Coronavirus has brought us closer and thrust us further apart

A week after full lockdown and it feels like a lifetime. I struggle to believe how I once happily passed within 2 metres of other humans, how I ever dropped my daughter off at nursery and went to work.

I think I have had the virus – my temperature has been up and my chest has been tight and my body has ached so so much. My usual fatigue seems like nothing compared to the muscle wearying drag my limbs are weighed down by now.

The Coronavirus crisis seems fraught with contradiction. We have been forced into much more insular family units – no grandparents , schools or childcare providers to share the burden of parenthood. And yet we must rely on the help and kindness of neighbours, friends and sometimes strangers to access the most basic of supplies. We are used to taking responsibility for our own shopping and having instant access to places to shop, and shelves of produce to choose from.

Similarly we are surrounded by little glimpses of heroism, kindness and hope. Communities are rising to the challenge of looking after their most vulnerable. And yet at the same time we are hoarding, stockpiling and panic buying, not to mention getting grumpy and angry at those working hard in shops, emergency services and healthcare. We are seeing the best and worst all at once.

Our world is shrinking – we must stay local or housebound. Airlines are grounded, roads empty and trains deserted. But we suddenly are bound together with billions across the globe – united by a tiny particle with crown-like fronds. We have never felt more alone, but also more united by common sacrifice – developing, developed countries suddenly all alike.

We are bombarded with apocalyptic messages of urgency and drama, whilst our day to day lives seem painful in their boredom and monotony. Each day passes slowly. A shower is the big event of the day. But outside the planets are spinner ever faster – a week ago might as well be another century, the habits of early March as confined to history as the Tudors.

And this must be my last Happy Mums blog for now. We are closing down temporarily to help safeguard our future – another seeming contradiction, but we, like everyone, are hoping some short-term restriction will mean we can carry on when we come out the other side. Stay strong, stay safe and stay home all you lovely people…

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