I’m due to return to work on Monday but received an e-mail the other day from our Chief Executive informing us all to work from home, where possible, for the next two weeks due to the current increase in coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland. We are now a week into a six week lockdown as a new variant of the virus has caused positive cases to rocket. Hospitals are at 100% capacity with queues of ambulances waiting outside them.
Scary times indeed as we continue to pin our hopes on the two approved vaccines rolling out faster than the current variants are spreading. Until then I will sit tight, only venturing out to walk the dog or stock up on supplies of Diet Coke and iced coffees. We have everything we need at home and do not want to place ourselves or others at heightened risk. So we sit tight and count our lucky stars for what we have.
I’ve been in and out of work a lot this year so have lost touch with a number of homeless people I got to know from my daily walks to and from the train station. I wonder how they are coping, especially given the bitterly low temperatures we’ve been experiencing this week. It hammers home how fortunate I am to have a warm home, full fridge and loving family. We can never afford to take such ‘things’ for granted.
That’s been my problem for so many years, taking things for granted and then falling to pieces when I hit the self-destruct button and stood on the verge of losing them all. 2021 is a year for appreciating more the constants in my life and I have my homeless friends to thank for that. Hopefully when I return to the bustle of post-COVID Belfast I can reconnect with them again and do a little to help them as they have helped me realise the truth staring me right between the eyes.