Nicola

How are you feeling right now?

I’m actually feeling a bit overwhelmed because I’m so busy. The pandemic really has shone a light on the fact that the services I provide are desperately needed, some people only realised they needed them when the pandemic hit.

What’s something that you really miss right now?

From a personal point of view, I really miss hugs. Hugging people is a way in which I express how I feel about somebody, so I miss that. We’re totally housebound because my husband has an underlying health condition but we have a neighbour who’s very good to us. Even though she’s a single mother with four children, she makes sure I never run out of milk, bread, butter – I’ll come out to the window and there’ll be food on the window ledge. I’m speaking to her through the window and I can’t hug her to say thanks. In my business, I miss speaking in front of a live audience – there’s nothing like that energy. Being able to see a crowd have a dip and have a high, obviously I can still interpret it through video but it’s just not the same.

What is something that you’ve learned?

That I’m definitely on the right path. Also, how busy I actually was and how much my family, in all of our different elements, were on a hamster wheel. So we’re doing a serious overhaul on how we manage things in this house right now – when this is over, if we go back to the old way, we will have learned nothing. I’m very sad that so many people are dying, and I’m very sad that people have to stay apart, but I’m not sad about the fact that this is the biggest spiritual awakening of our generation. I think when this is all done, and we’ve grieved and we’ve buried the dead that only good things can happen from this – if we go about it the right way and we’re open enough to interpreting the lessons.

Who are you most worried about?

Honestly, there’s something that’s been on my mind – I’m worried about the people who have passed away behind closed doors and nobody knows. I’m not worried about staying safe, we can stay safe, we’re adapted and we adapted quickly – we have experience with bacteria and viruses in this house, we fully respect it because we know that it doesn’t discriminate. Also, the very vulnerable people who are always isolated but are even further isolated now, there’s the community element that the elderly will miss. I believe that when the oldest part of our community and the youngest part of our community are taken care of, the middle bit can take care of itself.

What are you most hopeful for?
Even though we’re a very close, tight-knit family, that closeness is just getting deeper – I’m hopeful for that it will continue that way. I’m also hopeful for people who are taking the time to take stock of who they are, people who are having realisations privately – saying, maybe I should change that, maybe I haven’t been the best friend or husband or wife or community player – maybe I can step up my game here. I’m hopeful for the people who are going to step up their game and show up completely for who they are.