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Too many times I’ve heard people saying what Covid-19 has stopped them doing, such as eating out, playing their favorite sports or watching a film at the cinema, but they haven’t stopped to see what dealing with this situation has given them.

For me, it’s given me the time to spend with my wife and children, rather than worrying about where we need to go and when we need to get there by. Instead, enjoying the fact we can all snuggle up on the sofa together with nice nibbles to watch a film together, not sitting in a large room, in separate chairs, with other people interrupting the view. Our nibbles are the biscuits and cakes that the kids have made together, having fun in doing so, with a lot of laughter and conversations that go off in so many directions its hard to remember how it started. We even went full hog and made all the boxes and wrappers to make my son’s birthday treat request to have McDonalds a reality.

Having my eldest son at home, who is normally at University has allowed me time to spend with him and his brothers, looking at how we can help others at this time and give something back for the things we normally take for granted in our society.

We focused on a passion we share in technology and this led us to 3D printing, much to their joy as they have always wanted a 3D printer, but we never really worked out how we could utilize one, so never bothered. We have been printing headbands for face visors and working out other little tools that would help others who are finding this current situation difficult. My youngest has Asperger’s and ADHD, so this has been a very difficult time for him, his routine knocked for six, not being able to go to school, and worrying about going outside with us for a walk because ‘Coronavirus is out there’.

As he was told not to touch things when we were out of the house, to help him, and others, we designed a tool that helps you open doors, pull things and push buttons without touching them, which has meant learning to use a number of different programs and engage with other like-minded people in forums and online groups, who under ‘normal’ situations, we would probably never have connected with, and these connections give others hope, friendship and a community they need to get through this time of uncertainty, where they may have otherwise felt alone.

It gives understanding of other’s situations and hope that we can get through this and if we all stick together, (whilst observing social distancing of course), we can achieve greater things as a collective, rather than wallowing in self-pity for the restrictions placed upon us.

Having five males in the house, and not being able to keep up to the usual barbershop family outing to keep our hair at Grade 3, we bought a pair of hair clipper and decided to give it a go. One or two mishaps later, and much raucous laughter, teasing and ‘you look like..’ jokes, my daughter decided to take on the mantle of ‘family barber’ and for her first attempts, after sitting so many times in boredom at the barbers whist we were trimmed, it would seem she did take notice of more than her phone, and has produced some pretty decent haircuts, for which she also expected to be paid for!

We even went full hog and made all the boxes and wrappers to make my son’s birthday treat request to have McDonalds a reality. His smile or excitement was overwhelming.

I’ve always said to my children “you get out of life what you put in” and “you can learn to do anything if you put in time and effort”. Well, that has certainly been the case whilst Coronavirus has been with us. It’s not what you haven’t got or can’t do, it’s about using the opportunities life presents and using them to your advantage.

Chris Furminger


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