CHRISTINE MAGUIRE reflects on her situation
One of the aspects of this pandemic that has struck me again and again is the way in which there has been a steady increase in social inequality.
In addition to the harrowing scenes in hospitals and care homes, we have heard about the numbers now reliant on food banks and we know how difficult it has been for single parents trying to work from home while the children struggle with home-schooling, with possibly only one electronic device between them.
Yet for some people life has not been vastly different. I am fortunate in having Robert – the lockdown can only have exacerbated the sense of loneliness felt by those living alone. We live in a house as opposed to a high-rise apartment block, so we can enjoy the benefits of having a garden, which, in addition to giving us pleasure, has also provided an outlet for our surplus energy. Living in a relatively sparsely populated area has meant that there are fewer risks involved in going out, and travel restrictions have meant that we have limited ourselves to exploring parts of Dorset we were completely unaware of, not to mention the sheer pleasure of strolling round Broadstone’s wonderful golf course.
On a personal level, we are fortunate in being retired, so there is no anxiety about job insecurity. We no longer have elderly parents in care homes, and as our children and grandchildren live some distance away, we have never been in the habit of seeing them very often. Obviously, there are regular activities which we miss, but other options have arisen to replace these, one notable one being Zoom sessions, which for us have provided huge compensations, so altogether we can’t really say that we have suffered.
Should I feel guilty? Possibly not. Our ability to address these inequalities has of necessity been extremely limited, but we can at least be thankful for our good fortune.