Caring during Covid-19 has been a strange experience, but not in the way you might think. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, my mother had been sick with cancer for two years. I was leading almost a double life: at work, I inhabited the “normal” world, where conversations about annual leave quotas or inbox management mattered; outside office hours, my only concerns were preventing fevers, dispensing accurate milligrams of medication and searching for the right words to convince her that her suffering had a purpose.
At first, being a carer seemed alien, as if one morning I’d accidentally woken in someone else’s identity. Then, as the months passed, I could no longer remember what life was like before her illness and the relentless daily grind it engendered. Caring for someone terminally ill is the most crushing experience imaginable: nothing will avert their decline, no matter how tenderly you