At the time of writing we’re still in lockdown, eagerly waiting for that curve to completely flatten. So far, we’ve had a number of weeks of very restricted conditions – in my case of having to stay at home – with limited outdoor movement for most, other than going to work, shopping for food, visiting the pharmacy, a quick jog or a brisk walk.

Businesses are hardest-hit by the lockdown: how long could they keep going without selling a thing? What about paying the employees without generating any income? Governments too, probably have the biggest headache of all running a jurisdiction with much less cash circulating, wearing government coffers down making them somewhat depleted it has to be said and potentially having to borrow, if it goes on for a very long time.

How long could they keep going without selling a thing?

How to treat and manage the deadly virus efficiently must be incredibly concerning, especially to our health institutions who can never have imagined the possibility of an influx of infected persons having to be looked after as inpatients or just being tested and sent home to self isolate whilst having to deal with it all. Thankfully enough, equipment, ventilators and PPEs (personal protective equipment) have been available as are free hospital beds.

The big question: when is it all going to go away, and stay away? On the Rock, I don’t think there are many who can fault the Government’s handling of the lethal virus so far, with daily press conferences informing us of the rigorous and exhaustive procedures being carried out in the hospitals, senior citizens’ residences, and keeping us abreast with statistics of those affected by COVID-19. The essential services too have had their work cut out making sure we all stick to the rules set in place to keep us safe during this drawn out period with no clear indication of when it will all end.

With the compliance of the majority of citizens, the coronavirus is being controlled as best as possible judging by the results. At this stage of writing, seniors can go for walks in the park and other designated areas during a ‘Golden Hour’ and shops and some other businesses have been allowed to open up for much needed trade: more will evolve. So, when it eventually truly subsides, what will we remember and learn about this unusually awkward and problematic time? Only time will tell!

On the lighter side, the videos and jokes spring to mind as they’re shared from household to household via WhatsApp, not all, but many of them quite clever and very funny, a source of welcomed light relief for a strictly, housebound community – those will be remembered.
Netflix films and series are being viewed forcefully but enjoyably, I would say. Yes, we’re going to remember the singing and clapping every evening from balconies, terraces and windows in appreciation of those who’ve HAD to go to work looking after us in many countries around the world, including those famous performers, singing their hit songs from their living rooms.

Restaurants, cafes and other businesses have generously donated meals and beverages to those finding it hard to get to the shops, individuals have given their time delivering shopping and food as well as knocking on doors of those in need. Takeaways, Hungry Monkey, Rock Hero, NomNoms, Vepo, and others will have done well also. Good for them!

Also, on the productive side perhaps, more time for bonding with children staying at home whilst schooling online. Husbands helping their spouses more at home and perhaps indulging in a little DIY – if that way inclined.

When the storm has passed, what will be the lessons learned?

Importantly, when the storm has passed, what will be the lessons learned? The lockdown has meant fewer people and vehicles on the roads keeping those surfaces and the atmosphere a little cleaner. There are plans to restrict road usage too. There’s been a lot of talk, especially on television, radio and the printed media comparing COVID-19 to World War III – not a warlike killer, but a silent one trapping the world into the unknown, pretty much ignorant of how to put a stop to it!

Much has also been talked about ‘community spirit’ coming to the fore as we come together to praise helpers and key workers (although at the outbreak it was a one-for-all-and-all-for-JUST ONE, as supermarkets were flooded with inconsiderate individuals shopping only for themselves!).

Loneliness – which can happen at any time really – has also been highlighted. But on this occasion however, more thought had to be given to those living alone requiring a little more attention.

Apart from the entertainment provided, the rolling news items on the coronavirus on TV, radio and online speculating on what’s to come have kept us informed. There’ve been numerous ‘experts’ giving their opinion about the virus and the way to proceed, but clearly no one has a clear picture about this silent killer. Being over 70 and being instructed to stay at home because you’re more vulnerable has highlighted the term ‘senior citizens’. The term has been ‘promoted’ if you like, and perhaps for some, making this age group feel older than they are as they join the clan and become a member of those nearing their twilight years. Not a pleasant reflection, to my mind!

Not a pleasant reflection, to my mind!

Something I’ve thought about a lot and so important I think, is how businesses are being affected by the loss of income so much needed to at least keep their heads above water and those employees being laid off during this unfortunate period. Will they all be asked to come back when bosses deal with their losses due to COVID-19? Many businesses are being helped financially by the government but others from some sectors must be having a hard time, enduring sleepless nights wondering if there’ll still be a business to run or a job to go back to by the end of this nightmare. Working from home has also been brought to light; whether it’ll be a trend which will continue in the future, perhaps cutting down on office staff, remains to be seen.

So, will the world be learning from its mistakes by acting faster and being more prepared for what might transpire in the future, bringing communities, religions, races, and countries closer together for the benefit of us all?

Normality will prevail… Here’s hoping!