Hugh and Irena Willmott
Photographed 8th June 2020 - 78 days into lockdown 

We first became aware of Covid 19 following reports coming out of China and then Italy. We were particularly moved by the Chinese doctor whose warnings about the virus were not heeded and subsequently died.

When the pandemic hit the UK, because a lot of our work is home-based, our daily routines were not impacted as much as they could have been. But we will always remember when our youngest daughter said she had the virus, most probably caught whilst working as a Critical Care nurse.

Notwithstanding the anxiety surrounding my 97 year old mother in a local Care Home, and our daughters and their families and the stress they were under, and generally just missing them all hugely, there have been good experiences during this time, namely more time for gardening, art, regular exercise, getting long overdue jobs done around the house, and time for re-discovering the local surroundings. This gave us a greater sense of place in this most beautiful of villages. Indeed we developed a much greater appreciation of nature, the sounds of the birds, the clear and cleaner air, and simply gratitude to be living here in Heydon. It has helped us to feel a greater sense of community in the village, from the “Clap for Carers “ on Thursday evenings to the occasional socially distanced meeting/s with neighbours.

From a wider perspective however, we have become increasingly dismayed, incredulous and somewhat angry with the mishandling of the pandemic from central government.  However, we are trying to remain hopeful that lessons will be learnt and the problems that inevitably we will be left with can be overcome with local and international collaboration and cooperation in the future. That way we hope that the legacy of this period in time will be a greater determination to tackle health issues, climate change and global threats in what has been revealed to us as a vastly interconnected and beautiful world.

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