Fenland author documents year of Covid crisis in new book
Wisbech author Richard Humphries believes that most readers of his new book ‘Journal of our Plague Year 2020-2021’ may not even have been born yet.
For what began life as a social history project details a subject with which we are all too familiar - the Covid crisis of 2020 -2021 - and charts the way he saw his own family gradually disintegrate over 12 months.
He said: "It really was a most extraordinary time and I felt it just had to be recorded. We all had a shared experience and yet every family’s story is different. Some came through it relatively unscathed while others suffered devastating losses. It was warfare unlike any other because we were told the way to beat this unseen enemy was simply by staying at home.
"Future generations will want to know how we coped and perhaps how they can learn from our experience.
WHow did the various lockdowns affect us? How did being shut-up for weeks on end affect family relationships? What effect did it have on our mental health and so on?
"Whatever our personal experience it reshaped our lives and we revised our values. The things we previously felt important really didn’t count for much any more. We learned who our true friends were and simple things, such as birdsong and a blue sky, took on a new importance.
"We each survived in our own way but it involved a great deal of soul- searching. And we didn’t all come through it as well as we would have liked."
The title of the book is a nod towards novelist and journalist Daniel Defoe (best known as the author of ‘Robinson Crusoe’), whose 1722 book ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’ was based on records of London’s Great Plague of 1665, which devastated the country when Defoe himself was a boy.
‘Journal of our Plague Year 2020 - 2021’ a candid, day-by-day, personal account of one family’s journey through the coronavirus pandemic, is available from Friday October 1 as a Kindle e-book through the Amazon Bookstore, price £7.99 and also as a colour-illustrated paperback.
Richard’s next novel, ‘The Elephant, the Oik and a ginger pussy’, is due for publication later this year.