A letter to my grandson by Deborah Anderson

Dear Fred
I want you to know what life was like when you first born…before Covid-19.
We threw caution to the wind in those days and lived recklessly with no thought for danger.
We spent out days and even well into the night mingling with people we didn’t live with and we didn’t have any need to be around.
We worked side by side….sometimes even taking a bite out of each other’s sandwich to see if a cheese and onion crisp sandwich was better than a salt and vinegar one.
After work we might go out to a pub or a cinema with our workmates and mix with a whole lot of strangers.
In the cinema we would sit beside or in front of these strangers and if they coughed or sneezed we’d say “bless you” then continue watching the movie without a second thought.
Pubs were places we really lived dangerously. Often after a few drinks we’d start hugging complete strangers when we realised that their cousin was on fact the granddaughter of our neighbour from the last house but one we lived in. We’d always punctuate the hug with the phrase “it’s a small world isn’t it!”
We could go shopping whenever we felt like it. We had no sense of danger at all.
In supermarkets no-one sprayed their hands or their trolleys. We would wander round chatting to lots of different people in the aisles. Sometimes the shop would be marketing a new cheese or bread and they’d have it cut into small pieces on one plate. People from lots of different houses would put their fingers in to take a piece.
Clothing shops were even stranger. You could take an outfit that you didn’t actually need into a changing room filled with strangers. You could try it on but if you didn’t want it, or it didn’t fit, you just hung it on the rail again and someone else could try it on.
Children sat in schools, tightly packed into classrooms with other children from different families. Often children would cough or sneeze and green noses were wiped on sleeves that then wiped against the sleeve of the person beside you…or on their school book…or their break..
Families regularly went on holiday even to another country. They would squeeze next to other families in queues going into and out of airports, planes, buses, trains. They would sit right next to complete strangers and all breath the same recycled air for hours.
They would then stay in a room, or a tent, or a home that lots and lots of other families from different parts of the country or even the world, had stayed in. Of course fresh bedding was put on and the rooms had a quick clean before you arrived.
We could play sports with other people and hug them if our team won. People even shared Changing rooms and even showers afterwards!
Fred I could go on and on about the world we lived in back then. We were so carefree and totally oblivious to the dangers around us. I wonder if it will ever be like that for you?
Granny “Dog“


My first grandson was born in England in March 2019. In March 2020 everything in our world changed and I haven’t been able to see him since 1st March.

1 Comment

  1. Wow. That is really, really moving,

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