Memories of the Beginning

My very first memories of the Pandemic were watching the news about other countries who were suffering from a terrible illness, which was being spread at an alarming rate throughout the population.  There was no fear of the illness travelling to other countries, least of all to the UK.

Gradually stories and statistics took over the news almost totally, how many deaths per day.  How many people in were being admitted to hospital?  After a while, details began to emerge of a few cases being identified in this country.  We didn’t feel any particular fear because it didn’t seem real or threatening.

Week by week, the toll began to rise in the UK, as it had in China.  We were suddenly advised to wash our hands often, to stop the spread of the disease.  No mention of wearing face masks, to prevent catching or giving the virus, was made to begin with.  But we saw evidence of masks being worn in hospital by care givers, so we wondered whether we should follow suit.  But the government were adamant that it would be a waste of time, just sing Happy Birthday and wash your hands frequently.

A fierce debate began on social media, questioning the subject.  But the government continued to refute the evidence until a sudden turn round in April, when we were all told to start wearing face masks when in public areas.

This was probably when most people began to worry that our leaders were as much in the dark as we all were.

But typical of the British, we put our energies into supporting those people on the frontline, in hospitals or nursing homes.  A camaraderie began as we praised the National Health system and all those involved.  When did we begin our weekly clap, on a Thursday evening, to show support for those brave souls?

309 words – Sandy Bryson

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