Here we are, in the sixth week of lock-down in the UK, and the government’s chief scientific officer has gone on record that we will need some form of social distancing regulations till at least the end of the year. I’m sure this wasn’t news anyone wanted to hear – be that personally or professionally – but there it is.
We’re still struggling with the supply of protective equipment, and our testing programme is far from where it needs to be, with critical supplies still in shortage. While a research group at the University of Oxford is shortly to enter the trial phase on a potential vaccine, even a successful and accelerated rate of progression through the stages of the trial won’t alter the fact there’s much work to be done to sort out our supply chain, the manufacturing facilities and processes, as well as the delivery mechanism.
So, even if not in actual lock-down, it looks like we’re all going to be living a very different life for months, rather than weeks, to come. That means we need to adjust our mindsets away from that of short-term emergency coping, to longer-term practices for managing our mental health.
One difficulty in that has been anytime the weather is fair, Himself and I are wont to grab our camera bags and get out & about. We enjoy all aspects of photography – landscapes, seascapes, street photography, portraits, candids, nature, textures, architecture and cityscapes – you name it, we take it! But right now, we can’t. Just to rub it in, the weather in the UK has been unseasonably glorious. Spring has sprung in the most magnificent way. The sun has been shining, the rain has (largely) kept away, the grass is lush and green, and the trees and bushes are heavy with blossom. We’ve managed to do a bit of walking-and-snapping in our local park, while being mindful of selecting a time when it’s quiet, so as not to get in the way of others. Luckily the middle of the day when the park is crowded with people sunbathing or having a picnic isn’t the best light for photography anyway. It has meant one camera + one lens and no tripod for Himself, nevertheless Spring + early evening light has provided some pleasing results …
I’m also especially fortunate in having blogging, writing and reading to provide me with comfort. They satisfy the introverted aspects of my personality, and even though my extroverted side is missing interacting with people, I know I’m not alone in that. Museums and galleries providing virtual tours around their premises have been an absolute boon, and Himself found me a link from the Art Society for a series of art-related lectures. So it looks much like, as in the old normal, I may have a problem finding time to fit things in.
If I was still living alone, I’d probably be tempted to sign up to online study, to learn a language, or undertake some other form of training, for I absolutely loved studying with the Open University and am only seeking an excuse to sign up again.
The downside to all that is we’ve just hit a rash of family birthdays which we’ll not be able to share with loved ones, so I’m actively planning to have as many Unbirthday celebrations as it takes to catch up. For now, we need to stay safe, and do whatever we can to remain sane.
We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — what’s yours?
© Debra Carey, 2020