coronavirus

FINDING NEW WAYS TO COPE WITH COVID

by Euan McLean, Hala El-Djazairy and Pearse McLaughlin

THE bizarre reality of post-Covid life can often feel like something out of a Hollywood script.

Now one man is taking inspiration from an old Sylvester Stallone blockbuster to remind the frustrated public that lockdown life will one day get back to normal.

In times of such uncertainty when life is so restricted and livelihoods threatened people will take any inspiration they can find, and bar manager Stephen O’Regan discovered his in an unlikely place while sitting in front of his TV.

Stephen said: “There’s a film Demolition Man that came out in 1993 and it keeps coming into my head during this whole madness.

“Sylvester Stallone is an old-school cop and Wesley Snipes is the criminal who get frozen for 30 years and they come back at a time when there’s zero crime, everyone is vegan, wears the same clothes and there’s no swearing.

“Nobody has sex, they use headsets instead.

“Then half way through the film you see that under this conformist society there’s an underground group of people who listen to music, eat burgers or whatever they want and they still have sex.

“It was scary how relevant this film is now.

“Basically I think no matter what happens we’ll always have this instinct to rebel against that kind of conformity with no music and no interaction.

“It might be a while away but we as humans are not going to live without with music, without the drink or having fun basically. It’s not fun at the moment but it will go back to that.”

Movie fan Stephen reckons Hollywood fantasy can help us get through tough reality.

As the manager of three Kitty O’Sheas bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Stephen is responsible for 60 staff and has reached out regularly through phone and video calls to ensure they are coping with harshest situation in a generation to hit the hospitality sector.

Yet among the obvious worries, the 32-year-old from County Clare believes it’s important to find the silver linings to the cloud that hangs over us all at the moment.

He added: “Over the past three years personal things got neglected through work because that was what life was all about.

“Suddenly when I couldn’t work I was writing down lists in a diary with daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals. I’m talking about small things like having three meals a day, whereas I’d normally just be eating things on the go.

“Music is a passion I’d neglected and I got back into listening to music again.

“It was about identifying things that make me happier that I wanted to do now that I had the time. It’s been like a reset, like falling in love with the simple things all over again.”

From relishing the simple things to simply getting by. Mother of three Nicole Robertson, lockdown began on maternity leave from her job at popular Lanarkshire wedding venue the Radstone Hotel.

Nicole said: “It’s been really difficult. My little boy is in nursery, one girl is in school so obviously they are at an age where they need to be constantly doing things.

“My youngest is only seven months just now so it’s still fresh having three children.

“To have all three without the release of the school and the nursery, making time to deal with with the baby has been a struggle. Three children and all the pressure.”

Wedding venues like The Radstone have been hit particularly hard by lockdown.

Angus Hyde was supposed to be starting life in the media after graduating from University of West of Scotland with an Honours degree in Journalism until Covid hit.

Instead he’s been working at The Eagle Tavern in Prestwick – when it has been allowed to open and when he hasn’t been forced to self-isolate after showing symptoms of the virus.

Angus (pictured centre) is fearful for the future.

Angus said: “It is really hard to get a job at the moment, in the sector I have graduated.

“You can work from home but is hard to show how you are different and that you are there to display to work in a job.

“I am worried about my future because of COVID-19. At the moment I don’t know anything still, because I don’t know if I can earn enough to just get the rent.”

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