Strange times indeed. I am acutely aware that the habit of writing these short pieces was helping me through previous odd times, which were nothing compared to this. Come back Brexit! Obviously that is a joke – a society divided is no fun either, and actually in ways was more worrying – for me anyway. I have tried not to consume too much news over the past few years, an hour or so of radio news in the morning and that was pretty much it.
I decided that I ought to be more in tune with news at the start of this year. Mainly because I am keen to be a thoughtful part of current leadership elections. So, one of the squares on my habit tracker was encouraging me to read the news.
In the last couple of weeks of course, reading the news has becomes as compulsive as it has ever been in my life. And frankly it is driving me nuts. Most of the headlines are about what possible measures may be put in place, or what has been put in place in other places, or what someone thinks should be the official advice here. It is not clear at all, it is frightening and confusing instead of reassuring and clear.
I know this is unprecedented in my lifetime (gosh I write that and assume it is – I would not have forgotten a pandemic in my childhood would I?), so there are no comparisons. This is not the same as wartime, natural disasters are awful, but again not the same. Political uncertainty makes us feel unsettled and worried, but the fears are very different.
I know it must be hard for anyone to decide what to do, hence all the opinions that are flying around. For now, I am trying to simplify and turn down the volume on the emotional reactions and listen to official guidance and less to everyone else who is now thinks themselves an expert epidemiologist. And I have crossed out that habit tracker line to read more news. Less news, more fresh air, more thinking about other people is the order of the day. Until that guidance changes of course.
Stay healthy, look after each other.