A New Beginning

Now Wash Your Hands.png

Title

A New Beginning

Subject

Art and photography

Description

This short story reflects the way people have come together in the crisis, and how the world may be so different, and disconnected, but offers hope for a new way of life

Publisher

Museum of Oxford

Text

"She sat alone on her bed, drinking what was her third coffee of the day. She didn’t even like coffee that much, but she had nothing better to do. The world was at a standstill. There was nowhere to go, there were no people to see. She had never had a problem with being alone yet on this day she had never felt so alone.

She trawled Facebook over and over again as if she was stuck in a trance. She didn’t know what she was looking for, but she wanted to feel like there were people around her – somehow. The hardest part of lockdown was the sudden lack of human connection. Nobody was allowed within 2 meters of each other. Nobody could meet, nobody could go out, nobody could hug. Gosh, she desperately wanted a hug. She envied all the people who had a partner, or kids, to keep them company. She loathed the silence of the flat she lived in.

Wiping a tear from her eye she carried on reading all of the posts people shared – of lives she wished she could be a part of - and found an ever-increasing sadness creep over her. This was no good, she thought. She cannot sit around all day disconnecting from real life, despite the current situation. Social media was not the way to go. She stepped away from her laptop, pulled on her anorak, and left her flat.

She was allowed to exercise once a day at least. It wasn’t much, but at least she could see people in the streets. She remembered a time when human company seemed taken for granted. Everyone always seemed to be rushing past you, and always in a hurry to get somewhere. There was never any time to even flash a smile. She crossed over the road without even looking. There were rarely any cars these days. She even missed the sound of the traffic.

As she walked around she noticed something strange. People were saying hello. They were smiling, and acknowledging each other, and sharing a joke in the queue for the local shop. As she carried on round the corner she noticed a man, with his child, pointing out rainbows in the windows. “They’re for daddy”, he said to her, “When you feel sad that you can’t see me you can look at the rainbows and know that that I am looking at them too. Know that everyone is sending me a rainbow”. The child smiled.

It was then that she realised that the world had changed, but maybe for the better. This new way of life had forced people to slow down, and stop, and talk to each other. Really talk to each other. As she looked at all the rainbows in the window she felt overwhelmed by the love she saw, and the way the whole world had come together to support each other through this crisis. It was then that she smiled, and she realised that for the first time in months: she wasn’t alone. "

Alt text

NHS hand washing graphic

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