Sometimes situations arise which force us to look a life through a different lens. Like an unwelcome invitation to assess where we are; as individuals, families, communities, businesses and countries.
So far 2020 has thrown up some serious stinkers. The fires, the floods and now Corona virus and the associated locusts that are emptying the supermarket shelves.
When we’re on ‘lockdown’ there is plenty of time for reflection and introspection which, in too large a dose isn’t healthy. This enforced slowdown is causing anxiety, confusion and uncertainty but for our own mental health it is really important that we look for the positives wherever possible; there is always something if you choose to change your perspective. Here are some take always that I hope survive long after we have the virus has passed.
Community Care: As soon as the news started to get serious about C-19 messages began to pop up on my village social media feed. People were offering shop runs, telephone calls, newspaper drops and so on. There are printables doing the rounds so we can drop notes in to the neighbours with our name, contact number and a tick list of what we can help with. For those that live some distance away from their own families it is offering the opportunity to do for others what we hope will be done for our parents and vulnerable family members. It has taken a global pandemic for many of us to learn our neighbours names but whatever the reason, now we’re connected, I don’t want wellness to get into the way of these new relationships. They’re the little things that make up the fabric of daily life that for too long many of us have been too busy for.
Conscious Consumerism: As supply chains dry up and even common products become more difficult to come by small, local businesses are coming into their own. Milk men and women are making daily deliveries of bread, milk, juice and an increasing variety of goods to those self-isolating. Independent shops are offering to wrap, pack and hand deliver gifts and care packages to those self-isolating or to friends and relatives that have a birthday or occasion if you can’t get into the shop because you’re ill or self-isolating.
Swathes of festivals, fairs and events which independents would usually get a large proportion of their sales and income from have been cancelled so people are turning to social channels to prop up sales and sell gift vouchers for future dates and experiences which means the business gets the income now, you get the experience later- for many that support will be the difference between surviving and folding.
I was really moved by a post from Jack Monroe recently who has helped so many with her budget recipes and, now some of her contracts have been cancelled, it is her turn to be helped. Such is life and her fans and follers are coming through. Buying less, buying more locally and buying more consciously has been on the fringes of many peoples minds for some time- it cuts plastic, cuts carbon and helps the high street but…. Online and supermarkets are just so easy…until they’re too empty of products or too full of other people. Local is personal, it is supporting our community and it really needs us!
Controlled Commuting: Businesses have moved heaven and earth to ensure that it is possible and profitable for staff to work from home because now it’s about their survival and convenience, not yours. A few businesses have been the exception but in the main, historically flexible working is a fight. Motherpukka has been championing flexible working for years but nothing has had the impact that C-19 has. So, once life settles down again, flexible working will still be possible- for parents, for carers, for anyone looking for a better balance so lets hope this is something that sticks long after the virus has passed its peak.
Right now I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of emotion- I am sure we all do. Sometimes I’m very keep calm and carry on and at other times I am a nervous wreck wondering about whether my loved ones will be ok not to mention where my next pay cheque will come from and when. But, as the messages and meme’s are reminding me- I’m not in the trenches, I’m not on my own and we will get through this together.
Sending you big fat buckets of love. Pay it forward, pick up the phone and spread some positivity wherever possible.