Happy Mother’s Day

It was a Mothering Sunday like no other.

No bells ringing in the village, no posies being handed out in the ancient church because there were no services to hand them out at.

Mother’s Day at a distance – gifts on doorsteps, greetings through car windows and over fences.

Waving across the fields and streets, walkers in single file keeping their distance from one another.

Birds singing, the sun beating down, blossom blossoming and flowers blooming. Dogs happily play fighting, cats stretching out on warm garden walls.

For some – the lucky some – this social distancing is a time to reflect, be creative, find ourselves amid the chaos, breathe in the air of the great outdoors, marvel at the wonders of nature, which is oblivious to the dystopian sci-fi story playing out on the human stage.

For others like the elderly and the vulnerable, only the kindness of neighbours and the local community will keep their boat afloat.

Self-imposed exile means households are already at breaking point. Stroppy teenagers confined to their rooms, younger children fighting with their siblings while mums and dads do their best to work from home amid the mayhem.

The novelty of self-reliance and making do is already wearing thin.

But we have to get on with it, for the sake of our population, for the sake of our health service and for the sake of light at the end of the tunnel.

Here, in the beautiful West Country, there are further concerns as people from who knows where head to the coast and countryside, convinced this virus has nothing to do with them because they feel fine.

Just like the Government banned pubs and clubs from opening, so must the tourism industry be ordered to shut down. Snowdonia, for example, experienced its busiest-ever visitor day in living memory yesterday.

It’s got to stop. Now.

We have to take this seriously. Our very lives depend on it.

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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