“The last months have been frightening, challenging and illuminating in equal measure. As a frontline NHS worker I have seen every day the devastating impact of this illness, friends and colleagues becoming sick, otherwise healthy people gasping for breath, loved ones waving forlornly through closed hospital doors, unable to share a hug or kiss, not knowing if this was goodbye. The ongoing dread realisation that those elected to lead us do not have our best interests at heart.
But it has been a time of extraordinary courage, collaboration and support. We have got to know our neighbours better. Jasmin has been a constant source of strength not only to me but to those she has helped through the local community support group. To see the incredible outpouring of community spirit has been truly humbling to me. While we have missed so many things, we have been so fortunate to stay well, and if even a fraction of this new community will survives then perhaps we can all continue to benefit from that."
“We arrived at Heathrow as the lockdown began after three weeks in Japan. We were anxious when we first left, but all the travel advisory services said as long as we took sensible precautions we should still travel. We were lucky to avoid the virus and in hindsight, it seems mental that we were allowed to go.
It was strange coming back to a city in lockdown. We had so many plans and reservations cancelled and at first, I felt incredibly disconnected from people. As a contract teacher, I was no longer working and I felt extremely isolated until I joined the Mutual-Aid group.
Being able to help people made me feel less isolated and like I was doing something, particularly while Adam was working so much. I felt much more connected to my neighbours and community. There was an undercurrent of kindness, care and understanding.”