Much like the UK and many other parts of the world (1/3 of the population-last count), the British Virgin Islands have placed all citizens and visitors under a forced lockdown. Lockdown is one of those phrases we have just recently become accustomed to, a bit like ‘social distancing’ and ‘flattening the curve’ and ‘self isolation’. We’ve all entered an entirely new existence, one we could have not foreseen nor imagined. It is bizarre on so many levels.
So many people’s lives have changed in a breathtakingly short amount of time. Every decision we are forced to make in the moment has mammoth consequences, here are some of ours: should we sail home? should we ship the boat and if so can we fly home? Should we try to sail to an area where the boat is out of the hurricane belt? What if we get ill? What if loved ones get ill? What about money and business and costs? Have we got enough food? What about security?
All these thoughts are cocooned within the efforts of normality, of homeschool, of entertaining children, of cooking dinner. It’s a ‘macrocosm’ within a microcosm and it is incredibly difficult to get our heads around.
That said, we are anchored just off an uninhabited island. We have internet and enough supplies for a good while. We share our fate with about 30 other boats so we’re not isolated, we can swim off the boat but not venture to land. We have gin. And PE with joe wicks (oh my thighs). We will survive!
Even with our recent 8 month long self inflicted isolation, we could not have foreseen the mental stress of a pandemic, the thought of being on the boat without moving about, no land at all, with 3 children for an indeterminate amount of time. Deep breaths. Deep breaths!! We have learnt the terrible flaws that Monopoly brings out in people (Ryan is RUTHLESS!) and the wonders of truly living in the moment. Sophie and Isla came hiking with me yesterday (pre lockdown) and said, ”Perhaps when we are Grannies, we’ll be interviewed about the Coronavirus and we’ll say ‘it was bad!’, but when it’s all over, we’ll celebrate and we’ll call it the ‘done day’ and we’ll be able to leave food on our plates and use loads of water!”
We are completely awed by how people: friends, family, medics, those we love and those we’ve never met are coping with this. There is so much support, so much togetherness. It’s a testament to human fragility and human resilience. I’m romanticising I guess, and tomorrow when I’m losing the plot with the kids and I’m trying to decide whether to have corned beef or spam for dinner I will forget the bigger picture. We’re only human, we can only do our best in the moment, and these moments are trying, to say the least. Tomorrow we will start another game of Monopoly. This time I intend to conquer. No mercy, Ryan.
Love and health to everyone xx