Dear Diary: Locked Down

So, the UK has now been on lockdown for three weeks. Or has it been three months? No, wait, I’ve got it. “It’s been 84 years!” Let’s be honest, time no longer has any meaning and I struggle to remember which month it is, let alone which day we’re on.

There may be some people reading this who may not have heard about the current global situation (perhaps you live in a bubble, on a desert island or perhaps the moon – in which case – Lucky you!) For those people, allow me to offer you a little recap on how the world was turned upside down.

In February 2020, we started to hear rumblings in the news about a virus sweeping through China, then Italy, then Europe. With disbelief and a bit of smug skepticism, we watched as country after country locked down and dealt with the aftermath of this terrible disease, always knowing but never quite accepting that it would eventually be our turn in the UK.

As UK cases began to rise, we watched as major sporting events were cancelled and the elderly and vulnerable were advised to go into self-isolation for at least 12 weeks to avoid contracting the virus. From this point on, matters deteriorated rapidly, with the number of confirmed cases (and death count) rising quickly. Updates to the advice and guidance from the government, came thick and fast, with changes often coming before you’d even had a chance to post about them on Twitter.

On the 16th March 2020, Boris Johnson gave the first of many daily briefings and advised people to avoid large gatherings and work from home where ever possible. Theatres and other public places began to close their doors, and other events were cancelled, leading to much disappointment across the county.

Then, on Wednesday 18th March, it was announced that schools would be closing from Monday 23rd March to all students except those children of key workers. On top of this, all summer exams were cancelled across the board. As someone who works in schools (and exams) this was a very bizarre moment and oddly emotional, on the day we said goodbye to staff and students, not really knowing when we would see each other again.

And so now, here we are. Three weeks into lockdown, the advice is to only leave the house for essential reasons i.e you work in a key area, you need essential supplies such as groceries and medicine or to take on period of exercise per day.

I’m not going to lie – it’s weird. Apart from a couple of quick walks around the town I live and one day in work, I haven’t left the house now in over three weeks and I still can’t really believe this is happening.

When I do go outside, it’s usually eerily quiet and I feel like I’m on the set of a post-apocalyptic zombie move. I don’t like it.

At home, it can often feel like nothing much has changed. Me and the girls spend a lot of time in the living room, playing on computers or ipads or watching Disney+. We’ve done A LOT of Lego. We spend some time each day chatting to other family members on FaceTime or WhatsApp video calls. We make the best of a bad situation, but it’s still hard.

We’ve all had wobbles, myself included. A number of things we were looking forward to have been cancelled, with other things in the future still under threat. The girls have had to come to terms with the fact that they can’t see their friends, go to the park or visit their grandparents. I thing one of the hardest parts is not having an end date to work to. We don’t know exactly how long we have to go in the current circumstances and I think we’d all be happier if we could see that little light at the end of the tunnel.

While I’m definitely not putting myself under too much pressure, I am hoping to use this time to achieve something and hopefully come out the other side feeling that I made the most of my time, rather than just letting it slip through my fingers. i’m hoping the blog will be a big oart of that. Whilst it’s only natural that some of my content in the next few months will focus on the current situation and it’s ramifications, I do have plenty of old content still waiting to be published that will hopefully break things up and provide some light relief.

I hope this post finds you all well, staying home and staying safe. I’ll hopefully be seeing you soon!

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