It’s been a while since I wrote a life in lockdown post. We ended off in the summer, with life vaguely doing some sort of normal, then the children went back to school, the boy started ballet school classes, and we sort of breathed.
In early January of this year, I happened to pick up a news article about a new virus that was circulating in China, that was causing concern. Nobody seemed too worried, but in the back of my head, it didn’t feel right. I said to the husband “this feels like it could be bad”. We happened to be in Singapore when the current Covid19’s cousin SARS was lurking so we had an idea that it could be a serious threat, but we didn’t know how bad it could get. No one did. Denial, and then panic, then life in lockdown, is how I would describe most of the start of the year into summer. We all did lockdown. The world to a great extent stopped. We all stood together, or at least stayed at home, to try and help our health services service and stop the virus from spreading. It mostly worked, after a fashion and virus numbers dropped and we were given reprieve over the summer.
I have always had in the back of my head that despite everyone having a jolly summer, mostly getting on with life, that the virus wasn’t on the wane and that winter would come back. I live with health anxiety and for me, there is always the “waiting for something” to happen.
Viruses live where people are. Viruses spread between people. People are together, the virus thrives. So, when people do normal life, Covid thrives. Sadly, people are getting sick again, our hospitals are facing strain. People are dying.
So, like many countries, who seem rather shellshocked at the idea that we are doing this all over again, we have new rules. We are all living under the threat that we could be made to fully stay at home, schools could shut, shops could close, and all the things we faced once, could happen again.
For now, London is under stricter restritctions as we ride a new wave of the virus that crept up on us. Why we thought it wouldn’t I don’t know but it’s bad, so we have to try and fight it back. We have had social distancing rules in place, but frankly, people have been stupid and selfish and not stuck to them in many ways, and our government has also, to be honest, chopped and changed with rules, not been consistent or supportive, so that hasn’t helped. There is also fatigue. Himan beings need each other and human contact is a part of human nature. Being socially distanced, could, in reality only last so long.
For now, we can’t meet other people. No coffee dates in cafes, no meals out with friends, no poeple over to visit in your home (unless you want to eat dinner in the cold and dark in your garden) and a long list of do’s and don’ts. It’s not full lockdown but for many it does feel like punishment after a summer off. Winter is coming and it’s harder to bear being stuck indoors, when the days are shorter and darker earlier. It was easy to be socially distanced when you could do it in the sunshine. It feels like a slog and a drag now.
We don’t know how long for. We don’t know if it well help. Social media is hotly divided between those who think Covid19 is just bad flu and we need to live with it, and those who, like us, shielded for health reasons who have also lost people we know to this dreadful diseease that medical professionals are still trying to figure out.
We plod on. We have no choice.
Fortunately for now, and we hope it stays that way, schools are open. Children are allowed to do activities, ballet classes carry on so there is still some normal. Their mental health and wellbieng is, again, our priority. We need to get through this winter, like we got through spring and summer.
It’s goning to be tough on a lot of people emotionally. Right now, I am numb. I have done angry, I have done broken and sad. Now I am just numb and resigned.
We don’t face the trauma of not being able to see family. Our parents are abroad. We have chosen not to do to anyone’s homes since lockdown eased, and we have had no one in our home bar the childcare arrangements we are still allowed. So for us, it’s fairly routine, but for many people it’s going to be brutal and I worry about how people are going to manage mentally for the next few months.
I keep trying to remind myself that there is always hope.
When we heard the news, that our freedoms were being restricted again, I cried. I cried for my children, who have dealt with a lot in the past 3 years, and as a parent I feel it’s my job to protect them. How do you protect your kids from a world pandemic that has thrown life as we know it into something we never thought we would face?
So life in lockdown, here we go again.
But maybe, just maybe there is hope. There always has to be hope, doesn’t there?