the beach near her Western Isles home. I know where she came from and the fun, party life. Now a simpler one with a lovely wee lad and an amazing mum in a peaceful part of the world.

Around 2.5 years ago my wife & I retired. We have been busy busy busy … but we both know it is not the simpler retired ‘busy’. We still live at a fast pace and do so many things. But enforced ‘isolation’ with limited movement means we have been out most days around our village for a daily walk (which we are allowed). We sit in the garden and have coffee & cake, read a book and play with the cats. We listen to the birds.

Post Covid-19, our life, our country, our world will change …. we can only hope for the better

To everyone … stay safe… this will end… mankind will prevail