This has been a funny old week! This is our fourth day of lockdown. Have we learnt anything? I’m not sure if we have learnt much in our house, education-wise, but we have found out lots of other things.
COVID-19 seems to have brought out the worst in some people, and the best in others. I’d like to share a little of the positive things I have seen and heard over the last week.
Being good neighbours
It has been wonderful to see the amount of people willing to help their neighbours. They have been putting notes through each other’s doors, offering to shop and collect prescriptions. These people may have smiled to each other on the street, but are not yet friends. Perhaps they may become friends as a result of the pandemic.
The numbers of people volunteering to help the NHS has been staggering. Of course, if you are in a vulnerable category or have children to look after, this may not be for you. I do think it is wonderful that people have come together to support each other during this time.
Well, some of us may not be surprised to have learnt who the key workers in our society are! However, the community now seem to appreciate some of those who have suffered as a result of low wages and zero hours contracts.
Working from home
While it may not be easy, companies are now recognising that they can trust the majority of their employees to work from home, where it is practicable. I work from home often, and I learnt that having my husband working on the other side of the room from me is a distraction. I was staring at him for ages at one point, seeing how long it would take for him to look at me. A friend described me as “the worst co-worker imaginable”. Yes, it will take time for me to learn how to work productively while having my lovely family around me!
Using social media sensibly
Last week I blogged about helping our mental health during this time of stress. I have restricted myself to looking at news headlines once a day, and this has certainly helped. I get the odd message on WhatsApp telling me when someone famous has been identified as having the virus, but otherwise I try to keep my social media interactions to lighter matters.
Keeping in touch with others
Other forms of technology have come to the fore. I loved seeing the parents and children from the toddler group I lead on Zoom this morning. We sang songs, had a story and shared prayers. We may not be able to meet in person at the moment, but we can still let others know we are thinking about them. I have had lovely messages from people I don’t see very often, and I really appreciate it.
A part of my work that I love is Forest Church. We go into the woods next to my house and find joy in the beauty of the Lord’s creation. As we can’t meet physically, I have been asking people to send in their photos of different colours of the rainbow. The aim was to cheer people up, as well as keeping them in touch with each other. It has also had the effect of helping people to stop and appreciate what they can see around them. Any Mindfulness practitioner would be proud! And I have loved seeing more people get involved as the week has gone on. If you would like to join us, please find the competition here. Have a look at the gallery of contributions.
Can we follow up on what we have learnt?
The concern for me is that when it is all over, people want to get “back to normal”. However, I would like us all to consider what we have learnt. Of course, many people volunteered for the benefit of others before this time. If you are a newer volunteer, can you find a way of carrying on? Or will you be more responsive to the needs of those who live on your road?
I am hoping that we might be able to slow down a little. I have done more cooking from scratch as I haven’t been racing to take my children to after-school activities. And by having meetings online, rather than charging around the country, can only be a good thing for many of us. I pray that we can learn from this time and put this wisdom into practice in the future.
What have you learnt during lockdown?
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