With the current Covid stuff, I’ve found it interesting to see how it has affected a range of people.
One of the big complaints about it is how the lockdowns have made so many people realise how lonely they are, along with the damage it’s done to those social norms and events.
Truly, this isn’t something I can empathise with. I’ve never really lived close to any of my friends – they’re scattered all over the place – so I’m absolutely used to being on my own in any particular area. So I’m alone, but I’m never lonely.
Alongside that, I don’t know, I simply don’t feel those things. I’m happy on my own, and always have been. Being sociable is my “not normal“, being on my own is the default position.
In all of that, I recognise that I’m “lucky“. I’ve come through this year OK, with far less damage than most people have suffered – whether that’s realising their lives are more lonely than they thought, being ill (or watching others being ill), or just seeing things change so much and feeling insecure because everything “normal” has suddenly tilted beyond recognition.
I sort-of understand that desire for everything to “go back to how it was“, but to me even that still carries a fair degree of self-delusion. Things have changed, and it’s (to me) far easier and smarter to embrace those changes and make progress with them (I hate the expression “the new normal”, but that’s what this is – even with vaccines and so on, there’ll still be major changes for the forseeable future)
I don’t know what 2021’s going to bring – although I don’t think it’s going to be a positive year – but I’m pretty sure I’ll get through it, same as I have this year. And all I can do is hope that the same is true for those I give a sod about.
Last week, I was as surprised as everyone else to hear that the chef Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide.
Bourdain was a huge influence on the catering world – you only have to read the many obituaries (including this one) to see the influence he had, and the respect in which he was held.
Depression and suicide are bastards. They make you think you’re not worth anything, make you think the world won’t miss you, make you insignificant. They’re lying bastards.
Twitter and Facebook have been full of people expressing shock, and making depression and mental health a subject to speak about, to help remove the stigma around it all, and make more people aware of how prevalent these things really are.
If nothing else good comes out of the deaths of celebrities, then at least it’s making people talk, making mental health normalised and spoken about. And that can’t be a bad legacy really, can it?