“Latest News: Sacrifices (22nd March 2020)”

7 minute read

My conscience got the better of me today.

It’s the third Saturday of the month and that can only mean one thing; it’s haircut day! I’m not ashamed to admit that I love getting my hair cut. I really do.

There’s something about the atmosphere of the salon, the bustle, and I love having somebody else wash my hair and then give me a head massage; it’s one of life’s little pleasures.

And then I get to spend an hour catching up with my stylist and friend, Will. We talk movies, games, women, and social plans; and then we shake hands, wish each other a good weekend, and then say goodbye for another month.

It’s amazing what can be taken for granted.

I think it’s safe to say that an unofficial lockdown began yesterday (Friday 20th March). And although some shops and businesses do remain open at this moment in time (including the salon), the guidelines would tell us that anything non-essential is to be avoided.

Today I showered, got changed, left the house, and then sat in the car ready to head to my appointment. But as I went to turn the key in the ignition, I found that I couldn’t do it.

Yesterday I published my first article about the pandemic, and yesterday I stated that we all needed to do our bit. I stated that no matter how small our contributions seem, they all make a difference. I tried to justify that going to get my hair cut was no big deal, that I’d hardly see anybody, and that we’re all young, fit, and healthy.

But I still couldn’t turn that key.

Instead I reached for my phone, scrolled through the numbers, and hit dial. And then I cancelled my appointment.

Safety has to come before vanity, and even though it means that I may be rocking a massive hairdo by the time this is all over, fuck it. It was the right thing to do.

After cancelling my appointment I chose to go to the supermarket. That’s an essential place that we can justify going to, and I had a list of a few items that I genuinely needed.

I mentioned before that there are times when it feels like we’re in the middle of a movie right now, and that’s proving to be truer by the day. As I drove the five miles that separate my house and the supermarket, there was hardly a car on the road.

To my surprise it was quiet inside, but many shelves were still bare. Forget toilet rolls, forget hand wash, and forget pasta; they’re as rare as rocking-horse shit right now.

I managed to get some fresh fruit and vegetables (which are THE best thing anyway), but I was shocked to also find some fish and meat too (although I was later advised that I was really lucky as they had no meat at all yesterday).

It was heartening to see that just about everybody was observing social distancing. People were keeping at least two metres apart, and they held back for others to pass through tighter spaces. Smiles were present and it really did feel as though the shoppers were trying to help lift each other’s spirits.

And then of course, there are the workers at the checkouts. And this brings me onto my next point.

Right now we are seeing so much gratitude being shown towards the NHS, and RIGHTFULLY SO! I cannot emphasise that enough. In my eyes the NHS and its workers are heroes of this nation; they always have been, always will be. And the same thing goes for their equivalents throughout the world.

Right now they’re on the front line each and every day, not just in the battle against coronavirus, but against myriad injuries, ailments, and diseases; these other things didn’t stop when COVID-19 began. They’re at genuine risk of losing their own lives in order to save ours, and when this is all over we’ll owe them a debt of gratitude.

Thank you to all the NHS health workers and to the scientists for their fight against the pandemic.

But, please let’s also acknowledge that they’re not the only ones who are playing a crucial part. Without gas, water, electricity, and telecoms; the hospitals would struggle to function, not to mention everybody that’s currently sat in their homes.

Please spare a moment to appreciate that when you turn on your taps or flush your toilet, people get that water to your home. When you turn on the heating or fire up your hob, people got the gas there. When you switch on the lights, turn on your TV, heat up your oven, and charge your phone, it was people that provided you with electricity. And when you Facetime your loved ones, contribute to your Whats App groups, and when you Netflix and chill, it is people who keep your telecoms functioning. And it is people who fix these things when they break.

Without these people our safe little socially-distanced havens will cease to function.

And then of course there are the police, paramedics, ambulance drivers, and the fire service. There are the delivery drivers, food manufacturers, breakdown recovery, and the post men and women. And I’ll also take this right back to the supermarket and say thank you to every single worker that has provided us with what they can, and to the people on the checkouts who are being exposed to dozens and dozens of potentially infected people each and every day, not to mention the scumbags that have directed abuse at them.

These are just a few people that immediately come to mind. The true list is almost endless.

If there’s anybody that you think I’ve missed then please leave your comments below and let’s show them all the appreciation that they deserve.

I honestly never thought I’d see the day when I’d come home and celebrate the fact that I managed to purchase a packet of paracetamol. And I even managed to get all the necessary ingredients to make fajitas WITH chicken this evening!

I feel like I’m winning at the apocalypse today.

But in all seriousness, there is more than enough food to go around and we are not going to starve. Whenever I visit the supermarket there is always food to be found, but it might just mean that we have to adjust our eating habits and meal plans for a short while. Is that really such a big deal?

The biggest potential problem is the essential items, and that’s why restrictions must be applied. I’m more than happy to not be able to find a tin of beans, but mothers that struggle to find the essentials for their babies is another thing entirely.

Please, please, please listen to what we’re being told.

Shop responsibily, and only buy what you and your family need. If we do this, we’ll be fine. If you don’t, then you only need to read between the lines of what Boris Johnson is saying in order to foresee what will happen next. Right now we’re being given the chance to do the right thing, but sadly, many people are failing at this.

At the moment it really does feel like first-world foraging. We head out in the hope that we’ll be able to come home with something decent in our shopping bags. It’s all so bizarre that I can’t help but laugh.

In fact I’d say that I’ve spent more time laughing in my own company than I ever have before. Although to be fair I’m not sure if that either means that (a) I’m just really good at surviving this shit, or (b) I’m actually starting to lose my mind.

FUCK. YOU. PHONE. Fuck…hang on, it’s not plugged in. Hello is that pizza delivery? I’m a frog! And the time at the second beep is..

Either way, I’m keeping my spirits up, I’m forging a routine, and my house is slowly starting to take on an I Am Legend kind of vibe.

I’m also finding ways to create my own entertainment, and just this morning I managed to help England beat Germany in a 5-4 penalty shootout.

Yes, you heard that correctly.

As some of you may know, I bought a house at the end of last year and the layout is pretty funky. There’s a pretty sizeable dining room that has a door-less archway that leads into a long galley style kitchen. On the back of the kitchen is another archway that leads to a separate toilet and utility area. And this distance is akin to that which separates the penalty spot and the goalmouth on a football pitch. I also own two soft indoor footballs.

You can see where I’m going with this.

In a moment of pure inspiration I placed the ball in my dining room and then lined up the shot. I took three steps back, took a deep breath, and then darted forward and hoofed the ball. It flew through the dining room, passing the first archway, clearing the kitchen (albeit only inches away from knocking over a now-very-valuable bottle of milk), and then narrowly missing the final archway before landing in the utility area.


Yes that is honestly how I’m living right now.

It’s kinda like this, only without the goalposts, or the grass, plus this picture is outdoors…so actually the only similarity is the ball

It is my intention to carry out a new penalty shootout for each Latest News post that I publish throughout the duration of the pandemic. So, Lossul.com community, please send me your suggestion for two football teams and provide a list of penalty takers. I shall then take the penalties, without bias, and I’ll let you know which team wins as well as which players scored and which missed.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

Before I end this post, let me take a moment to reiterate all that has been said about us playing our parts in this. There’s no doubt that social distancing sucks; it’s mentally draining, it’s personally challenging, and it’s going to test our resolve.

But it is absolutely vital.

I’m one of those people that has very often complained about how horrible people are (and let’s face it, some of them are), but it actually hurts when you have to make a conscious effort to distance yourself from people; even strangers.

Connection is something that we all need.

Physical contact is something that we all need.

And social distancing is not natural to humans.

We’re being asked to do something that doesn’t feel right, yet it is the right thing to do. We now have to be apart so that we can all come back together.

And when this is all over we’re going to have the biggest party ever!

But for now we all have to make sacrifices. Because if we all follow the guidelines then it will slow the spread, which takes the pressure off the NHS, which means that testing can be ramped up, which means that people can get back to work quicker, and then our industries and societies can solidify once again.

We will get through this, but we must be calm, we must be patient, we must all play the long game.

And we must make sacrifices now so that our futures can begin.

As always, I want to leave this on a positive note. For all that we’re facing uncertain times that are stressful, scary, and worrying, I do honestly believe that we will benefit from this. And in some ways, maybe it’s the shake-up that we all needed.

I am not in any way making light of the pandemic or the lives that it has claimed thus far; that is not what I am saying at all. But what I am saying is that for many of us, life had become stale, trivial, and way too comfortable.

Our priorities were all wrong, our values were questionable, and too many things had been taken for granted.

None of us could have ever foreseen that a global pandemic would hit us this year, as quickly as it has, and so we cannot feel guilty about that; but what we should really think about is the changes that we can make beyond the pandemic. What we can really think about is how we should start living so that we don’t ever have to regret what is no longer there.

Goodness knows we have more than enough time to think about it.

Stay safe, stay sane, and keep washing your hands.

How do you feel about what I’ve written in this article? What kind of sacrifices are you having to make? How are you coping with it all so far? And what changes do you imagine making when all this craziness is over?

And don’t forget to send me your nominations for the penalty shoot out, because I was serious about that. I don’t know if I’m just making up my own entertainment or whether I’m slowly losing my marbles, but let’s have some fun with it anyway.

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