Strange times, indeed. The UK has ground to a halt, and toilet paper could become our new currency. I've moved back in with my parents as isolation in the Somerset countryside with our crazy labradoodle seemed preferable to my tiny house. The lease on the house had also just ended, which was another incentive.
And, it is enjoyable waking up to birdsong, watching the lambs in the neighbouring field, and getting my hour's exercise with the dog. Nutritious "Mum food" has been a bonus, and I'm losing weight. To put it mildly, cooking for myself is frustrating with the use of only one-hand and my partner has no culinary expertise, so I'm afraid to say that my diet of takeaway pizza was beginning to show.
However, I have lost my job and found a lack of routine, stressed atmosphere, and separation from my partner deeply unsettling. The result has been stomach aches, itchy skin, and cloistering myself in the sanctuary of the bedroom.
Yet, these feelings gave me the idea for this month's OHMI blog post; the effects of the coronavirus on OHMI's work and music industry.
With the closure of theatres, concert halls and other non-essential spaces where large crowds might congregate, staff, musicians and actors must be worried about money and fearing for their jobs. Large organisations are streaming performances, and individual musicians are posting online, yet, many of these artists are not being paid for their work. I wonder whether these organisations and individuals can overcome such financial loss.
No doubt to the disappointment of many, pop concerts such as Glastonbury, have also been cancelled. I have never been to one myself. The thought of being welly deep in mud, of camping and dodgy showers, has no appeal. I used to be an archaeologist where such amenities were standard, so I have no wish to experience it in my free time. Luckily for me, those days are long gone as I am now a fully qualified, working journalist.
OHMI has suffered its share of difficulties too. Now schools and other music hubs have shut, music lessons have all but stopped. Those that are continuing are done via Skype. And speaking of Skype, all our meetings are now conducted online. As you might imagine, this causes its own problems - broadband speed, video, and audio quality will affect the call. Besides, as any journalist will tell you, there is no replacement for a face-to-face meeting!
But to end on a positive note, we are all well, still here and busy planning for the future.
I am the daughter of Stephen Hetherington, founder of the OHMI Trust, and suffer from left hemiplegia (cerebral palsy affecting the left side of the body). I am a professional journalist but have also worked as an archaeologist. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing and walking the dog.