Yesterday we had the good cop dressed up as the bad cop. Today we will have the bad cop dressed up as the good cop. Good old Bumbling Boris appealing to our commonsense, community and compliance. And yet nothing has changed since yesterday – nor will anything be different tomorrow.
Remember back in March?
The panic and hysteria. No one knew diddly-squat other than the headline numbers sweeping the globe country by country – continent by continent. Decision-making was shoot from the hip, back of a fag packet, do we go today or wait till tomorrow stuff. Everything was wobbly from the top to the bottom – west to east – north to south. Today I want to remember how it was back then. That – what seems like a – lifetime ago.
Yesterday is normal compared to back then. Today is nothing like it was. Tomorrow will be more like normal than how it was back then.
Back then we saw 6,000 new cases per day. Today it is @ 4,000. Back then only those needing hospitalisation and probably intubation were tested: the tip of the iceberg. Now the iceberg is being tested and ONLY 3,000-4,000 are found. Back then estimates of new cases NOW put the number at @ 100,000 per day. Back then countries closed their doors with just a moment’s notice. Now we have “x per 100,000” tracked every day of every week across the globe. Then the medical world was making it up as they found it. Now there is a pool of global knowledge.
Then was different to now.
I know the number for deaths. I know about Long Covid. I know we have the flu season approaching which if combined with Rona make for a grim cocktail AND for the same percentage as every year no matter anything else.
This time I am prepared.
I know that if the toilet rolls go they will be back. The same with pasta. The lights will stay on, the post will continue, Zoom and video calling will still be available. I know the noise and fear-mongering will be back because it has never gone away. I know loads of people will break the rules. I know our finances will be under stress as the economy stutters again . I know we will still see grandchildren if we think it safe because the rules have been tweaked enough to bend a little. I know that schools will be a priority to keep open. And I know that the Health Service can and will make enough bed space and equipment available for another surge. I know all of that now. None of which I knew then. And the most crucial and important bit I know today that I never knew then either?
I control six feet in front and behind me.
And that has kept me safe and well since March. And will continue to keep me safe today and tomorrow – and in all the days following every yesterday. Because the only thing that loses me control is me. No one else. Not the government. Not the rules. Not the rule breakers. Just me and only me.
I lose control when I allow all the noise, fear-mongering, despair, anger, “it’s not fair” and “what about me?” into my head and believe it is real.
It is not real. It is never real. Not then and not now.
All that is real is the six feet in front and behind me. And I know that space intimately. I can control that space anyway I want. I can allow you in and stay safe if I do it right. I can accidentally have you pass through and stay safe for those fleeting moments. I can have you in that space for extended periods if we both do it right. I know about masks, about sanitiser, about viral load, about good ventilation, about hand washing. I know the symptoms in me and others. I have lived through the worst numbers ever and here I am today – wiser, older, stronger, healthier, more upbeat and ready to face today and tomorrow because I am in control of my head because I am in control of six feet in front and behind.
And one more thing.
I am now an expert at surviving the noise and fear-mongering. I know when to dial it down. I know my safe spaces. I have my personal go-to places. I know which battles to fight and which to let happen around me. I know about self-care. I know how to heal in the midst of battle. I know who I can trust and who I can’t.
I have become stronger than I ever thought possible these past months.
So as the noise “ramps up” today and we hear all the fear-words trundled out … see the news-outlets strimming every bit of context, calm and perspective, every shred of “adult thinking” simply for yet more Panic Headlines … as I see the conspiracy theorists rise up again with yet more fiction … hear about more Facebook “support groups” whipping each other into terror mode again and again … and finding the temptation to sob helplessly into my hands irresistible …
I say bollocks innit like.
I say WE have made a safe place of context and perspective. Of curiosity and compassion. Of love and kindness. No matter what the rest of the globe says or tells us to think. I say WE can come here and be free. To be in control of me and you and each other. I say WE are safe AND so much stronger than we ever were. I say NOTHING today is how it was back then.
Unless I allow it to be.
Have a wonderful day!!