Humanity Rises

I feel compelled to say, probably for the millionth time in the last two weeks, what a weird, crazy time we’re living through.

I know you all know that already (unless you’ve just returned from a three month sojourn to Mars) but I just feel the need to acknowledge how odd it all is. It’s as akin to war time as I ever want to get.

As I stepped out of the door this lunchtime to go for my daily allowance of exercise, a big, grey, unmarked plane went over.

I didn’t quite manage to get my phone out quickly enough to get a closer photo, but it had four engines and wasn’t a jumbo and didn’t look quite big enough to be an A380 so I think it was an A340 and I’m pretty sure it was a military plane. The only regular four engined plane that goes into Birmingham airport is the twice daily Emirates A380 from Dubai, and it wasn’t that. The Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham is regularly used for wounded soldiers coming back from their postings abroad, so we do occasionally see military planes. I wondered whether they’re flying back military personnel who may have succumbed to corona virus, or whether they’re flying home troops to back up the army here who are already on stand-by, should they be needed, or, could they be repatriating people who’ve been stranded abroad? Whatever the reason, seeing that made me feel even more like we’re living in war time, although I’m obviously very grateful not to have the Blitz going on around us.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised and had my faith in humanity restored over the past few days, not least by the rousing applause that echoed up and down our street this evening at 8pm as most households stood on their doorsteps to clap, whoop and generally show their appreciation for all the NHS staff who are so bravely and resolutely continuing with their roles in order to beat this foe and keep our country safe.

My hubby works for the NHS. He’s not on the front line, but he is working hard to keep that front line going, as well as all the patients, corona virus related or not!

This is now his essential work equipment.

I also have a very good friend who is a physio who is being redeployed during this crisis to wherever needs her most, and a cousin who I assume is in the same boat, although I haven’t spoken to him.

I have friends and family who are teachers who are risking their health to look after the children of key workers so that they can continue doing their fantastic work to keep the country safe and functioning.

I have friends who are part of the half a million who have offered to volunteer for the NHS to get us through this crisis. I always thought that, these days, we weren’t made of as good stuff as all those brave men and women who voluntarily signed up to fight for and work for our country back in the last century when our security and safety was threatened, but I’m proud and humbled to find that, although this isn’t a war, there are people, in their hundreds of thousands, who are selfless and compassionate enough to put themselves out there for the benefit of society.

For all these people that I know, and all the others that I don’t know who are keeping us going, I applauded you earlier, and I applaud you again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Social media gets a really bad write up sometimes, and it isn’t always a good thing, but throughout this crisis so far, it’s played a big part in keeping me sane. Without my WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Instagram, I would be feeling a whole load more isolated than I do. Sitting in our spare room staring at a laptop in front of a wall all day, when my phone vibrates with a message from a work colleague or friend or family member, it lifts my spirits to know that someone’s thinking of me and that I’m not alone.

Of course, also reminding me that I’m not alone are two furry things who are delighted to have company 24/7 at the moment.

Excuse the lack of make up! There’s really no point – I’ll have beautiful skin when all this is over!

They provide their own particular challenges, or Tinkerbell does anyway.

Yesterday I was on the phone to my health insurance (bad back – thanks for asking!) when Tinkerbell decided to sit on my laptop and somehow managed to make the laptop read out the email that was open in a voice a la C3P0, much to the amusement of the lady on the other end of the phone! I didn’t even know my laptop could do that! I still don’t know how it does it other than via feline bottom!

Today said feline walked across the keyboard and managed to turn it into a French keyboard! This, thanks to Google, I do now know how to fix – luckily it understood ‘how do I fiy mx kexboard’ or something to that effect!

Anyway, my browsing of social media has, again, thrown up lots of corona virus memes which have amused me. Now, before anyone shoots me, I know that this is not a laughing matter, but I do think a bit of light relief is essential for us all to get through this and come out the other side with our sanity. So, here you go, my pick of the best to finish with.

And the best of all ….

Day One in the Home Office

Well, what a surreal situation we find ourselves in. Completely unprecedented. A little over three months ago, few of us had heard of Corona Virus and the term COVID-19 hadn’t even been coined, yet now it’s all we can talk about!

Yesterday I was told that everyone in my office would be working from home as of today, end date unknown! It felt quite emotional as people started to leave at the close of play, almost like I was never going to see them again. It’s also quite disconcerting leaving somewhere not knowing when you’ll be back. I couldn’t take everything, but I needed to make sure I took everything I could possibly need to do my job for however long this lasts.

This was me leaving! I couldn’t decide whether it felt like Christmas or like I’d been given my P45!

My desk plants are succulents so need minimal watering, but they do need a drink every couple of weeks, and this will most likely last longer than that, so they had to come home with me. The one on the right is highly poisonous to cats so that’s had to go on a high up shelf for the fur babies’ safety. The money plant has joined it up there for its own safety given that Tinkerbell has a penchant for chewing plants!

I’ve brought my mouse and headphones home, but not my keyboard, and after a day of home working today, I think that may have been an error. The problem is though, I don’t have enough USB slots! I may have to arrange to pop into the office to get my docking station. I’ve even brought my chair home because, if this ends up being months of working at home, my back will not take sitting on a hard wooden chair.

This morning I took advantage of being home and having access to an oven to make banana pancakes for breakfast so I could save my healthy extra B for lunchtime.

Yummy! A great start to the day.

This was me all set up and ready. I’ve never been able to hang my headphones on the hoover before!

My new colleagues were furrier than the usual lot!

All things considered, it wasn’t too bad an experience, but I may feel differently in a couple of weeks when I’m going stir crazy. I managed to get most of the systems that I need to function, and managed to motivate myself to get things done. The fact that I’ve only been in the job a few weeks will work for me and against me. It’s hard because I don’t know the job very well yet and now I’m having to do what I can on my own, albeit with remote support. Incidentally, the main reason I moved jobs was because I felt isolated and now look what’s happened! Can’t be helped though. There are definitely positives too. I’m going to have time now to go over some of the processes and make notes to really learn the job. We don’t have any choice about any of this, so we’ll all just have to make the most of it.

Speaking of making the most of it, I’ve been very amused today by various memes and jokes doing the rounds, and I thought I’d share the best of them with you.

I think we’ve seen some of the worst of human nature over the last few days – I’ve heard of toilet roll being snatched out of a child’s hands, supermarket staff being abused and,possibly worst of all, unscrupulous people offering to help out vulnerable people while they’re social distancing and then ripping them off.

There have also been many examples of positive behaviour, for example leaflets being posted through doors offering genuine help if needed and dog walking companies slashing their prices for those in self isolation. What struck me about all these memes, was that even in this worrying situation, we’re retaining out sense of humour. Clearly, given the state of the supermarkets and pharmacies, we’re not all keeping calm and carrying on, but these little funnies give me hope that we will.

For my part, I plan on continuing with life as normally (and sensibly) as possible, whilst washing my hands multiple times a day (all the while singing happy birthday to myself twice!) and I plan to make the most of the extra time I have at home because of my new thirty second commute and evenings and weekends in. Tonight I took part in an online quiz run on Facebook by Hashtag quizzes which was fun. It’s running every night at 8.30 on their Facebook page if anyone fancies it. I’ve written a list of all the things I can do to occupy myself. There’s blogging, gardening, crocheting, knitting, cross stitching, mosaic art, colouring, reading my Kindle, reading magazines (which I’ve stocked up on), stripping woodchip, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, Les Mills on demand, walking (whilst keeping two metres distance from anyone) and, of course, Netflix. It will be fine for the vast majority of us.

On that note, I’m off to watch episode three of The Stranger. Keep safe folks and I’ll see you on the other side!