The first few weeks of lockdown were an especially anxious time for many people, myself included; consumed by concern for loved ones, feeling a sense of loss over life pre-COVID-19, and ruminating on questions with no immediate answers. As time had gone on and the virus has spread globally, I have become increasingly aware of our shared vulnerabilities as human beings and that society as we know it, can change in an instant!

The pandemic has provided me with a stark realisation of the importance of not taking my health or freedom for granted. More recently, I’ve been learning to slow down and take pleasures in the small everyday things – walks, sun streaming through windows, video calls with loved ones, and perfectly delicious roast potatoes. I’ve been one of the fortunate ones to be able to work from home so I have had the benefit of being able to keep in touch with colleagues and feel like I’m making a difference through my work.

I am very grateful to the people looking after us throughout this crisis, some of whom are potentially putting their lives at risk in the process: NHS staff, cleaners, bus drivers, refuse collection crews, supermarket workers, carers, postmen and women and many volunteers. This crisis is an opportunity to make long-lasting changes in policy, practice, and pay that make our society fairer and more equitable.

The pandemic gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what is important – our health, love, and feeling part of a community.

By Tanita