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Keeping Mum#5 Remembrance

Stunned silence in the last 24 hours over the news of a possible vaccine for Covid-19, and a whole raft of emotions shared by so many.  What has struck me most is in the rush to queue for the vaccine how I don’t want to forget all the extraordinary things, good and not so good, that have happened in the last 8 months …. A few of my favourites, and some less so….

  • Local, local, local

The days in March, April and May when whatsapp, facebook, flyers through the door,  neighbourly chats ensured we shielded our most vulnerable people in our communities;  how local shops got busy with deliveries and takeaways;  how we (re)-discovered the kindness of strangers and neighbours with collections of medication and other errands. 

  • The online grocery slot is gold

If online delivery slots could be monetised and traded, a dent in Rishi’s finances might well have been made.  Remember the unseemly rush for loo roll, flour and pasta…. And then the “hit refresh” hours spent trying to get a delivery from the supermarket.  Silver hour shopping and care worker shopping slots in-store were a welcome antidote, and an old-school response to the mayhem. 

  • Zoom is not a lifestyle choice

In lockdown#2 there seems to be a merciful absence of invitations to zoom parties, coffee catch ups etc.  Zoom-face is apparently now a thing.  And 8 months on still we appear on mute, with the laundry basket behind our right ear, with children and dogs providing much needed respite from yet another interminable zoomer. 

  • Nature, nature, nature

The days of early summer when the sky seemed bluer, empty of planes and sounds of traffic;  birdsong and nature came to the forefront providing so many people with solace and something to do during those lovely, long, peaceful days.

  • Abandoning those most in need

All of this was meant to protect the elderly and most frail, many in care homes, and so many shielding in isolation for months.  Somehow, despite everyone’s best efforts, we failed so many of them.  PPE, visiting, test and trace.  So many lessons to be learned, the biggest one being – how do we best care for our elderly population?

  • Virtual reality

Netflix, box sets, online tours, web cams, live streaming art, nature, theatre and music.  The world came to us through our screens.  In part keeping organisations vaguely alive, certainly keeping our brains ticking over, and providing something to actually talk about on those zoom parties……

  • Hair

The conversations about hair.  Cutting it.  Dying it.  Weathermen with lockdown hair.  The silvering of a generation. When would hairdressers re-open?  Why haven’t hairdressers re-opened.  Etc etc. 

The wash up from the pandemic when it finally comes won’t make for pretty reading on many counts.  But there were also so many great things that will change how we live and work forever.  In the meantime, with lockdown#2 firmly under way, time to sit tight, exercising the collective muscle memory to continue with all the great things that saw us through lockdown#1, in the knowledge that now there really may be an end in sight.

Annabel James is the founder of Age Space. Her views are her own.

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