The current Covid-19 and physical distancing period has brought some moments of great reflection and appreciation for the simpler things in our lives. In our own way we all have perceptions of what this period means to us and we are pleased to share one experience, in the eyes of Linda, one of our Community Contacts staff members. Here are Linda's reflections:

April has been a month of serious reflection, heartening resilience and new beginnings.  It was with some foreboding I began to contact the people I am currently supporting and those I have previously had the privilege to support.   As lockdown continues, understandably frustrations rise, anxieties heighten and the endless tide of uncertainty laps around our ankles.  I anticipated low spirits and high anxiety in the folks I would be speaking with but that are not what I found!  Instead I met strength, dignified acceptance and a real mend-and-make-do attitude to their current and difficult circumstances.

Interestingly, it is an older group of folks I am supporting and they have the advantage of lived experience, not of the Covid-19 virus but of daily restrictions, limited or no choice - they belong to the one dinner on the table generation with no option except to leave it; the money in your pocket being all the money you had regardless of what was happening - there wasn’t a Plan B for most working class folks.  Strict bedtimes, limited freedom and a mend-and-make-do way of life was, for several generations, was the daily norm.  It’s this lived experience that has formed the backbone and tenacious spirit the older adults in our communities are displaying.   Of course it was far from an ideal life growing up in Scotland in the 30s and 40s.  Pre-1948 and the advent of the NHS, a shocking 60% of men in Scotland died before their 57th birthday, a black eye or worse on a Saturday night was a regular occurrence for many women and you were either Catholic or Protestant and attended the designated school for your religion - anything other was not accepted, be it nationality, sexuality, colour or religion.

Those requiring daily care or mental health nursing went were looked after by family, went into homes or hospitals and languished there for years - even the rest of their lives.  As recently as 1985 married women in Scotland still required their husbands signed permission to be sterilised!   So, while today in Scotland, Covid-19 appears to have the upper hand and has us corralled, separated from loved ones and tugging at the fabric of our daily life and essential economic drivers, remember where we have come from. While we are a long way from where we need to be, we have come a long, long way from where we used to be and we have much to be proud of.  I’m backing Scotland, the brave, the caring, the kind, the ambitious, the enduring…