Life from a distance

19 May 2020


For most of us, being cut off from our loved ones as soon as Covid-19 restrictions hit was extraordinarily painful.

We couldn’t have family round for dinner; we couldn’t meet friends for games and a catch up at the park.

The simplest of things that we all took for granted were gone – and every one of us felt it.

Predictably, the isolation forced upon us has been compared with the loneliness felt by seafarers, with contracts parting them from their relatives for many months at a time.

Those of us who have expressed genuine care and sympathy at such distance have had a glimpse of what living with that can be like and how it affects us on every level.

Of course, the truth is that Covid-19 delivered a deep layer of isolation to all of us, including the already isolated.

Seafarers with contracts at an end are unable to get home; others stranded on ships not allowed into port and the little face to face contact with people other than crewmates has been greatly reduced.

So whatever loss many of us felt, they have been one step ahead.

Our gratitude to our key workers of the sea, our wonder at their resilience, and our insight, however small, into a world where family dinners and park picnics are off the menu, will be one of the great lessons of the past few months. Seafarers – we salute you. 

The maritime charity column is a new regular feature in the Nautilus Telegraph. Submissions will be invited from a range of organisations by the Telegraph editor.



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