On the one hand, it came as no surprise that we should be locked down yet again. It has practically become the norm over the past year in Greater Manchester to be able to do very little, other than within or with members of your own household.
But, as the message hit home last night, so it was accompanied by the inevitable sinking of the heart. Here we go again…our liberties have been curbed even further.
It’s true that it has been very hard for so many people, especially those who are unable to leave their homes at all for many months. There are also a significant number of people who have not done any of those things we have all previously taken for granted and considered ‘normal’ for months. Only today I was speaking to a family who have not visited a single shop since March. Their only exercise, their only interaction with the outside world, is a daily walk in the local park.
It is understandable that all of this is having a dramatic and damaging affect upon the mental health of many thousands of people. Even those who are most upbeat are finding it hard to keep their heads up and above the water of doom that threatens to drown them. But we must. We mustn’t let the situation define us, and who we are. We must hold on to the positives.
Yes, we’ve gone back into lockdown, but we have to trust that this time it is different. It has to be different, because as we move from week to week, from month to month in this new year, so does the roll out of the vaccine, which is the promise, the hope for a brighter future for us all.
A friend posted on Facebook yesterday that he had left his Christmas lights up at the window. The other decorations are down, but he is keeping the lights there as a sign of cheer to anybody who passes. Maybe we could all take a leaf out of his book and keep, if not our Christmas lights, at least some form of light shining in our windows, shining out into the darkness of the winter days and nights ahead. The light will remind us and all who see it that things will get brighter, the days will lengthen, the sun will shine and hopefully, by that time, we will all be living in the light of the realisation that things are improving.
As I sit writing this I’ve just taken a phone call from my dad’s GP telling me that they are about to immunise him against Covid-19. It is real. It is happening. It is already touching our families and will continue to do so. I know I am in Group 6 of this roll out, Mick before me, in Group 5. It will happen. It will roll out to us all and gradually we will be able to reclaim our lives.
We will sing again, we will party again, we will celebrate again and most importantly we will hug and hold each other again.
In the meantime I am sending a virtual hug to anybody who needs one, until we can see each other again. And also a reminder that if you need me, you know where I am, just drop me a line.
God Bless xx