The plan was to spend a couple of months in Italy at the start of the year and then begin promoting the book in March. It’s fair to say it was all going swimmingly until I broke my leg on a ski slope and then a week later the entire country, along with the rest of Europe, was placed into lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
There were a few wobbly days at the start, but settling down into a routine has helped enormously, and I have been determined to turn the situation into a positive. I’ve forced myself to start writing another book, and have set a number of other goals to be achieved upon the lifting of the quarantine. Nothing grandiose, just simple targets such as writing a certain amount of words each day and completing set exercise routines to work around the leg.
With a two week head start on the situation as it unfolds in the UK, I have been in a position to offer some guidance to friends and family back home of what is heading their way, and am doing my best to stay in touch with everyone and offer support where I can.
Keeping me sane at the moment are my wife and cat, my phone, with the ability to FaceTime, and the weights and dumbbells I brought to this apartment ostensibly to exercise with at weekends; which are now getting used daily.
Having a virtual beer with my dad and friends has helped close the distance, and there is something to be said for actually seeing faces; the three of us here are in such a remote area we see other people perhaps once a week only when heading into town to get supplies.
Routine has been key, as has limiting exposure to social media, and using any opportunity to get a workout in. Although I am predominantly a remote worker anyway, the current situation has significantly disrupted efforts to speak about my book at events, seminars and conferences, which have all been cancelled.
To overcome this I have held virtual meetings with as many people in the cannabis industry as possible, keeping connections alive, and have also enjoyed chats with entirely new contacts who are going through the same thing.
The cannabis industry had been barreling along like a runaway freight train until coronavirus ground activity to a halt, and there has been a huge collective drawing of breath as we count our blessings and consider how the regulatory picture may shift as a result of the upheaval heading into 2021.
These are quite unprecedented times and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the situation, but taking time to speak with friends and family, and trying to introduce a little more escapism into daily life, perhaps with a book or a spot of exercise, can make all the difference.
Mark is the author of Bloomsbury Professional Law Insight - Cannabis Law and Regulation