Feel The Fear And Do – Well, Absolutely Nothing
Charlotte Moore talks uncertain feelings in uncertain times
Breaking: The PM announced today “drastic action” was needed as the UK approaches “the fast growth part of the upward curve” in the number of cases. Advising everyone in the UK should avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to curb coronavirus – as the country’s death toll hit 55
There’s something about seeing your parents cry that hits you somewhere different. These strong, resilient people – that you’re so used to leaning on for support – to see them hurt, feels odd. Shocking even. Like there’s truly something to cry about.
And, that’s sort of where I’m at with COVID19.
In the space of two weeks, I’ve lost four weeks of work, my fearless grandparents are barricaded into their own home and everyone around me has this sort of nervous energy that makes me want to scream. Because lurching between the monotony of religious news-checking and nauseating panic can only last so long, right?
The problem is, this is a very different war for most of us.
Coming of age in the early 00s, we saw huge shifts in global events. From terrorism to recessions, the need to step outside without fear was essential. We had to support the crashing economy and fearful towns by moving in droves to our local pub citing that #LondonIsNotAfraid.
But, unlike the complicated and turbulent economy, or actions of a few confused and unwell individuals, COVID19 is faceless. There’s no one to blame or scapegoat. We can’t reassure the public with images of packed pubs and men in handcuffs, instead, we’re trapped in a limbo of uncertainty and that seems to be the bitterest pill to swallow.
We’ve been told to stay in, but continue to bustle to our offices and drop small children at school as normal. To shop efficiently, but not to panic or stockpile. And, unlike the technology available during the 2008 recession, our worst-case scenarios no longer live inside our own heads – they’re broadcast from the overflowing hospitals and daily death counters announced across social media every morning, akin to some sort of Twitter version of The Hunger Games.
I wonder how our small businesses will continue to thrive in these turbulent times. Balancing in the edge of going under, as our towns remain as empty as the PM’s promises. And, while I, of course, implore you to support these fragile businesses, I wonder who will have the income to do so as the UK slowly crumbles.
We’re hit with guilt for showing up to a job that doesn’t offer sick leave, while being told we’re overreacting by staying in. Newspapers shame the ‘morons’ that panic-buy and yet are happy to write headlines that inspire this sense of apocalypse.
So, I sit here wondering what’s next. Speaking to the second friend that was made redundant today. My mum lets me know that the greengrocers that has been in my family for 60 years won’t survive this.
I can feel the fear. And, I can do absolutely nothing about it.