“I can’t go into work but my colleagues are there. With Open House, at the moment we’re serving food through the window and the conservatory, Monday and Wednesday at 1pm, and Saturday at 10:30am. It’s our same opening days, but we’re just open for half an hour. We’ve had the usuals plus some other people, about 35-40 people. There’s only three people on site at a time, and I’m trying to move the volunteers around as much as we can to help out, because it can get too much for people, and it’s a big ask to be honest. I can’t do it because I’m vulnerable and have to stay home for 12 weeks, so that’s annoying.
At home we’re sleeping in separate rooms, and trying to keep two meters apart like the guidance says. How can people be living in homes as married couples and living separate lives? I never thought in an instance we’d have to be living separate lives.
We’re doing an online prayer meeting every morning from 9.30-10am via Zoom. We do a church service on a Sunday at half 10, and meet on Zoom for tea and coffee; that’s quite good. We also do a 4pm service on zoom every Sunday.
[Can you tell us about some positive things that you’ve experienced in the last few weeks?]
I’ve learnt to crochet; I’ve made myself a teddy bear. I’ve been making rainbows for the ambulances. I’ve crochet a few rainbows for James [my husband who works for the ambulance service], I think that’s been really positive.
My parents, even though they’re in their 80s, they’ve been able to communicate on Facebook live and that’s been really positive.
[Are there any tips for coping while staying at home or when going out that you would like to share?]
Plan the day. Make sure you have a plan, and try and do something that you’ve not done before. Today I drew a giraffe – I looked on Facebook and found out how to do it. Things like that are easy to do because you don’t need any resources. Do something you don’t normally do in a day so every day doesn’t feel like groundhog day. Remember it’s a tough time and your moods will go up and down but that’s OK. Seek help if needed.
[If you had to sum up how you feel about the current situation in a few words, what would you say?]
I think it’s a very difficult time for people, but it’s not always going to be like this, we will get through it. As time goes on not meeting people becomes harder. Be kind to yourself and others at this time.”
Sarah Hibbard, Open House Lounge Manager