Monday 23rd November 2020

I often find myself sitting here on a Monday and wondering what will come out at the end of my fingers. I try to not think to much about what I will write about and often find myself going off on tangents. I guess the year has been so different and raised so many questions and queries that all that we’ve known has been undone.
Words have entered our language that have become part of our discourse, such as ‘zooming’ and ‘face covering’ which is ironic as there was such a negative attitude reported in the media in recent times of certain cultures encouraging the wearing of face coverings. It was seen as something that women were being forced to do, there was racial slurs thrown around online, and now here we are wearing face coverings mostly with ease. It has become a part of our culture, you can buy many different types of face coverings, such as standard PPE masks, colourful facemasks with logo’s and a whole host of character designs, I’ve even toyed with the obvious Star Wars Darth Vader mask… I’ve even seen people creating incredible designs, I’ve recently become the owner of a smarf, which is a hybrid scarf/mask which is quite cool, handmade by a friend of my wife’s, and bought a good friend a Foo Fighters facemask which will make her the coolest headteacher in school.
Our culture is so different now, I’m aware of how little I touch people, no shaking hands, no hugs, standing at a respectable difference and it impacts on connection. I miss connection, seeing friends and colleagues and giving them a hug. Connection is the one thing that has affected everyone through this pandemic. For me connection is so important, it’s such a fundamental part of who I am. So the moments I do get to connect with someone, either on the telephone, on duo, Microsoft teams or zoom, I try to enjoy it, in meetings I try to crack jokes, bring a smile. Because connection is what matters, it completes the human circuit. When we watch nature documentaries, see families and communities of apes, packs of wolves, and prides of lions. We see a unit, a family and community.
It seems that in so many ways, our society and technology has begun to erode our connection and community be taking us into our virtual silos, and now through the pandemic, ironically we have been fortunate to have the technology to keep connected, however, I feel the lack of real human connection has forced us to appreciate connection all the more and embrace technology in a more positive way, and hopeful pave the way for when we are once more connected outside of our COVID matrix.
Promises of an effective vaccine and possibilities of being out of the pandemic by Easter 2021 and restrictions lifted through Christmas and sports events fills me with a hope that these 10 months of struggle and tragedy may finally be the light at the end of this very dark tunnel.