Daily Sceptic reader Jill Evans said we were right to encourage sceptics to respond to the Covid Inquiry, saying we need “thousands of sceptical submissions”. She has sent us hers to encourage others to write similarly.
Before Covid I was part of a small choir which I had helped to form. I helped out at a ‘Repair Café’, serving the tea and cake to a busy crowd. I was part of a group of eight friends we called the ‘philosophy club’. We gathered monthly to explore a topic in depth and then eat, drink and talk together about life, the universe and everything. I met one-to-one with close women friends and my sister. My small family gathered regularly from three points along the Sussex coast. I swam three to four times a week at a local health spa, visited gardens and our local nature reserves often. I walked both along the coast and in the South Downs. I went to Qi Gong class once a week and had shiatsu massage regularly. I used the local library. My partner and I shared companionable meals, games and conversation frequently with two local friends. Other friends came to stay with us and we with them. The last friends we had to stay were from Norway. My partner was part of the local history society, went to a local jazz club and was a regular at premier league football matches.
The last collective thing I did before we were locked down on March 23rd 2020 was to participate in a large one day singing workshop. I was an optimistic, cheerful person with a satisfying and generally happy life, while I had many concerns about the troubled state of human society and the natural planet.
Overnight in March 2020 all my opportunities for coming together in person – in community and one-to-one – were gone. Overnight I could no longer swim or walk in nature in beautiful gardens or listen to bird song in the reserves. From a life where I had a rich mixture of connections with other people in person, enriching time spent in nature and healthy exercise, suddenly I had a life with a loving male partner, three cats and what connections could be made by email and telephone. We walked each day on the local beach, read books, watched TV and sat in the garden. I wrote a journal and took to making mosaics. I know I was fortunate in my personal situation compared to so many people and yet this locked-down life without a variety of activities, intimacies and community gradually sapped my strength, weakened my spirit, emptied my life of joy and rendered me hopeless.
The elements that felt most oppressive to me were:
- social distancing and all the signage and strange behaviours that went with it
- face masks
- plastic screens
- fear inducing propaganda
- weird and changing rules about what you could do or not with who or how many, inside or outside
- The lack of any real discussion or debate about what we were living through