Covid-19 lockdown: Stephen Fry tells Norfolk school staff 'be kind to yourself'

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Stephen FryImage source, JEFF OVERS/BBC
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The entertainer sent the "words of encouragement" to staff at two academy trusts in Norfolk

Stephen Fry has urged people not to feel "inadequate" during England's third lockdown.

The actor, writer and television presenter, who has a home in Norfolk, sent a message to staff at two academy trusts in the county in an attempt to boost morale among the key workers.

Fry stressed that people should not compare themselves adversely to those they see doing "all that baking and exercising" on social media.

Staff said the message was "inspiring".

Fry wrote: "Don't ever fall into the trap of thinking that you're somehow 'failing' or 'getting lockdown wrong'.

"It can be off-putting submitting oneself to the window of social media through which other people's lives can seem so healthy, happy and efficient.

"All that baking and exercising that other people are doing - it can make one feel inadequate."

Image source, Science Photo Library/BBC
Image caption,
Fry urged staff not to get caught up with what others post on social media during lockdown, such as exercising and baking

Fry said everyone was getting through lockdown "in our own way" which for most meant "good days, OK days, bad days and awful days".

"Let oneself have those bad days without feeling guilty and letting self-annoyance make them worse," he said.

Fry said he was spending lockdown reading historical novels, watching old TV series like Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie dramas, listening to jazz and classical music while drinking "pints and pints" of oat milk to boost his mood.

Oliver Burwood, chief executive of DNEAT said the "words of encouragement" from the star had been "really inspiring for staff".

"At a time when everyone is working so hard, these words of positive support will mean so much and will help everyone to keep going," he said.

Richard Cranmer, chief executive of St Benet's, said: "His words should provide reassurance to all of us that those feelings are normal, and to be kind to ourselves."

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