Our reality for now; a lesson for our future?

As the parish council was unable to print & distribute the April edition of PPP due to the coronavirus restrictions in place at the time, we are placing all the articles and adverts onto our website for your information.  Please find below a personal view/article submitted by parish councillor Anil Mitra. Our reality for now; a lesson for our future?   Well, this is a situation I don’t think any of us thought we would ever experience in our lifetime. Coronavirus has shocked us all- in the community, across the country and throughout the world.   As an eighty something year old man, I have been through many experiences – both incredibly good and shockingly bad. However, this devastating virus has raised mixed emotions. Having lived and experienced the trauma of the partition in India watching my family and country destroyed, to battling through financial and emotional setbacks to set myself and my family up for a good life, I can now enjoy retired life in my happy home with my family. But then, in the midst of this blissful existence, Coronavirus has created some major cracks in life but it is yet to shatter life as I know it.   The fear that has gripped our community is unprecedented. We know the reported facts and statistics from the media which warns us of the increasing daily figures; it is all out of our control. We can only control our own actions. As a local parish councillor and a member of the Infection Control unit of the Hillingdon Hospital NHS Health Trust and Buckinghamshire NHS Health Trust, working for the community is something I enjoy. However, as I write this, I am now on my 22nd day in isolation. My wife and I are vulnerable, we are susceptible to illnesses due to our age but we are as strong as we can be. We have pressed pause on our daily ‘going out for coffee’, a little stroll, a drive and our love of shopping. Washing my car in my drive and walking round my garden; this is my safe zone. I can no longer read my daily paper as I can’t get to the shop, our daughter does all our shopping and delivers it via our back gate so she doesn’t step into our home. The smell of antibacterial spray on every item is not the most pleasant but it is the safest smell to have at the moment. The hardest part is being apart from our grandchildren – the daily visits have stopped. We feel empty but this is life as we know it- just for the moment.   However, with all this said, the positives are clear to see. My wife and I are very lucky; we can see our grandchildren from our upstairs window, they hold up signs from their back garden or when they take a walk/bike ride or dog walk. We hear them calling us and shouting messages – this is all we need to brighten our day; we have mastered video calling, a true achievement for our technology fearing nature.   We live in a community where, on the whole, the rules are respected and followed. The stream of dog walkers, children, families, office workers taking their lunchtime walks have decreased to such a level that we barely see anyone walking by. A lonely existence but a comforting one all the same. When we do see people walking, we see passers-by crossing the road to let others walk by within their 2m or more safe space. Whilst we are lucky to have our family close by for support, the community spirit supporting our vulnerable has been breath-taking – let us hope this is a sign of the future and this will be a permanent feature in the future, rather than a response to the pandemic. The Thursday evening 8pm applause brings the spirit of gratitude together – to hear the village and the country uniting in thanks for all those people risking their lives to keep this country together is a sign of hope.   Our village is also enjoying fewer speeding cars and less HGVs. Despite the fear of the virus, our air is less polluted with fumes and noise. This is definitely temporary as lifting the lockdown will increase both cars, pedestrians and HGVs but we hope during this quiet time we can find a way of controlling the way things are and make it part of our long-term.   The future of our village is positive- there is a newly found enthusiasm and hope for the future (however controversial!) as we embark upon the Pavilion Re-development and new homes along Marsworth Road. Our village will continue to thrive with many new plans and the support of our spirited community. To everyone reading this, stay safe, stay healthy, stay indoors – it’s the only way we will be able to say ‘so long, farewell’ to this pandemic and welcome a new and improved normality.   Anil Mitra