In this era of Covid-19, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to write. I couldn’t see it at the time but, looking back, I can understand why this might have the case.
Lockdown was (and still is) an utterly strange experience. It’s a time when all the milestones that delineated the weeks and months have disappeared. We’re living in a sort of time fog with each day being much like the next. No meals out, no pubs, no family visits, no nothing.
And it is scary.
At first we were told that it was just like the flu but possibly a bit worse. Then the deaths started stacking up. Now, we find out that, even if you survive the virus, it might have permanently affected your lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and even your brain. Psychosis is also one possible side effect.
And the deaths keep stacking up.
The really scary part, and the reason that myself and my partner, who has cancer, are still shielding, is that we feel that the pandemic has still yet to be fully controlled. I live in England and, looking across the Channel, across the Irish Sea and even across the Scottish and Welsh borders, it seemed that everyone is doing better at preventing deaths than we are. There are of course two other countries who are in the same shameful state as England; the USA and Brasil. In all three countries our elected ‘leaders’ do not seem to care about people dying. Their portfolios and the economy are vastly more important to them. Ordinary people’s lives seem to matter for little or not at all.
The magical thinking and wilful negligence shown by these country’s ‘leaders’ has been disastrous and, in my opinion, constitutes something on the level of a war crime. It’s truly been one of the most frustrating and depressing times I can remember. So, looking back, whether I was writing or not seems to be of little consequence. Coming out the other end alive was probably more of a priority.
The virus was also a threat in another way as it vastly delayed my scheduled operation for Prostate Cancer (more of this later).
In times of crisis it’s usually the safe option to follow governmental advice. Not so now. The virus has provided a brutal looking-glass into the nature of right-wing governments. We’ve been lied to on a grand scale. Money and power are everything and people, especially poor people, minorities and people who are disabled, seem to be eminently dispensable. The truth is they really don’t care whether you live or die so long as they hang onto their money, their power and their privilege. I still live in hope that something good may come out of all this chaos but it is a faint hope.
Do not be fooled by the political snake oil salesmen. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at home if you can and, if you can’t, then keep a safe distance. Best of luck.