The Individual Impact of The Virus

This is something that's impossible not to talk about. It's everywhere at the moment, and it's hitting us all, individually.

Don't think it is? You don't have to have the virus itself to feel the effect of it on every aspect of our lives. Are you working from home? Have you had to wait a while for the tube? Can you no longer visit your favourite pub with friends? Or a cafe to catch up on some work in? Or hit some shops? Maybe a family member has it, or has an underlying health issue that means they can't go out. Maybe you can't go out. It's impacting us all.

For me, the main impact is my job.

My beautiful, fast-paced, energetic, emotionally intense, creative, exhausting job. I never thought I'd miss my job as much as I do now.

I took this photo after a long, 9 hour Saturday shift. I was exhausted but now I yearn for it.

I was sent into self isolation a week ago today, when the gov announced households of those with symptoms had to go into isolation, as my boyfriend, P had symptoms. (How many times did I say symptoms in that sentence?) At first I thought, well, it'll give me some time to work on things, maybe a few blog posts, maybe do some packing, as we are moving house soon. You never know. I'll be able to look after him, and if I do get it (I've only had mild symptoms so far) he can look after me. It'll be two weeks off work. I was doing my bit for the country, after all.

But, at my work, it was dead quiet when I left. In the women's department, it was like a ghost town, and it was like that everywhere. People were stressing, not just in my work but others too, about shutting and wages (and the gov. announcing they'll cover 80% people's wages is actually such a good thing in my opinion) and about whats happening in general. Will we shut? What will happen? It was a rumour mill of the worried, over-exposed and underpaid front line (now key) workers.

After I left, things got worse. And now, it's happened. A few days ago, the styling service me and my colleagues (they're more than colleagues, really) offer was cancelled indefinitely. And now, they're all shut. All the stores. So no more work for me.

I miss it, I really do. I miss it so, so, so much. I miss waking up and going somewhere. I miss being busy and stimulated, inspiring and empowering women. I miss my team. My weird, over the top team. I miss belonging somewhere.

And what does this mean for retail on the whole? Who knows how long the ban will last, but in my opinion, at least till the beginning of May, maybe June. And then what? Will retail traffic ever reach what is was this time last year? I think it'll take a few months to recover definitely.

I guess I have to be thankful for the fact I still do have a job. No, it's not a job I'd choose to do, but me and my team have all been relocated to different positions in the company, and to be honest, we all actually give a shit about the company, so it's okay to do it short term. I still have a job which is important.

My family have the virus. Literally the most athletic members of my family have got it and they don't need hospitalisation, but it's still horrible. People I know have to stay inside for 12 weeks, which looking down the barrel of week 2 of 2, I couldn't imagine. It's been a nightmare getting food delivered (couldn't even get a delivery in the end, had to send Libby round the Co-op with me on the phone describing what they had on sale) and we're still moving house at the end of the week, so I'm a bit all over the place with nerves at the moment.

It's important to remember in this time that this too, shall pass. It'll be over soon, sooner than you think, and by then, it'll all be a distant memory. This will all be a distant memory, which we will be laughing about. For now though, stay safe, clean and don't hog toilet roll.

Enjoying Spring in my 1/2 meter square of outside space.

C x

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© 2019 Ciara Loane

Created by Ciara Loane.

London-based writer and stylist.

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