Updated: Dec 7, 2020
People don't understand what we are going through, unless you're weathering this storm in the same way as we are you will not understand.
It’s so not true we are all in the same boat in this pandemic, we are in the same storm, yes, but certainly not the same boat.
Some are feeling a bit queasy due to the rocking of their huge luxurious cruise ship, but the cabins are warm and comfortable, the opulent food is restocked daily, there’s entertainment and it won’t last forever, chin chin, bottoms up.
Some are battening down the hatches on their trawlers, still out there catching their own fish, fighting to survive on the massive swells that are coming more and more frequently to threaten their survival.
Others are in little rowing boats, desperately hanging on to their loved ones, not even enough life jackets to go around, watching the bright lights of the cruise liner as it powers by to calmer waters.
And then there’s the ones who have already been tipped into the water, frantically clinging to the flotsam and jetsam around them, not knowing if the next wave will be the one to tug them under to their fate, and often not even having the energy to care…
I’ve just listened to the fourth of the Meetings with the Mayors. What started as Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham and Liverpool Mayor, Steve Rotheram showing their support to the ExcludedUK and ForgottenLtd, is now gaining traction with nine Mayors from differing political parties attending these heart-breaking sessions.
Today we’ve heard about the business with 200+ animals to feed who have had no support and are looking at the possibility of having to euthanise their animals, because they can no longer afford to feed them.
Of a teenager who is self-harming and refusing to eat as they feel they are being a burden on a family in crisis.
In recent sessions, a young family who have had to sell their home and move in with the in-laws as they are in the Arts and see no other option, as the likelihood of theatre being back up and running anytime soon is just a pipe dream.
Seeing the strong and defiant, who have the balls to stand up and tell their stories, crumble when they realise the futility of it all, and watching through my own tears as dozens of others grab a tissue, breaking with them, as they can totally empathise.
I hope that this is the time when we are maybe seeing the storm pass by a little, is there a chink in the clouds where the sun is sneaking through? Maybe the cruise liner is not leaving us behind after all, maybe it just takes a little longer to put on the brakes and change direction. Maybe, just maybe, there are enough life rafts on board to help those who are suffering, even throwing us a life jacket so we can relax a little and stop the constant monotony of treading water, getting nowhere.
If you are not affected by any of this, I urge you, please don’t just ignore it. Call the coastguard, light some beacons on the shore, bring warm blankets, mugs of tea and reassuring smile, a virtual hug, anything to give us some hope.
It may be dark out there at the moment, the blackness of the ocean is overwhelming. But deep-down humans are kind, compassionate and they care. Let this be a reminder of what, or more crucially ‘who’ is important, and find once again that humility that makes us human.
Raychel McGuin - Polychrometrist.