I scroll, I click, I search. Social Media is full of stories of toilet paper fights and horrendous racism. I mute and I mute and I mute, but there is always a new name for it, a new hashtag for the latest drama. I can’t escape without shutting it down, but then where do I see my friends? They’re no longer at the park, the coffee shop or ringing my bell.
The google search suggestion is always Covid19 Victoria and I click on it every time. Searching for hope. For something that my optimistic heart can cling too. But there is no hope to be found in the news feed. Facts, information, and directions. But no hope.
Where do I find it? What can I cling too when everything else is falling apart?
But hope is there. It is peering around the corner, slipping in through the gaps in the darkness.
Hope is in the Facebook groups that keep springing up. “Love your Neighbour”, and “The Kindness Pandemic”. People offering everything from toilet paper to free psychology sessions. Someone needs nappies and they get dropped at the door that afternoon. I had to reject my invite to the most recent one. I don’t have time for more, the other groups have one thousand posts a day.
Hope is in my six-year-old, ordering his siblings: “Wash your hands, we don’t want to make Grandma sick.” My daughter’s cheerful song as she rubs and scrubs. The way they don’t even blink when almost every answer begins. “Because of the virus, we can’t…” Hope is in their ability to bear so much more than I would have ever imagined. It is early days. But my kids give me hope.
Hope is in my faith. Faith that tells me humanity is capable of great acts of selfishness, but also kindness. Faith that knows that I am not alone, that I am loved, and that this too shall pass.
Hope is in my medical friends who love their patients and risk their lives. Who are trained to put away their anxiety and do their job. Hope is a world of researchers, coming together to work and find solutions.
Hope is in my evening walk, where when I cross the path of someone else, we move to 1.5 metre distance with a smile as if to say ‘nothing personal’.
Hope is in memories.
Memories of the three weeks I spent in hospital, with daily monitoring of my blood pressure and my twins. The confinement, the loneliness, and the uncertainty. But also the knowledge that I was doing everything I could to keep my children safe.
Memories of waking in the morning and looking out at the sun through the hospital window, that no matter my stress and suffering, continued to rise in spectacular colours. Now it is not my my babies I’m protecting but my neighbours. Many of whom are paying a far greater cost than me. I have a tiny part to play. But memories remind me that you never regret keeping people safe.
Hope is in this keyboard. Waking up in the darkness to write. Escaping to the worlds that I’ve created. A little normality amidst so much change. I hate change and uncertainty, and those general phrases like “for some time” or “the foreseeable future.” But here, as I wait for the sky to gradually lighten, as I sip my tea, as I write my words; I am home.
There is fear and anxiety and pain and judgement.
But every day, I will look for the hope.