The COVID Diaries: Kim and Anne

Kim
Wiltshire, UK
Feature writer for women’s magazines


Where are you at this very moment and how are you feeling?

I’m at home, working from a shed in the garden. I’ve been WFH for 12 years so in many ways lockdown didn’t impact my lifestyle too much, I was quite used to never leaving the house. I’m feeling good now but it’s been a bumpy few months. 

Looking back on the past months, what have you been struggling with the most?

Looking back, I struggled with an impending sense of hopelessness and doom. I’ve been worried about the climate crisis for years now but when Covid came along, everything felt so helpless and hopeless. I feel like Mother Nature is trying to tell us this is our last chance to be better humans and citizens of the planet. Already it feels like we won’t learn the lessons Covid 19 is here to teach us. 

Has Corona taught you anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

I think it has highlighted what matters and what does not. Family, friends, free experiences like walking, running, playing, being outside. It’s taught me I do need to see people to feel whole, but that I can and must spend time alone – I love walking but had never walked alone before Covid. Now I’m an avid solo hiker and I love it.

They say every crisis is a chance for growth. Where have you grown over the past months? Have you tried anything that you hadn’t tried before? Started a new project? Stepped out of your comfort zone – and loved it in the end?

I’ve tried not to be such a workaholic and listen to the inner need for balance. Nothing like a global pandemic to make you realise it doesn’t matter if you put in that extra hour on the computer! I’ve enjoyed growing veg in the garden, having good old chats with friends on the phone and as I said above, walking alone (and with family  / friends too) Work wise, as a writer for magazines I vowed early on in the crisis to be a source of light in the darkness and I’m proud to have covered some really uplifting and amazing lockdown stories. 

With everyone focusing their attention on COVID-19, which other topic doesn’t get enough attention any more in your opinion?

The climate crisis! The melting ice sheet in Canada – it’s the size of Manhattan and it broke apart the other day. The climate crisis looms just as large and while we’re not flying around the world causing havoc with our lifestyles quite like we were before, it seems like governments are obsessed with getting us back to our previous way of life, even though that was not working. This is a brutal and devastating opportunity for real change and I just hope we, collectively, take it. 

However complicated, confusing, and challenging life may be, there are always so many things we can be thankful for if we take the time to look for them. What are you grateful for today?

My husband – I would not have enjoyed this strangest of years without his company.

My garden – today and every day of lockdown I’ve been grateful to have outdoor space and somewhere to attempt to grow some veg. 

A Deliciously Ella brownie recipe a friend sent me a few months ago. I make it almost every weekend, it’s so gooey!


Anne
New York
Head of strategy for a global media agency


Where are you at this very moment and how are you feeling?

I feel I’m in suspended animation. Life feels on hold, which isn’t natural – we humans are nothing if not prone to want to be moving forward. Yes, it’s good to slow down and “be” versus “do,” but being isolated takes the variety out of life. I miss the texture of life: seeing and touching other humans, cultural events, meeting friends at restaurants and bars, wandering the city to discover things I never saw before. Life feels small. The good news is that I’ve been able to appreciate the smaller things in life, which is a good lesson.

Looking back on the past months, what have you been struggling with the most?

Honestly, I’m profoundly disturbed by our American President. I feel held hostage in a country I don’t recognize. Despite one’s politics, our president is an autocrat in a democratic society. It’s deeply distressing to me to witness the carnage of his incompetence and narcissistic behavior. As Michelle Obama said in her speech last night, he’s the wrong president for this country – and especially at this time.

Has Corona taught you anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

Yes. It’s taught me that while I miss a lot of what I used to do, it’s forced discipline in doing things I haven’t done because of our digitally overloaded world. I read more books. Real paperback books. I’ve read poetry – which I didn’t even like before this. My husband and I play music together, which we’ve never done before. And, we’re saving more money than ever – which feels good. It’s a wake-up call on many levels. I tend to be a reflective person and I’m reminded of the quote: adversity reveals character. It’s a good time to reflect on myself as a person and take stock.

They say every crisis is a chance for growth. Where have you grown over the past months?

I mentioned a few things in the answer above. And I will say that I would like to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more. It’s a good goal, thank you for that.

With everyone focusing their attention on COVID-19, which other topic doesn’t get enough attention any more in your opinion?

Covid 19 has revealed every single weakness in our world. We aren’t putting enough of our attention, focus and actions toward solutions. The world needs many changes to right the wrongs of history – for example, race relations in the U.S.  We have a lot of fingers pointing at fires, we need more fire fighters. Myself included.

What are you grateful for today?

My awesome family: a husband, a son and 3 very close sisters who are my daily lifeline to human connection and laughter.

Being healthy – my sister had covid 19 and it is a beast. She’s finally recovering after over 10 weeks.

Being employed, which in this world is a big deal; not to be taken for granted.

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