Well that's my birthday been and gone and it's hard to think of a worse one. The problem with "special" days is that it's automatic to think back to previous ones, to examine what has happened since. What has happened since my last birthday is nothing but horror.
To help with the general mood the weather did what it could and rained, the kind of rain that only the North West of England seems able to produce. Constant, heavy, cold.
I did get some lovely presents and lots of cards. Even the kids remarked about how many people seemed to like me! But it's hard to imagine birthdays ever being fun again. The contentment that I used to feel when I looked at my life is clearly a thing of the past. Although the lack of friends allowed round to celebrate with me added to the gloom. The family meal out did little to raise anyone's spirits, Sitting in a tepid marquee with the sound of rain hammering on the canvas is unsurprising grim.
I don't suppose the current mood of the country is helping. It's a depressing part of the year at the best of times. Rain, dark weather, work stretching on endlessly, all holidays done until Christmas. Add to that the imposed Covid restrictions and I'm guessing no-one is having their best birthday this year.
As a household we are back under the gloom of self isolation. Just for one of us this time with the whole school year group being advised to isolate for 2 weeks. I know that we have to take steps against Covid, but locking people in their houses just seems both harsh and pointless. The virus is still there, playing hide & seek won't change that.
I fear we are creating a huge mental health issue, especially in the younger generation. If these lockdowns continue so will the decline in our nations health, both physical and mental. The ensuing crisis may make the 45'000 deaths feel like a drop in the ocean. I don't mean any flippancy here. I know only too well that each number in the figures is someone's loved one. I also know what it is like to have someone die due to a transmitted respiratory disease. Lauren died due to Influenza A. In fact figures from September showed that you were 8 times more likely to die from flu or pneumonia than from Covid-19.
I don't know what the answers are, but it's not my job to know. There was some sympathy with the Government in dealing with an unexpected catastrophe, but that sympathy has long gone, batted away by the flurry of incompetence and inconsistencies.
I do know that if the government thinks that the answer is imposed isolation of the silent majority for months on end, they may find that we don't stay silent for very long.