Lockdown Week One – The Positive Side

It’s just over a week since Boris Johnson put Britain in lockdown.

We all have our own worries and concerns at the moment: health, finances, job security, separation from loved ones, coping with isolation – the list goes on and on. To get through this period we need to focus on the positive things that are emerging from the current situation:

  • An increase in neighbourliness. Many people are looking out for vulnerable neighbours and offering to shop for them. Our street has a What’s App group and the chat last night was how we might organise an outdoor tea party with each of us standing the required social distance apart on our driveways.
  • An upturn in people exercising. Many people seem to have taken the single daily exercise outing as mandatory. I’ve never seen so many people walking the streets before (and most make an effort to keep as socially distant as possible). Hopefully, this will become a habit and improve the health of the nation generally.
  • The opportunity to learn new skills. In the last week I’ve taken part in three Zoom conferences but I’d never heard of this video conferencing facility until the lockdown started. I’ve also filmed myself, via the laptop, for the first time. This was for the speaker bookings’ website Mirthy who are trying to find a way of continuing to to take speakers to older people during the lockdown. Other people are learning online courses, there are a selection of short, free courses from the Open University.
  • Family able to spend more time together. This may be a blessing or a curse depending on the age of the children! With the daily commute gone and school cancelled, there is now the time to spend on bike rides, reading stories, arts and crafts etc. Many youngsters may remember this as a golden time of having their parents’ full attention.
  • Time to play. We’ve resurrected a very old Swingball and my mum tells me she’s got out an old boules set.

    Swingball in the Garden

    Swingball in the Garden

  • Time to stand and stare.

However, we have to remember that none of the above apply to our wonderful key workers across the caring professions, manning supermarkets, delivering goods and keeping our streets safe and clear of rubbish. They are working as normal or even longer hours. Thank you.

Finally, I signed up online to become one of the thousands of NHS volunteers that the government was asking for. Unfortunately I got an email back telling me it had not been possible to verify my identification. So, I may not be who I appear …

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  1. #1 by juliathorley on March 31, 2020 - 1:19 pm

    I know what you mean about the exercise thing; I wonder how many of these johnny-come-latelys to walking will stick at it once we return to normal. I’m loving the rainbows and smiling sun pictures in people’s windows and the way strangers are waving to one another as they zigzag across the road to avoid getting too close. I’m loving, too, that I’m not clockwatching and can eat, sleep, read and – if I must! – work when I feel like it. Business as usual, you say? For the most part, yes. The people I feel sorry for are those who are trapped with family they’ve just realised they can’t stand!.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on March 31, 2020 - 2:51 pm

      I agree with your last sentiment, Juliet. Any relationship that was already a bit rocky will definitely be tested by current circumstances.

  2. #3 by lynnforthauthor on March 31, 2020 - 2:52 pm

    Totally agree with all of this, Sally, I’m an expert Zoomer now, walk every day in the local woods which are springing into life, talk distantly to so may people and neighbours and I have time to sow seeds instead of buying bedding plants. But it all pales into insignificance when you contemplate the big dread that hangs over us all…and the magnificent NHS which we hope will save us.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on April 3, 2020 - 12:25 pm

      Yes, Lynn. Sometimes this sort of feels like a weird holiday (except I’m still doing the day job at home) and then I suddenly remember what it’s all for and that lowers my mood completely.

  3. #5 by nickdaws on April 3, 2020 - 11:14 am

    This post rang a lot of bells for me. Yes, many people around here are doing a daily walk now, and polite zig-zagging to maintain social distancing is now the order of the day! I have also watched two livestreamed concerts from people’s homes and last night took part in an online pub quiz via Skype (which involved learning some new tech skills as well). In a strange way my social life has actually become a lot busier!

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on April 3, 2020 - 12:22 pm

      Yes, Nick. I think if we choose there’s a loads of things online to get involved with. Just be careful not to double book yourself!

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