Improvise, adapt and (hopefully) overcome

As the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK continues, it’s starting to look like our shared efforts are helping to mitigate the impact of the virus. But still the disease has taken, and will continue to take, its heavy toll. I’m heartened, though, by our ability to come together at this time of crisis. By our ability to improvise, to adapt and (hopefully) to overcome.

As I sit here at my desk, I realise that I’m extremely fortunate that (a) my family is (so far) safe and well and (b) my ability to provide for my family has not (again, so far) been affected by the lockdown. I’ve had one project postponed for a couple of months, but everything else has continued as before. Just with lots of video calls.

Things for my wife, who’s currently working from home in the next room, have changed a bit more drastically. She’s a university senior lecturer and, with the university buildings closed and her students spread on the four winds, she and her colleagues are working hard to find ways to keep their teaching and research on track.

Our everyday activities also now look quite different, with our weekly trips to the supermarket (just the one of us, of course) an altogether more regimented and socially-distanced affair. And our walks with the dogs (again, just the one of us per walk) have become the cornerstone of our daily exercise regimes.

I’m struck, though, by how everyone around us has adapted to the situation in which we find ourselves. Whether it’s the local authority providing support and advice to local businesses, the supermarkets finding ways to stay open while keeping staff and shoppers safe, or the teams of volunteers delivering prescriptions and food to the vulnerable.

There’s no escaping the fact that the predicament in which we find ourselves is truly horrible. But I’m heartened and reassured – though, to be honest, not really surprised – by our ability to respond to it so quickly and so selflessly. By our collective ability to adapt, to improvise and (hopefully, in time) to overcome.

Stay safe, one and all.

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