Sunday 15 March 2020 12:50
This is not going to be an easy read. It’s certainly not easy for me to write. In fact I’ve not posted here for a few days because I can’t write in anything other than a very serious way, and people don’t want to read that; ‘serious’ is already all around them. We all want to carry on as normal and pretend it’s not happening. But we mustn’t.
Only by taking this seriously will we beat it. So this isn’t about drawing, or finding ways to make money creatively, but it is about my life (and yours, and everyone else’s) – very much here, and very much now; and I find that I have to write it.
Those of you who are “carrying on as normal” please, stop; now. There is nothing about the entire world today that is normal.
If you are lucky to be young and healthy enough to survive a bout of the Covid-19 virus, then please, I am begging you, take responsibility for the millions who aren’t. If the spread of the virus isn’t controlled millions of people are going to die unnecessarily in the coming weeks.
Here. Now. I’m frightened, very frightened, and my heart is breaking.
The people I love the most are included in those who are most at risk; as an asthmatic, so am I.
If those I hold closest to my heart catch this virus, they will die. There is also a very real possibility that my own life is at risk. I have to be sensible and am ‘putting my affairs in order’, making provisions for the worst case scenario. I hope it will turn out to be just another job out of the way that needed to be done anyway, but the importance of doing it right now is real. Paperwork and planning I can do. Persuading strangers and even friends to take this seriously and not put anyone else in danger, that’s not so easy.
I’m used to ‘self-isolation’. For me, in itself, that is no hardship. But the thought that I may never see again people I love; that causes me untold grief. Already. They’re still there. I just can’t hug them.
Not “carrying on as normal” seems to be unthinkable for some people. The idea that they should not go out, meet friends, touch, breathe in the same air that strangers just breathed out. So what if they get “this fluey thing”! So they’ll be a bit poorly for a few days… But what of the people they will unwittingly infect before they decide they really need to take to their beds? The people who touch the surfaces they just touched (after coughing into their hand), the person sitting next to them on the bus, the retired person they garden for who they happily took a cuppa from and then rinsed it out lazily declaring they’d washed it. The elderly relative they called in on to return something borrowed, but not cleaned…
Carrying on as normal may mean you end up spending a few days feeling absolutely crap. Carrying on as normal may mean – unintentionally, unwittingly, unknowingly even – you cause the death of another human being. Perhaps a loved one. Or a friend. Just as likely, a stranger.
At the moment there is no normal. Yes we must carry on, but this is not pretend. For too many it still seems to be a game. For hundreds of thousands of people, others “carrying on as normal” may be the difference between life and death.
Think about every move you make, and if it involves any possible risk to other people, please, think very very carefully if you really need to make it.
If you woke up this morning thinking you’ll just carry on as normal…
Please. Stop. Now.