Life feels strange at the moment and it’s important to remember this won’t last forever.

Leila has been a member of our Befriending service since 2011, her disabilities making it difficult for her to get out and about. In this series of posts, Leila shares her thoughts and experiences with us. Thank you Leila!

After more than a month of panic buying, peculiar headlines and closed businesses, this week marks the sixth week of social distancing in the UK. The threat posed by coronavirus – not only to our health but also our freedom – has been astonishing. Even as we adapt to this ‘new normal’, still, everyone is unsettled.

Today though, I want to talk about some of the positives in life. I want to mention the groups which have been set up to help local residents all over the city and the amazing good will of people who want to help their neighbours.  It can be hard to accept help, especially if we are used to just getting by.  When our families and loved ones feel so far away, our need to connect with others becomes almost painful.  I often stare out the window at the empty streets, wondering if people still actually exist.  It’s worth phoning around neighbours or the council to see what help is available.  Needing and accepting help is difficult but no one is judging.

It’s fantastic that theatres, museums and galleries are making their ‘viewer experiences’ available online now, so everyone with internet can take a virtual look around. All we have to do is look up the name of the service and alas, it’s there in front of us.  These events are usually free or by donation and many people are turning into celebrities over night by posting hilarious videos on YouTube and Tik-Tok, to name just a few.  All well and good if you have access to the internet and I feel it has been a life-saver.  It’s easy to get connected online, there are plenty of internet and telephone service providers who can help.

Another reason I feel positive right now is because I feel overwhelmed by the sudden flood of empathy and compassion towards my situation as a person who has been housebound for years.  It’s as though people realise my everyday struggles and can now relate to them.  Little things like running out of milk was once easily fixed for a lot of people. Now everyone understands the difficulty of having to wait for a supermarket slot and spend a certain amount of money to qualify for home delivery.  People are frustrated but also willing to be patient with each other.

I feel surrounded by people going through the same struggles, joy, laughter and yearning for hugs and human contact.  I usually don’t feel part of the world but now I feel the world is part of me.  And I feel connected and happy.

Life feels strange at the moment and it’s important to remember this won’t last forever. We all have hopes and dreams. Life is precious. We’ve just got to be patient.   

Want to read more of Leila’s posts? Click here.

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