• Carolyn M Holmes

Free-styling through Covid-19


Under the Wave off Kanagawa Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai 1831 - Metropolitan Museum of Art


As a child, I lived by the sea in Bournemouth, southern England. I loved to be on the beach, feeling the warm sand in my toes, splashing through the sea and jumping the waves. Mostly the sea has fond memories for me. Luckily, I have not experienced its destructive power, as in other areas with their Tsunamis, floods, and landslides. I love the sound of the sea, its whoosh, the seashells; it never is the same though when I video it on my camera!

Now, I live 3 hours drive away from my favourite beach, no other one will do. I crave it on a warm summer’s day, and literally have withdrawal symptoms. Once I was almost carried away by the pull of the current. I had gone too far near the pier. My heart thumped and I was scared. I fought the waves, I struggled, then swam back to my mum, who was unaware sitting on the beach.

For many of us, riding the first, second and potential further waves of Covid-19, it has been an emotional roller-coaster of a journey. We have followed the advice, as far as we can jumping through the hoops, buying protective equipment (PPE) , taking care of our families and friends without the usual support, isolating and withdrawing from all contact, whilst learning to live online. Many have lost or fear losing loved ones to the virus and other illnesses, whilst many face economic hardship. There is mounting concern about the effect on our mental health, the inequality of the impact of Covid 19, the welfare of children and the future of our young people. We now have the challenge, of putting our toes back again into the water, implementing the restrictions for the greater good, struggling back to shore to see another day or being swallowed up by the illness and its power.

‘As emphasized by the United Nations Secretary-General, during the launch of a Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan on 23 March 2020 “We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves. This is a matter of basic human solidarity. It is also crucial for combating the virus. This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable.”

Now we need to come back together as a world community and draw again on all our strengths, despite feeling depleted, to swim and jump over, under and through the recurrent waves to shore together, until we can relax once again on the golden hot sand.

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