Choppy waters

brown rock formations surrounded by body of water
Photo by Lukas Hartmann on


Today I needed to drive my son to school.  On the way my petrol gague, having already alerted me to the scant supply in the tank yesterday evening, was now at a critical level.  I wasn’t going to get to the school without filling up.  I sighed, indicated, and turned into the forecourt of the petrol station.

My mind in Mission Control mode I planned exactly what I was going to do.  I wouldn’t need to touch a thing.  Having just watched a Welsh Government vimeo message the evening before I was, of course, now aware of the hazards posed by the handles of petrol pumps.  All was good, I grabbed some of the free flimsy plastic gloves.  Put them on with skill that only a nurse trained in aseptic no-touch technique would exhibit, and filled the car.  Excellent.  Inside out mode of removal, all good.

Inside the garage you would never have known we were in the middle of a pandemic.  Social distancing was most definitely not being practiced and I stood, waiting my turn in the 7-8 person long queue with my card to hand.  Contactless was made just for this.

Except, no.  It seems it wasn’t.  My petrol had come to more than £30 and I just knew in that moment that as flashbacks of the other vimeo played in my head, I was going to have to touch the keypad.  Even my lateral thinking wasn’t going to get me out of this one.

Back to the car I sneaked a few precious drops of the last mini hand sanitiser we had and off we went, of course all was OK.

The pace of change is rapid.  Government advice is an ever shifting landscape.  People are reacting in different ways. Some seem to have made no changes to their day-to-day other than what has been enforced.   Most people I come into contact with are being vigilant and careful to follow government advice; we may even have raised an eyebrow at such measures a few weeks ago but now they are entirely rational and sensible.

My twitter feed is full of incredible people, really pulling out the stops. The creativity that is being exuded from their efforts is inspiring and cheering in these uncertain times of living through a pandemic. They are using maybe dormant skills, niche skills and skills that in ordinary times might seem most ordinary; but now they transcend into the extra-ordinary and vital.  Natural leaders emerging, rising up and facing this crisis head on.

There are others, though, who can’t use their skills right now and we must keep them close to us as well.  Make sure they know that they are valued and needed just as much as ever.  It can be incredibly frustrating to know you know how to do something that could be really useful but it’s just not possible to use it because of a situation beyond your control.  Some need be there for another just at the moment.  Some are day by day titrating their own health needs with the desire to help others, the solution may be changing each day.  Some will have no choice but to stand back and wait to see…  Others are really worried and don’t quite know what is ahead as income drops and bills need to be paid.  We stand with you; you’re not alone.  You are still part of our profession and valued.

The seas are choppy, the journey ahead is uncertain.  Thank you all for what you are doing, whoever you are and whatever it is.  Let’s hope that calmer waters will come soon.  But while we are heading into the anticipated storm, let’s pull together and support each other as much as we can and get through this stronger and wiser than ever before.



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