Do Nothing

When we finally exit this lockdown, with our round bellies, long hair, frayed nerves and pale wee faces, what will we want?

For some it will be a hug and a pint? A very long walk in the rain? A meal with friends? For others it will be, paradoxically, the rare chance for some solitude.

This week the lockdown got serious, in terms of the strain on peoples mental health and the (unsurprising) news that its unlikely to stop any time soon. “A return to normal as we knew it is not on the cards in the near future” Nicola Sturgeon announced.

The First Minister added that social distancing will be a “fact of life for a long time to come”, an idea that is landing slowly with all of us as we take in the consequences.

It’s highly unlikely that there will be large-scale meetings or events for a very long time. Yet many people in sports and entertainment are still operating as if we will be ‘back to normal’ within a few weeks or months. Denial of this form, whilst understandable, is now getting to be unhelpful to the task we face, which is, lets face it: reinventing society.

Nicola Sturgeon’s measured tone, explaining the terms in which we could relax lockdown was well received, it seemed honest, open and transparent, which is what we need from our leaders in these times. She did something else that was really significant. She admitted feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of leading the country through the coronavirus crisis, and having an occasional “meltdown” at home. This was really useful, to admit weakness and emotional fragility was to give permission for people to witness their own sadness, grief and anger. Have a greet, it’s okay, it’s understandable.
Chris Creegan, the chair of SAMH responded saying: “One of the legacies of this crisis must be a greater appreciation of the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence to leadership at the highest level.”
To which you can only add the need for emotional intelligence and empathy to be part of the new normal and straying from the orthodoxy of instrumental reason and ‘IQ’ as measurements of success and value.
There is bound to be a consequence of all of this in our mental health, a legacy we only have a glimpse of from this time and we would do well to start now to learn not just ‘coping techniques’ but new ways of being.
With whole industries ravaged, and likely gone forever there is unlikely to be a return to the sort of jobs and careers many had completely immersed themselves in. Many people found meaning in their work, and with this gone, people will need to find new ways of understanding their worth. This is likely to hit many men harder, men who, for understandable reasons, found not just meaning but status in their work. All of that may be gone as we rebuild a world with with less hierarchy, less bullshit jobs, less meaningless travel and less mindless consumption.
Learning to ‘be’ not ‘do’, resisting the urge to instant ‘action’ will be difficult for many of us drawn and taught to this as a default response.

A new set of criteria will need to be established for whether industries or businesses are salvaged or repaired: is this socially useful; future-focused; culturally important; and able to be ‘produced’ with zero carbon impact?

These should be the starting points for discussion.
But they’re not.
Last week the UK govt bailed out easyJet for £600 million. The company is now offering flights for 99p for next Easter.
This is the definition of an insane economics that has learnt nothing at all.
This ‘rush to return’ is compulsive but deeply damaging and must be resisted.
As Sean Bradley of Citizen this week wrote (A Revitalised City is Possible – Let’s Get Beyond Ourselves) paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre: “we are all ‘half accomplices’, demanding radical change while at the same time clinging to what we have become accustomed to”.
We need to resist the urge to be ‘half accomplices’, we need to resist the return to the 99p flights and we need to relinquish some of the lifestyle we had adopted and become dumb with.
A world in which a 99p flight was not normal. That’s a lie and a myth and if we haven’t figured that out whilst cocooned in our lockdown we’re in big trouble.
Sonya Renee Taylor (from The Body Is Not An Apology) writes: “We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-Corona existence was not normal other than we normalised greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return. We are being given the opportunity to stitch and new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”
Our challenge, in lockdown and beyond, is to resist not just the return to the pre-covid system, but to inhabit a new way of being, one that is less frantic, less obsessive and cut away from the cycle of production and consumption. This is a rupture from the binaries of left and right where the communist sphere deified production – and the capitalist sphere deified consumption.
If previous generations faced the harrowing experience of war, we are experiencing the trauma of pandemic and the new cultures it is throwing up. The task for later will be to challenge inevitability; cultivate outrage and imagine different futures. But it will also be to re-orient towards doing less. Our task in the very short-term is to do nothing (Each day I walk along this lonely street, Trying to find, find a future).
The attributes of the old economy, predicated on endless growth and ceaseless consumption will look very different from the ones needed for our new economy. If stoicism avarice and narcissism were valuable traits in the pre-covid world they may be useless in the post-covid one. If sharb-elbows and machismo were essential in the old world, broad shoulders and warm-hearts may be needed in the new one. In short it’s not just the world we need to change, it’s our very selves.
Image: What do you make of this? from Thematic Apperception Text



Comments (47)

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  1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    There is a pub in Great Western Road, near Rupert Street, called ‘The Hug and Pint’. Perhaps you can go there some time.

    More saliently, thank you for this piece which highlights the misnomer of “SOCIAL” distancing. The FM used the phrase “PHYSICAL” distancing, recognising that at times like these it is SOCIAL contact that makes us human.

    What the SG paper is trying to do is to facilitate us to think and decide, as a community, what it is we want it to be like. It is the antithesis of the ‘Strong man in a crisis’ trope, which our mainstream media seem to think is essential, as we see with their hailing of the return of a serial liar and incompetent to ‘lead’ (what a sick joke!) the UK Government. At the same time, fearing the favourable reception that the FM is getting furth of Scotland, they are resuming with vigour their attacks on the SG. We, who support independence, are being criticised for ‘playing politics’ with the crisis, despite the fact that we have emphasised the development of community and neighbourliness, in conjunction with the other nations. However, the unionists have continued their overt and covert attacks on Scotland and its people, and the SG. Today’s Sunday papers, particularly the ‘Scottish’ ones are particularly venal.

    We must rise above that and continue to do the right thing, but, we should feel unconstrained about making our case for an independent Scotland.

  2. Indyman says:

    I have just visited the Guardian and The National websites, there is more sense and sanity in this article than everything I have seen in those sites. Well Done Mike.

    1. Jo says:

      I’ve said here before that the worst behaved group in all of this are known as journalists. Terrifying.

  3. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

    The tension between ‘having’ and ‘being’ is as old as (certainly, biblical) time. But Erich Fromm analyses it beautifully in ‘To Have or to Be’ (1978), Jonathan Cape. It’s what we work with in psychotherapy so very often. Being able to ‘be’ is hard when all the societal pressures and expectations militate against it, and those who do privilege it are perhaps a quiet minority.

    1. Thanks Mary, not read Fromm for years but he did have a profound affect on me.

      1. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

        Nor had I until your piece reminded me; but I have found that his thinking across a range of questions returns to me not infrequently. That book speaks very eloquently to our current dilemmas.

        1. Wul says:

          I may be mis-remembering, but wasn’t it Fromm who suggested that we should ask ourselves this question about our possessions?;

          “Do I own this object, or does it own me?”

  4. grafter says:

    The heart of the matter…..

    1. Freedom from tyranny says:

      Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      This is the roll out of agenda 21 and tyrannical technocratic global government. A controlled demolition of the global financial system. What lies ahead for us is not good. I’m quite, quite sure our FM is doing what she she believes to be the right thing but I reject the notion that a country which kettles me down this path seeks true freedom and independence for its citizens. Currently gathering data on how many millions Gates has invested in the Scottish economy but I fear such considerations on conflict of interest only apply when it comes to Tories.

      Westminster is not the root of all evil on this planet, no matter how much we enjoy believing so.

    2. Paul McMillan says:

      So Bill Gates is behind the whole thing………….
      thought as much. Good job he’s not Jewish or alien…..or is he?

      1. Paul McMillan says:

        Pretty sure i saw him coming out of an Orange lodge meeting last week though……

    3. Tony Orr says:

      Wow! Bill Gates funds ICL? Arrant nonsense. Is Truth in Media a bit right wing? Genuine question..

  5. Stroller says:

    I don’t really believe Nicola Sturgeon when she talks about a new society.
    Nothing the SNP have done in power makes me think that can be a serious proposition.
    Ian MacWhirter is closer to the truth today in The Sunday Herald when he points out that the document the SNP govt published last week was just waffle.
    And it is. Total waffle, spin, and pure presentation. No detail, and no plan.
    Shock and horror, the R number isn’t coming down fast enough to lift lockdown any time soon, at least in England.
    It may be possible that our much gentler lockdown than Italy and Spain – where no exercise is allowed, no daily walk even – will mean we have to endure a longer period shut indoors than other countries. In England at least.
    But hopefully Scotland can ease off earlier.
    Were we not told that being in the Union made us safer?
    Is it possible that the govt of Great Britain, the beacon of world civilization, doesn’t have a scooby what they’re doing?
    Had no plan for an event of this nature? What do these people draw a salary for?
    Nuclear weapons we have of course, 100 billion pounds of them. Just in case.
    So we’re all prepared for a nuclear war, but not a Corona virus.
    It’s nuts.
    It’s okay to cry is it Bella? Then boo-hoo.
    This is only starting, not ending.
    And, ultimately, we can “protect the NHS” as much as we like, but if no one is earning, there are no tax receipts to pay for an NHS in the first place…

    1. Jo says:


      MacWhirter is talking nonsense throughout the article you cite here, in my opinion anyway.

      Sturgeon addressed many issues at that briefing and if halfwitted journalists had been listening they’d have noted that she didn’t suggest this was a detailed plan. It was the opening of a conversation about how we could ease the lockdown when it’s appropriate to do so. MacWhirter clearly wasn’t listening but then he proved his own priorities weeks back by banging on about money!

      The other fact that he and others like him ignore is that we’re in a learning process here which has awful risks for us all. That includes political leaders who are themselves floundering at times. I would not be in their shoes for anything right now.

      MacWhirter finishes his article today with this:

      “Our children do not deserve to suffer because people of my generation and older might be marginally at risk. That’s the conversation that this adult wants to hear.”

      Utter tosh. Utter, utter tosh! And he claims to be an adult while publishing it? Elsewhere in the article he’s whining that Sturgeon is keeping us under “house arrest” while the weather has been good! Jesus wept! And the scary thing is he used to be one of the few decent people left at the Herald. He’s lost the plot. That final paragraph is an insult to every person who has died so far. It shocked me. He’s totally ignored what this thing cost them, their lives.

      So, no, MacWhirter hasn’t got this at all. Like many in his “profession” his blatant disregard for the complex situation we are in is astonishing. I used to respect journalism, and MacWhirter in particular. No more. And whoever designated them “essential” in the current crisis needs their heid looked because, more than anyone, they have behaved irresponsibly by setting themselves up as “experts” when they are nothing of the sort.

      1. Macwhirter is now talking of ‘easing lockdown progressively” but this seems to be fuelled by his mild libertariainism.

        “House arrest” is indeed complete nonsense.

      2. Stroller says:

        MacWhirter is hardly a spring chicken so I think it is unfair of you to accuse him of being callous about people’s lives given he himself would be at risk. He must be in his sixties after all.

        There are a number of intermediary options between lockdown and normality. It would have been good to see them in the Scot govt brief last week. There is surely scope for making special provisions for the especially vulnerable while allowing younger people back to resume normal life as much as possible and as soon as possible. The idea of everyone sitting tight until there is a vaccine is wrongheaded.

        It may be as I mention that not only did we lock down too late, but also too lightly. More of a latch than a lock. In Spain no one has been out for a walk since March 14, and the late afternoon stroll, el paseo is a real tradition there, a daily ritual…

        1. Jo says:


          Yes, Iain is in his early sixties, ages with me. But it’s how he defined this virus that shocked me.

          “Our children do not deserve to suffer because people of my generation and older might be marginally at risk. That’s the conversation that this adult wants to hear.”

          That, we know now, isn’t accurate. The virus has taken out many younger people including NHS people and people working in the Care Sector. And, notice, he’s even playing down the risk to older people as only “marginal”. Tell that to Care Home casualties (which still aren’t being counted in the English figures).

          I’d say again, that paper published last week was intended to start the debate on what could be done when we are ready to “ease” things, whatever that means. Sturgeon took that step and sought dialogue with others in order to arrive at a plan. That’s a positive. The sad thing is that journalism is so twisted in Scotland that the press here only attend the daily briefings to take potshots at Sturgeon. The worst implication there is that they actually don’t care about what this thing is doing to us, the priority is to pin it on her! The opposition Parties are no better. Shame on the lot of them.

          I agree we acted too late. I remain appalled that even while urging everyone to “protect the NHS” hundreds, thousands even, in care were not considered a priority, or the staff looking after them.

          1. Stroller says:

            Well,” house arrest” is a slight exaggeration, but I think valid in a journalistic sense.

            I mean, we are obliged to stay at home all day every day except for an hour or two for essential shopping and some exercise. It’s not the same thing as being under house arrest, but it is a legitimate comparison because if you fail to do as the government says then you will be fined and eventually arrested. So, it’s not so far fetched as you’re saying.

            I think MacWhirter is making a valid point. Adults choose which risks to take every day. Government shouldn’t try to make that decision for us indefinitely.

            Lockdown and future restrictions to come are necessary to ensure that the NHS is not completely overwhelmed. But once we know the NHS is not at immediate risk of being overwhelmed, then I think you have to start easing off and let adults take their own risks if they want to. There is nothing stopping people at high risk staying at home all day every day, and children’s schooling for example is extremely important matter.

            When is the point that the risk to the NHS’s capacity to cope is safeguarded? That is for the experts to decide. But as others have pointed out, all that governments can do is stagger the total cases over a longer period of time, and by doing so save many lives because there is a functioning NHS at hand when people get ill. But it seems that the virus itself cannot be eradicated. If only it could…

          2. Jo says:


            Thanks for coming back.

            I can’t agree that the “house arrest” comparison is valid. It’s way over the top.

            During times like this governments have to impose measures required to protect us all. We are both adults but I’d bet we both have seen eejits who think they’re entitled to challenge these measures. They deserve to be fined if they are putting themselves and others at risk.

            MacWhirter has written a number of pieces in the Herald since this started and he’s even come on to Bella to deny he’s for herd immunity but….he is! He’s at it again today! As someone who held him in high esteem for years I can’t tell you how gutted I am that he’s so all over the place on this.

            Again, thanks for engaging on this in such a civil manner and stay well.

        2. Alex Kashko says:

          1. Double retirement pensions and make them tax free
          2. Reinstate mandatory retirement at 65 ( ideally 60)

          a) This would mean older people who have to work but don’t want to or should not work for health reasons but have to do so, would leave the work force. Spending their extra pension would boost the economy
          b) There would then be space for younger people to move into the workforce. Their spending would boost the economy and their taxes would go along way to paying for the increased pension.
          c) if there were a resulting shortage of labour wages would rise ( see point b)

    2. In terms of the ‘boo hoo’ Stroller – do you think that the idea of emotional intelligence or openness isn’t important?

      1. Stroller says:

        I think whether openness is good or bad depends on the person, Bella.
        Some people are comfortable with it and it can help them to be open and elicit a response from third parties, but some people don’t feel comfortable with so much openness and not because they are repressing anything, it’s just not for them. Everyone is different.
        Emotional intelligence is something else entirely and is obviously very important according to all the studies.
        I am slightly suspicious of all the talk by government about wellbeing and mindfullness and openness and mental health in general in a neo-liberal society which systematically disadvantages about 20% of its citizens and in fact humiliates them through the benefits system and constantly tells them they are worthless.
        I can’t help but feel it is just another government kop out by the people who run UK plc. It is hypocritical. As Roberto Bolaño said, being poor makes people bad tempered generally, because they are stressed.
        If we just treated all our citizens with respect and dignity, about 50% of mental health problems would vanish overnight I bet.

        1. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

          As. a psychotherapist, Stroller, I agree that a different way of organising society would remove many of the sources of distress; but more than that is also needed. The respect and dignity would go far, and some ’emotional’ education wouldn’t hurt either.

          The whole neoliberal order is based on denying full human dignity and freedom to citizens, often regarded as only voters and consumers and pesky ‘poor’, so I am with Bella in hoping and hopefully working for a ‘new normal’ post Covid-19.

          1. Stroller says:

            Hi Mary

            I think there are very good grounds for sending a large part of the NHS mental health bill to Mr George Osborne and Mr David Cameron, both of whom quite needlessly imposed draconian austerity on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, as well as insulting them – remember Osborne’s speech about people who lie in bed with the curtains drawn all morning?

            I just started reading “The Spirit Level” and see that there is no difference in people’s well-being and happiness above 25.000 a year (dollars or euros or pounds I can’t remember). It makes no difference to happiness to be on 100,000 or 40,000 or a million a year. But below 25,000, happiness and well-being become an issue.

            Our governments are way out of touch. Picket and Wilkinson (the authors of The Spirit Level) are absolutely right to point out that the drive to increase material wealth for citizens, which was the goal of all governments from 1945, is now defunct, out of date, obsolete.
            They compare it to the 19th century doctor who discovered that by washing hands before aiding a mother in child birth, the chances of the mother catching an infectious disease dropped (they name a specific infection) by a huge margin.

            There was no knowledge of germs then, and it took another 50 years before germ theory was widely accepted. The poor doctor in question who made the discovery and tried to convince his colleagues to no avail, went mad and committed suicide in the interim..

            Well, that’s what it’s like with neo-liberal capitalism. If it had any practical positive effects, they have long since been become redundant…it is irrational folly and eventually it must change.

          1. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

            I suspect he might mean that there should be an understanding of different degrees of openness as at the discretion and under the control of each person. Therein lies personal dignity. If someone is uncomfortable with too much openness, let him/her negotiate or delineate a boundary, a limit.

          2. Stroller says:

            You think openness always a good thing, Bella?
            I suppose it depends on what we’re talking about exactly, but in the age of the social media, arguably people are too open and expose their private lives too much as it is. You lose something by revealing too much about yourself online I think, something like self-integrity or wholeness.
            You are giving away something about yourself which is your own story, and to no one in particular, and for no particular gain.
            You also risk being misunderstood, and of course people will form a judgement about you which can only be partial.
            And people do these things because they get a couple of likes or comments which make them feel good for just a few minutes.
            I see no virtue in that kind of thing.
            For mental health issues and addiction problems, professional help is the answer.

  6. Ian Wight says:

    …. ‘it’s not just the world we need to change, it’s our very selves”. Reflecting on our being, and not simply our doing, grants us insights like yours here Mike. So timely, and spot-on as far as I’m concerned. If we can get a better grip on our being we might then start to more consciously consider our becoming, and work ourselves into a more positive state of being – where we pro-act, rather than simply re-act from our habitual doings. Your ‘do nothing’ can be interpreted as letting go of past preoccupations that no longer serve us. This ‘letting go’ opens up the space for the ‘letting come’ that is so necessary in the present moment. Do nothing, and become something – beginning with transforming our selves.

    1. Yes, exactly Ian, that’s what i was getting at, you put it far better, thanks

  7. Carol says:

    The UK government has bailed out EasyJet for £600m…..can anyone explain to me why?

    1. Indyman says:

      And they’re now advertising 99p flights. WTF?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Indyman, @Editor, @Wul when a previous Bella article asserted the 99p flight cost, I waited, checked and posted a correction. Repeating the claim that Easyjet are offering flights from 99p again, in this article, presents a serious credibility problem. The advert was for extra bags at 99p, not the price of a flight. This Independent story says the prices for flights offered start at £14.99 (still ludicrously low for an activity that should be stopped, in my view):
        Sure, the advert wording was almost certainly a bit perverse, essentially a form of clickbait that buried the cost of the flight and promoted the cost of extra baggage, but that is the kind of thing media commentators should be savvy about, n’est-ce pas? Credibility: easily lost, difficult to regain.

        1. Alex Kashko says:

          So you want to make air travel affordable only to the rich, imprisoning the rest in this country?

          Research is needed to make aircraft more eco friendly. Ideally however we need to increase holidays so travellers can use slower transports like airships and trains without wasting days of their holiday.

          1. No – I dont want air travel to be available only to the rich, I want us to survive as a species.

            Its perfectly possible to allow people to fly when its necessary, and for this to be democratic. But the idea that you can fly anywhere for pennies is just ridiculous.

          2. Alex Kashko says:

            depends. If you accept the labour theory of value the more automation we get the lower the price.

            So flying for pennies is feasible if we automate all we can and deskill the rest.

            I recall hearing an eco-activist complaining many years ago that all flights should be banned because they caused 3% of carbon emissions.

            At the time trains and cars, as I recall accounted for about 50% of all emissions.

            Since then airlines have funded research to lower aircraft carbon emissions.

            Incidentally I understand most of the cost of a flight is what airpots charge airlines. Perhaps easyjet have found ways round this.

            Nobody pointed this out.

    2. Wul says:

      Aye, I can’t understand that either. Aside from the financial damage to it’s employees, surely the world would be a better place without the likes of Easyjet?

      Any company offering to fly you to another country, in a heavier than air machine, burning thousands of litres of fuel, supported by millions of dollars of technology, for 99p, can not be a “business” in any sane interpretation of the word. How do they make their money? Are they simply a government subsidy collecting mechanism styled and trading as “Airline” ?

  8. SleepingDog says:

    OK, I agree with some of this, but:

    On ‘be’ not ‘do’, I think that rather misses the validation of William Morris’ arts and crafts theories which seem to be validated by the lockdown experiences I have heard told. And what we need to do is practice our (political) thinking. Citizenship is active (in my view), and in the case of the UK, awaited.

    On mental health, it may be that those who apparently ignored the pandemic threat may be suffering more mentally, either in conversion (painfully coming to terms with lack of foresight/planning/preparation/protective duty associated with being, for example, a bad parent) or denial (such as cognitive dissonance). A pattern of social psychosis seems to be emerging, a split widening between planetary realists (who realize how much human society needs to change globally and locally to be viable longer-term) and delusional defenders of the status quo. Individual mental health and social psychosis may be independent, yet their linkages are something I expect we need to understand better.

    1. “Citizenship is active (in my view), and in the case of the UK, awaited” – yes, sorry I didnt mean to do nothing ever. Citizenship is very active and we will need to overthrow this as soon as possible

  9. Arboreal Agenda says:

    Lumping stoicism in with avarice and narcissism is rather odd and I don’t get the point here. On the whole stoicism is a valuable trait, and certainly one we will need in the future, the other two never so.

  10. Stranraer Observer says:

    Thank ye, Mike.

  11. Alex Kashko says:

    All good points.

    Capitalism, or at least the urge to buy cheap and sell at a profit, which is NOT the neoliberal market capitalism we know today, will not die.

    We need to work to make the urge for landing a food deal and making money serve society not the rich and old aristocracy. I read that after the south sea bubble British firms abandoned the corporate model and reverted to family forms for a while. Perhaps we should look at the way shareholding are organised and consider a sunset clause on the life of corporations ( a corporation gets 20 years then has to justify the next 20).

    I feel like a bar room bore here but I think my ramblings have something that may be useful to society and hlep someone takes them further.

  12. Jon Lisle-Summers says:

    From the Ultra-Right (as if Covid-19 is a migrant disease, FFS) to Animal Rights (Covid-19 was spread by meat-eaters), it’s as if the fairground announced free dodgem rides… Everyone is jumping on and having a go.
    Yes, there really is a unique opportunity here to improve our awesomely awful behaviour as a species. But I’ll not be putting any money on it.
    We’ve had several opportunities in the last 150 years where public knowledge and understanding was good enough to End All Wars, for example, which took just 20 years to unravel before the next one. 1918 also gave us a chance to consider the impact of pandemics, but no Chang there either.
    What is it we keep getting wrong? Open question, not rhetorical at all….. Well, apart from Xi, Putin, Trump, Boris Whassisname…. Let’s start there, shall we?

  13. Jon Lisle-Summers says:

    From the Ultra-Right (as if Covid-19 is a migrant disease, FFS) to Animal Rights (Covid-19 was spread by meat-eaters), it’s as if the fairground announced free dodgem rides… Everyone is jumping on and having a go.
    Yes, there really is a unique opportunity here to improve our awesomely awful behaviour as a species. But I’ll not be putting any money on it.
    We’ve had several opportunities in the last 150 years where public knowledge and understanding was good enough to End All Wars, for example, which took just 20 years to unravel before the next one. 1918 also gave us a chance to consider the impact of pandemics, but no Change there either.
    What is it we keep getting wrong? Open question, not rhetorical at all….. Well, apart from Xi, Putin, Trump, Boris Whassisname…. Let’s start there, shall we?

  14. Tim Hoy says:

    Keep em coming Mike. These are great.

  15. Mandy Meikle says:

    Late to the party, as ever, but love this article. Great stuff, Mike. I see covid-19 as a warning shot, a wake up call to how inherently unsustainable our lives are. I went through a brief hopeful phase when it all kicked off – surely this will lead to change? I’m not so sure now but no one knows the future and I would have laughed my head off a year ago if anyone had suggested I’d start writing poems!

    1. Ah Mandy, thanks, thanks so much

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