So we’re just commencing day 3 of self isolation and there’s been a lot of time for navel gazing so I thought I’d share my thoughts with you in case it helps in the future for anyone:
- Visit Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert. He has some good advice on there regarding various situations financially. If you are needing advice – check out if he can help.
- If you’re still out and about – put an extra can of food in the local food bank. Food banks are going to REALLY struggle and there are still mouths to feed. When they shut the schools some kids will be going without their main meal of the day. Do you know someone you can help? If you have any food going spare, can you help them out?
- Support your National Health workers. Do you know one? Drop them a meal round, something they can take into work, leave some flowers on their doorstep, don’t clog the system unless you have to, buy them a gift card for coffee or something, leave them a note of thanks.
- Create a local community group, stay in contact on the internet, you might be able to help or need help yourself, it may be the only communication you have some days.
- Pay it forward: In ANY way you can. Lots of local businesses will suffer. Many pubs/cafes/restaurants are not yet able to close but people have been asked not to go to them. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place because their insurance will only kick in IF the government forces them shut. Many are offering takeaway meals – USE THEM!!
- Can you afford to up any charity support financially? Homeless charities, domestic abuse (this is going to rise if people are forced to stay home!), charities for kids that need food etc.
- If you offer a service that you could offer for free online (particularly if your salary is currently safe), do so.
- If you have a friend or relative on zero contract hours or a salary that will be impacted, how can you help them? Can you buy them some groceries, help towards their rent, employ them to do something for you remotely or outside away from you?
- Can you afford to buy a gift card from a local business that you use that you could then redeem once we’re back on our feet again.
- Create a village library/game/jigsaw swap. Do you have any you don’t need? Can you put them in a central place? I am going to put my spare books out in a box on the drive for people to literally take. Boredom will be your middle name.
- Do you have any space on your property to grow some food. You can get seed deliveries and plant your own lettuce, potatoes, carrots etc – whilst it’s not ideal, it may help reduce ‘some’ of the shortages in a few months time.
- If you have young kids at home, they could send cards, letters and pictures to their local care homes. The elderly are most at risk and many are now closed to visitors. How lonely must that be? If you have elderly parents/grandparents, pick up the phone, OFTEN!!
- Get outside on your bike/legs. You don’t need to be within 2 metres of anyone, but you can get fresh air and exercise. You don’t need the gym, do it all within the confines of your home.
- Open your windows – fling them open, this air is going to be the freshest it will ever be over the coming months – listen to the birds and enjoy the fact that you will get better, we WILL get through this.
I am not preaching and lots of these thoughts have come from having too much time to trawl the internet and look at ideas and what is going on elsewhere. I AM going to get on with my dissertation as it’d probably be a good idea to make use of my time constructively, albeit who knows when I may be able to actually carry out the research if they do shut schools. I’m also going to try to sort out teaching some of my students via Skype next week, so want to set that up. I want to sort the village swap box out today and am going to donate to a couple of new charities.
Reading this back through seems so idealistic, but we are in testing times that are totally unprecedented and no one knows how we work through this.
Interestingly someone posted something a couple of days ago about the Kubler Ross grief cycle and I think that’s pretty accurate. We are going to tackle this very differently from an emotional perspective.
I’m not writing to sugar coat this all and say ‘oooh how lovely that we’re all going to become kind people and less selfish”, sadly that’s bullshit. The selfish will probably continue to be selfish (one only has to google Richard Branson and the coronavirus and money) – people WILL cash in on others’ misfortune, however, I think there is a LOT we are being handed here to reassess our own attitudes – like I said, you will spend a LOT of time navel gazing if you’re isolated.
Stay well x