My Lockdown Lowdown
It’s 9.30am on a Tuesday morning. I’m on a Teams call with my colleagues, suitably dressed from the waist upwards, and my husband has just walked past in the background, carrying our ironing board up to his office… this is my reality in 2020. Seventeen weeks on from the first lockdown announcement, I’m looking back on my experience and the highs and lows along the way.
After the initial shock of leaving the office on Monday, to then hear Boris Johnson’s announcement that evening and learning to adapt to working from home for the foreseeable future on the Tuesday, I settled into my new working setup pretty quickly. I created my own space downstairs, whilst my IT support (otherwise known as my husband Andy) remained in the study upstairs (also acting as the music studio after work hours, when the piano came out to play). I have been lucky enough to continue working through lockdown. Working every day has helped me to keep motivated, focused and to maintain most of my normal routine. Through the weeks, I have filled my usual commuting time with activities including baking, painting by numbers and gardening (yes, I seemed to have aged 30 years during this period!) We have also ensured we go out most days for walks around our local area and have explored places we didn’t even know existed until now. I have loved having the time to make these ‘hobbies’ a part of my daily life, and this is one of the main positives I’ll take away and hope to continue with.
Mentally, I was surprised with how difficult at times I found the experience. As a member of a close and large family, I generally see my siblings and parents on a weekly basis at least. Although a Zoom call is great, I still found the lack of contact difficult. I also struggled with a constant worry in the back of my head for the wellbeing of my loved ones, which heightened when my parents displayed severe symptoms of the virus.
One of the lasting memories I’ll take away from this year, is the image of our next-door neighbour returning from hospital following 35 days in intensive care after he caught corona virus. We had heard the shocking news after he had been in hospital for a few days. Daily updates from his wife about his progress and dips in health served as a constant reminder of the severity of the situation and how lucky we were to be safe and healthy. On day 35, we received a message from his wife with the wonderful news that he was being discharged from hospital. She asked all the neighbours to clap at their front doors to show their support on his return. Hearing their car coming down our road we ran to the front door, where we were overwhelmed with the number of people outside their houses, and the sound of the street’s collective claps and cheers. I must admit my emotions finally got the better off me when his two children ran out of the house and hugged him as tightly as they could, and they all broke down into tears.
This memory will forever remind me of not only the importance of family, but of people’s kindness and willingness to sacrifice their own safety and well-being to help others. My friends who work for the NHS or are key workers have truly amazed me throughout this period, and I think the whole country has a new found respect for the work they do.
So as normal life begins to resume, I like to think I will emerge from this bizarre time with a few more hobbies, a reminder to always show kindness to others and a new-found love of piano music…