Grateful
When it all started, I mean the Covid saga, I did not really pay attention to it. Like everybody else I was following the news about this new disease but nothing more.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Just be grateful for a day

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

                                                                                   Voltaire

When it all started, I mean the Covid saga, I did not really pay attention to it. Like everybody else I was following the news about this new disease but nothing more. 

I was having myself some health issues therefore I was more preoccupied by my upcoming surgery than a disease that was wearing off far away in China. That was at the end of November beginning of December 2019. 

After my surgery, I went to France to recover and spend Christmas and New Year 2020 with my family.                               

                                            So life was still good.

When I came back home in the UK, I started my research into creating my website, the beginning of 2020 was for me, a period of excitement and discovery. And despite the first case appearing in Europe, covid-19 was still an anecdotal issue. there was not cause to worry yet.

 I was still going to the office, riding the infamous London Tube, packed to its full capacity. With the exception of the hand sanitiser gel for some of us,  no one was bothering with any social distancing rule or mask.

It was still the good all days where the only thing that could have bothered you in the tube was the body odour of your next seat neighbour.

So with the disease still spreading slowly in the UK, I booked in March a trip to France to visit my family and I remembered making fun of them because they needed a writing  authorisation to leave the house. I remembered exactly the number of deaths in the UK on the day I was taking the Eurostar to Paris. It was 21 people on 14th March 2020 according to the World health Organisation (Who) when I was leaving St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. This number nearly a year later seems unreal.

Little did I know it will be the last time I would see my colleagues face to face or my family after this trip.

I came back on Saturday 23rd March 2020 and on Monday 25th 2020, the UK was entering its first lockdown.   

 

I think like everybody in the world, we all took the first lockdown very seriously. The situation in Italy and Spain was dramatic enough to have us behaving appropriately at least in Europe. 

But with the mix messages from our different governments, no real clear exit solution, we all at some point became rapidly annoyed by all those blunders  and so by some collective psychism, decided to come out of the lockdown around the same period, just in time to enjoy the summer time even before the government gave us permission.

Despite  the articles in the  newspapers and headlines in major news channels , I did not really see lot of people in London that summer, maybe if I was living in a seaside town I would have but for me British people have been quite reasonable during the first lockdown.

London was a ghost town during July and August and trust me I have seen more people on its streets at three o’clock in morning in winter time than I have seen that 2020 summer time.

At the end of the first lockdown, I went back to the office as I did not really enjoy working from home. Every time a colleague was calling me for a zoom meeting was making me feel like he or she was overstepping into my private life and I did not like it.

So I went back to the office until the second lockdown in the UK which was in December 2020. 

And going through this new lockdown has meant for me spending Christmas in Zoom call with my family.

For those of you who I read my post Christmas Misery knew that I was not too sad about it as Christmas is not my favourite time of the year but funny enough it has been one of the best Christmas I have had with my family in a long-time because we have made the effort to be really there for each other. I was in the UK and my family in France but we laughed, dinned and celebrated Christmas because we did not just go through the motion of celebrating Christmas but we done it because we knew that it was important to keep those family moments despite everything going around us.

I do not know for you but I have never felt closer to my family than during this pandemic. We call or text each other nearly everyday. If one of us, is not feeling well or has something good  happening to him or her, we let the group know.

I have been in contact with my friends too nearly everyday because I have realised that there is nothing more important than that.

I know some of you despair of not seeing your family or your friends  face to face but I think you should learn to appreciate the fact that you still could communicate with them quickly and daily if you wish too. 

During the Spanish Influenza, people were not that lucky. They have to rely on the post office. They really could not communicate everyday with their loved ones as not everyone had the telephone. The equivalent of instant messaging was the telegram (the great-grand father of Twitter. Not Joking!). You were even more limited with the number of words you could use.

They did not have the privilege to work from home, share some quality time on Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Team and so on. 

They were truly on their own against a disease that was killing their friends and family by thousand everyday.

 

 I know lot of you are suffering from loneliness, anxiety and fear of the unknown but think of what your great-grand parents have been through and just be grateful to be alive, to be in good health and to have not lost anyone during this pandemic.

Furthermore, with the vaccination program on its way and the cases slowly but surely going down,  this pandemic shall come to pass.

 

In meantime, I would like all of us to reflect on what this pandemic has taught us about ourselves in this little bubble out of time that we are currently living in.  I would like us to reflect on our capacity of adaptation, our strength, our weakness and our resilience and be grateful that we made it through.

Because believe me, today you feel like shouting through the rooftop because, you want some form of normalcy back into your life but when life as you know it comes crashing into around you again, you will look back with regrets to the facts that you did not enjoy a little bit longer this moment of peace and quiet.

So despite the bleak weather, the monotony of the days, just be grateful for this period where you can learn more about yourself, learn about who you can count on, who you can call a friend, who you really want to be and not who people want you to be. 

What you really like and not what people think you should like.

So just be grateful for a day to have been through this pandemic and came out stronger than before.

 

 

I would like to conclude with this quote of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (who was a Lutheran pastor who was hanged by the Nazis in 1945 to his suppose participation in the plot to assassinate Hitler) to people who do not realise sometimes how lucky they are.

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

                                                   Dietrich Bonhoeffer