What I do in lockdown

What I do in lockdown has altered my views so that all my workaday and long-held assumptions are being challenged.

I’m sure that, six months ago, if I’d said I would prioritise hoovering on Mondays, and washing sheets, taking out the recycling, remembering to place gardening bins on the kerb just to give me something to do of a weekday morning, I would have guffawed loudly. That, I would have opined, would have been as likely as my daughter settling down to do jigsaws, which hitherto she has scorned.

Yet, in the last few weeks, both Seline and I have completed about seven or eight jigsaws each, with no complaint and a great deal of enthusiasm.

Instead of complaining about domesticity, I now thank my lucky stars when I can visit the supermarket, am grateful there is food on the shelves, and shop conservatively, mindful of the twin injunctions to shop as infrequently as possible, but without hoarding. I’m grateful too, for daily acts of heroism from those who keep turning up for work in hospitals, schools and shops, fearful, perhaps, of becoming unwell, but also grateful to have gainful – and such useful! – employment.

One of the good things to have come out of this current situation is the recognition, finally, that the “small” occupations many people have, are vital for all of us. The recognition that ordinary people, going about their usual jobs, are really important to the continuing function of their communities; that to be relied upon, as a teacher, a medical technician or a parent must be, is a useful, indeed one of the best, ways to contribute meaningfully.

Whatever else I may learn, the restraints currently imposed on us have taught me, finally, what it truly means to perform routine tasks willingly and with a peaceful heart. So many of us have to take risks that I am not, nor ever have been, called upon to take. And I am grateful to them.

Thanks for reading.

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