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A mug of tea in a snowman mug, a lantern of fairy lights and a laptop with a Christmas image on it.

2020 and I'm still standing (just)

Martin Baum

This year, as I write, I realise what an undertaking it is to round up 2020 in an end of year blog. Covid-19, obviously, has monopolised all but three months of the year which began and ended with me plummeting to the floor with all the refinement of a sack of wet cement.

It’s been like that ever since my knees unilaterally decided against supporting my body weight. It happens from time to time but hero that I am, I go with the flow. I get helped up, calm everyone down from making a fuss, and appreciate not being a coronavirus statistic.

We’ve coped, just as we do living with MS

There is always somebody worse off they say – or was it just my mum and dad? And coronavirus proves the point. Living on that awareness principle has made not being socially active the hallmark of 2020 for me. I am not claiming that either of the two lockdowns were easy, but my wife/carer coped, just as we do living with MS.

Occasionally we hit the metaphorical wall. We bemoaned the isolation, needing to do something to break the monotony of living a life that very quickly came to resemble a Groundhog Day existence. But despite that we have been able to keep it real by remembering that I, as an MSer, had already been there, done it and bought the chuffing t-shirt.

MS and coronavirus don’t do holidays

The fact is MS, like Coronavirus, shares one relevant characteristic: They do not do holidays. Now, being dragged into Tier 4 has made us feel as stuffed as a turkey looking forward to Christmas. But then, putting it into perspective, for us the Yuletide was only ever going to be approached with extreme caution.

While presents were bought online, with no family contact throughout the lockdowns, Christmas was always going to represent a problem for somebody classified as ‘vulnerable’. Deep down I realised that by chucking in my lot by gambling my nine months of social distancing for just one day was always going to be a gamble I wasn’t prepared to take.

All I want for Christmas…

This year, in just four days (today is the 21st) Christmas Day is going to be just like any other socially distanced day. While it is not what I would have wanted - who would have? – what I do want for Christmas is for everyone I cannot be with this year to stay safe and Covid-free.

That way, it should allow me the chance to celebrate Christmas Day with them next year. Surely that’s not too much to ask, is it?


Martin is an MS blogger and influencer. You can read more of his blogs at