Another milestone passes today; a year since the pandemic was declared. Things have been “different“ to say the least.

The suffering has been terrible and uncertainty surrounds most things. There has been a huge death toll in the UK and repercussions on the economy will be felt for decades to come. I have been worried about my kids’ education which has been severely disrupted. Happily though, I have been reassured by their tenacity and positivity throughout.

Personally, I have been doing fine. I have done 10 Buddhist retreats and have made significant progress with my spiritual “integration“ during this period. I have been able to see my daughters weekly or twice-weekly and have been able to catch up with friends in person (albeit at a distance) and on zoom.

In a way, I don’t want these conditions to end. We have had to learn a new way of living over the past year and in my opinion, it will be a shame if we lost all the positive psychological gains made.

We have “clapped for carers“ (although this positivity is tempered in the face of nurses facing real-time pay cuts). We have seen several charitable quests completed, I’m thinking about Captain Tom Moore here! We have had to face our demons in a whole new way and have been brought closer to reality as a result. I only hope that this hasn’t scared people into submission – and those who were facing this existential crisis with courage and conviction won’t be distracted by their old habits once more.

Of course we have seen the excellent vaccine rollout starting in the UK but this has been greeted with caution by the medics. They say that we shouldn’t expect complete annihilation of the virus. Instead, a “third wave“ is anticipated this Summer – which will bring more misery – to those who remain unvaccinated and also those for whom the vaccination has been unsuccessful.

So undoubtedly, a time of hardship and misery. with implications which will stretch into the future. But also a time for possible change? Hopefully so!

Tom Llewellyn

Hello! My name is Tom Llewellyn and I’m a former long distance runner. In December 2010, I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Several years later in November 2017, I was re-diagnosed with a progressive form of the condition. I now use a walking stick to get around. I write about my journey with the condition of MS – and also of life – documented over the course of several years. Much of the subject matter is about my scars and my healing. Not forgetting Public Enemy and DJing!