Got word yesterday and today that my remaining poetry/creative writing workshops are cancelled due to the coronavirus. Many thanks to the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, which has nevertheless committed to pay me for the work I was contracted for. My thoughts go out to all freelancers and self-employed and everybody else working in the gig economy or, indeed, all those whose businesses, jobs and professions are drastically impacted by this bizarre situation. I find myself thinking of my grandparents who lived through the 1918-1919 flu. Nobody alive today has experienced anything like this. It will pass, but it’s going to be a rough ride.
However, contrary to my rather blasé attitude a few weeks ago, I find that I may fall into a (hopefully only slightly) vulnerable category. I am allergic to most common painkillers, including paracetamol, with the exception of ibuprofen which I use to help manage any flare-ups of chronic pain. So I am taking the stay-at-home message to heart. I don’t want to get this thing, and I don’t want to pass it on. See you at the other side folks. Keep safe and well meantime.