The world has changed. It's so quiet. Few sounds interrupt my day: the occasional chug of a fishing boat engine leaving the harbour on the rising tide, followed by squawking squads of gulls, a blackbird, sweetly singing outside the window. This hiatus between life as it was and how it will be for a while, is a time to reflect and analyse my frame of mind during age-related 'lock down'.

So much has, and will be written, to describe the social, economic and emotional impact the current situation is having on our lives, Everyone will have their own story. For me, my husband and Sunny, our dog, it's living in a protective bubble of self isolation. physically separated by the harsh facts of what is happening beyond the garden gate, however, I'm not deluding myself and know that bubbles burst, so we are keeping our distance ourselves as best we can. Apart from our daily walk, everything is being delivered from basic groceries to occasional treats from an enterprising local bistro. The butcher, the baker, the Thai curry maker, put their boxes two metres from the front door..

The buzz-words of self isolation and social distancing had real meaning when a close relative contracted the virus. She was very ill; not so bad as to need a respirator and has since recovered at home. She described her initial symptoms as loss of taste and smell, followed by a headache so bad, she thought she was having a cerebral bleed; she described the worse symptoms as experiencing being suffocated and drowning without water and a huge weight compressing her rib cage, leaving her gasping to breathe.

The virus is an evil entity playing hide and seek with every one of us. I'm reminded of when I was a small child; maybe, about 6 or 7; I was prescribed a course of penicillin for an ear infection and had an allergic reaction. My temperature was so high, I hallucinated; all these years later, I can recall the image of a heinous, green goblin that transmogrified itself from ugly, Gothic gargoyle into an evil, illusive form that chuckled under the bed, danced around the ceiling, hid in my teddy's fur... I was so terrified, I was afraid to open my eyes, or breathe incase it knew where I was. This virus is like that goblin; a driver may have sneezed on my Amazon package, it could be lurking on a stile I've climbed over, on the postman's breath. It's as random as playing Russian roulette with the Invisible Man

Human nature being what it is, has shown its many different aspects. It's the key workers who are pulling us through this. Not simply highly skilled healthcare professionals, who are going beyond the call of duty, but ordinary people doing ordinary jobs; the supermarket checkout women, delivery drivers, postmen. Of course, the other side of this are the mean-spirited individuals relishing the opportunity of fulfilling a sanctimonious role as local Stasi. Then again, maybe, I'm being disingenuous and they're akin to the villagers of Eyam in 1665, when bubonic plague, ravaged the country. The entire village 'locked down', accepted voluntary quarantine to sacrifice themselves and stop the spread of the disease. A powerful echo from the past, that any deprivation we may be feeling now, will be worth the isolation.

While we've all been pulled up to the bumper of our mortality; there is much to be said for adversity. It's amazing how quickly some businesses have adapted to survive and keep staff employed. Local shops are delivering, cafes and restaurants are operating take-out and delivery services, bakers are baking and the boats that are going to sea, have discovered ready, local custom. We've never had so much fresh fish without the restrictions of quotas and markets collapsing. Social media is vital for keeping up to date and thanks to my family, I've come to terms with FaceTime, and as for the Zoom boom; I love it! Book Club, Writers' Group, family events - to see and talk via video, is a revelation and a comfort; provided I can be patient enough to wait past constant 'buffering'. as we all talk to our screens at the same time.

What of the future? Any way the wind blows! There will be a sea-change and familiar life as we've known it, may not be reclaimed in my lifetime. Anthropologists and historians will write about 2020 and it will be a significant date future generations of children will learn along with 1066 and 1666. Will there be a rewind and U-turn in social mobility not seen since the Industrial Revolution when much of the population left the countryside to work in towns and cities? Many are realising they can work from home, not needing a daily commute to be productive and find they actually like it. The past twenty years have seen staggering advance with the use of computers and the internet, and these advances have made it possible for a reverse revolution in the work place..

If I'm honest about my state of mind; it's gone into lock down too. As human beings we're all in a tail spin of uncertainty; I have wobbly moments and worrying about the future of my family and push aside the need to smell my granddaughters' freshly shampooed hair - I bury my face in the dogs fur for now. I've retreated to a still, quiet place and found a passive, inner stillness, I've not withdrawn but won't think too far ahead and contemplate my impermanency, or how that part of my life not yet lived will be. Ostrich-like, If I stay still, like hiding from the demon of my childhood nightmare, I'll be safe.

There will be a pre and post Covid-19 world. In the past, we've fought enemies with guns and bombs, as for the future, the battle will be won by epidemiologists and scientists.... until then, whatever the emotional cost, I don't want to die choking and gasping for breath, with a stranger holding my hand. As restrictions begin to slowly lift... I'll be patient, take it easy and stay close to home.

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