The last fortnight has been insane. The last week especially. It feels like we have all lived a year in a week, the amount of stress and worry we’re all feeling. Personally, I have been struggling to focus on anything at the moment, such is the way of things. I am sure many of you are feeling the same way. This is why I have started a daily diary on DGB.

If I can get off my chest via DGB, then perhaps my mind will clear and focus will return. But I’m not just doing this for me, this is for all of you as well. As I will explain.

Impending sense of panic

I have been accused in the past of being a bit sensationalist, dramatic, over-negative. I get that. But I see myself more as a pragmatist and realist more than anything else. It works well. If things in life turn out better than I thought they would, its a bonus. If not, I’m right and my expectations are managed. With what we’re experiencing now, I was keeping an eye on the virus from early January, before it was making any significant headlines, and I could see what was coming down the path for us all. Now, here we are. Witnessing the slow car crash of a horror film being played out in real life.

Over the past couple of weeks my wife has become more and more worried about what we have been watching unfold on our TV screens. Of course its been a problem since February, when China went into it’s lockdown and the world began to panic about whether it would get its goods on time or not. How pathetic does that sound now? The crisis has since moved quickly around the world, hitting Europe hard. We have moved from a supply chain crisis, to a genuine health crisis which threatens to bring the the global economy in a matter of weeks. Its a double-whammy hit of biblical proportions that no one could have seen coming in the New Year. Yet, here we are.

I have been trying my best to calm family and friends around me who are worried. Its the right thing to do. I have also tried to be honest about what I think might happen, and what the best actions are to take to make sure we’re protecting ourselves, our loved ones and the ways in which we earn. Those conversations have been sometimes high tempered, even angry at times. But it’s done out of love and nothing else.

Each day you wake up, and for a few minutes you forget what you left behind the night before. We have a near 9 month old now who has quickly mastered crawling and is learning to pull himself up. We bring him into our bed in the morning and play with him for a few minutes as we always have done, before taking him downstairs and making breakfast. That kind of normality is amazing. Then Alexa and the TV come on and you’re reminded of the hell that is spreading around the world. That impending sense of panic.

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Frustration and fear

I like to think our little family unit is a responsible one. Kind to people, considerate of the environment and the needs of others. We’ve both been brought up that way and our little boy will be brought up in the same manner.

Keeping a lid on the anxiety my wife has been experiencing hasn’t been easy. Perhaps keeping a lid on it isn’t the right term. Managing it, is probably better. We both know we have a responsibility to do the right thing by others and stay out of the way of other people as best we can for as long as we can. That has been stretched this week as we have our own family run installations business and going into work this past week has been a very odd experience. I’m working from home as much as I can now, but we’re coming up with ways to keep the premises open whilst causing as little disruption to work. In a non-family business those discussions are difficult. In a family run business, ther’re closer to heated debates. I’m being polite.

We’re all frustrated and fearful. 2020 was supposed to be a good year. A positive year. A year without drama, after all that had gone before it. Now, from planning for growth and success, the entire industry is working out how to keep its jobs. We really are all in this together.

There is fear about jobs. But then there is fear about our health, and the health of our loved ones. If you have seen the Sky News reports coming out of northern Italy, you cannot fail to be moved close to tears when you watch them. The country did not move quick enough to stem the spread of the virus. They’re now living in hell. They are warning the UK and others to heed their own warnings and to shut down immediately and pleading with other citizens around the world to listen to their Governments. We know in the UK many are not, and its upsetting to witness.

Panic buying in stores where there is enough to go round if we all bought normally. NHS, as well as the elderly and vulnerable unable to buy basic food and supplies. Around the country there are homes stocked with pile after pile of food and supplies that they’re never realistically going to use in the coming weeks. If you’re one of those who have cleared the shelves in recent days, and you’ve bought extra freezers to hoard the chicken, beef and toilet rolls for a disease that doesn’t event give you the shits, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The piles of food you’re not even touching right now could be feeding the very NHS staff that you may well need in a few weeks time when you’re hospitalised. It has to stop.

Come the end of the day, you’re tired, stressed and no less worried. I come home to read a book to my little boy before he goes to sleep. Now I’m working from home I’ll be able to see him more. But in the past couple of weeks it has been hard to leave him, knowing what is approaching. I am not afraid to admit that sat on the floor of his nursery, watching him sleep after his last bottle and a book, I was close to tears, and have been a couple of times. Not for myself, but for him. In a way I am glad that right now he’s too young to remember all of this. Hopefully this passes before he’s old enough to have memories of these awful times. We will explain it to him in time. And explain why, in a few years time we do things differently to what we used to pre-COVID. But right now, it breaks our hearts that he’s growing up in a world in so much pain and fear.

Its Mother’s Day tomorrow. The first for my wife. We’re not doing anything I planned. Its upsetting, but it has to be this way. Its the first time I won’t see my mum on Mother’s Day. Again, awful, but it has to be that way. We have accepted that this is probably going to last beyond Father’s Day in June. We’re most upset however that we won’t be able to do anything for his first birthday. Its July 2nd, and we had plans for all sorts of fun things. We know this won’t be over by then, and we’ll have to do something small at home. We will make it as amazing as we can, but we know it won’t be the same.

This dairy is going to be a catharsis for me. A place to get my worries and frustrations off my chest. Plus, it saves me unloading it on my wife when she has enough to worry about! But this is also for you. Social media is great, but Twitter is only 280 characters long. If you’re worried, stressed, in fear of what may or may not happen, and you want to let it out, please use this diary as a place to unload it. This is hear for you as much as it is for me. Its better that we talk about this, rather than sit at home dwelling on it, when the burden can be shared between us all. So please, feel free to comment below and lets talk.

See you again tomorrow!

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