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Did we all need to Halt?

It is difficult to write a blog at this time to motivate people and to encourage them to stay strong, when we are nearing 1,000 deaths a day in the UK.

But I wanted to try and provide hope for many who are suffering. This is a non political blog. I have no affiliation to anyone.

When I wrote Halt 2 Proceed, it was intended that the people who were reading it would take time to look at their lives and to make adjustments so that they could do more with their families and adjust their work life balance.

Here we all are, facing a global pandemic with people in lock down in their homes. People are dying at alarming rates, companies facing financial ruin and families struggling to feed their families. Across the world, the death toll is alarming, the United States recording the highest death toll.

Care homes are facing crisis with many carers now living in the home to care for the residents, once the virus infects the home, it spreads like wildfire. (My niece is currently living in a care home, caring for patients, away from her husband and young son) If you listen to the news, the front-line carers do not have the correct PPE, they are risking their lives caring for others.

Not being able to say goodbye to someone is the hardest thing in the world, my father and brother died many years ago and I never got the chance to say goodbye, it is something that never leaves you, but in time, you accept it.

We must consider the people who are ensuring that the infrastructure across the country is maintained, the postal workers, the delivery drivers, supermarket workers, post offices, council workers, cleaners, scientists, civil servants, local authorities, dentists, social care, bus drivers, train drivers. The list continues on and on. These people who are not the highest paid people in the country are ensuing that we get through the crisis.

Whilst politicians hold meetings and daily press conferences, rotating the Cabinet Ministers whilst the Prime Minister recovers, the population of the UK is worried, worried for loved ones who are vulnerable to the virus, worried financially, worried about the future.

The Government continue to work to help, but leave gaps in their plans, Ltd company directors taking dividends, new starters, Animal Charities, the list goes on. Many people are angry, millionaire MP's with multiple homes, telling people that the reason they are ignored is because of potential fraud. You can see why people are angry.

But we must not let ourselves be overwhelmed by the situation, families must stay strong, stay connected to each other using technology where possible, ensure vulnerable relatives or neighbours are cared for, go shopping for them, help as much as possible.

Take your exercise, get out of the house, for some, they do not have any outside space attached to their house, I am one of the lucky ones that does and can walk. Use the time to get shopping, exercise the family and enjoy the cleaner air, listen to the birds, appreciate less noise see the world around you.

We live busy lives, we work a lot, we do not appreciate what is around us, until it is gone.

Doctors, Nurses, Carers, transport operatives and the people continuing to ensure the country runs are working long shifts, they are fighting the pandemic at the front-line, these people get up every day and go to work, facing the fact that they might get infected, they have watched people die, colleagues die.

Everybody's circumstance is different, we hear that the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen an increase in calls of 120% today. People feel trapped, people feel alone, people feel frightened.

We have been asked to stay at home, exercise once a day and to maintain social distancing, we can do this. If you need help, call someone, reach out to someone, a Charity, a friend, a colleague, the emergency services. People are there to help.

We can all get angry when listening to the politicians, I have. Everyone is under immense pressure, but take time to think, for many we are healthy and will survive this virus, for a lot of families, life will never be the same and their loved ones will not be coming back. We have already lost too many lives, there will be many more to come.

Stay strong, do the jobs around the house you have been putting off, exercise (within the guidelines), watch TV, play online games, play board games, sit on the sofa with your family (if you can), telephone or video chat with other family members or reach out to an organisation if you are alone.

There are criminal gangs out there who are using the pandemic to prey on the vulnerable, be cautious, stay safe online, ensure your systems are up to date with security patches and ensure you have antivirus and malware protection.

You do not need to learn a new language or undertake an online course, for many the struggle to get through this will be an achievement. But if you can, do it.

When this is over, and it will be over, many lessons will be learnt, but do not go back to your old way of life, consider your options, take time to think, we can all help each other through this, we are stronger together.

Our fathers and grandfathers went to war for us, we can all do our part and help others as much as possible. Stay strong.

Alan Owen

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