On Monday 23 March 2020 Boris Johnson ordered people not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. People to only go out to shop for essentials; for medical reasons or to care for the vulnerable; to travel to work that is “absolutely necessary” and cannot be done at home; and to exercise – once a day, alone or with a member of their own household. Normality as we had known was a thing of the past.
We are in unprecedented times (there’s a phrase which we have all used to death) We are in the midst of a pandemic which is creating an as yet unknown economic legacy. As business owner, we have lost control of how and when we operate, and it is impossible to know when we will get back to what is likely to be a new normal. It is hard for us to plan for the future when we don’t know when things will get back to normal.We have lowered our expectations to avoid disappointment. Expect months and you will be happy when it is weeks.
But I am struggling, for the past 30 years I have been working, writing that sentence makes me feel old! Everyday getting up, going to work, juggling time to fit in exercise, training plans, being a social butterfly. Now, there is no sense of urgency, maybe this is what it is like to be retired? No time frame to adhere to, having to double check what the actual day of the week it is. Feelings of an overwhelming sadness and worry of whether our family business will weather the storm. Feeling robbed because our business was cut off in its prime due to a virus. Will the business survive when the new normal resumes? The government help has eased the burden, but that is a short term solution to what is going to be a long term payback.
I have read that people have likened the current Co-VID 19 situation to being taken hostage. I can completely relate to that. We have adopted a combination of different coping mechanisms. Although our isolation is to a certain extent voluntary and is happening for our own good, and the good of our society, we are social creatures, especially in times of crisis. So it is natural to crave for the company of our friends and family. That urge to be together makes us who we are. It feels odd seeing friends and family at a social distance and not embracing.
So many people say, ‘I never have the time to…’ Well, now you do. This is true for me, so many jobs at home has been overlooked over the last 2 years since starting Penningtons. The house and garden have never looked so lovely, same for work, so many time consuming jobs that we never have time to do are being done. As with everything you have to take a positive out of a negative situation.
It’s the feeling of uncertainty that causes me the most anxiety. Nobody knows when this will end, or how? My friend described the current situation perfectly “With the great weather, it is like being on an extended holiday with the overwhelming threat of bankruptcy hanging over you” Yep that’s exactly how I feel.
I long for the days of going to the pub and having time with friends and family.