“Stay calm, be kind” have turned into a slogan for us all right now. Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern mentioned the phrase a few days ago and its stuck. No matter what happens over the next few weeks, as long as we stay calm, be kind to each other and obey the rules we’ll see a light at the end of this virus tunnel.
I do appreciate how fortunate I am. During this national lock down our lives have not changed, and will not change too much over the coming weeks. We spend most of every day in our home anyway, so being told we have to will not be a huge burden for us. While we bemoan the inability to travel anywhere, not least of all to all the amazing, exotic overseas places we’ve got on our bucket list, giving that away to beat this virus is a no brainer. My heart does go out to others who don’t share our situation. Those with children, or elderly to care for. Those in apartments or single rooms. Or those holding down essential jobs then having to isolate themselves from their families within the same home. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this time is for you.
One thing I have noticed around our local area. My husband and I have been going for a walk every day for some years. Its not a long distance and often we might not see one person during that walk. Or possibly we’d encounter someone walking a dog perhaps. However, during the first couple of days of lock down, we’ve seen so many people. Parents with young children walking or biking, retired people, young people, middle aged people all out getting what little exercise is allowed. The timing of our walks have varied but every time, people are around.
Its wonderful to see how respectful everyone is. The efforts we’re all making to avoid encroaching on the 2 metre social distancing gap. Some walkers leave the footpath and move onto the road to allow others to pass. Others stop on the verge as far off the footpath as possible. Every one we’ve encountered to date has passed us with a cheery greeting and grin. Its great to see no sign of angst. Of course, we’re only beginning this enforced isolation, and I guess tempers may fray as the days creep by.
Yesterday we approached another couple walking in the opposite direction. As the distance between us closed, we were greeted with a request whether we liked mushrooms. At my husband’s affirmative response, the gentleman handed him a bag of mushrooms they had just picked. “We don’t like them,” he told us. “We’re looking for a home for them.” With a reassurance we would carefully wash after handling the bag, away they went. We have no idea who they were, but they live in our neighbourhood. Needless to say, we are now on the lookout for them so we can offer some of our bounty in return. By the end of this lock down our feigoas and guavas should by ready. Maybe even the mandarins will be ripening in our yard. We hope we can return the favour to these generous neighbours.
Its a great feeling to imagine we don’t need to be reminded to stay calm be kind but sometimes we might need a little urging. Let’s decide to set an example to the few people we’re in contact with during this difficult period, and trust they will reciprocate. Take care everyone.