Progress Report

27 Jul 2020

On 28th April I had a Moodscope blog published ‘Journal of Plague Year’, which I had written over a month before, just after UK lock-down. I suggested people kept a journal of what we were to face, three ‘stages’: Situation when normality was put on hold, assess what you ‘lost’, and your daily life and fears. Nobody could have had any idea of what was to come – I think it turned the whole world upside down, the ‘fall out’, emotional and economic, is only just beginning to really hit, and judging from the last few blogs here people are still lacking confidence in what they can do.

July 14th was Bastille Day here, usually huge celebration, parades, fireworks, millions of people in Paris. They did a concert at the Eiffel Tower, just the orchestra of Radio France, and choirs which had not worked together for three months. There were fireworks, but no audience at all. I was scheduled to give another of my ‘14th’ parties. Notable because a British couple gave a party for a hundred plus people in their garden on the French National holiday. Did not happen, of course.

At the beginning of lock-down I was booked for visits to Poland, Germany, later to UK for the arrival of a great-grand-son. They are my ‘losses’. The time was desperately lonely, there was nothing like the good neighbour attitude there seems to have been in UK.

Currently there is a gradual ‘emergence’ but it is a bit like a butterfly which does not really want to emerge from its chrysalis – scary world out there. There is a permanent underlying feeling that the virus has not finished with us. It is certainly rampant in the USA. I have a grand-son in lock-down for the second time in Melbourne. Boris Johnson says the economy must be re-started despite the risk. The wearing of a mask ‘rule’ seems muddled and cannot be policed, the US claiming it infringes personal freedom. Many friends and family say they just will not travel, the risk of quarantine, or worse, lock-down far from home is not worth thinking about.

People have realised the benefit of a garden. The quiet, no planes, little traffic, you could hear the birds. Reduced pollution. Many people who suffer stress found lock-down a breathing space. A real irony was the weather. Every public holiday, the Easter week-end, the weather was brilliant – and nobody could go out and enjoy it.

My brother in law died on 2nd March. My whole family intended to be at his funeral. Churches were closed. Reduced number of people at graveside or crematorium. Dwindled to two of my daughters. Then they could not make it in a day, and hotels shut. So it was his priest, daughter and a close friend.

Many people are hoping for a world ‘changed for the better’, people thankful to be alive. Overall, limbo, inertia, lack of targets, no plans. Have you come through ‘unscathed’, hopeful or fearful for the future?

The Gardener

A Moodscope member.

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