Column: Resilience - the R word in short supply this lockdown
As every lockdown is extended, and every restriction tightened, you find yourself watching all plans for 2021 melt like snow.
I really hoped this year would at least feel different - small steps towards what we once thought of as normal. Instead, January feels bleaker than last March.
The novelty - if there ever was one - of lockdown evaporated long ago.
Our lives are still hemmed in by four walls, and, if you are lucky, a garden.
When we’re not working, we go for a walk - and when we’re out, all we see are people sitting in their front windows hunched over laptops. A Groundhog Day snapshot which tells the story of 2020, and now, 2021.
It should be re-assuring that we’re all in the same boat. Instead, it just underlines our lives are now all incredibly isolated.
One word keeps cropping up. Resilience.
We need it by the bucketload right now, but no-one has the first idea how to go about giving it to someone who has run out of the stuff, or simply doesn’t know how to grasp it.
There have been too many short term populist steps taken at the expense of the long-term goal which is to break the shackles and get our lives, and economy, up and running once more.
Would we all have embraced ‘eat out to help out’ if we’d known the real bill was a rise in cases?
Would we have all gone on summer holiday if we’d known that our suitcases would have contained the virus as well as some souvenirs from Corfu and Malaga?
I get the desire of our political leaders to offer the respite built in to those decisions, but, the one step forwards, two steps approach, has led us to where we are now.
This lockdown doesn’t just feel harder - it is harder. Much harder.
That’s partly down to the fact it is happening in the depths of a dark winter, but also because, ten months on, it’s hard to hold on to the very real progress made with the vaccine programme.
Those resilience levels are taking a battering as we all search for some light at the end of the tunnel.
Lockdown is all we talk about, and it’s all we hear on news bulletins, in supermarkets, on social media.
That lack of escape can feel crushing.
I fear for the resilience of so many people who are all working so hard just to stay afloat.
The fact we have tholed this for so long says so much about the human spirit, and a willingness to hunker down - but this cannot be the new normal.
The news that Glastonbury was cancelling its 2021 festival was a real scunner.
Like many, I wasn’t going - it remains on my bucket list - but the knock-on effect across the summer festivals means some I was looking forward to will almost certainly follow suit, and so, another season starts to become null and void even before it has arrived.
The road back feels longer, and more desolate than ever.
The nation’s resilience supplies urgently need to be stocked up.