Last March I went into my local Sainsbury’s and came out with these items. The items have no significance really, but the trolley does. It is practically empty, and not by choice. These were the only items on my lists that were available, and as for toilet roll – need I say more?

Toilet roll was like Gold Dust.

I remember once having to pay £19 for a pack of 9 toilet rolls, and that was on a day that I was fortunate enough to find a place that had some in stock. Fortunate! How can I refer to being robbed as being fortunate? This question definitely begs an answer, but sadly, no one can provide an answer that justifies being taken advantage of in a crisis, a time when we should all be pulling together.

To further add salt to my wounds (and most likely yours) were the queues we had to endure to acquire a pathetic looking trolley and our expensive toilet paper.

A year on, March 2021, we find ourselves looking back, I reflect on how many heroes were highlighted through this Worldwide long-lasting trial. I think about our NHS heroes, Captain (Sir) Tom Moore, the individuals in our communities who cooked and provided food for so many, those who helped our shielding neighbours pick up their prescriptions and groceries, those who participated in rolling out the vaccine program, and those who campaigned for the reluctant members of our nation to come forward and have their jabs. The list of heroes and contributors goes on and I am reminded that my toilet roll upset now pales into insignificance, and that it might just have been that the price of acquiring the stock for the shopkeepers may have been inflated at source due to the shortage and demand. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter anymore.

We have lost so many loved ones, and some of us were hospitalised and went through a terrible ordeal. Mental health issues have been on the rise and our children’s education and life experience have been impacted. We have been through 3 lockdowns, and quite a few of us suffered a huge loss financially when our businesses had to close, or furlough meant 20% less income. Gosh, it has been tough for everyone in one way or another.

We have come through a lot over the last year, and we have done this together despite being separated. Our trolleys no longer look sparse, and most things if not all are available on our supermarket shelves to buy. Things are looking up!

Let’s continue to be positive and try our best to be resilient. Our mental health has taken a beating, but we can fight back. Some of us may need to have T.E.A, and some of us may need additional support, but whatever we need there is a way forward.

Let’s remember that a year on from my trolley experience, the queues have disappeared, and the toilet rolls have reappeared.