LOCKDOWN SURVIVING (THOUGH NOT QUITE THRIVING)
Lockdown happened at a less than ideal time in my life. Following retirement, I had slowly but surely begun to find activities and interests in my life. My experience of lockdown was
that it put on hold many things and I often felt that things had been removed and replaced
with nothing. Overall it has been a difficult time but rather than be negative in these thoughts, I will try to be positive - or failing that at least to be as honest as possible!
My wife's work meant that we, as a family, had to be hugely conscientious in adhering to
Government guidance. My oldest son normally alternates between living with us and his
partner’s family. As his partner was in the group being shielded he chose to stay with him so
we did not see him for nearly three months. My youngest son had to be reminded from time
to time about boundaries. My oldest son’s godmother passed away having contracted the
virus while in hospital. We watched the funeral service online and the lady leading the
service did an excellent job in describing her life and personality.
During lockdown there were many things I missed (Starbucks, libraries, cinema, TV football
and Rat Records in Camberwell to name a few). Getting involved in the University of the
Third Age had to be put on hold. I trimmed my own hair and ate lots of ice cream. I binged on TV box sets (Line of Duty, Peep Show and the wonderful Normal People). I am still working my way through The Sopranos. I did not read or listen to as much music as I thought I would. On You Tube I watched several documentaries about Angela Davis and the Black
Panthers and I convinced myself an American revolution was imminent!
I found the weekly Clap for the NHS very meaningful though I was disappointed that (as far
as I could tell) nobody on my road joined my son and I in taking the knee on a Wednesday
evening. On several occasions I was able to distribute items from the fantastic Copleston
Shelf to people being supported by Christians Against Poverty. Overall I did not experience
the greater sense of community sections of the media were very keen to talk about.
On occasions I felt sad to think of all the people who had died and their loved ones. In my
isolation (a strong underlying emotion) I wondered about all the people without food and
shelter and human contact. I felt angry (and still do) about the lack of joined up thinking
which led to so many being discharged from hospital wards to die in care homes.
I did lots of jigsaws and collages and took up buying newspapers,rotating between the
Guardian,the Times and the Daily Telegraph. The latter, one day, contained an article I
disagreed with and I sent a letter giving my perspective. Two days later my letter was
published. What was odd was that I got an email saying my letter had been received but not
that it had been published - presumably the belief was that I must be a regular reader of their