Yesterday was about as Wednesday as Wednesdays could get. Even with this new timetable it acted the way that all Wednesdays act – lingering on the times that you want to pass and skipping past the points that you want to enjoy. With all my inductions complete for work (to the surprise of my line manager) and a virtual meeting planned in for Thursday, the worry set in about what work they were expecting to see.
So Thursday comes, and I have a few things that I have been working on and am ready to share with the team. However, when the meeting starts its clear the focus was more on checking in with each other and seeing how we were all doing. Work was discussed obviously, but discussions were more about the students and how we could support them through this. The sense of community – even for people I have only physically worked alongside for 2 days was lovely. Where I was anxious in the lead up to the meeting and questioning had I done enough, I didn’t even discuss the work that I had done. There is something about this situation where we are seeing the people come together and try to be the best that they can for each other. Discussions were around what we could do to help, and if there was the option for access to the universities resources – with 3D printers people are making equipment for the NHS, our health and safety stores have equipment for the term, for now they are out of reach but people are asking questions and we will see.
From that meeting I realised that everyone is just muddling through as they can – there is no guide on working around these situations. All you can do is try to look after those around you and wait for the pandemic to pass.
Ben ventured out to the supermarket, a few things for us, a few for a neighbour and sent an image of people queuing around the store. The one person in, one person out system seems to be working for keeping things calm. Thankfully there was more available in shops now then before the lockdown – proof that the panic buyers had done their thing and that stock levels were reaching stability.
Things are starting to feel more real, a chat for Ben with his boss confirmed what I thought may be coming. Without shops being open and clients needing to update their physical advertising, work is drying up; and the company has applied for the government grant. It strange, we knew the situation was serious and going to last a while but then having those conversations shows you that it’s the reality for now. The concern isn’t for the financial implications, more what will be left at the end of this pandemic – are companies going to survive and how long can the government help to support. With more companies joining the grant scheme, how long will it be before they aren’t able to offer that help out; and what may be suffering as a consequence? Students apparently are petitioning for tuition fees back, and who can blame them. However all things considered – where is the money coming from?
At 8pm tonight we clapped for the NHS. Familiar faces on our street came out and we all stood there in a moment. As the noise fluctuated on our street, we heard streets around us erupting in cheers, with whistles and claps; and at that point the house didn’t feel like an island any more.