A written submission and photographs of diary entries by Richard who is retired and lives in Edinburgh.
From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic I have been keeping a personal diary with notes on the daily Scotland and UK briefings. I am retired and have watched every briefing either live or a small number recorded. I initially included personal comments but stopped this after the first few days – there seemed nothing new for me to add so I stuck to noting the factual updates. I used a consistent reporting format to enable easier comparison between the days which followed the respective broadcast briefing format.
A significant reason for watching and recording the briefings, was due to my general outlook: I have a keen interest in history and I attempt where possible, to situate and understand contemporary events with a broader “historical perspective.” I realised that my scribbled notes would become a minor personal “cultural document,” which I had intended to pass onto my partner Marie and I’s grandson, Nathan.
It could be argued that “The Pandemic” is the most significant historical event which has occurred in my lifetime. As such, I felt that it was my “duty” to appreciate the details of the event per se, and to adhere to any guidelines based on “Science” and introduced by Government to facilitate the “elimination” of the virus. It felt good even in a very insignificant obscure way, to be “doing my bit.” I felt that the diary and corresponding daily watching of the briefings was my very small way to show my appreciation and greater insight into the significant sacrifice others were/are making to stem the outbreak. It also allowed me to experience greater empathy with previous generations who have also endured tremendous hardships, and the debt that we owe them, which is commonly forgotten or unappreciated.
Apart from the above reasons, I was inspired by my big brother John, who was 21 years my senior and alas no longer with us, who did a similar thing during the 1940s recording what was among the most significant historical events of his lifetime. These notes from history as it is happening can give future generations an insight into what it was like in the day-to-day of such events.