Tomorrow it will be seven weeks since we left home. Seven weeks, since I saw my oldest two children, longer since I saw my extended family and friends. Seven weeks since I did not have to use anti-bac gel every time I came in to contact with a surface that someone else has touched, or heaven forbid coughed or sneezed on. Seven weeks since I saw the face of the cashier at the supermarket, everyone wears masks and gloves. Seven weeks since I got in the car and drove, just to explore. Seven weeks since we visited the beach and had drinks and lunch with friends.
All this has happened in such a relatively short amount of time. The way in which we conduct our day to day lives feels logical and absurd in equal measures. How can having no social contact with people be a good thing. Humans are not built this way; we thrive with interaction. Many can no longer work and those that do, literally have to put their lives on the line. I am happy that I have not got used to this new way of life, that it is alien to me. I hope I never get use to it.
I have for chunks of this time felt frustrated and angered by the time everything has taken. Why was lockdown not enforced quicker, especially in England when the ramifications seemed so clear to those in Italy and Spain? How can we not have enough PPE? In the different businesses I have owned, I have had to tick SO many boxes to ensure Healthy and Safety guidelines have been adhered to. It is time consuming and in the main common sense. I have always respected these rules and obeyed them to the best of my ability. I’m sorry but I fail to understand how the NHS cannot have adequate PPE. We are not at the end of this pandemic when despite all our efforts, equipment has been exhausted. This has been from day one. Staff putting their lives at risk; to ensure the best possible outcome for their patients. It is simply not good enough; that lives have been lost because of this is sickening.
I have to remind myself that we are here not because of Coronavirus. Although it was beginning to be in the news and it was definitely concerning me, the reason we came here was because we need to get Livvy well, to find a way to bring her asthma to a point where it could be controlled. Strangely, from a personal viewpoint, with my perspective focusing on the positive, I look at the past seven weeks, with a sense of wonderment, it has been an amazing time for us.
Livvy has recovered from her longest stint of acute asthma! She is well and currently needs no emergency medication. It is seven weeks since Livvy has coughed. Seven weeks since Livvy was kept awake with the most persistent cough each night, every single night. Seven weeks since a visit to the Accident and Emergency Department , or an almost daily trip to the GPs, we even managed a ride in an ambulance, on one particularly bleak day. Doctors and nurses deciding how many nebulisers she may need, whether she needs to be admitted or that she can go home but on yet another course of steroids. Seven weeks since walking from the car to the house was an effort. Maybe the most notable change is simply, Livvy was so quiet, now she is so noisy: singing and being loud. For the first few weeks it startled me on occasions, it was as if Livvy had spent three months with a mute button switched on.
This moment in time is unique for us all, we have never lived through such a widespread pandemic with such scary and far reaching consequences. Pandemics are an occurrence in history but for the vast majority we have not experienced anything like this before.
It is teaching me how my perspective and positive mindset matters most when life is difficult. How we learn to look after ourselves and our own mental health, so that in turn we can look after others. I often feel isolated and wish that I could do more to help those that currently need it. I would love to be an NHS volunteer; it would make me feel useful. Yet, I cannot risk, bringing this virus in to my house. Other family members fall in to high risk categories and whilst I look forward to the day that lockdown is lifted, I know for us it will take longer than most until normality returns.
Yet it is not all doom and gloom. The time we spend in Spain I will cherish. Life is a much slower space, and because Livvy is well, it feels that a weight has been lifted. She can be more involved in physical activity and now that weather is improving she is swimming most days. We endeavour to tackle school work a little each day but it is the time when she reads or goes off exploring that I see her slowly growing up from a child to a teenager. I know this time will pass quickly, it did with the my other two and these can be the really scary years. Therefore it is so important to cherish this time, all the small moments, that put together a time, when realistically very little happens.
Moving forward I also know more where I want to focus my time with ensuring women can lead more fulfilling lives and I believe this is by them living their life with direction and purpose. It is by identifying our potential and see how dreams come to fruition. I want to help others do that in way I can, by sharing my knowledge and giving practical help. It is what I feel most passionate about.