Personally Speaking: ‘We should try to reach out and help others…’



I hope everyone is feeling okay now that, as expected, the lockdown and difficult times continue, at least for another three weeks.

Never has there been more uncertainty. We have a restriction of our civil liberties and it is an anxious time for all.

How long this will continue, who knows, but we will beat this chronic extreme threat and we must continue to observe the social distancing.

However, while we are allowed to exercise we should not forget our mental health too. We need to be physically distant from friends and family apart from those in our own homes, but we can socially reconnect via social media or the humble phone.

Many have experienced some mental discomfort and strain as a result of the pandemic and we need to manage this.

I wouldn’t say I have become addicted to the news, but I have been watching it intently, looking for some crumbs of comfort as I am sure most people have.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that I was not sleeping as well and awoke on a couple of occasions immediately thinking about Covid19.

I decided at that point that after watching the news I needed something else, a light relief before going to bed – and so far it has worked, as I am no longer thinking about Covid19 immediately on waking.

We have no idea what economic and human impact will result from this, but many of us are creatures that have grown up on “skin to skin” type of contact. Nothing beats a hug for most people, we rely on good social networks.

Social media has a place, but the likes of Facebook can be pretty shallow and an emoticon on Twitter or a text message has its limits.

Zoom, Skype, Face Time, WhatsApp and others allow face-to-face interaction, plus voice and body movement, so important in communicating emotions.

The human voice via the phone reaches out to those not who are not technologically-minded.

It is great to hear of the acts of kindness, the innovations to help others, but one act of kindness stands out to me more than most – the donation of £10 million by the Denise Coates Foundation to our local hospital means that, among other things, those patients who cannot have visitors can communicate with loved ones via wi-fi, iPads, phones and other technology. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to not be able to visit a family member who is ill.

I have seen many people stating Denise Coates can afford to do it – but let’s remember one thing, she may be able to afford it but she has done it, and has not courted publicity.

Another aspect of this lockdown is the new-found respect for schoolteachers. Many people are trying to work while home schooling the children.

Children learn better when met with a calm assertive manner and that can be difficult for a parent, especially when they are juggling working from home and also keeping the home running.

Humans are creatures of habit and we need to do something. Waking up at a specific time, going to bed at a specific time, eating healthy food and limiting the temptation to drink that extra unit or three of alcohol daily. At least try to schedule the weekdays – if you can remember what day it is!

We need to replace the surface-level contact that we have all probably employed due to our busy lives with meaningful conversation.

Most of us certainly have the time to do so now and we should try to reach out and help others if possible. The amount of volunteering has been fantastic, but if you are looking to fill a few hours in a meaningful way, contact the council or Vast who have several schemes available which require a phone call to someone who needs a voice at the end of a phone.

Captain Tom Moore, the war veteran who will celebrate his 100th birthday on April 30, showed us anything is possible.

His story should act as an inspiration to us all and is an example of the best of British humanity.

Hang in there everyone, stay safe and look forward to looking back on what you accomplished in the unprecedented times of 2020.





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