This series of Life on Lockdown will soon come to and end as we move towards more relaxed measures and life seems a bit easier… although we know the virus has not disappeared but, in some countries at least, it does not seem to be quite as virulent and health services are now able to cope better. Here in Spain, we have to wear face masks in most places, maintain social distancing, avoid hugging people or kissing them on the cheeks as was the custom. But slowly, things are changing.
In this series we have followed the Eddy family and their experiences on lockdown. I had said that 12 members of the family came down with the virus, but in fact, as the elder daughter Stephy says, it was 17. What an ordeal! I know that there are many other families who have also suffered during this time, but I wanted to focus on just one to see how the different family members experienced quarantine. Stephy’s viewpoint provides a very different perspective.
This is a difficult time for everybody, or at least unexpected. I was in no way prepared for returning home after having being away for work for five months, and not being able to see my friends. I wasn’t prepared for being confined in my house, nor having to come to terms with 17 family members being sick. But I have been very much aware that I am very fortunate. I want to validate my feelings, but at the same time I don’t want to let them engulf me.
Because I spent lockdown with my husband, my sister and my daughter, and we all get on well together. Because I have a yard where we have been able to have barbecues every week. Because I live in a house in a village in Galicia with a seaview.
Why do I say that my relationship with my husband and sister is good? Because thousands of people in Spain are not so fortunate. Calls to helplines for victims of domestic abuse have increased by 12% compared to March last year.
Part of our work is to care for particularly vulnerable people, and I can assure you that for them the quarantine is nothing like it has been for me.
We have all gone through the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.
Are you fed up of seeing the same four walls? Some people are forced to live with their rapists within the fours walls of their own home.
Are you bored of only being able to see your friends on Zoom? There are people who have no Internet, not even for their children to do their homework.
Does it seem like all you do is cook, clean and say “no” to your children? There are people who have no food to put on the table.
This is an unprecedented time, in which we have plenty of time to think, to fall into despair, to compare ourselves to others and to feel unable to cope.
In this situation, we are trying to bring hope and food and offer help to the people around us, as well as validating how all of us feel.
My prayer is that during this time God would use us to bring comfort to those who mourn, healing to hurting hearts, freedom to the captives, joy instead of weeping and light in the darkness.