I would like to wish all of my lovely readers a very happy new year. Gosh can you believe 2021 is finally here? Most of us will be more than happy to say goodbye to 2020, it’s not going to win an award for the most joyful year ever recorded is it, and I know we should never wish our lives away but didn’t it feel like it was going to drag on forever! I think most countries on our planet were dominated by news about the awful coronavirus, Covid-19 and the devastating impact it has had globally on so many families.
I also think though that we need to try and grant ourselves a little optimism and look forward to this new year that is 2021. I believe we owe it to ourselves to give ourselves at least a glimmer of hope that 2021 is going to at least be a whole lot better than 2020.
In England, as I write, pretty much the whole country is in either tier 3 (very high alert) or tier 4 (stay at home.) Like many others I live in a tier 4 area which for now means that we should stay at home unless we need to go out for essential reasons. No two ways about it, it is restricting and it is a tough call but I do believe it is a way of stopping the virus spreading even more than it has done, particularly now there is a new strain that seems to be spreading far more than previously.
It is also particularly worrying that apparently one in three people who actually have this virus don’t have any symptoms. There are two ways of looking at this though – one is that more people may have it than we know about but if you look at it another way: this does mean that not everybody will feel ill when they have the virus so it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you get it you will become desperately ill. It does mean though that it will spread more easily as though without symptoms will possibly be carrying on as usual without self isolating. It must be hard work being my brain, I have a tendency to overthink pretty much everything, which can be pretty annoying – for me at least – hopefully not for people that know me too!
The superb news that vaccinations have been developed is hopefully a complete and utter game-changer. So far the vaccines approved for use in the UK are those developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca, the Pfizer vaccinations as already been given to almost a million people. The Oxford vaccinations have started to be rolled out today and there are enough to cover 50 million people. If people have immunity to the virus then it should stop it in it’s tracks and perhaps we can get back to normal life.
But in complete and utter honesty do we really want to get back to life before the pandemic?
I have learnt quite a few things over the last year which have changed the way that I perceive things. I’d love to share some of these with you and wonder if you feel the same.
1 – We can not predict the future – who ever would have previously thought that most of the world would be affected by such a sinister disease for such a long time. For this reason perhaps it is pretty futile to try and imagine what may be happening in a year or so’s time. But on the flip side of this I do believe that it is good to have dreams, ambitions and hopes for the future.
2 – We do not need as much as we think we do. Who else visited the supermarket early last year and was faced with row upon row of empty shelves? We could not get access to many foods that we previously took for granted. The shelves were stripped of toilet rolls, cleaning wipes, cleaning sprays, pasta, bread, eggs, tinned foods, you name it – someone had panic bought it. We were unable to get hold of food that we previously took for granted but did we starve or become malnourished because of this? No of course we didn’t. We just made do with what we had and it was ok.
3 – Cutting down on the amount of cars on the road and planes in the sky definitely had a positive impact on our beautiful planet. These modes of transport have only been around for the last hundred years or so and obviously go hand in hand with pollution and a decrease in air quality. If you need to go somewhere that’s fairly local and are capable of walking or cycling, just do so. It’s better for your mental health to take a little walk, rather than the hassle of getting the car out for such a short journey and you might enjoy the exercise.
4 – Enjoy the simple things. If the weather isn’t too dire, go out for a walk in your local area. As you are walking around, listen out for those sounds that you may not usually here. Look around you, look up – and down – and take time to appreciate the beauty of nature. Even if you live in a town, there will still be trees and birds, flowers and other wildlife. I often find it fascinating to look at the sky, look at the clouds – what shapes can you see in them, look how they change. You may find that as there are considerably fewer cars out on the roads, you might notice sounds that you would not usually hear. For instance you may hear the sound of a woodpecker or the delight of a blackbird’s song.
5 – Take time for some self care. It is a pretty scary time for most of us and it is easy for feelings of anxiety to get overwhelming. Try not to look at the news every day because a lot of the stories are designed to shock to encourage you to read on, depressing and scaremongering articles are not going to help how you are feeling. Try and take some time out for yourself, doing what you enjoy, whether that is reading, crafting, writing, drawing, creating, or simply sitting watching something enjoyable on the TV or listening to music.
Overall though, I believe that we need to try and look positively and think that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccinations will be rolled out, although it might take a while but inevitably I think that we will get through this and hopefully most of us can look forward to a better new year than the last one.
You may also like to read these posts that I wrote in March and April last year related to the same topic:
- Will life change afte the coronavirus?
- Positive things to come out of the coronavirus pandemic
- A new normal
I would love to hear your thoughts, please share them in the comments section below. Until then please look after yourselves, I hope that you and your families stay safe and well and know that we are all in this together and we will get through it.