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When life gives you lemons make lemonade

As the world suddenly awakened to the sounds of panic and people all around me could speak of nothing else, I wondered if all the stories were true.

Will the world suddenly end at the hands of COVID-19?

Would I lose a person I care about or who I hold close to my heart?

I didn’t have much time to dwell on those questions as suddenly, my life was tipped upside down and everything I knew had changed. The world stood to a halt as schools were closed and the playgrounds were filled with anxious working parents not knowing what constituted as a ‘key worker’. How sad to be unsure of your value?? Local shops put up notices of closure and people were furloughed or worse- informed their job was no more. What, I wondered, did people fear more, homelessness because they can’t pay rent, or COVID-19? Every person I spoke to having a different version of the guidelines that never quite met in the middle. I was one of the lucky ones who was told my job was safe, all though in the midst of all the madness I failed to acknowledge this fact until much later.

Setting up an office at home, the isolation felt much more real than it ever had before, as the echoes of Boris Johnsons sombre tones rang in my ears, over and over again.

STAY HOME! rang out and I was forced from the clutches of my loving family and friends, my exciting life filled with gigs, holidays and day trips, and my independent shopping sprees I cherished the most.

HOW would I cope?

COPING started so quickly. I learned to adapt. Such a little world with no meaning until adapting is your only option and suddenly it seems like the most important thing in the world. Kind of like preservation and a will to maintain some of what once had been normality. I adopted new things in place of the old, all though I am able to admit I still craved the old way. Had anyone heard of Microsoft teams before this I wondered? How strange to think how much harder things were before and yet seemed so normal? How ironic to think that something like COVID-19 which was meant to tear people apart could actually unite people? Who needs a car with its harmful emissions when you can flip open a laptop and have all you need just a click away and much more time to spare?

How much simpler is it to go for your weekly grocery shop now you know what is really needed to curb hunger and not ego?

How different is the world now that everyone has a responsibility to keep each other safe? The streets are clear and the people calmer as they take their one-hour daily exercise, still maintaining some human pleasantries with a bow of the head and a simple smile- that smile meaning so much more than it did 7 weeks ago.

How beautiful the world when it is filled with words of thanks and pretty rainbows adorning windows in true praise for the key workers of society?

Are strangers kindly donating food and necessities to the neediest without hesitation or ulterior motive?

I can’t help but feel that COVID-19 cant be so bad when it has taught people the true value of another human, to appreciate the people in their lives, and to look after the most vulnerable and needy. Maybe COVID-19 has been the lesson the world needed to finally be able to understand what being a human is? How to show compassion, and how to be caring, vulnerable, strong, adaptable, but most of all united.

Yes, life has thrown me lemons, but as I sit in my sun-filled garden, sipping lemonade through a straw, hearing the carefree laugh as my children play, I smile as I ask myself, ‘is it my car, or the day trips, or the holidays or the gigs I miss most’? or is it the smile on my loved ones face? Is it the smell of fresh-cut grass as I walk to collect my children from school, or the journey to the airport ready to go on holiday? As I ponder this I can’t help but humbly accept that it is the knowledge that I am safe, and the people I love the most are waiting for me eagerly anticipating not the materialism in life we have all been brainwashed into need, but just the love from one human to another, who lived through a pandemic, and came out richer and more knowledgeable than ever before.


Rowena Brown


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