Living through Groundhog Day

Published April 2, 2020

If you said to me at the beginning of 2020 that I’d have to ration my EastEnders viewing to twice a week, and that Wrestlemania – WWE’s, the whole wrestling industry’s biggest show of the year – will be aired over two nights with no audience due a global pandemic – I would probably give you a longer than required exasperated look, offer of a cup of tea and watch……..an episode of EastEnders. But, here we are, at the start of April where two of my favourite guilty pleasures, shows that are well into their 1000th episode of viewing are effectively hamstrung by, Covid-19, or Coronavirus as the kids call it, so it just shows how serious this is and it should be taken as such.

Reports circulating at the weekend by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harris said it could be up to six months before the UK can return to normal and many others have reported it may be even longer, up to a year, hopefully a worst case scenario situation. Any way you slice everyone seems to agree it’s a marathon rather than a sprint. The question of people’s mental health and the real possibility of it suffering after spending at least 3 weeks indoors, and in many cases may be even longer depending if you land in the high-risk strategy.

As at time of writing, we have just past the first week into a three week lock-down – congratulations everyone! So here are four tips to keep the spirits up:

  1. Keep to a routine/try to achieve small goals – it is easy to fall into a trap of mountainy when you are forced to stay inside. The days start to blur and fold into one another. To avoid this insipid trap like you’re Indiana Jones trying to grab the crystal skull from those pesky Nazis, try to think of tasks to fill up your day. It could be as small as read a book, do some exercise or actually talk to your family. They might be interesting once you get to know them.
  1. Try to cut down on news watching – the news at the best of times wasn’t really ever known for its upbeat positive attitude about the world and it is especially true these days. With daily reports of deaths from across the globe and just general doom and gloom – it can be easy for the scale of this crisis to creep up and overwhelm you. You can tell you’re watching too much when you’re on a first name basis with the newscasters, Dan Walker is my favourite – forget Prince Charles, he’s the one we should be protecting.
  1. Use the Internet – with more and more people working from home, the Internet has proved to be a beacon of light in the darkness. There are plenty of resources to stimulate the brain, from exercise videos to online courses and resources, plus interesting documentary on services like Netflix who have a plethora of diverse, thought-provoking work, such as, Crip Camp, which is about a disability camp in 1970s America and how it influenced disability rights in the years ahead.
  1. Don’t lose contact – earlier in the year, late rapper Mac Miller released his lead-single, Good News, of his posthumous album, Circles. These lyrics really hit home the effect that loneliness can have on a person “Heard they don’t talk about me too much no more And that’s a problem with a closed door” I’m not a huge fan of Mac Miller by any means but the song and these lyrics in particular, have stuck with me and are never more important or meaningful than today. Always keep your door open to people. We will only get through this stronger if we be kind to each other, mindful of one another – especially those working in the care sector.

After this crisis has been put behind us, we can look back and appreciate the kindness human beings can conjure up in the time of crisis.

2 Responses to “Living through Groundhog Day”

  1. Alison Dukes April 2, 2020

    Always knew you had a man crush on Dan Walker Alex- now it’s out there for the world to see xx

  2. Sunil May 18, 2020

    Hi Alex, thanks for the tips and the great article. I’ll be sure to use them as best as possible. Lockdown is tough! Can’t even begin to imagine how hard it will be for so many more that are isolated or lonely.