As the panic about the “pandemic” worsens, I’m revisiting a previous post called 10 Tasks to Survive Brexit. (Remember then?) Because here in the UK we’re now not only being cut off from Europe but, together with many people in many countries, we are being cut off from each other. Community groups are folding, plays and play groups cancelled, team sports have stopped, schools are closing and varsity has retreated up its ivory tower and locked the door. Spurious miscellaneous items are disappearing from supermarket shelves, business for Big Pharma is booming and everyone is terrified of human contact and is binge-watching boxsets. And it’s our own panic that’s doing it.
Some would call this commonsense. I wouldn’t but I’m not now going to argue the case. Instead, I’d like to suggest how to live under Lockdown:
- Plant vegetables. Get out to the garden, plant herbs in hanging baskets and windowboxes or even sneak out to the allotment. On Good Friday it’s a Christian rural tradition to plant potatoes. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in Christ. Believe in the life cycle. Remember: this too shall pass.
- Plant flowers. Plant a tree too! Resist the high-handed madness of your local authority and their war against trees. We need them.
- Go vegan. Seriously. The NHS is overloaded, you really can only afford good nutrition. And if you live in a country without free healthcare, even moreso!
- Get a dog or two if you can and take them out for (long) walks three times a day. That vitamin D will perk you up and you’ll need the serotonin to stop obsessing about whatever is happening on TV, phone and computer screens. This is perennial advice. When humans go batshit crazy, animals suffer. Take care of them. They will more than repay you. Get a cat, while you’re about it.
- Make things. Learn to knit, crochet (buy wool in charity shops) weave, make macrame and ceramics and cook if you don’t know how – and branch out if you do. Home cooking can be therapeutic, social and far cheaper (and healthier) than over-packaged store-bought ready meals with way too much sugar and salt. This might not be an option if things get worse – it might be absolutely necessary. So get ahead of the curve!
- Repair things. Google: sewing, darning, changing a fuse, changing a washer on a leaky tap, learn bicycle/ motorcycle/ car maintenance – or even rebuild a boat – go online and learn! You think you can rely on tradespeople not being affected by this madness? Think again!
- Teach. You know things. Share those skills. Online, by conference call. Just do it.
- Reuse, recycle, upcycle and barter. There are lots of schemes, like Freecycle. Yup!
- Try to be happy – and help others to be. I’ve lived in countries where the economy is a joke. It’s difficult but people are resilient and you adapt. You don’t have to wait for the glorious socialist revolution in order to share planned or spontaneous moments of joy and people are all around you. That’s still true. Stop obsessing about yourself and wallowing in your own misery and anxiety. Get up and get organised. Look around you – who’s worse off than you/ How can you help? Stop waiting for some higher authority to tell you what to do. HELP PEOPLE!
- Read. No, not just (social) media posts – read them as little as possible. At times like these, they’re mostly poison to a healthy mind. Read books and magazines and long, thought-provoking articles. Get around to it. Improve your mind. Stop opining and get informed. Learn the joy of good education and to put all this into perspective.
Above all, STAY ALIVE!
“Knitting Doll” Image (c)Alan McManus, wooden knitting doll from Ridley’s House of Novelties