It is March 8th, and the kids are finally back in the classroom! Hooray we say as the temporary home-school desk is put away. Another landmark date in our roadmap to recovery. When I dropped my 8 year off to school, I was excited for him to be reunited with his pals but also a little sad. I will miss him, he has been at home for 8 weeks, a fact that he reminded me of the other day. Goodness, how time flies and we are nearly at the 12 month point at which this all began. 
The middle of February is now upon us and I will admit I have in the past always found it a rather funny month. I always considered it to be that non-descript month that sat rather uninterestingly between January with all its new year’s resolutions, and March, with its promise of sunshine and bloom. For me, February has historically been the month that is neither here nor there… 
It is January 2021 and who would have thought we would be in another national lockdown. It has been so tough for so many and when you read the news it is all fairly grim to say the least. Once again, an air of uncertainty and fear has enveloped us all as we are regularly informed of the ever-increasing numbers of people who have tested positive for coronavirus. We are once again told ‘Stay safe, stay at home and protect lives. It is back to zoom quizzes, home schooling and restrictions we thought had long gone. 
Christmas 2020, what will it all look like? We are always waiting for news on what plans, and restrictions will be in place, especially with this coming winter season and of course, Christmas. It has been the most extraordinary year, that is for sure and none of it expected. It has led us down many unknown paths, and we have all taken this journey with anticipation, apprehension and for so very many, courage. 
As we move through Autumn, the weather has once again changed. The blue skies have now become heavy rain clouds and we all wonder where did 2020 go. As the darker nights draw in and we continue to deal with this year’s ongoing challenges, I find myself reflecting on a previous lesson learnt that may help as we come to the end of the year. 
I recall a day I was leaving for work, bright & dry, with the promise of endless sunshine. The kind of weather that cannot help but bring a smile to one’s face. I headed to my car confident my coat was not going to be required today… 
Thursday 28th May 2020 marked the last clap for all our frontline staff, an incredible time of unity. People collectively acknowledged the efforts and strength demonstrated by all the staff who put themselves on the frontline to ensure that we, the general public were looked after and felt safe during the height of the pandemic. 
 
We clapped every Thursday night and spoke of our gratitude and endless thanks to those who were prepared to work through the eye of the storm and risk their own lives to help others. 
 
Then the clapping stopped. 
Whilst sat in the hairdressers having my hair washed (first cut in 6 months!!) I noticed this painting. It struck me how true this is for life right now, especially with social distancing. 
Our world throughout this pandemic has changed beyond all recognition and we now face a new normal. Life during and after Covid 19 is and will be very different. People have adjusted and changed how they work and have faced many challenges along the way. ‘These are unprecedented times’ is a phrase we are more than familiar with as we navigate our way through this ever-changing landscape that is to become our new way of living and working. It goes without saying that our NHS and frontline workers have been pivotal in keeping us, the public, safe. So how do we look after them? 
 
General practice has quickly changed and identified safe ways to work but, of course, this hasn’t been easy and we are all having to adapt. However, one thing that remains the same is the importance of looking after your staff and ensuring that they know they are appreciated and valued. 
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