How as Covid impacted on you during lockdown Sharon ?

Good morning. How you doing? I'm OK. So, um, today, I'm going to be interviewing my friend Sharon. Um, About what? Covid

And her covid story. So I'll hand over to you, Sharon. There's no point me introducing you

I'll let you do that. Um, and we'll just have a chat. Yeah, no worries

Um, well, I've known you, Karen, for 10, 15 years. In one guys or another when we pass, keep crossing, which is fantastic. I work for the Methodist Church in Colder and I employed on community engagement

So I don't actually work in site churches. I do a little bit, but mine's about working in the community and addressing any needs. So it's not much that different to car another that mine's got a fierce element to it

And I also lead a mobile. It's called a mobile ministry. It's been two buses, and now it's a band, which we've worked with you and youth groups and on A S B and all stuff like that

So I get involved in all parts of brilliant. That's me. Yeah

So, um, well, I'll I'll join you. How do you feel that covid has affected you? Sharon from the beginning of lockdown. I know we've had this conversation a few times

Yeah, I think it's almost 12 months now because we're in March 21 you could sort of almost feel it coming. And then when it actually you sat down and watched Boris that Friday night at six o'clock, it will like it felt like it just a massive shock. It's like, What? What's this all about? What's going on? We've never known anything interrupt our lives like like this, and what does it mean? So I guess for the first, I don't know good few weeks

I think I'm certainly in shock. And how does it affect my work? How does it affect my personal life? And, you know, when they said you were going to be locked down for 12 weeks, it felt an enormous amount of time. We're 12 months on, and we should be in a similar situation

So it took me a while to get my head around because I'm normally based out in the community working and a very social person and all that stuff. But it it's it was because it was a health crisis. It that acceptance was there Almost where I think you have to do this

Yeah, you have to do this. So that's that's how it affected me initially. And then as things started to change, we like going on our holidays and going for weekends away

And we couldn't do that. But as soon as we were released, sort of over the summer, it's like, right where we're booking. So we managed to get 22 good weeks away in this country where we might have gone abroad and some weekends away

And that and then we got locked out again. So that's the sort of personal side of it. And I've known a few people who have died not directly, but know of that

We've come to know through our work and and, you know, one of I told you about in touch. So I think everybody's been impacted one way or another by Covid. Yeah

So the work certainly changed. I was gonna say about your work, Sharon. I mean, have you not been able to go out and do the work that you normally do? We did a bit when relaxation, but I think we were in tier two or three at the time

And we did some work with the police about, um, educating people about covid restrictions. They got so complicated, didn't they? Yeah. So we we give a sheet a printed sheet in a little bag, all covid secure, all quarantined with a face mask and tissues and sweaters just to engage with people alongside the police for community awareness

So we did some of that. And how do you think? Did you did you notice what people were saying? What were they saying? Pretty when? Yeah, when we worked for North Halifax's partnership up in North because the infections were really high at that point, weren't they? And and people on the whole was sticking to were telling us they were sticking to the restrictions. But they were saying that that it was certain pockets of people that they thought infections were getting higher

They were confused about the message that were coming out from the government and then just being able to clarify that as much as we can, we felt like we were doing something really valuable in in in the community. But it was difficult because you normally really engage with somebody you've got masks on, so you can't read the facial body language. Um, but we did as much as we can and what we thought we should be doing in that time

But a lot of the work and night time economy that we do in the town centre. That was all stopped. And, um, I'm also a police chaplain

So I wasn't initially able to go into stations so much or go out on patrol with the police, and they were getting hammered all the time by covid being spat out by being abused, just taking so much of the time up. So just being there to encourage people and get alongside them when I could was really important for me as well. Brilliant

Because we all need encouragement is a big one. Yeah, I think we do. I think I think a lot of people have felt very low over, you know, going into lockdown, coming out of lockdown, back in lockdown

And then now I think we're on a home stretch out. We I think we're Yeah, we're all for tea, and we all need air. Yeah, it's so it's so tiny

I mean, right now we've got into a routine working from home. I'm on 50% furlough now, But working from home, we we seek to do this at a certain time now where we never had that sort of routine. But we have his lunch

We go for a walk. I read my book. We go for another walk if we're allowed

You know, it's much of a routine to get us through each day. I think you have to. Yeah

I think you have to have some kind of normality. Um, how how do you? I think there's going to be a lot of mopping up with people around mental health. How do I How do you feel? It's gonna impact your work going forward, though, You know, Do you feel as if you're gonna have to start again from scratch or take up where you like? I think I do

I mean, during during a lot during lockdown, we've been adapting stuff to go online, so we've done, um, because we've got a vehicle, we do prayer drives, and we've been doing quite a lot of these interviews. We've been doing the chickens and angels. People might have seen those out

We're gonna do hearts, um, prayer ribbons. But we've been working with church churches to enable them to look at different. They're gonna have to operate different in the future and to be more community minded

Some are some not so that might be down to an age demographic, but just trying to encourage them and give them some ideas. How small things like finding an angel or a chicken really brighten somebody's day, you know, Or just something really litter picking. We did litter picking and I and that's an easy, easy thing to do, and people really appreciate it

So it's just getting out there and loving your community. Yeah, brilliant, brilliant. And that's my thoughts

Just love your community. I love you. Love your neighbour, which which is what we try to do as Christians

I think we all do. My work is gonna change and we're going Yeah, and we're gonna have to start building those relationships again. I think, as most people are, I think most people are

I think a lot of people like you say have been affected through mental health or illness or loneliness. Isolation. I think a lot of people have been affected

Yeah, so that confidence around coming back out and doing maybe taking off where they left off. It's not gonna happen overnight. It's going to be building the the the confidence and the strengths again

It because, you know, people like you said, people have lost people. People have been, you know, not seeing the families or the friends, and it's got to have an effect on people. It's got to have

Do you know, I I know well, on the odd occasions that I'm, I'm doing face to face with someone, and that's generally when I'm doing the chatting to work with the police, you're chatting and you you have that connection and that interaction which you don't normally have other than your immediate family and I come home. Oh, I'm absolutely shattered because I've had to use a different part of the brain and interacting with somebody Face to face is very much different to online, and it really is, and this is for me that's used to doing it. So people that have been in for 12 months, plus it's it's finding them now it it's finding them and being able to to work with them and then wanted me to work with them, you know, they might

They might not want to. They might think you know what? I've done my bit. I don't really want to do it again

Yeah, and that that's really hard, because I know that we Halifax we have got some amazing, amazing leaders, you know, of people that go above and beyond and always have done and put their community first. And I think, you know, I think it's totally understandable if them people say, Actually, I I'm not I'm not bothered to let somebody else come along, but it's finding that other person into to to take over them and it certainly, I mean, me and my me and my husband's been talking, you know, I've just gone 55 thinking, Is it time to start winding down now? Can can we almost afford to start because it makes you really evaluate everything in your life? Yeah. And your priorities and what really really matters

We might have thought we knew what matters. But until you get time, I totally agree with that. Sharon

Yeah, I totally agree with that. It does make you wonder, Um and I think you know, when you think about your family and things like that, it does make you evaluate your thoughts and where you think you go in. I know, definitely

I have during my lockdown journey. Um, you know, I'm working from home working, you know, in in the pub. Um, lots of stuff that we've been doing

But then, like yourself, most of it's been at home and zoom and is the interaction with the outside world. Other than that, I don't see anybody or do anything. So you go shopping, you like And how are we gonna are we gonna break that down? You know, we're getting used to when we go for a walk stepping aside into the middle of the road for some How are we gonna? And it probably will happen in time, but we'll all be a bit like that and hugging people

But people Well, yeah, and and it's is a natural emotion, isn't it? You know, I I love to hug you. You love to hug me, and and that's like, you know, it's It's not only just a friendship, it's a real good, isn't it? It's. And that feels, yeah, it's weird

It's really weird. We might need to have a local, um, neighbour day when we get everybody sorted and we're all out of it next year. I think we'll do that

Sharon. Yeah, to get back into that connecting. Just been reading something

And this lady just said she she had a meal with friends. Not during covid. It's a book, but she truly felt when I felt connected

And we all need that sense of belonging and connection to be able to be fulfilled. Totally agree as humans. Is it the e during? Yes

Yes, right. Well, thank you. I've really enjoyed talking to you

I'm gonna turn you off record now. Um, but stay there, and we'll just have a quick chat, but thank you very much.

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