Experiences of 2020

Rachael - Business Owner & Playwright

My inclination is always towards the bigger picture. And for me, since lockdown, the bigger picture is enveloped in anger, at the lack of leadership (in Westminster), the incompetence, the lies and corruption that we usually attribute to less developed countries. I am angry that lack of action on climate change and an overarching greed by those in power, has led to the animal to human leap by a virus and that lessons do not seem to have been learned. My kids are looking at a world where there may not be enough food. I am angry that we are still due to suffer the under-considered consequences of Brexit.

My business, which I have run successfully in the centre of Edinburgh for twenty years may no longer be viable due to social distancing measures. My beloved side-career as a playwright is on hold as theatres have been forced to close. Dreams and imagination seem in short supply as we prioritise adjusting to a new reality.

I have taken refuge in increased physical activity: cycling and swimming in the sea, as well as learning slow breathing techniques. I want to bury my head under the duvet, but I know I have to participate and speak up if I want change for the better. It may happen without me, but I want to help bring it about if I can.

I am an optimistic person. I have been lucky. I have travelled and lived in many different countries and have parents who prioritised education and life experience. I’m not led by money. I’m driven by positive and new experiences. And loveliness does still exist. The 13 weeks I spent with my 85-year-old dad, when he came to live with me during lockdown, are precious now and will be a more precious memory in the future. Despite having the virus, I wasn’t hospitalised. I got away lightly and am grateful for that.

As I write, I am sitting in my newly re-opened local café, trying to drum up busines for them by making it look busy. It seems to be working. People are coming to the window and then tentatively placing an order. It is reminding me of the time before Covid and I know we can’t go back there but, with every sip of my coffee, I feel more hopeful for the future.