Welcome to this week’s Fiction Ed’s blog.
This week will mark two years since the “Friend” Team left the office, and began working from home.
It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?
Looking Back At 2020
When I was thinking about this piece, I was looking back at news stories of the UK at the start of the pandemic.
Towns and cities across the UK – and the world – were deserted.
Supermarket shelves were empty, and there were queues at the shops.
Remember pasta, paracetamol, and toilet roll being rationed?
And with no vaccine yet in sight, nightly press conferences kept everyone abreast of what was a fast-moving situation.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, one word that has often been used to describe the situation we’ve found ourselves in, is ‘unprecedented’.
This was so true for us on the “Friend” – in over 150 years of publishing, we’d faced two World Wars and a General Strike, but had never been unable to come to work.
The Early Days
Initially, Fiction Team’s Alan and I discussed if working from home would last two, or three weeks.
Our IT Team set us up to work from home, and we started keeping in touch through our screens.
Then as time went on, different lockdowns, safety levels, and restrictions came and went.
As we remained unable to access the office, our Mail Team kept working behind the scenes, keeping everyone’s submissions tidy and safe.
Keeping Calm, And Carrying On
Thanks to a Team effort, the “Friend” has been able to keep publishing throughout the pandemic.
We’re so grateful to our writers, who continued submitting their stories and poems – we couldn’t have done it without you!
And as we look forward, we are still working from home. When that changes, we’ll let you know here, first.
The day before we left the office, I was trying to get hold of some paracetamol – without success.
Fiction Team’s Tracey leant across the table and gave me one of the two boxes she’d managed to find.
It’s the little kindnesses along the way that have kept us all going, isn’t it?
The spirit of decency and kindness that the “Friend” has championed, since 1869.