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Sandy Beach

6th August 2020

ali davenport

soul survival guide

writer, poet &


depression and despair soul survival guide

I've created a free piece of writing - soul survival guide: pandemic a-z. It's about the uncertainty and messiness of the times we’re living in. But it also reflects on the good stuff that might come out of it and celebrates the human spirit - the way we keep on keeping on. There's also a series of short videos! 



why I'm taking a holiday from COVID-19

The other night, I searched for somewhere to stay for a few days. I wanted somewhere very soon. Somewhere away, elsewhere; a place to forget about the pandemic and just be.


But unless I was prepared to disappear into the hills and free camp, it was a search for the impossible.


Wherever I go, coronavirus will be there, like an unwanted holiday guest. It’ll affect my accommodation, where I eat and drink, and any sites I visit.


It isn’t a few days away I need – it’s a holiday from COVID-19.


Like many people, my life has been taken over by the pandemic. My job revolves around it. Since it started, I’ve been churning out bulletins packed full of news and updates for parents and carers of disabled children. It’s only part-time and I’ve been glad to play my part, but it’s meant trawling through an excess of coronavirus information every week.


I’ve thought of little else in my own work. In the depths of lockdown, I turned to my writing, creating ‘soul survival guide: pandemic a-z’ and sharing it for free to support people at this time. I followed up by ploughing through my alphabet as a series of short videos. I made it to S and that’s it. I’m done. S is for survival, and it’s time to get on with it.


And then there’s everyday life. It’s there, all the time: on the pavement, in shops, the chemists, hospitals, public transport, coffee shops and restaurants, social media; even adverts. It lingers in the distance between loved ones. It scuppers connection and ruins plans.


In mid-March, a line was drawn across our lives. There was Pre-COVID and now there’s this – and it’s not going away any time soon.


So, I’m booking a holiday from COVID-19, starting at the weekend. I’ve been thinking about what I might do and here are some ideas:


  • When I’m on social media, skip past posts about the pandemic

  • Only watch advert-free television and films and nothing that reminds me of the situation

  • Escape to the countryside, taking picnics so I don’t need to go to shops or eating places

  • Gently disengage from any conversation about the subject

  • Put on some music that I love each day and have a stretch or dance about the lounge

  • Make a film of my garden as a memory of all the plants I’ve grown and nurtured at this time

  • Absorb myself in finding stuff that’s good for the soul to share on social media



These are specific to me, of course. They wouldn’t suit everyone. But I’m sure I’m not the only person feeling like this. What would you do on a holiday from COVID-19?


Of course, holidays come to an end. I’ve recognised that I need to find ways of creating COVID-free zones in my daily life. It’s vital for my mental wellbeing and to sustain me as this goes on.


We’re all still new to this. We don’t know what’s going to happen or how long it will last. Maybe it’s time for you to take a holiday too?

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