A friend asked me today: what has lockdown taught you? I paused for a second as I was just about to launch into a long list of things, including learning new dance moves and baking banana bread.
Actually, there are three BIG things that it has taught me. And whilst I’ve already forgotten the dance moves to Steps’ latest song, I know that these are lessons that I will remember for a long time to come.
The first is that when lockdown happens, we can’t just stop. We have to keep going. There are certain things that CANNOT stop. For example, supermarkets and shops still have to stock their shelves so we can have the essentials. Hospitals have to continue working round the clock to keep people healthy. Emergency services still have to carry on no matter what, to make sure we are all safe. Your post still needs to arrive. And your bins still need to be collected.
The second is that these ‘essential’ jobs that keep the world going need to be done by special people. Without these ‘key workers’ we wouldn’t be able to function whether we had a lockdown or not. And that’s what makes them incredible to me. That’s why I refer to them as everyday superheroes. Because if some of these people didn’t keep going, we would be in serious trouble. Often many of them have to put themselves at risk to enable us to carry on with our lives. We all showed our appreciation for NHS and other front-line workers every week when we used to clap for them to say thanks. That’s because we recognised that these amazing people put themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us.
Those people are the inspiration for my new book: A Superhero Like You. It’s the story of a little girl called Lily who wants to be a superhero when she grows up. The twist is that she wants to be a real-life superhero just like all the people who keep us going, and kept us going during this pandemic.
The final thing this lockdown has taught me is that when we are faced with a situation like we are in now, which no-one was expecting and changed our lives dramatically, kindness and connection really count. Times like this are when we need the superheroes who reach out to check we are OK. This is when friends, family and colleagues at work can really come through. We might all be in the same storm, but we’re all in different boats. Sometimes helping someone else out who may not be coping as well as you can make the world of difference to both of you. It’s definitely something that I’m going to continue after this is all over.
We’ve all learned our own lessons from lockdown, but I feel like these are ones that we would all do well to remember. They’ve certainly made me appreciate everything around me and how I talk to others. I’m proud to say that I’ve probably become a bit of a better person because of it. And perhaps, they might just inspire you to do something to make the world a little better for someone else too. Go on, do it now, and feel proud.