Cardiff, United Kingdom

What sets us apart within the animal kingdom is our ability to talk, listen and engage. Key to the development of the human being is the power of speech.

Yet in the fast-paced twenty-first-century world, sometimes we have lost the power of speech. We engage with our smartphones and our mobile devices. We decline to use our voice box for its purpose. Our communication has become the written word and our context has become a hunch over an electronic device. We remain silent to our peer groups and friends. Our verbal communication has reduced and can be, in some cases, non-existent.

The internet has brought this change to our lives. We have embraced technology completely. Our high streets are dying because we now trade online: for leisure, retail, food. Gone are the days of commuting to work for many, in a 9–5 job. Instead, we now have the means to work from home, at all hours of the day, on any day of the week.

To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, we have been encouraged to self-isolate and remain in our home. This is our challenge. Self-isolation means we must remain alone, on our own, although some may stay with their close family. Contact with more than a single other person is discouraged because of the health risks of spreading the virus.

To stay safe, we must embrace self-isolation coupled with the agility of technology. We must reignite the flame of conversation, we must engage with each other, and wink over wifi. The selfishness of solitude could be our undoing in the face of such adversity.

Mass gatherings of people are discouraged, but taking part in a gym session via your laptop is not. For the less energetic, yoga and pilates are available. Exercise is available to us all. Walking a dog, chatting with a neighbour across the street, playing music from your balcony, sharing your love of your hobby with others: it is all possible in this most trying of circumstances.

Help groups are being set up all over the internet. A range of interaction platforms are setting up online communities and support networks for everyone. Whatever your situation, wherever you are, please join in. There is a community online for everyone. We cannot be alone in this loneliest of challenges.

I urge you to regain your speech. To interact, to engage. Use your smartphone, mobile device and laptop to speak to your community and the world. Become vocal. Become verbal.

Seek me online and tell me your story. I am ready to hear you.

For further information

Surviving the Coronavirus Lockdown and Social Isolation is a guide to creating a new normal in a changing world. Download a copy of the ebook for free now.

Get your free copy of the book here.

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