Pandemic Annoyances

In my life, there have been times where I have had restrictions. Times where I have not left the house for long periods of time. Times where I have been isolated.

This has given me a slight advantage when dealing with this pandemic. It has meant that my anxiety stayed low, I was not ‘freaking out’ and I was able to take it all in my stride.

However…

Now, I am fed up and annoyed. I can be a little bit of a control freak – this means that I am starting to twitch at the fact that we are potentially once again having choice taken away. I live in a City where the number of cases are currently (apparently) increasing. This means that the City is now on some naughty list to be watched and potentially sent into another lockdown. There has been mention of Marshal presence. There has been a limitation on how many people you can and cannot see and where you can see them. Unless you’re at work or school…

Everyone is saying “Christmas may be cancelled.”

Travel restrictions may be put into place. Again. So now I can be once again separated from my mum until the government says otherwise? Or can I see her because there’s only me, my partner and her? Or can I only travel when it’s essential? What is essential? And who says what is essential travel for me?

Families are only able to come together for Christmas if there are 6 or less people present… Well, what about those of us that don’t have enough family to be able to count past 2? Are we allowed to travel to see our family?

Making people give their details when they go out publicly to socialise so track and trace can be completed… Yes, okay… but why now? Why not enforce that one right from the start?

We also might be given a 10pm curfew – who and how is that about to be enforced? What about people who work the late shift or do nights? Do they need to carry their work rota with them as proof they’ve been to or are going to work? Because anyone can carry a badge – I have a badge. I could carry that with me and claim that I’m doing a late shift… who is to know if I actually am doing a late shift or if I’m off to meet my 20 pals?

Eat out to help out was encouraging everyone to go back out and meet in groups to help put money back into the economy and now that we’ve done that, we’re being told to go stay indoors. We do as we’re told and then get told we’re causing the virus to surge again.

If you socialise in a group of more than 6 people, you’re breaking the law (from 14th September) and will be fined. But not if you’re at work or in education. Can we not catch it at work or school?

This is Tradition

…and in the darkness, stood a Christmas tree. The lights from each branch reflected in the eyes of those gathered. The evening was still and calm, and as more people approached, a lull met the atmosphere. The voices of children rose as they gained their confidence. Teachers stood by their side, encouraging, coaching, arms conducting as they moved their arms in time with the words coming from the younger generation…

“It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping, sleeping calm and still.
Then in a cattle shed, in a manger bed
a boy was born, king of all the world.”

Families with torches shining down on the lyrics in their hands, paper blowing in the wind. Proud fathers and grandfathers with thick scarfs and gloves, ensuring the rest of the family are able to see. Leaning close together, gathering warmth. Smiles bright as they watch and listen to their choir…

“And all the angels sang for him,
the bells of heaven rang for him
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

The community together as one. This is tradition, of gathering and coming together, surrounded by the ones who light up their lives. Voices that are now louder and more vivid reach the end of their performance…

“Soon the shepherds came that way where the baby lay
and were kneeling, kneeling by his side.
And their hearts believed again for the peace of men,
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

And as their voices sing the last note, there is music. The live band of local musicians begin to play the next carol. Every member of the community joins in joyfully.

This is tradition.

Trees

It is 1998, the house is warm – it smells like homemade pastries. Across the room, a family is gathered.
2 ft tall, green branches reach out.
“Do you want to place these chocolates on, sweetheart?” She asks with a soft smile.
They sit on the floor giving careful consideration of what gets placed where.

It is 2000, the house is happy – four friends sit together laughing. A knock on the door and a child joins them.
5 ft tall, green branches face the room.
“My mum says she can’t make it, the rabbit is sick.”  He tells the tree.
Confused looks are exchanged between friends, bafflement that will continue for many years.

It is 2017, the house is cosy – a family enjoy the peace. Love and laughter in their eyes as they observe their boy.
2 ft tall, green branches mock the cat.
“Don’t you dare!” She says, swooping him up with a ‘boop’ on the nose.
Content purrs surround the quiet room.

It is 2018, the house is silent.
5 ft tall, fibre optic lights brighten the room.

 

 

Everywhere

There are carols
…everywhere.

There are trees,
with bows and bright, bright lights.

I am not ready yet
…never ready yet.

There is that feeling in the air,
it is here.

An empty chair, two of them
…empty arms.

The lights are there, harsh and blinding,
a watery perspective.

There is cheer
…everywhere.

JustMe.