Things I’m Learning During the Corona Virus Outbreak

Things I’m Learning During the Corona Virus Outbreak

Morrisons on Friday night
  1. Our ancient survival instincts are kicking in right now

Humans act out of immediate need. Hardwired survival instinct kicks in, and we want to protect our brood. To protect our brood we need to think about where we will get our food from. As we are no longer living in hunter- gatherer tribes, we hunt for our food at the supermarkets. It is entirely understandable.

But when we just stop at this point it leads to-


The panic buying has put unnecessary strain on supply systems at precisely the time they don’t need  the strain and is having a negative effect on older people getting access to groceries and household basics, precisely the people who are at most risk.

At the time of writing this, we don’t have any supply issues for fruit and veg, so keep buying as you usually would and we will keep updating our social media channels to let you know if this changes.

2. Every time we put something in place for our family, if we can, we should think of something we can offer out to our community

We can look after our own, but we also need to reach out.  Now is the time to use any layer of privilege we have. The poorest, the oldest and sickest in our communities will feel the full force of this pandemic.

I’ve been asking myself a simple question to keep the fear at bay- how can I be of service?

My 10 year old daughter was upset last night as there’s been a lot of talk and panic at school. So we sat down for a while and though about three things;

  1. How can we look after our household? (By which I mean extended family). Together we thought there might be 3 main people within our family that would need some extra assistance, so we have put a couple of plans in place.
  2. How can we look after other people nearby?
  3. How can we look after ourselves?

There are already so many beautiful people reaching out to neighbours. As at any time of crisis, it brings out the absolute best of us along with the worst. Hunt down the absolute best of people and join in (from a safe 2 meter distance!)

The postcard designed by Becky Wass in Cornwall is now being widely distributed.

3. We need to re-learn the idea of asking for help

We think we know how to reach out and “ask for help”,  and we have gotten much better at it, but we have perhaps little idea of what really needing other people will look like. We need to get used to needing other people, and being a proper fucking inconvenience at times,  whilst knowing that other people will have to be a proper fucking inconvenience for us as well.

Neo-Liberalism has done a blinder of a job making us live the individualists dream; I’m alright Jack, you-can-get-what-you-want-if-you-reach-for-the-stars, etc. But it’s not working as far as I can see. We absolutely do not thrive like this.  Asking for help feels icky and uncomfortable, but there is a whole world of community and collaboration to be gained.

4. We should be listening to people with chronic illness and disabilities

Now is a good time to listen to people for whom self-isolation and lack of ease in joining in everyday activities is the norm. People with chronic illness and disabilities have to deal with missing out on activities and social isolation farily often. I hope this period of time throws some light on what that must feel like, and wakes us up to the challenges some people face.  A lot of us will face strain on our mental health at this time, not least due to essential services potentially being unavailable for a short period of time.

We should reach out and listen to people who have had to cope with this for a long time already. There is much knowledge to be gained here.

5. We need to use the lessons from the outbreak of Covid-19 and apply them to the climate crisis

The two things are not separate by any stretch of the imagination, but for me, there are essential things to learn and remember here. The main thing being that-

Melting icecaps and viruses don’t care about our political and economic systems.

They will happen regardless.  “Business as Usual” will not happen regardless. We have the ability to change the stories that hold our current systems together to fight climate change. We can’t change the actualities and the science that ice caps are melting and wildfires are happening.

It is such a rare moment in time to be under the same threat like this pandemic.

Climate change and its’ effects are a threat to all of us, but it has been a slow unravelling and the true nature of global warming can be easily politicised and hidden beneath false stories that keep us separated.

The corona virus has an immediate effect, felt within our bodies with fevers. Climate change doesn’t come with a fever, but please please please, let us remember how widespread action in response to a threat is possible when we mobilise.

6. Once the emergency has past we should be wary of emergency measures.

 There will always be those who wish to take advantage of emergency states of living. Emergency measures such as global travel restrictions and no public meetings are one thing during an outbreak and very rational. They are an entirely different thing once the situation has stabilised and we should be wary of people who wish to spread distrust, implement control and reinforce racist ideologies. We must remember that these are just stories, they are old stories and we have the ability as humans to make up new ones.

7. I am hugely grateful for an online space

Despite nearly constantly moaning about social media and how it will be the downfall of humanity, I am more grateful than ever for our online spaces.  Isolation is not complete isolation anymore. We can skype/facetime/zoom. It offers options for those of us whose jobs will hang precariously in the balance over the coming months.

Let’s make our online spaces as good as they can be. Despite the shared threat of the virus, none of us get the same news-streams. We all have individual ones, tailored by algorithms and beamed straight into our pockets. I don’t know what to do to change that, but I do know that we can actively seek out information we trust and respected sources.

8. I still need a lot of time offline to feel happy

All of the above being said, I need to work hard to keep my boundaries around social media and constantly popping up news stories in check. It is not at all in check at the moment. I need to step away from the digital world for a significant portion of the day to be able to hear my own thoughts. There is only so much information, even good information, that I can take in before it becomes a jumbled mess.

9. When I am feeling scared, the best thing for me to do is to get curious instead

This has proven to be true for me time and time again. The two things do not sit well side by side. I’m trying to hold everything lightly at the moment until we we reach the next stage of guidelines from the Government.  For me at the moment, getting curious looks like starting to research how to grow some food indoors, how to preserve and more researching moss geekiness. What does your look like?

10. When all else fails, walking in the woods is still very much an acceptable pastime

Facebook Twitter Google+

Related Stories

What is the Hunger Gap?