Could it get any worse? Now more than ever we need to be positive

I read somewhere that someone had said that they were “contemplating the weather, a pile of bills, a full inbox and the news and thinking: How could it get any worse? Oh yes, my tax return.”

I get their point and to be honest whilst I may be in the slightly more vulnerable age group for Covid-19 I keep thinking of the people that are so much more worse off than me. Each day this week I have thought of a different group of people and how they are coping. It is the way that I have often dealt with problems in my life. I have tried to remember the people that are having it much tougher than me. So often we get wrapped up in our own world and look inwards which, because of lockdown, is probably even more of an issue right now.

I am going to share the groups of people that I have thought about how they are coping with this world we are living in. Maybe in the comments section below this post you can share other groups of people that you are thinking of and are worrying about.

Day One: Those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic

Of course these people are uppermost in our minds as, even when this pandemic is under control, they will never be the same.

Each day the numbers are issued in the UK and I feel as if we may have become impervious to these announcements. When it hit 1000+ deaths in one day it seemed as if we took it in our stride and yet there were over 1000 families grieving for a loved one. Worse still is that they die without a loved one holding their hand. If that wasn’t bad enough their family are not surrounded and supported by all of their friends at the funeral.

Day Two: The NHS and all Carers

Of course we never stop thinking about the hard-working doctors, nurses and carers that are coping with the Covid patients. Many are isolated from their own families with no downtime, little sleep and a feeling of desperation at losing so many patients.

Many of them must be suffering from serious mental health issues and wondering, ‘could it get any worse’. They are definitely the heroes of the pandemic and I wonder how they can ever be thanked enough by the rest of us.

Day Three: Young Parents

Being a parent during lockdown from post: Could it get any worse?

On Day 3 I thought about all those young parents who are trying to home school, hold down a job, keep the house tidy, food shop and probably prepare 4 meals a day.

When you have children you are constantly worrying about them – are they keeping up with their school work? Do they have friends? Are they being bullied? The list goes on and on. However some of that scholastic burden is shared with their teacher but suddenly Covid has meant that parents have taken on the role of teacher. Being in lockdown has also meant that they can only socialise with their friends online and we know how dangerous that can be for the very young.

Day Four: Teachers

Teaching on Zoom from post: Could it get any worse?

I spoke to a friend of mine, on Day 4, who teaches English to GCSE students and I realised that her day has been made so much tougher by this pandemic both for her and her students.

She wrote to me:

I have never been busier – not enough internet to be fully live so doing voice PowerPoint following usual timetable, but it takes hours of planning before the lesson itself, with spectre of parents critiquing to Ofsted. I am not provided with anything to work with from home, and my Apple Mac is not compatible with the school learning platform so I have to download to work on and then upload.

Also students are having to share devices, and using parent data, working from phones, have weak internet, etc. Many can’t download texts to work on, and some texts are not digital, although we are required by law to stick to the original schemes of work, no pragmatic substitution. Imagine, teaching T.S. Elliot to a child a reading age of 10 without any paper (Covid rules). And simultaneously, one with adult reading skills.

Even if the majority of parents are happy, there are always the ‘where are our live lessons – everyone else has them’ (same people as ‘where is my child’s A*’), and at the opposite end the cries of “too much screen time, too much work”. And Senior Leaders’ scrutiny of tasks set, and marking done promptly, and to a high standard.

This friend of mine is herself vulnerable with a suppressed immune system so my concern is also for her health. She is a member of a cast of thousands and I wish the Government would classify them as essential workers and get them vaccinated so that pupils could return to school.

Day Five: Schoolchildren

Poster for children missing school from post: Could it get any worse?

How must they be suffering? Not only is their education being threatened in the long term but their social lives too. It cannot be healthy for them to be doing all their school work and socialising online. And for those who do not have the technology – laptops or good wifi – to take part in lessons they must feel increasingly isolated.

These are the years that are so vital and cannot be repeated. Luckily, being children, they won’t be thinking ‘could it get any worse’ and they are just enjoying being at home.

Day Six: Young Adults

Dating during a pandemic from post: Could it get any worse?

Think of all the young adults who cannot socialise and date. Even those who are in serious relationships are feeling that their lives are on hold. My own daughters could not attend weddings of close friends and many have had to postpone their weddings. They are at the stage when they want to get on the property ladder, maybe start a family and all of this has had to be ‘parked’. It should be a time when they are building and expanding their lives, in both their business and personal lives. Covid-19 has put a stop to all of that.

Day Seven: Joe Biden & Kamala Harris

On the final day of the week, as we approach the Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States (20th January 2021) Joe Biden, and his Vice-President Kamala Harris, I wondered how they must be feeling.

These two people are either incredibly brave or idealistically blind as who on earth would want to take on sorting out the US. We have our issues over here but their’s are in a whole different ball-park. 74 million people did not vote for them and many are aggressively opposing them. I find it hard to deal with a negative comment about A&G (luckily we rarely get them) but Biden and Harris are going to have to ‘wade through treacle’ to sort this one out.

Annabel standing in window of her riverside cabin from post: Could it get any worse?

So yes there are always other people with problems bigger or more unsolvable than ours. It is easy for me to moan about this lockdown or to be fearful of Covid-19 but there is so much we have to be thankful for e.g. the scientists who have worked night and day to bring us a vaccine in record time that may be the answer to many of the above issues. I stand in my riverside cabin, on a sunny day, looking down the river and I try to think about how many positives there are to celebrate and as the author, Nicholas Sparks, once said

If you think it can’t get any worse it can. And if you think it can’t get any better it can.

Nicholas Sparks

I am going to focus on the second part of that quote as I think we have completed the first part. Could it get any worse? No. I am now looking for when it will get better and the world can start to heal.

2 Comments

  1. I am thinking of all the relatives in care homes. I have only been able to have one visit inside my 92 year old mum’s residential care home and that was on the occasion of her birthday. Mum has not been able to hold my two new grandchildren,born in Lockdown. Over the summer/ autumn we were eventually allowed garden visits for 30minutes once a week. Due to further Lockdown measures this has stopped and it’s too cold in any case.The residents and staff have had the first part of the Pfizer vaccine but I see no sign of my sister and I being allowed in until we are vaccinated. Mum is relatively COVID safe but her mental health is suffering.She does not have Alzheimer’s disease but her short term memory is deteriorating at a rapid rate. The staff are wonderful but as the residents are mainly confined to their rooms it’s like being in a prison.

    • I can only imagine how hard this is for everyone, the carehome resident, the relatives and the nursing staff. I am sure there will be terrible knock-on effects from this pandemic. I hope you get to see your mother very soon. Best wishes, Annabel

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