I don't know about you but for me the third lockdown is a lot more depressing than the first two – partly because it’s winter, partly because despite all our earlier efforts, nothing has worked to keep us from going back into the crisis we’re in and partly because everyone is exhausted.
But if we are weary, then what must those on the NHS frontline be going through? To be struggling everyday in an environment in which people are dying in front of you and coping with the relentless onslaught of admissions bringing yet more people who are in a terrible condition, well, frankly I don’t know how they cope.
After the first lockdown I was offering frontline NHS staff free or heavily discounted treatments. It seemed the least I could do. I was taken aback by how resilient they are even if I knew they were still really stressed out.
I’d like to be offering them free treatments again now (better, I think, than simply clapping for them once a week) but unfortunately I’m not allowed to work so this will have to wait.
In the meantime, I have enrolled myself on the NHS Volunteer Responder programme – https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
It’s a terrific service and easy to use. You can help people who are self-isolating and dedicate as much or as little time as you want. You just register, download the app and away you go.
I highly recommend it for two reasons. First, you are making other people’s lives just that little bit easier. Second, it can lift your own spirits a little in a difficult time.
And soon I hope to be helping with the rollout of the vaccination programme. That’s a really exciting prospect.
Of course many people are stretched for time, especially those with children and who are themselves working from home. But for people like me who cannot work, volunteering a few hours each day just makes sense. If you have some spare time in your week, I urge you to join in.