We’re now nearly 2 weeks into “lockdown” from Covid-19 in by far the strangest and most challenging time that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. However, I wanted to take some time to write about some of the positive and inspiring things that I’ve experienced over the past week. In difficult times, people seem to have the ability to amaze me with their thoughtfulness, their kindness and their community spirit.

The first of these moments was just 2 days into lockdown, when one of our neighbours here in Exminster sent a message to all the residents in our road, saying that they’d delivered some peas (all fully sanitised, of course) for the children on the road to plant and grow. We opened the front door to find on our doorstep a handful of peas, wrapped up and ready to plant, which we’ve now done. We look forward to watching these grow over the next few months!

Another of my neighbours then sent a message saying that they were arranging a “pub quiz” for all the neighbours on our street. Both last Sunday and yesterday evening, around 12 houses have taken part in the quiz. We were all on the video call for around two hours, with the host firing questions at us, with lots of banter along the way – all great fun, even though we didn’t win it – either time!

On more of a business level, one of my clients (like many others, I’m sure) has used this challenge as an opportunity to modernise their systems and technology. Their Practice Manager, well ahead of the game, bought a number of laptops in preparation for working from home, as well as putting in place some communication technology that had previously not been considered. I’m sure many other companies have also had to embrace these changes and perhaps this challenge we’re facing may have a positive effect on working practices and the all-important work-life balance moving forward.

Even one of the networking groups that I attend, the Devon Business Alliance, set up and conducted its first video conferencing call via Zoom. We had now decided to run these sessions on a weekly basis, to allow us to discuss challenges that we’re currently facing and share ideas. This has been of great benefit to me, with one conversation saving my business around £700 over the next 3 months, but more than that, it’s the support and the generosity of my colleagues within this group that makes it so special.

On top of the above, people I have spoken to have been able to spend more time with their families than ever before. While we may be cooped up inside or in our gardens (luckily the weather has been great so far…), we’ve been able to spend real quality time together. I’ve been able to properly teach my 2-year-old son to ride his balance bike, which he previously wasn’t interested in. We’ve also played with his sandpit, washed the cars, I’ve taught him how to kick a football, made pancakes, chocolate Rice Krispie cakes and much more!

I’m sure there are other great things happening out there and I would love to hear your positive stories!

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