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Sky gazing on my evening walk last night

With all that’s going on in this world of ours right now this month it seemed almost impossible to not discuss the huge virus shaped elephant in the room. It felt odd sitting and writing about my thoughts on the current situation but it’s so all consuming right now, and, despite the horrors of what this vicious virus has created world wide, I have a few thoughts of my own of how actually there are lots of positives that we can extract. Currently as I write this, according to todays news 1789 people have died and there are over 22,000 known cases of Covid 19 in the UK. This episode in our lives is catastrophic in so many ways, the loss of human life, the thousands of people losing their jobs and businesses, the disruption to peoples lives, no one is untouched by this. Now many people will be, quite understandably, be homing in on just how awful this situation is, and make no mistake, I am not in any way taking away from that, but what I would like to do is try to encourage you to flip your mindset to potentially focusing in on the multi faceted positives that we can hopefully gain from this unprecedented pandemic. I took myself out last night for my daily walk that we are currently allowed to have. It was approximately 6pm, a time when the roads would be bustling with cars, people making their way home from work, children being ferried home from school, everyone getting about their daily lives. However, this evening was a stark world apart from our usual Monday. The world around me seemed still, tranquil, and calm. The sun was setting and the sky looked stunningly beautiful, there were few to no cars on the road, and for the first time in a long time, I could observe close to silence. It was in this moment, it then struck me that I was experiencing this gorgeous sense of tranquillity, but outside of my own personal bubble the world around me was in utter chaos. This situation got me thinking. I could walk home feeling sadness about the worldwide problem we find ourselves with right now, feeling helpless that I am limited with what I can do to help, or I could focus on what I can control, which is my own personal situation, observing the social distancing we have been asked to pay attention to, whilst also therefore observing the beauty of that present moment I found myself in. It reinforced my belief that out of any negative scenario, positives and lessons can always be gained. I have been blown away by the stories of communities coming together at this time to help each other out, the very best of humanity showing up for one another. Personally, I have connected with my neighbours in ways that I never normally would. One of my neighbours has her elderly mother living with her who is coming to the end of her life. I wasn’t sure if they were self isolating because of this so I sent a message to say that I was there if they needed anything. During our conversation, I happened to mention that I was struggling to buy some paracetamol for my mum,who is self isolating, and has a knee problem that she needs the paracetamol to manage her pain with. I came downstairs one day to find a box of paracetamol on my doorstep from my neighbour, who knew I couldn’t find any. This small gesture was so touching to me, just one example of many that are happening across the world as we all collectively go through this together. Another thing I have experienced, is just how much more connected with my family and friends I seem to be now than ever before. The people who created the app ‘House Party’ must be thinking all their christmas’ have come at once right now as seemingly everyone I know has joined in on the fun. Ironically, despite social distancing, I have spoken to, and caught up with, more amazing people in my life in the past few weeks than I have in the past few months. I feel more connected than ever, albeit, through my phone. This increased sense of community is a huge positive that we must try our hardest to maintain long after we have all come through this time. We needed this to remind us of how amazing and kind we can all be when we want to be. Worldwide, isn’t it incredible how much the Earth has had an opportunity to breathe. Pollution levels across the world are at their lowest, not seen for a long time. With industries having to close temporarily and many cars coming to a stand still, emmissions of toxic gases have been significantly lowered, which actually has a multitude of benefits, not least being beneficial to people such as asthma sufferers. Agriculture could benefit too as pollution can stunt growth in plants. I was so happy to see images of the canals in Venice, Italy, running clear for the first time in years due to the lack of boats driving up and down them incessantly all day. Fish have begun swimming there again, swans have regally returned.

If you are one of the many who is being asked to stay at home, and you are lucky enough to be healthy and fighting fit, then I can not stress enough how much we need to make the most of this time. I have often moaned that I wanted some time where I could just be at home to get lots of things done that I would never normally get round to doing. Well, guess what, I’ve been given that time, as have you. What have you been itching to do for ages but just haven’t had the time? Read that book you’ve been wanting to read, start researching that new hobby or new business, get the metaphorical wheels turning. Start that daily self care practice that you usually only dream about doing. This is a chance to spend precious time with children that grow up way too fast on a normal day.

These are completely unprecedented times and I feel so strongly that we just can not come out of this feeling like we’ve wasted time. There are so many people who are losing their lives right now due to corona, front line staff whose lives are also effectively on hold whilst they fight this virus. For those of us who are fortunate enough to be safe in our houses with our health, let’s make the most of it. We are all being taught a massive lesson. This is such a tragic moment in time right now, but I wholeheartedly believe that we will come through this as better individuals, and I pray, a better human race. One thing that is giving me so much strength is that none of us are alone in this situation. We are all going through it together. Our circumstances may differ, but none of us are not alone. Zara xxx

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