It’s a beautiful, breezy spring day where I live. I am juggling working from home whilst a load of washing nears the end of its cycle, a rattling noise reminds me that the bread machine is kneading a wholemeal loaf and I can hear the distant sound of running water as my teenage son takes a shower at 1.30pm in the afternoon.
Despite the fact that we are now in the fourth week of lockdown I am deeply grateful. The sun is shining and I have a garden in which to enjoy it. My washing will soon be pegged out on the line, where it will flap like sails in the wind and dry with that indescribably fresh, clean smell. I am grateful that I found one of the last bags of bread flour in the supermarket and that I was not reduced to wrestling anyone for it, thanks to 2 metre distancing in the aisles. I am deeply appreciative that my son has decided that a daily shower is still a good idea, even if it is six hours later than usual.
I am also reflecting on how the crisis that we all find ourselves in highlights the good and the bad, the heroes and the villains, those who accomplish wonderful things in the face of adversity and those who struggle or fail.
Isn’t it wonderful that a 99-year old war veteran has rallied the nation and raised millions for others? How thousands of people make a difference just by going to work each day? Some look for a cure, some care for the sick, some supply our food, others deliver letters to family and friends who cannot be together. This virus is a professional leveller, since all these vital roles have the potential to alter and improve lives.
I am humbled by those who will emerge from lockdown having written a book, delivered an online concert to thousands, lost weight and raised their fitness levels or developed software that will change the way we work in future. I am deeply grateful to those who show up to work every day, exhausted, depressed, defeated, because they have pledged to put their own feelings to one side in order to help others.
Me? During the past three weeks I have not found a cure, lost weight or touched my piano. I am just plodding along. I am doing my best to care for my family and keep the plates of everyday life spinning. I am trying to be patient and to not be grumpy too often. I am attempting to only drink wine at weekends.
I won’t change the world but I hope I will be doing my bit to make my little part of it as good as it can be for now. I am content.
Posted on behalf of Diane Woodford, a staff member at the OU Students Association.