The Oscars. A Journal Entry from Caroline Stevens-Taylor

I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights. I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar. Once of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win. So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones
We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world. When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now. I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.
This time it is a different story. This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion. This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.
We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean. It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary. My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virus’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again. How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug. I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can. Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.
What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it.
From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying. It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers. Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs? Others, not so lucky to survive.
This brings me to the Oscars. What if you get it? You don’t know if you will survive it. You have to be prepared. You have to have your ‘speech’ ready. You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them.
Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end. Whether that is to be cremated or buried. Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in. Is this morbid, no I don’t think so. It is necessary. Not everyone has made a Will. Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one.
Write your closing speech. Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you. Write it in a letter. Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends. Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech. Be prepared. You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win. You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.
In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve. Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home. Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE. Give them some respect. If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own. They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis. Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.
Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes.

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