Self-Isolating, Pandemics & Panic-Buying

It’s Thursday 19 March 2020 and we are battling a global pandemic. Who’d have thought it?

I’m in a high risk category and so, in line with UK Government and National Health Service advice, I’m staying at home for the next 12 weeks, bar emergencies. This seems quite unreal, I know others feel this too.

At least I have my lovely daughter and husband to keep me company and do tasks outside the home. Others are not as lucky but it’s great to see so many offers of help for each other. This is the best side of us coming out and it’s heartwarming.

Panic-Buying though is the less heartwarming side of our natures …

See the source image

A Critical Care nurse broke our hearts when she broke down after 48 hours on duty, trying to save lives. There wasn’t any fresh fruit or vegetables left in the supermarket because people had cleaned the shelves of essential foods and she didn’t know how to keep herself healthy – to use her words …

Just stop it, please!

I’m anxious though as our son is one of the many on the front line treating people hospitalised with Covid-19. We won’t be able to see him for however long it takes to see this virus gone. That’s upsetting BUT ALSO he has no toilet paper at home because there’s none left and he hasn’t time to look for it!

Please, let’s all calm down and stop the panic-buying ❤️ let’s give the elderly and those in greatest need a chance.

Like many others, I want to try to make more of my isolation than just sitting on social media and looking mournfully out of the window.

I’ll try to share what I’m reading on here and will be interested to see what everyone else is up to.

Next post will be about Charlotte Begg’s intriguing poetry pamphlet,
My Father/The Son/No-One’s Ghost (Broken Sleep Books) … back soon xx

Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2020 Postponed

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, festival Director Anna Saunders and team have made the heartbreaking decision to postpone the Festival until late September. This also means that Anna’s book launch is also rescheduled.

Feverfew – Indigo Dreams Pubs Ltd – ‘a bold and intense collection where candid, confessional poems meet richly lyrical, mythically inspired verse.’

They’ve taken the decision to put the community’s welfare above their own means of earning a living but of course, many other events and launches have been cancelled everywhere.

No-one makes much profit (if any) from these events. Many use their own funds and who blames anyone who needs to keep going as long as possible or until their Governments restrict movement more stringently? It must be a difficult call.

I  think so much of how hardworking people are in the arts and how much they support and encourage talent, both established and newly-hatched. Indeed I and many I know have benefited hugely from their help.

It’s so upsetting to read of the hardship being encountered by independent organisations and individuals everywhere. They slip between the rules governing statutory sick pay and other funds that might help to keep their organisations and indeed themselves, going. I fear that many may not withstand this latest setback and really hope that they can get some help with the loss of income.

I’m going to ensure that I support the festival this Autumn and hope that many of us will try to support other groups as much as possible.

So here’s wishing ‘Good Luck’ to Anna and her team and to ALL other independents in a similar position and well … stay well everyone!

Anna Saunders – Cheltenham Poetry Festival Director