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WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT.

It’s a Thursday evening, it’s 8 o clock, and I’m honouring the only social commitment I’ve got... clapping for our NHS and front line workers!! My mum throws her voice (maybe this is a Scouse thing but it’s impressive and terrifying in equal measure) telling me to get my "skinny ass outside". I’m unsure whether I’m about to hail the best public institution Britain has to offer or have a bare knuckle fight with her… maybe it's both? I rock out into my front path with gusto to let her know I’m not scared, just incase she had any ideas. I'm styling her PJ bottoms and my Dad’s oversized fleece. I’m hoping I look like a gender non-confirming activist like RuPaul, Eddie Izzard or Madge from Benidorm, but judging from the stares of Number 72 I conclude I just look a fucking mess. Our claps are well spirited, my hands are as red and raw as Cilla Black in her prime, our whistles and shouts are even louder than ones Holly Jervis or Jennifer Holliday could muster, and it’s in these declarations of passion and admiration, in the midst of a public celebration of a public entity, this EXACT moment that is supposed to galvanise the nation behind our frontline workers, I realise we are separate, we are not all in the same boat, and the community that has watched me learn, adapt and grow, has the most to lose. 
I go outside into my back garden (where my freezer is) to drown my sorrows in Ben & Jerry’s. Admittedly, I do have the idea of whether my 4ft 6” Nan would fit inside the freezer and we could just Walt Disney her for the next three months, ensuring she survives the pandemic and lives long enough to watch me marry... somebody... anybody. I decide against it. I figure any woman who has survived Thatcherism and the cowboy boots pandemic of 2009 could go round to round with an anaemic boy who writes a blog and twat him. There are still some fireworks (at least I hope they are fireworks) going off to celebrate the NHS. They start to become muffled by the sounds of lads on quads and motorbikes, locals in the queue for the chip shop getting angsty about the three person rule, and then, to submerge it all, a second wave of claps crescendo for Laura whose leaving our street to do an extra shift in the local hospital to be on ‘ventilator duty’ as they keep malfunctioning throughout the night. 

My mind thinks about my friends from London. Those who isolate in country houses, who have access to clean, green spaces, who can afford to stockpile tissue paper and foods that my Mother doesn’t know exist, who won’t fear that their little brother might not be fed because his free school meals have been shut down by the pandemic. Instead, they write and share articles with foods that are good for immune systems unknowing that healthy foods cost, on average, three times more than unhealthy foods. Or they promote a stretch and meditation session to find balance and calm in these uncertain times because stress effects the immune system and who wants that?! I try to tell Laura that those on low incomes are more likely to suffer from poor mental health and so maybe she should try a downward dog after work? She’s shattered and, whilst she would love some Yoga with Adrienne, she argues that child’s pose cannot plaster over generational assaults on the welfare state, the ritual underfunding of the NHS and the vitriolic attack on working-class communities. 
Laura’s little brother is out on BMX bikes with his friends, he won’t listen to coming home and isolating. Why would he listen to a party that have never had his back before this? His friends are the only community he knows — he is of a generation that doesn’t have community centres, or outreach football programmes or teachers with the panache and excitement that comes from not battling a backward system their whole careers. He has found home with friends, in parks and betting shops, and because the police presence is close to decimated here, there will be no officers ushering him to safety, encouraging him to help ‘flatten the curve’ like they did today in Primrose Hill. Today, as of most of his life, he is forced to make his own decisions. 
The decision to stay home and risk death by debt because you don’t have the luxury of your part-time job being relocated to the plush offices of Zoom.
The decision to take a crowded form of transit with lots of other adults immunocompromised by poverty to the ASDA when your local shop raises prices higher than you were that one time in a cafe in the Dam because they too are scared of debt. 
The decision young single mothers have to make when they are stretching tax credits or pay cheques. The decisions that those young mothers are then criticised for in the Daily Mail or The S*n — not knowing that when the Coronavirus hits, those billionaires who they herald as heroes are begging the Government for corporate handouts and bailouts… why weren’t they saving for a rainy day? 
My heart belongs to the working class of this country. It thumps when my little sister decides to become a healthcare assistant and wage a war against an unknown disease with wages that can’t even pay a landlord their deposit.
My heart swells with admiration for the tenacity of nurses who fight on the frontline when the front-bench cheered and laughed as they denied them pay rises in 2017.
My heart jumps when I hear my people are more likely to die from COVID-19 because they disproportionately experience underlying medical conditions that exacerbate the virus such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes. My heart breaks when I am told we are all in the same boat because as romantic as it sounds... as much as I want to share the boat with Kate Winslet... me and Leo are elsewhere. We are in a boat with holes that is only left afloat because of rockstars with buckets throwing water back at the sea. We must realise we don’t all walk the same track in tragedy and our hearts and actions must adjust accordingly. 

I'm not paid for my writing so if you enjoy what you see and want to help me become skinny, shattered but a little less skint, then you can buy me a coffee here and I'll love you forever:
https://ko-fi.com/ellishoward

To keep updated with my blog posts follow my social media. Sending love...
Instagram: ellishoward7

Twitter: @ellishowiee






Comments

  1. Love this, how do I follow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cate,
      I'm so glad you love my blog!! That's so kind. I'm brand new so I have no set up for following yet - I didn't even know people would want to follow! - but I will set one up. In the meantime, if you follow me on social media (@ellishowiee on Twitter) I'll keep updating whenever I post. Or, if you check the blog each few days you'll find something new. Hope you are safe and sound. X

      Delete
  2. Also love! Will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hiya Ellis, love what you are doing here! I'm from south Africa myself but I have loads of family from the north. They need their NHS which makes what you are doing all the more important! Thank you. #fuckthetories💪

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Atticus thank you SO much!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. I hope you keep up with the blog! Sending love and solidarity x

      Delete
  4. Excellent piece. Bob on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really Impressive.. am
    Proud to say your from
    Liverpool ..

    ReplyDelete
  6. fantastic! well done you i to am wanting to follow i want to hear more xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your blog. Do you have a you tube channel?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well presented Kido...... I am sure your destiny lies in the fight against the rich, privileged and the present government of lying twats. The fight has already started be part of it, seize this time it may be your only chance

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ellis, That is brilliant, and I understood every word on your Facebook video!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Ellis

    I came across the vlog of this post (and this blog now too) purely by chance and absolutely loved it - the content, the brilliant Scouse wit, the intelligence, the message, the delivery and more.

    No, I'm not from the UK, so don't really know the ins-and-outs of the state of affairs their, neither political (Boris doesn't get much respect from me either is about all I can say) nor social, but as a lifelong (40+ years) LFC fan, I definitely have a very soft spot for the city of Liverpool, which I have visited and enjoyed very much on several occasions, including with my kids. You've definitely got yourself a fan in me too now. And looking forward to seeing/reading more of you.

    As for the cup of coffee, I don't think I can buy you one from here, but I will gladly treat you to one when all this madness is behind us and I get a chance to visit the city again, which I will surely do.

    Take good care.of yourself there.

    Steven, Israel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same feeling. I came across him by accident. Canada

      Delete
  11. Ellis
    What a star, funny, sweet, but more than that, intelligent eloquent, and empathetic
    Your mam must be dead proud of you
    Suspended by twitter atm, for calling out this murderous govt, appealing, as wasn't abusive, or rule breaking, just factual data hit a nerve with some spaffer fan, when or if I get back on twitter will follow you
    Thanks pet, love to u your family, your neighbours and liverpool
    Ps liverpool please adopt me, you're the best!! Xx

    ReplyDelete

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