Hello dear Members
What a very peculiar time this is. Strange and uncertain. My WhatsApp groups are full of jokes and tips on how to save loo roll. I am having to get on top of technology that I barely knew existed. Tube stations are closing, buses will be running on Saturday timetables from Monday, and the trains from Essex which are usually packed to the brim with our colleagues are running almost empty. London (and no doubt the other towns and cities in which our colleagues work) is like a ghost town. There is no traffic, next to no cyclists, and no queue in Pret for a coffee. I walked up Chancery Lane virtually alone earlier, although the Holborn M&S was quite busy. I wouldn’t say that I was panic buying but it feels like I have spent £120 on crisps…….
The truth is that no one really knows what to expect from one day to the next and as we anxiously await the PM’s 17.00 statement we are all wondering what limitations are going to be introduced next to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, or as I like to call it “the C-Word) or “the Rona”. It is all rather scary and I have certainly never experienced anything like it in my 50 years (although the drought in 1976, which was followed by a plague of ladybirds was quite scary in a biblical sense, but that may have been because I was only 7 and still went to Sunday School).
Light heartedness aside, whilst trying to keep your spirits up with a feeble attempt at humour, the main reason for my message is to remind you that the IBC is still here and functioning should any of our members need us. We are facing the unknown and that is unsettling. Two weeks away from work could be heaven for some, but hell for others who struggle to be alone. We should try and be mindful of all our clerking colleagues; maybe set up WhatsApp groups to keep in touch, or arrange a regular Zoom call with the rest of the team to keep everyone in touch. Just check in from time to time to see how your mates are getting on (and remember that there is a difference between checking in and checking up!).
If you think that you could do with a chat, you can always refer to the “phone a friend” page which is on the members section of our website and there you will find a long list of IBC Man Comm members who are happy for you to get in touch and have a natter; I am always available on email.
I certainly can’t give any advice as to how to get through the next few weeks; all I can suggest is that we should all try and stick at what we do best, which is to Keep Calm and Carry on Clerking. And #bekind of course.
My very best wishes to you all – and don’t forget where we are!