‘Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend’ – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve said before that I never intended to write this much about COVID19 and lockdown so apologies for sounding like a broken record, but it really is all that’s going on right now. And if nothing else will serve as a reminder of all the vows and pledges we made in lockdown to change and be better people, and whether or not we’ve stuck to them.
We’re now in week 12 of lockdown and I’ll be the first to admit that when this all started, it would be a month or so then we’d all start getting back to normal. How wrong I was. For the most part of this whole process I’ve managed to keep pretty upbeat and positive about it all. A few weeks ago, I really felt I’d turned a corner; I was loving my new make up free, wild hair, freckled existence and really felt like I’d banished all drama and chaos from my life. Dave and I were happy and settled in our little lockdown bubble.
2 weeks ago though I went back round that corner though as the world seemed to just disintegrate around me over the space of about 5 days. In other aspects of our own little COVID bubble, apart from some flights to Dublin at the beginning of October to see a concert that’s been rescheduled, every single thing we had booked in for this year has been cancelled. Every holiday, every trip, every event, even the Great North Run. So unless our Dublin trip miraculously goes ahead, that’s 2020 cancelled as far as the Newman’s are concerned. The weather hasn’t helped either, we had an amazing weekend at the end of May and we took a week timed long weekend. It was SO FUN. Now though, as I sit and type this on a grey Sunday morning, when we should have been in Portugal, i’m not quite feeling so positive any more.
Government advice is wishy washy at best and we’re all interpreting it as best we can and I’m not here to judge anyone else’s interpretation. I do know when I go on a run, hardly anyone moves out the way any more and much as I try my best to move where I can, that sometimes would mean running into an oncoming car, which I’m not a massive fan of doing. That stresses me out.
What’s been a big source of my blue mood though has been that at the beginning of June I got tagged in something by someone voicing their opinion that I wasn’t using my ‘platform’ in the correct way by not posting a black square on my main grid on blackout Tuesday.
When I first read it that morning I thought ‘hahaha, knob’ and got on with my day. I didn’t think it had bothered me that much. But by the end of the evening I was actually really wound up about it. It must have been bubbling under the surface without me even realising. So I felt I needed to address it and posted a screenshot of the donation I’d made to the official George Floyd fund and pointed out that despite not posting a black square, I was educating myself, having conversations with BAME friends and, like everyone, just trying to understand what is happening and researching how I could help. Then I cried. Then I deleted my Instagram and twitter apps off my phone, swiftly followed by the Facebook app a few days later.
And the break from social media helped me massively to be honest. I think it’s fair to say we’re all struggling to get our heads around whats going on in the world right now and it’s important to look after ourselves to work out how and where we are best placed to make a difference. If you haven’t seen the film Pride (it’s free on Amazon Prime) I urge you to. Not only is it a hugely important film at times like this, but it contains one of my favourite quotes about supporting each other and just being kind, and not shaming people for what they’re seemingly doing or not doing:
When you’re in a battle against an enemy so much bigger, so much stronger than you, well, to find out you had a friend you never knew existed, well, that’s the best feeling in the world
Hopefully the next lockdown update will be more hopeful. But by name alone, I owe it to myself, and to you, to be honest. And honestly, the state of the world doesn’t fill me with much hope some weeks.