A year on in a hopeful English apocalypse

A new dawn is coming. Or is it a sunset?

A year ago this evening, Boris Johnson announced the country was going into lockdown.

And nothing has been the same ever since.

I remember vividly, twelve months ago, walking down from Bluebell Hill feeling like I was starring in my very own dystopian fantasy. I think we all probably remember where we were when the first lockdown was about to come into force.

Whilst The Sound of Music was my public theme tune, playing it each day for 120 days at one o’clock in the village square, the soundtrack in my headphones was Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture.

I don’t play computer games, but if I did it would be this one.

So much has happened (and not happened) since the first lockdown came into force. Many – far too many – have died while many more have been seriously ill.

Plans have fallen by the wayside, jobs lost, schooling disrupted. You’d be wrong if you said anything very positive has come out of all this. Yes, we’ve relearned that being outside is good for our mental health and that we need to be thankful for what we’ve got. And that material things don’t mean very much at all. But will we remember that, once this is all over? Or slip back into our old image-conscious, narcissistic, high maintenance, unkind and judgmental selves?

I’d like to think this pandemic his given us all a big jolt about what’s important to us in our daily lives. But I wonder, years from now when the virus is a distant memory, if we will have changed very much at all.

That’s about it.

Love, Maddie x

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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