Pandemical Positives

James Proclaims (4)

No-one loves a pandemic more than me.

Then again, no-one loves a pandemic less than me.

Because, presumably, no-one loves a pandemic.

Except possibly toilet-paper manufacturers.

But, on the whole, it’s fair to say that this whole pandemic malarkey is pretty bad news.

Nevertheless, if you can shake off the never-ending panic and crippling fear for a few moments, then there are one or two positives to be taken from the current situation we find ourselves in.

If you can ignore the agonizing pain of hand-washing-induced eczema caused by your ever-diminishing supplies of hand-soap, then you may yet find a reason or two to be cheerful.

Yes, in amongst the terrifying realisation that you’ve invented a new mental health condition that combines all the worst parts of claustrophobia, agoraphobia, enochlophobia, nosophobia and OCD, there could still be a silver-lining hidden amongst the gathering clouds of doom.

The British media might have you believe that the positives come from a camaraderie that is beginning to develop between us all. A sense that we’re all in this together. There was a moment on Thursday evening when many of us stood in our doorways and applauded the workers of the NHS. I’m normally cynical about such things but I’ll concede it was a much-needed moment of solidarity and actually genuinely heart-warming.

Still, I’ll feel even better about my fellow humans when I begin to see plentiful supplies of loo roll on the supermarket shelves.

And important though NHS staff undoubtedly are in this crisis, I personally feel that anyone who currently works in a supermarket is also deserving of our national gratitude. Because, although I’m avoiding the big stores as much as possible, when I have been forced to cross the threshold of one, I’ve found the staff to be universally  helpful, polite and friendly, which, in the current circumstances, is nothing short of heroic in my view.

The news, despite being mostly apocalyptic in tone, is interspersed with the odd bit of light relief. I enjoyed the story of the man who, deprived of his opportunity to run this year’s London marathon, opted to run the entire distance in his back garden. Although, the makeshift finish line, crafted by his son did seem like a frivolous use of toilet paper, all things considered.

For me though, the greatest positive is my family.

Deprived of actual contact with our parents and siblings, Mrs Proclaims and I have never been more active on social media. The daily videos of our nieces and nephews being ridiculously cute, comically crazy or, most often, a combination of both has been nothing short of delightful.

It’s probably sad to say we’re seeing more of them ‘virtually’ now then we ever managed in reality before all of this started.

And being trapped in a house with my own wife and child has actually been only beneficial. Of course Mrs Proclaims and I have our moments of discord, but we always did. I believe that’s called marriage.

But I think spending more time together has actually been good for us.

And, while I like to think I’ve always been pretty good at making time for the littlest ‘Proclaims’, the enforced additional time at home has helped me to connect with her on a whole new level and in the bizarrest, most unexpected of situations, I occasionally find myself feeling happier than I have in a long time.

Although I’m not sure my daughter shares the sentiment.

One of the more pretentious aspects of our parenting is that we’re attempting to bring our daughter up to be fluent in French. Mrs Proclaims and I speak French (she far better than I) so it seems like the least we could do is pass on that skill to our child.

And she’s developing quite well in that respect, having a vocabulary in both English and French that is pretty impressive for a toddler just shy of being twenty months old.

But one of her favourite French expressions at the moment is the following:

“Aux secours!”

Which roughly translates as:


And she only says it when I’m around.






  10 comments for “Pandemical Positives

  1. March 29, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Good luck in teaching your daughter French, but as she’s young, it should be easier for her. As for me, I speak two languages, English and rubbish!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      I speak rubbish too!


  2. Bryntin
    March 29, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    I believe, at 50 something years old, that I am not as good at French as your daughter is. Possibly I may have the advantage in the seven other European languages in which I am fluent at cursing.
    Croatian is really good. Try ‘Jebi Ga’ when looking at the empty toilet roll shelves at the supermarket (this is a mild one).
    Sorry, this comment appears to have no relevance to anything you wrote at all. Apart from a bit of French.
    Um… Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks. You are correct that you can curse in more languages than my daughter. Who can only curse in English. But boy can she curse…
      Not sure which of us is to blame, so naturally we’re blaming each other…


  3. March 29, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve been trying to improve my French as well, since I work with a lot of French people. Tell your daughter I’m stealing that one. Au secours will come in quite handy in a variety of circumstances!

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      She also uses ‘a l’aide’, which means largely the same thing. It is worrying that my daughter can cry for help using multiple French expressions, but we’ve narrowed it down to a cartoon we’ve been letting her watch, so I feel mildly reassured.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. March 29, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I always thought that I would much rather be in peril in the UK than in France. It seems much easier to shout HELP!

    Liked by 3 people

    • March 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      We’re probably all going to find out where the best place in the world to experience peril is fairly soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. April 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Ha! I suppose as long as she doesn’t call the French police hotline you’re safe…. but it might be wise to introduce a few more words to her vocabulary just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Oh she has plenty of words. One day she’ll put them in an order that makes sense…


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