This week, as the enormity of the world situation became apparent to me, I had to make some tough decisions which would have a major impact on my own lifestyle and, much more importantly, those of others. None of my decisions were taken lightly but I believe time will show them to be the correct ones.
Just like so many other self-employed people my entire future career is now precarious and uncertain.
We are on the verge of a complete lockdown in the UK. The coming months will be a major test for all of us, regardless of all factors. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, qualified, unqualified, privileged, unprivileged; it doesn’t matter. The current problem is widespread and indiscriminate. It is going to change the lives of every single person. Numerous aspects of our lives will never be the same again.
The delay in closing the UK’s schools has not been helpful. I have watched as class sizes have been cut in half and have understood the panic and fear among the front-line workers - even though they have managed to remain completely professional at all times.
Teachers, more often than not the easiest target when people want to start gratuitously criticising others, have, alongside all other school staff, displayed immense courage and commitment in recent times. I know for certain that some of the staff are more at risk than others due to various ailments yet they have still been there every day to provide for the children.
The children have been magnificent this week too. They should not be going through this dreadful experience. Somewhere along the line they have been failed.
Now is not the time to judge the actions - or inactions - of others. The panic-buyers clearly have a much lower panic threshold than the rest of us. We do not know how we would act if we crossed our own personal thresholds. Perhaps we will soon find out.
I am very fortunate to have a small circle of special friends who will always be there to help me (and vice-versa, of course). Many others are nowhere near as fortunate; their instincts and actions will be different. We all have our own battles. Some of them are internal and highly damaging.
Every single person now faces unparalleled challenges, which would have been unimaginable just two weeks ago. We are at a crossroads where suddenly the differing scenarios of ‘everything is important’ and ‘nothing is important’ coexist.
I hope we can find a way to replace anger with understanding, to forestall hatred with love and to use kindness to navigate away from selfishness. This time, we all need to be on the same side.
Please take care, everyone.
We are all valuable and fragile in equal measure.