Covid 19: The bare cupboard that is the western soul.

The WHO has just felt it necessary to publish six ‘tips’ for managing parenting in a time of Covid 19. These presumably had to be produced because the majority of twentieth century parents  hate having their children at home and need tips on how to deal with the awful stress this induces. These include ‘Spend quality time together’ and ‘Keep it positive.’ Isn’t that what having children is all about anyway?

I home educated both my children for a couple of years and everyone asked, ‘Isn’t it so restricting having the children at home all the time?’ The answer was I loved it and they loved it. It was the children going away that was sad, not them being at home.

I cannot be the only one for whom this virus makes little difference to my life. I really hate going out. Going out means traffic jams and crowds, noise and pollution. Home means warmth and familiarity and quiet. Of course, it is pleasant to go to a restaurant occasionally but so is pottering around tidying cupboards or making new recipes, reading and being with those you love the most. My favourite occupation is doing not a lot.

And this is what we have lost. In Sherpa villages, high in the Himalayas, a huge amount of time is spent with children, pottering around in the gardens and fields or not doing a lot  – smelling the flowers and watching the sunset.

People in remote, poor, mountain areas, understand the risk – the uncertainty of weather, disease, shortages and government whims.  Food is always stored and there is always some cash under the bed for an unforeseen health disaster. Life and death are always together.

‘32% of the UK’s workers have less than £500 in savings and 41% have less than £1,000. 43% of workers do not have anyone in their household they could depend on to support them financially in the event of hardship.’ (2018  RSA/Populus)

How many have no food stored in their house for a rainy day, not even a bag of rice? How many have no candles in case the electricity goes out? How many have no cash in case the banks fail or they have no income tomorrow?

Who is more prepared, practically and spiritually, the Westerner or the Sherpa villager?

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7 Comments on Covid 19: The bare cupboard that is the western soul.

  1. I have the builders in presently. Last week, off and on I had seven of them working on different things. How many will turn up next week on account of the totalitarianism that our government is invoking ?

    On account of one of them saying to me “I can’t wait till the end of June mate for the government to give me some dosh, I need some next week” I reckon most of them. Until the materials run out that is.

    I have a great big pile of off cuts of wood. I am going to sort out the pile today into stuff to be cut for the woodburner and stuff to bonfire. Thats my occupation today.

  2. Wonderful short article. And how many are saying ‘what will I do stuck at at home all day?’ Wow, don’t you have unread books or old movies to watch that you haven’t seen before or want to see again? New Year’s resolutions of exercise to catch up on? Whatever happened to hobbies and making things, with the kids?!

  3. Let us be thankful that people capable of the instruction, ‘Spend quality time together’ are not in a real job where their sub-zero banality could cause harm. Shelf stacking for example.

    • I was a banal shelf stacker once. 1964. My local grocer employs a dwarf shelf stacker. That must be a very hard job, albeit still a banal one.

      • I don’t think there were shelf-stackers when I was first earning money a bit before you. I really loved being a bin man – you had to lift them in those days, but the best job was driving a 10 ton truck delivering what I later learned were dodgy goods to building sites. And at age 18 my licence didn’t cover such HGvs – but my employers were as bent as their bathroom supplies.

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