‘LOCKDOWN’ by Michael James
Lockdown is a prison protocol that prevents people or information from leaving an area. It can also be used to protect people from a threat or other external event. (Edited from Wikipedia). Sounds about right for the position we find ourselves in at the moment.
Lockdown, as we have become used to during the COVID-19 Pandemic, has made us prisoners in our own homes and prevents us from leaving an area, except for very limited and restricted reasons. For the vast majority of people it is a protocol that we accept, for the greater good, praying that the virus will somehow be stopped or, at least be slowed down, until an effective vaccine can be found to combat it. Although there are now encouraging signs that such a vaccine will be found, the likelihood that it will be available to us all is still a long way away and hoping (praying) that, in the meantime, we will be kept safe and well.
Is that how you see it? How are you responding to and adapting to life in Lockdown? Are you one of those who, however reluctantly, just gets on with it or are you furious with the official clampdown on ‘normal’ life? Some are furious, just because they cannot stand to be told what to do, screaming, ‘What about freedom of the individual?’, but there are many others for whom being confined to the house is more difficult, something that they just cannot handle and they become fretful and upset. I have a number of friends who have recognisable learning disabilities and a number whose problems are not visible, but are equally disabling. Their lives and those of their families and or carers, depend upon having some sort of normal structure, one of which is to be able to go out and participate in different interests or hobbies or just meet and speak to others while simply being out and about, and there are so many others for whom this period is very difficult indeed.
One of the blessings which keep many of us going is the spell of good weather we are having just now, it must be a great relief for dogs who can take their owners for walks. For those of us lucky enough to have gardens, whatever its size, it’s a joy to be able to be out in the fresh air, whether to just lounge in our deck chairs of tend our gardens. But, even then our ‘Britishness‘, gets the better of us and despite the concerns of the Coronavirus, all we moan about is the weather. It’s great to have the sunshine but, we need rain!
I asked earlier, how are you adapting to the current crisis? I hope you are? For me it’s great. I am adapting to it like a duck to water. I think that I have now morphed into the perfect person for self-isolation. I know that we all slow down with age but, from being a sports playing, outgoing youngster, up to and through middle age and, more lately, someone who trekked in the Himalayas at 75 years of age, I have now become a ‘couch potato’, with official blessing from the Government! Furthermore, I have recently been diagnosed as having a lung complaint, nothing sinister I am pleased to say but, according to my medical consultant, I must stay indoors during the current pandemic, except to visit my doctor’s surgery for regular blood tests.(It’s the only thing that I can’t ask anyone else to do for me!).
Thinking of asking for or offering help brings to mind another element of ‘Lockdown’, the way that people are all pulling together and helping each other. Shopping for elderly relatives and friends and even neighbours who we normally might only exchange brief nods with or a polite, ‘Good morning’. Checking on your neighbours and friends that you can now only be in touch with by telephone or through the modern miracle of social media, such as, Skype, Facetime or Zoom. With our churches closed, ‘virtual’ services are being conducted through these IT platforms. It amuses me that as well as being able to see our pastor, up front so to speak, we can see on screen the faces of all those attending the service, rather than the backs of their heads as we would normally do.
Last month I wrote about, ‘Help and Hope is all Around You’. I penned it before we were fully aware of the seriousness of Coronavirus and how it would impact on our lives, It was about how we are surrounded by help if we need it, from our neighbours and friends, voluntary organisations and Faith Groups. That was just a general observation at the time, little did I think how true it would become. We all owe a tremendous amount of thanks for the tireless work carried out by our wonderful NHS, local GPs, and Pharmacies, Care Workers, Ambulance, Police and Fire and Rescue Services, our Supermarkets and smaller food shops and the countless thousands of others who work, often unseen, to ensure that our every need is catered for. What would we do without them?
Yes, help and hope is all around us. We thank God for that and for the help we get from our families, friends and neighbours. Go on, we can’t give them a well-deserved hug, so give all of them a big clap, for just being there, if and when needed.
I have heard it said that it evokes the old wartime spirit of good neighbourliness (is there such a word?) and it certainty seems like that, but this is different! Yes, everybody seems to be pulling together for the greater good and well-being of our nation, but unlike old wars, this enemy is invisible and sadly, can be in those we know and love and even be within our own homes. We can only be vigilant and heed the advice we are given, ‘Stay apart. Stay indoors, to Stay Safe’.
However well you are adapting to the present Lockdown, hopefully it may end soon and if I may, quote, Sir Winston Churchill, ‘Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But, it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning!’. I certainly hope so and pray that we will all remain safe and well.