I live in Chertsey in the UK and this is my view. Sometimes when I look out of this window, I can see my husband and daughter waving from the top floor of our home. As I sit alone at the table of my small rented flat, working on my computer or drinking a cup of tea, I get a text: “👋 (Look left)” and I see them standing together, blurred by distance and too many layers of glass, watching until I wave back.
Usually the windows are empty, and I imagine them instead, living life, separate but together in our big house: My 15-year-old being fifteen, doing her French homework in her room, writing in her bullet journal, watching YouTube. I text her: “What are you up to today?” I wait and she replies: “I’m baking some sugar cookies😊.” I can see her in my mind, digging my cookie cutters out from the blue cupboard, cutting out hearts and stars while chatting to one of her friends on FaceTime. My husband sits in his office, waters the plants, sketches on his iPad, feeds the dog. They bump into each other in the corridor, eat lunch together in the kitchen, chat about the mundane: Have you done your laundry? Come down for dinner. What time do you need picking up from school today? They laugh, they bicker, they live.
Covid impacts everyone, one way or the other: lost smell, lost business, lost freedom, lost life. For me it’s lost time.
I have an auto-immune disease called lupus and my illness and the medication I’m on mean I’m extremely vulnerable to covid. Vaccines should be the answer but I had the first jab in February and because of my lupus medication and immunosuppression, I didn’t get any protection. Not only that, it caused my lupus to go on the attack, resulting in ongoing heart issues and four visits to the emergency room over eight months. Vaccines are not an option – I need an alternative to be identified, licensed, approved, and distributed. And I need it soon.
It’s been three months – time when I have missed seeing my daughter grow up that I won’t get back. Precious days and hours and minutes before she leaves for university and a life of her own. Three months living alone without my husband. Time that we won’t have again in a life that we know must be appreciated every day.
My husband, daughter and I visit each other outside, in the garden, distanced and wearing masks. But we don’t hug. We don’t touch. Instead we wait. And wave through the window. And time passes.