The clinic closed on 19th March due to Government advice that we all need to stay at home. Nobody knew what day of the week it was, but we all wanted to bake bread and cakes-never have we had so much time at home with our families.

I have two small kids, aged 5 and 7 who both needed homeschooling, well, a version of it happened, not sure how well, but some things were done.

The difficulty of not knowing what was going to happen at the practice and the kids full on at home, as well as my husband ‘trying’ to work from home all had its challenges. Den building a daily activity and it wasn’t just for the kids.

We all said the words ‘uncertain times’ every day and we all craved clarity, not something our current government quite have a grip of. The blessing was the weather, weeks of glorious sunshine. We exercised once a day.

Unfortunately, the Hereford clinic totally closed and became non-viable, so a difficult decision to close and centralise all my efforts on the Worcester location was made. I received so many supportive messages from many lovely clients whom I am going to miss, their words mean a lot and have brought comfort.

Image of an empty pathway in a park
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As key workers and as medical professions that supports the NHS, Podiatrists all around the country were open providing emergency care. Unfortunately due to my clinic being within another premises the building was ‘closed’. I was gutted not to be able to offer care as I would have liked and as soon as I would have liked. I was rescued by the wonderful Charlotte at Black Pear Physiotherapy in Barbourne who kindly offered me the use of her clinic 2 mornings a week. What a life saver! The perfect solution and automatic stress reliever right there. I spent 5 and a bit weeks seeing urgent and painful cases.

As lockdown progressed our professional body, The College of Podiatry, were amazing with weekly and often daily updates on what we could do and should do. As soon as relaxation of rules started happening we were provided with a traffic light system of who we could see and when. During this period the world was scavenging for PPE, I managed to purchased specialist masks before lockdown. It has been so surprising how expensive these items have become. Most items have quadrupled or more in price. Plastic aprons that normally cost around £6 per 200 in a role are now on average £37, quite staggering.

So, here we are in the new normal, we wait outside, social distance, wear masks, and don’t hug our friends of family who don’t live with us. But slowly things are returning to a freer sense of being. We can visit each others gardens for social distanced gatherings, and people are slowly going back to work. My children have been back in school since the beginning of June (hurrah!) and they have loved and missed it, nearly as much as me and my husband!

The vulnerable will continue to shield until 1st August, and travel bridges are being made for people to start going on holiday. The pubs and bars will open, and museums and shops return to a new normal.

Life has changed forever, many families have suffered loss and grief, many kids will not go to school for 6 months this year, some businesses won’t reopen, and may people will lose their jobs.

We have had the best weather, we have spent more time with our immediate family, we have taken stock of what is really important and slowed our pace of life. We worked from home, our natural environment and animals have blossomed and run free. We can hear birds in the city due to less traffic, we shop for what we actually need, rather than what we think we need. We have become more community spirited and clapped on Thursday’s, we wash our hands more.

I am thankful for all the small things in life, the important things are right under our nose. Perhaps we have now realised that the most important thing is our health. Our physical and mental health are as equally important. Eat well, exercise more, and be mindful for small mercies and blessings and find someone who you can really talk to. Above all ask for help.

1st July and I return to Shrubbery Avenue to my normal clinic, it’s great to be back working and doing what I love. I have missed helping fix peoples pain and having a chatter about all sorts of things. It’s the new normal now and having had time to take stock I am planning some wonderful changes over the next few months. Watch this space!