It has been a funny old time with the pandemic and all the changes in life that has gone with it. One thing that has been nice to see is how differently people are looking at the world. Jobs that people do are rightly being recognised and I am not just talking about all those that work for the NHS (who are indeed true heroes) but delivery drivers, supermarket workers, farmers, farm shop employees and postmen to name but a few.
I have heard more than once - oh yes, he is just a farmer - well 'just a farmer' over here may not have a swanky office, may always find bits of straw in his socks and never have soft hands, but when the world went into lockdown we farmers carried on, doing what we do every day - which in essence is self isolating, be it on a tractor, in a milking parlour, out in a field picking and packing. So, when you are next cross sat behind a tractor going from one field to the next - our office, just think back to that time you really appreciated us and remember we too are just trying to do our jobs.
In writing this I am by no way saying we are the heroes, we are doing the job that we love everyday (you have to do it for love as there is no money in it!) and pandemic, rain, shine, floods and snowstorms we have no choice but to get on with it as the land waits for no one, so actually, we have been really lucky just being able to get on. All those farmers that have diversified like myself to have an offering to the public, like farm shop, egg or milk vending machines, mills or craft breweries, will have found life a little harder as so much had to change over night, but that comes with the territory and we were all in it together so had to just get on.
The real heroes in this are not those that have been able to carry on, in essence as normal (albeit with PPE, 2m boxes on the floor or face masks) but the people that have stayed at home, through boredom, loneliness and often at the expense of missing saying goodbye to loved ones or missing births, special birthdays etc. These are the true heroes, the people that clapping for the NHS was the highlight of the week, that seeing delivery drivers or neighbours dropping off food parcels, a glimmer of hope and reassurance when the postman knocked just to check they were ok, without these people we would not be where we are now, easing lock down and hoping this truly heroic work has not been in vain.
Teachers who overnight have had to change the way they teach, some still in schools as well as being on call to help pupils and parents and then being placed back in schools into the unknown, doing what they are doing for the good of the children and putting their own concerns aside, they do not get enough credit at the best of times, I hope people remember all they have done before moaning about long holidays next year.
The other great heroes are those people that overnight turned into teachers, through necessity, without the planning, resources, space, time etc to become a teacher, those that not only were getting used to an unknown future, often working from home having to explain why there is no dance, or football, no sports clubs or lessons, why friends can't pop around and why playgrounds were closed and why they can't see grandparents, other family members or carers. Those learning how to work school into a working day, be it as a tag team with two parents working and teaching, or two parents being off work worrying about what will happen next, to parents with one member out on the front line, or both but keeping the children in mind and never overlapping shifts. Single parents trying to work and teach and keep their heads above water, or parents having to make the decision to stay away from their children for their safety. These people are real heroes.
The therapists that after this is all over will be the people picking up the pieces of something that has had a profound affect on everyone, helping people who when left on their own had to deal with things they may have hidden for years, deal with the stress and anxiety people maybe feeling and helping people find their new normal, while unravelling a whole host of mental health issues.
The NHS Staff that have been on the front line and in our thoughts, that a year down the line will still be picking up the pieces of the virus, not the virus itself but the waiting lists for operations, the resuming of services, the long hours to try and fit everyone in before it is too late, those that have worked tirelessly and will be expected to do so long after this, with no clapping, no pay rises, no reflection or recuperation time or extra staff to ease the workload.
These are only a few examples, there are hundreds of true heroes, this pandemic is our war I guess, we have all had a part to play and like then by pulling together and doing what is right, we hope we can win and bit by bit build this country back up into something to be proud of, after living through a time in history that will be taught for years to come, to future generations, by teachers in classrooms (we hope, as I am very sure there is not enough gin in the world to keep my wife in home schooling!)
I suppose what I am really trying to say is we are all heroes and Thank you, if no one has said that you you today, Thank you, together we have got this.