Yes. Lockdown sucks.
But you know what doesn’t suck? Most people.
So this is for them. The woman baking cookies and leaving them on the doorstep of her neighbours. The people in their houses who have teddy bears shoved in the front window for you to smile at as you go for your walk to break the monotony of being at home. This is for the children chalking the pavement with brightly coloured messages (and the poor parents ordering chalk deliveries in bulk to keep it happening). This is for the people who are walking their dogs and giving you a big smile and a cheery ‘hello’ as you pass them on the path.
This is for the café owners that are churning out coffees and hot chocolates for takeaway with a big fat smile even though they barely survived the last lockdown and don’t know how they’re going to make through this one. This is for the post delivery driver ringing your bell with the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for the mosh pit in the olden days when we socialised. This is for all those that are pivoting so fast they’re practically human helicopters.
This is for the friends posting pictures of their pets rugged up to peak adorable on a rainy day. It’s for the people in your Facebook feed sharing the truth bombs lobbed at them by their very own offspring. This is for the people who have started new jobs and haven’t yet had a chance to meet their colleagues in person. This is for those colleagues that set up Zoom drinks to welcome them. This is for that guy you met at a gig who has set up a regular Zoom music quiz for all the music nerds unable to go and see live music.
This is for the teachers putting together lesson plans at a moment’s notice but still finding the time to add sweet messages of joy for their students. It’s for the nurses still wearing their coloured scrubs to cheer up their patients when this lockdown just makes more and more work for them. It’s for all those singers and musicians thrown under a bus by our government that continue to produce music and share it live (and free) on their social feeds. It’s for Jimmy Barnes and his green and gold pavlova in honour of Ash Barty.
It’s for those creative geniuses out there that keep making hella funny content and sharing it so that we can share it on and cheer up other people as well. It’s for all those contact tracers that are working their guts out. It’s for the CHOs who are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, but they do it anyway. It’s for the supermarket workers who ask you to mask up and manage to do it with such grace it’s like the first time they’ve said it, not the 2903850398th time. It’s for the guys in Aldi who still ask if you want a catalogue even as the middle aisle is full of snow gear because it turns out none of us are going anywhere.
It’s for the friends who did 112 days of lockdown that reach out to check in. It’s for the people who watched England lose the football and didn’t post racist crap on the internet. It’s for the people that reach out via text to say they love you. It’s for the people that make the time to listen to those that have nothing but time at the moment. It’s for the people (who albeit apologetically) post pictures of their holidays in parts of the country that aren’t in lockdown reminding you of how gloriously gorgeous this country is. This is for the friends abroad who slide into your DMs in the night so when you wake there are cheery messages. This is for the parents that are getting uber creative about celebrating birthdays in lockdown and it’s for the tooth fairy who keeps delivering coins even though nobody has used real money for as long as you can remember.
It’s for the people recommending good books and great TV series. It’s for the businesses posting workout routines online for people to follow. It’s for whoever invented Zoom, Lego, Minecraft, Sims, YouTube and TikTok enabling our small people to remain both connected and engaged. Have all our money. It’s for the person who has painted rocks with friendly messages and left them all over the suburb for you to find. It’s for our children who have once again accepted more cancelled holidays, not seeing their friends face to face and the cessation of all their extra-curricular activities with a shrug and a brief ‘I hate Covid’.
It’s for the people that ruthlessly police all of us in Facebook groups making sure that we play nicely even when the world doesn’t seem to be playing nice with us. It’s for all the people who have to keep going into their ‘real jobs’ because they can’t work for home. It’s for all those people that swallow their exasperation when somebody spreads the virus they didn’t know they had. It’s for all those that recognise that it could just as easily be us making mistakes. It’s for those that choose grace when hurling the profanity into the ether would have been much more cathartic.
It’s for you and it’s for me. It might not seem it, but we are surrounded by so many people that are lovely and kind and a special kind of wonderful.
It’s just that those people won’t make it into your newsfeed or into your favourite newspapers. But they are there.