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Business as usual for your Gibraltar Copywriter

Across the world, most people, including me, are working from home. Unless you are a nurse, doctor, carer, you should be at home. Since Europe became the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, offices, retail outlets, schools and non-essential businesses have closed their doors, driving the masses indoors, worried and glued to reports of thousands of people contracting and dying from a new type of terrorist, the dreaded coronavirus.

Children have seen their schools close, couples have cancelled weddings and families have put their holidays on the backburner. New trends are emerging; the home workout, home education, Facebook is the new pub, and pyjamas the latest fashion. Without our media outlets and internet, it would be so easy to fall into despair, and we are lucky as a nation to have access to information and facts, keeping us up-to-date and reassured in these crazy times. Taking on sound advice from experts allows us to maintain a certain level of normality, for example maintaining healthy daily routines, getting up, showered, dressed, and making sure we do not laze around all day, every day in our pyjamas.

In the Tracy Jennifer Copywriting household, there are two teenagers, one of whom should be getting ready to sit her GCSE’s and another preparing to choose her GCSE options. Despite the Government cancelling all exams, the hormones and emotions have gone into overdrive and keeping these two typically energetic, social and sporty girls grounded and sane is proving a difficult job. Believe me when I say that babies and toddlers are much easier to manage than hormonal teenagers!

I guess we will get through this challenging time, and look back and wonder about how we made it during this extraordinary event. Keeping on top of mental health for families is essential, and a way to do so is practising mindfulness. Luckily, most kids do this anyway with a natural mindfulness built-in teen survival tool! In addition to TikTok, Instagram and YouTube!

As a family, we need to get creative to break up the monotony of working and living in the same environment. Digging out the board games, and discovering boxes usually reserved for Christmas after-dinner games, The Logo GameCluedo and, of course, the old favourite, Monopoly. We are dancing around the living room to our favourite jams with older teenager’s Just Dance and we’ve signed up to a free trial on Ancestry.co.uk and included the whole family across the miles in tracing family ancestors, finding out fascinating tidbits of information about badly behaved 4th great grandfathers who spent time in jail for larceny. Guitars are tuned up, Netflix subscriptions fully appreciated, cookbooks dusted off. Surprisingly there are not enough hours in the day! 

Keeping in touch with extended family, especially grandparents, many of whom are isolated due to age. My in-laws are in their 80s and actually incredibly active and healthy, walking up to 20 kilometres daily. Worryingly, they did not see the danger coming and ignored advice about quarantine. Now, headlines are persuading them to behave themselves and stay indoors, and the message is finally sinking in. Of course, many like to think they are immune, but if they were to catch the virus, they would inevitably need to go into hospital, and hospitals are already struggling, so persuading them to stay home is vital.

We are lucky that our extended families look out for one another and have great friends and neighbours. As neighbours ourselves, we are checking on ours regularly, especially those neighbours living alone. A kind word can go a long way to help someone get through these difficult times of isolation. Never before has Skype and FaceTime been so welcome and planning a get together via social platforms is an exciting event if you put your mind to it.

For some people, Tracy Jennifer included, working from home is the norm and its same old routine for your Gibraltar copywriter. Surprisingly the last two weeks we have picked up new clients, whether this is because of the virus or just pure luck, but keeping busy has helped enormously with quarantine. What I am missing most are my gym workouts and spin classes. Although I have managed to sneak out the back lanes up to my beloved Rock of Gibraltar where the quiet paths and stunning views have helped clear my head. I sincerely hope that Gibraltar can continue to keep this virus epidemic under control. This is a small country (6.8 km²) but with quite a dense population (34,000).

Our Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, is doing a sterling job of controlling the border – only essential workers can cross – and policing the streets to ensure Gibraltar’s inhabitants are only venturing out for essentials and keeping a safe distance. We are all praying that Gibraltar can continue to control the numbers, but the health service is well equipped and prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Generally, there is a positive feeling in Gibraltar and our neighbour, Spain, is seeing some positive progress in the fight against the virus with the epicentre concentrated in the US, our thoughts and prayers are with the families dealing with this global crisis.

In the meantime, I am taking the opportunity to let people know that I am available for copywriting services in Gibraltar, and nothing will stop me from working! Although, I do have an office at Gibraltar World Trade Center, working from home is what I do best, so not much has changed, its business as usual.

I leave you with a poem, so pertinent in this moment. Please, everyone, stay safe, stay home.

‘No Man is an Island’

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 
own were; any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom 
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

MEDITATION XVII
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

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