Letter from the Editor – May 2020

Welcome to the May edition of ‘The Caterham and District Independent’.

By now, I’m sure we are all fully feeling the effects of lockdown: of not being able to get together with loved ones, of staying away from our favourite places and cancelling much anticipated holidays.

It can be tough to stay positive but I am grateful for the amazing weather we have had throughout the past month. According to the Met Office it was the sunniest April on record, with 46% more hours of sunshine than average. I wonder if it was Mother Nature’s way of compensating us for what’s going on right now?

Last month ended with intense downpours, but gardens have desperately needed the rain. It’s lovely to see how rich all the plants now look and the warmer weather is due to come back to us soon.

Getting out in the sunshine is a great way to boost your mental health, and I’ve been taking my children for daily walks to ensure they reap the benefits of fresh air. They are coping well with lockdown in general, but I know how much they are missing their friends. On a recent walk my three year old asked if he could scooter to the gates of his school as he wanted to see it. Thankfully, they are keeping in touch with everybody via video chats, which are much more personal than a phone call. Being able to actually see friends and family on a regular basis, even if only via a screen, helps us feel much less alone.

I wonder how we would have coped if the Coronavirus had appeared a couple of decades ago: it would have been much harder to stay connected with only the telephone on hand. Love or loathe social media, it’s a lifeline to many during these isolated times.

Friday 8th May sees the 75th anniversary of VE Day and a special bank holiday in the UK. While we can’t hold a street party to remember the bravery of our Armed Forces, the British Legion has great ideas for things we can do instead. There’s a two minute silence at 11am, followed by a forty-five minute livestream to share stories and memories from those who served in the Second World War. You can also join people around the country in a singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. There’s more information on their website: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

Finally, to those of us who are still valiantly battling through home schooling: keep going! Remember, we are not expected to be teachers, but to simply keep our children happy and occupied, with gentle encouragement towards learning if possible. Although it can sometimes be extremely testing to achieve this when you have children of different ages, I’m enjoying seeing how creative mine can be when something sparks their imagination. I’m also, of course, enjoying a glass of wine or two after particularly long days! (Who would have thought trying to encourage a three year old to learn the numbers 1 to 20 could be so difficult?)

With the Government due to complete their review of our lockdown status by 10th May, it’s hard to predict where we might be when we go to print in June. Please continue to check our website regularly as we’ll keep it updated with any official announcements: www.caterhamindependent.com

In the meantime, let’s take strength from our wonderful Tandridge community. I have seen so many acts of great kindness throughout the borough, and it reminds me of a lovely quote from American scientist Helen Keller: ‘Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much.’

Please look after yourselves, and I’ll see you next month.

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