I know everything is very much DOOM at the moment. And really I should be DOOM XTREME* being in one of the especially vulnerable groups to the Covid-19 virus, but I just can’t do it. I’m sorry, it’s not in my nature. I mean, my wife isn’t coping quite as well but she is a cosmopolitan animal who actively enjoys going into the city every day and wandering about doing city stuff like looking in windows at things she will never buy and reading a book while eating alone in a restaurant and appearing mysterious**. But I can happily look at things I will never buy on the internet^ and I can look mysterious eating a bag of crisps on the sofa while writing a book.
Or so I tell myself.
Anyway, lockdown has changed my life because I am no longer on my own all day to pootle about doing whatever occurs to me. The family is here too. Some things have suffered, I’m not writing half as much as I usually do as I just don’t have the mental space I have found I need. But other things have been remarkably positive. My wife is about which is brilliant, and she brings with her more of a sense of structure, so there is lunch time – I thing I usually forget exists – and a time when works starts and ends, so the day is kind of bookended in a way my days usually aren’t.
But the biggest thing is the boy is home.
One of the most annoying things about being chronically ill is the way it sucks time out of you, forces decisions on you. Generally, all of my energy goes on writing. I’m good for about a couple of hours a day and then I’m sort of greyed out for the rest of it. But cos the boy is home and he’s ten and curious and talkative and interested and I’m generally the one that does child stuff as I’m always here (and my wife is doing important things for important people) I can’t do the things I usually do. So energy that would usually be put to that has gone to him and it’s been brilliant. We’ve gone for (government sanctioned) walks as a family. The boy and I have baked, we’ve done science experiments, we’ve invented stories, I’ve taught him to ride his bike. All this stuff that I just usually don’t have the energy for cos I’ve been throwing it all into words I’ve given to him and it’s been hugely rewarding.
I’m not exactly enjoying lockdown, but I am going to do my best not to regret it.
However, while I am here, telling you how lucky I am, it should be remembered that I am lucky. My wife is lucky and our son is lucky and most of the people reading this will also be lucky. There are many, many people out there who are not lucky and for whom this Lockdown will make their situation worse. This article in The Independent is something you should read . And maybe consider giving something to one of the charities mentioned. One of the side effects of the lockdown is all the things that help charities make money: marathons, half marathons, bake sales, shows, all these events that help them help others are not happening and they need to make that money somehow. So maybe that £50 you would have spent on a meal out that you can no longer have can do better and harder work somewhere else.
And if you are in a position where the lockdown is making life intolerable or you are struggling for any reason then reach out because there are people out there who will, and want, to help you. If anything, Covid seems to have made us a slightly more compassionate society.
Look after yourselves and be well
*As we say in the nineties.
** Or so I imagine.
^Superyachts, if I can’t afford a thing I’m going to really not be able to afford something.