Personal Stories From Lockdown

I don’t know about you, but I’ve just about stopped reeling with the shock of Covid-19, the speed of its spread, the horror and uncertainty of it all. My brain is working again, or at least on a limited basis! Here are some personal stories from lockdown.

Simple products that make an unexpected difference

I am hardly the world’s keenest shopper. Far from it. Thanks to lockdown we’re buying even less stuff than usual. But two recent buys have proved unexpectedly thrilling.

One, a basic garden thermometer, the kind that suckers onto a window. Two, a rainbow windsock on a long pole, bought to help us celebrate our fantastic NHS and other key workers. Now I know the temperature and wind direction in the garden for sure, a lot more accurately than a weather app. Simple enough, but what a pleasure.

Top social media tip – The best social media tip of all

The marketing plan I had created for my novel, The Nurse Diaries, has mostly been blown out of the water thanks to the virus. For now I’m focusing on building a Twitter presence for my serial killing character, The Nurse. And I’ve re-learned something so important I honestly think it qualifies as the best social media tip of all.

Here it is.

You know the coked-up person who everyone avoids at parties, the one who loves the sound of their own voice and never shuts up? That is how you will come across if all you do is blast out content. Don’t just selfishly broadcast your pronouncements to the world like a megalomaniac. Ditch that megaphone. Come and join in.

The simplest, most fun and effective way to attract followers is to engage with other people. Comment on their posts. Join in conversations and start conversations. Ask questions. Be interested, keen, curious, chatty and polite. Give people the benefit of your attention. Then enjoy it as they warm to you, engage with you, follow you, like you, and share your posts.

As it turns out, as with so much in life, social media success is actually a love thing.

Re-thinking ‘normal’

I can’t be the only one who has started to re-think what ‘normal’ meant before Covid-19, and how different it could look afterwards.

The 2008 banking crisis and credit crunch gave us an opportunity to change, a chance the world’s leaders wasted. The coronavirus crisis offers another opportunity for change, this time much more profound, one that has almost literally stopped the world in its tracks for weeks.

Maybe, once we emerge from lockdown, we’ll see the kind of positive change that sticks. The fossil fuel industry is in crisis, and we’re not flying or driving – two great things in a climate change and air pollution context. Can we keep it that way, or at least not go back to the bad old ways?

The Western capitalist consumer model is floundering, a model that only works for people whose skills and inclinations meet its very particular demands. Can we keep up the momentum and change it for something fair for the many, not just the rich few?

How many people have you heard talking about a better future, one where we don’t go back to normal but start doing things better? I’ve heard a lot, and the number of voices seems to be growing.

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I’ll be back with more personal stories from lockdown. If you need copy, send an email. In the meantime take care, be kind, be safe, and love each other. At the end of the day, it’s all that matters.

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