Coronavirus: How did we get here?

Every now and then, even now, I just stop for a second and wonder how the hell did we get here? I look at the closed shops and at everyone wearing masks, I think about all the people I haven’t seen and haven’t been able to hug and it still feels like a dream.

How did we end up in a world where kids are routinely missing school, where my son and hundreds of thousands of others were unable to do their GCSE and A Level exams, where we can’t even enjoy a healthy parkrun in the open air on a Saturday morning?

Then there is the far more serious stuff. Nearly 60,000 people have died – all of them somebody’s loved one, their mum or dad, husband or wife. So many businesses have already been lost and many more will still follow. Unemployment is up at 4.8% of the working population.

Can you even remember the blissful ignorance of living without the shadow of Covid-19 over everything we do?

A year ago, we knew nothing of coronavirus. The first few cases were happening in China, but they didn’t affect us. We were just planning for Christmas, going to work, going to school and enjoying our everyday lives. Maybe we even thought life was a bit boring. But wouldn’t you just love to have that sort of ‘boring’ back now?

Then in January we started hearing on the news about this new mystery virus in China. It had killed five people, now six, now eight, now 11. (Well, that’s what they told us anyway… )

I remember my daughter worrying and me reassuring her. The figures are so small. It will never come over here. And flu kills far more every year. She took my message to her friends at school and the geography teacher said she was right. It was nothing to worry about.

Even when the UK started to be affected, we still didn’t believe it could really stop our way of life. The government would never step in to stop our kids from going to school, to close shops and to stop people hugging their family and friends.

But they did.

It wouldn’t last long.

Everything would be normal by summer.

Well, definitely by autumn at any rate.

But here we are in December, still living in the shadow of coronavirus, with the death rates looking scarily high again.

Can you even picture what life would be like without it? What would 2020 have been like if it had just been a normal year? Can you imagine having the freedom to just go anywhere and do anything you want?

We could do that in 2019! We could even do it in February! Can you believe it?

For a while, 2021 seemed like it would be an end to this nightmare – the pot of gold at the end of a really crap rainbow. But it won’t, will it?

I’m sure vaccines will bring an end to the nightmare at some point. But will that be just when the most vulnerable have been vaccinated? The over 50s? Or everyone? Because it will be a really flipping long time until everyone is vaccinated.

When is it OK to say that, unfortunately, a kid at school has tested positive for coronavirus, but the person who sits next to them can still go to school the next day? When can we walk into a shop without a mask? When can we get back to parkrun, marathons and half marathons? When can we enjoy a concert in a crowded venue? Or a pantomime with a full cast in a packed theatre?

I wish I knew the answers to those questions, but I really don’t.

There is a saying ‘When China sneezes, the whole world catches a cold.’. But it turns out that when somebody in China eats a bat (a bat for goodness sake, who does that?!) the whole world doesn’t just catch a cold.

It turns to absolute shit.

Coronavirus, Covid-19



Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Complete side issue I know, but why is eating a bat any weirder than any other type of meat? 😀

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    • I suppose you do have a point there. I guess it’s because it hasn’t actually been farmed for human consumption. If bats were routinely farmed for human consumption, maybe we would find eating cows strange?!

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  2. Sarah,

    Hopefully you won’t find it too depressing if I mention four things that give me cause for concern:
    There are still unanswered questions about the vaccine(s).
    If the authorities in the UK organise the vaccination programme as capably as they’ve organised everything else to do with the pandemic, then…(!)
    Long COVID.
    The economic downturn — we were heading into one anyway, and the pandemic is making it worse.

    “…it still feels like a dream.” I’ve noticed that in my dreams — pleasant, not-so-pleasant, or just bizarre — there is never the slightest hint of COVID-19. No lockdowns, no social distancing, no masks. I wonder, are other people’s dreams COVID-free?

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    • That is a good point about the vaccination programme, although personally I don’t have concerns about the vaccine itself. The economic downturn is a big worry and we are going to be feeling the effects of that for a long time to come. Long Covid is also a worry and it will be a long time before it is truly understood. So I agree with you, there are definitely still a lot of concerns!
      I don’t think I’ve had any Covid dreams either, although there are days when it is the first thing I think of when I wake up, and I’m pretty much between sleeping and waking.

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  3. It is crazy! This time last year who’d have imagined we would be where we are now. It’s like the plot from a film. When the first lockdown was set for 3 weeks I really did think that would be it and here we are coming out of the 2nd big lockdown in December. Our old, normal life without masks and social distancing seems such a long way away. x

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    • It seems a really long way away and I can’t imagine when it will be back. I must admit I didn’t think the first lockdown would be just three weeks, but I really did think it would be over by the summer. Here’s hoping 2021 is a much better year for everyone. x

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  4. It just drags on and on. They are now saying March before all the over 80’s are vaccinated, so that puts it into context for the rest of the population

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    • The messages seem to change all the time – from everyone who needs it done by Easter to over 80s not until the end of March. My mum is 72 and was living in hope that she would have hers before Christmas! If they get one of the other vaccines approved, that might speed up the process without the complicated storage issues.

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