Happy New Year, the year 2020!
Happy new year, (I say with caution). Look where that got us last year, I don’t think anyone could of quite imagined what a year it turned out to be. So as I sit here in January 2021, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the year that was 2020, and write 4 blogs on my take on, The year to beat all years. This 1st one will be from January through to the end of March.
Every year has always been a time for new beginnings, new resolutions and lots of optimism of what the new year has in store for me, 2020 wasn’t any different, the events that followed haven’t changed these feelings as we enter 2021, but they have certainly added something new to my thought processes. I guess it has made me realize more, how precious life is and the actions of what we do, how important our family and friends are. Never again will I take for granted the power of a hug, a conversation or something simple, like going to the cinema.
Due to the impact of 2020, both negative and positive, it has given me clarity on things in my life, it’s allowed me to express myself in ways, I probably wouldn’t have done, had it not played out the way it did. It has allowed me to write these blogs, do online sports videos for my company Kickstarterz Sports, talk more openly about my personal battle with mental health, spend more time with my family and more.
January 2020 started of just like any other year, full of optimism of what the year would bring. It was the 1st anniversary of setting up my business Kickstarterz Sports, a children’s sports business, and what a year it had been for us, growing so fast from 1 session on a Saturday with 8 children in, to having over 300 children use our services every week. We were also named upcoming business of the year in the Health and Wellbeing Awards, (but that’s enough about that).
I can remember first hearing about Coronavirus this month, with reports coming from China about this new disease. At the time, I guess I was naive, I never once saw it as a threat that could materialize here in England. I carried on with daily life as normal, I had so many plans for Kickstarterz this year, we was in the process of hiring apprentices, so that we could reach out to more families and children, as getting people active, not just physically but mentally to, is at the core of our ethos. We launched our birthday party packages this month and we had so much interest in these, becoming fully booked for the next 4 months.
January was a month I remember for the sad news of Kobe Bryant and the passengers, including his daughter, of a plane he was on, died in a crash. This really hit home for me as the 1st eye opener of 2020, as to how precious life is and how we should be grateful for every waking day. To see how quickly life can be taken away, to a man who seemingly had it all and was so young, was such a powerful message I felt personally.
The talk of coronavirus was becoming bigger and bigger this month, with it reaching Europe. Italy being one of the hardest hit. Conversations had really started to emerge about it coming to England and the impact it would have. I can tell you that it was this month that, I personally began to feel anxious about the evolving situation.
We carried on with business as usual, delivering our sport sessions as normal. Not for once did I envisage what was to come in March and what followed.
No matter where you turned, the talk of Covid was everywhere now, in the street, social media and on the news. It was hard to get away from it. From someone who suffers with severe anxiety, it was like living in hell. The inevitability of it all now far exceeded my optimism, and I was generally frightened.
This was the month I first heard the term lockdown. I mean actually locking down countries, scary and bizarre. Was it really this bad?
Coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic by the W.H.O. It seemed surreal just how fast this disease had escalated. Sports events and the like started getting cancelled all over the world. Football in England was suspended. England was ordered into a national lockdown on the 23rd of this month.
The feelings I had when we had to stop delivering our sports sessions were those of sadness and panic. So many questions flying round my head.
How long will this last?
Will me and my family be safe?
Will my business reopen?
These were just a few of my initial concerns. I was scared stiff, the uncertainty of it all, really had me worried. So scared to even leave my house, this was the case for a few weeks. I had to put a brave face on though for my children and partner, the whole situation was so confusing.
I knew I was not alone in these times with my thoughts, there was so much panic and confusion everywhere. People started clearing out the supermarkets, the photos I saw online were of disbelief. Toilet roll became peoples go to product, selling out everywhere.
In the 2nd part to this series of blogs, I will be looking at April, May and June and my memories and recollection of these months.