As I sit on my sofa and I contemplate the future possibilities or impossibilities of our business, I get onto Instagram to check on how the world is doing.
My instinct dictates checking all media outlet stories, moving onto how other businesses are finding solutions to cope, and, as I desperately try to find answers and ideas, I catch one of my dearest friends’ IG story.
She’s posted a picture of herself on a train, wearing a mask homemade by her mother, and she’s about to start her night shift. My friend Imogen is a gynaecologist, she helps women delivering babies.
It all sinks in: one of my dearest friends is heading to work for us. She’s helping to avoid a system to collapse and making sure that pregnant women can still deliver their babies while a pandemic is happening.
And she’s exposing her own health to do this.
On top of being one of the most brilliant, beautiful, smartest, funniest person I’ve ever known, Imogen is in fact - I know she’d laugh if I said it to her face - my little hero.
And this applies to all those workers on the frontline, letting us having medical care, security, food, your home delivery. And we shall not take this for granted.
In these times what they are doing for us requires an incredible effort and risk
(for themselves and their loved ones).
I really wonder what it’s really like to be a frontline worker and how it feels to cover this role right now.
Still pondering from my sofa to make reason about all of this, I get incredibly apprehensive for Imogen so I decide to reach out and ask her when she will be home so we can FaceTime for a catch-up.
I am so happy to see her on a video call, we chit chat for a while but soon I ask her what’s the situation at her hospital in North London.
As I mentioned Imogen is not a ‘crisis’ doctor working in ICU treating Covid-19 patients. She is an emergency doctor assisting women in giving birth which, let’s be honest, not even a pandemic can delay its progress or affect its course.
Being close to give birth or in labour is an uneasy and stressful moment for a woman, I can’t even imagine how this must feel in these unprecedented times.
Imogen tells me how crucial, even more than before, is reassuring women and also taking extra precautions for the mother and the baby. Somehow though she tells me how it’s so easy to forget about the pandemic at the time of birth: her main focus is getting that little life out. And I guess that’s a beautiful thing to think about: miracles still happen - and she’s making them happen - despite the virus threat.
She tells me she feels incredibly lucky to be with her co-workers and Easter has definitely given positive vibes to the maternity clinic, which was very needed.
I tell her that I feel bad about being home and my worries almost feel frivolous when I think about what she and her co-workers are doing every day, but she points out how every single life is being impacted and it’s normal everyone worries.
All of us have a role in society and this has been either disrupted and in some case, and worse, interrupted.
We share this thought on how human beings can adapt themselves to unfamiliar situations and certainly this pandemic has challenged us to change and live in a different way. And more importantly, what makes it easier in a way, we are doing it together.
Imogen and I end our call with the promise that, as soon as the lockdown is over, we will gather in her garden for a barbecue, in our best party outfit and I guess we could both show off some new L Fire shoes.
She managed once again to encourage me and made me smile.
It’s incredible sometimes when I think how staying home and social-distancing have turned into a ‘new normal’. Yet the basics of our lives, like having food on our tables, for example, are still the same and this is because there are people out there making this possible. They haven’t stopped serving a purpose while others like me are comfortably at home.
Let’s not forget about the vital role of all nurses, doctors, hospital staff, pharmacists, social workers, postmen, maintenance workers, janitorial staff, grocery stores and supermarket employees, government workers, warehouse workers, bus drivers, cab drivers, security staff, policing.
Our ‘new normal’ is totally fine because of YOU.
P.S. And don’t forget to clap and cheer tonight like every Thursday at 8pm for our NHS workers.