Here we are well into the four-week lockdown. From what I can tell, most of us are sticking to the rules - staying home, saving lives - and that's fantastic.
Thankfully, we live in an age where keeping in contact with each other has never been easier. Virtual drinks and chats are becoming the new normal and I must confess I have seen more of my friends and family in this time than I normally would. That can only be a good thing.
Checking in with our loved ones is so important, especially those who are elderly or alone.
The impact on our minds and bodies of being in lockdown cannot be underestimated and we should all be kind to ourselves and know that whatever we are doing to get through this is enough. If you want to challenge yourself and set goals, start a new hobby or learn a language, go for it. Alternatively, if you are using the time to reflect, read or catch up on the TV series you've been meaning to watch, that's okay, too.
Of course the economic pain is something else again and is starkly apparent as our economy slows and most businesses are closed. We will all know people who have lost jobs, had to lay off staff or face the possibility of their business never opening again.
This is also reflected in the number of people who have accessed the Government support packages to date.
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Among all of this there are rays of sunshine that warm the heart; stories of people looking out for one another, like the SOS Cafes, a not-for-profit website started to help local businesses through the lockdown. Then there's the teddy bears and messages of support and hope springing up everywhere. Our healthcare workers who are at the frontline of this health crisis, supermarket workers and others in our communities who are delivering food or companionship (virtually of course) to our elderly and vulnerable they are the heroes. As one Advocate letter writer said the other day: "not all heroes wear capes".
Here at the Advocate most of us are working from home and we have settled into a routine. Every day we have a news meeting and talk about the best way we can keep you, our loyal and valued readers, best informed about what is going on in our region and nationally. Being classed an essential service we take our duty very seriously and understand the importance of our role, never more so than at a time like this.
What the country – or the world – looks like in a year is anyone's guess but I would like to think we will be a kinder, more tolerant and humbled human race.
Take care of yourselves and each other. Remember, stay in your bubble and save lives.
Happy Easter everyone.