Has lockdown ended?

Every week, I give an update on how many weeks into lockdown we are. Six weeks, nine weeks, 11 weeks… But lockdown restrictions have eased a fair bit over the last few weeks. So has lockdown actually ended? When do we actually reach a point when we can say that we’re out of lockdown?

Do you remember when there was the vocal minority, when we were only three weeks in, who were calling it for to be lifted? There didn’t seem to be any comprehension that there would be a gradual lifting. They thought that things would be closed for three weeks, then everybody could immediately go back to the pub and the cinema and have all of their friends round to their house for a party. Well that was clearly never going to happen.

They may be the same people who, as soon as they were told they could meet one friend outdoors, packed up their picnics and headed for the beach with six friends. And hundreds of others who’d had the exact same idea.

On the other hand, there are the people who, 11 weeks in, are still too scared to still leave the safety of their houses and gardens, despite not actually being shielded.

And, of course, there is the sizeable minority of people who are shielding. They have just been told they can leave the house once a day, with a family member or one person from outside their house. For them, lockdown is still very far from over.

When I need a sensible answer to a question, I ask my 16 year old son. You know how teenagers know everything? Well, mine actually does. He is calm, sensible and thoughtful. He knows a lot of stuff and is also a very clear thinker. He can analyse a situation and come up with a very clear and measured answer. Over the last couple of years, we have all started to rely on him as being the clever and sensible one who can answer all of our questions.

So does my sensible son think lockdown is over? After all, he could go out and meet five of his friends in a park or hang out with them in our garden.

Well as far as my son is concerned, lockdown hasn’t ended. And I think I agree with him. A lot has changed, but we still have a way to go.

My son has a group of 10 friends. For him, lockdown will be over when he can meet all of them at the same time.

A few kids went back to school last week and non-essential shops, including clothes shops and department stores, will be able to open from next week.

Will it actually be over when we can go into Marks & Spencer and buy a pair of knickers? It won’t really feel as though we are in lockdown if we can wander in and out of shops and buy whatever we want.

But my daughter, like most kids, still isn’t at school. That’s not because I’ve chosen to keep her at home, it’s because year 9s aren’t going back until September.

My son still can’t do athletics training – training in small groups is allowed, but the stadium is still closed and sandpits are completely off limits for now.

We still can’t go to the pub, a restaurant, the cinema, the swimming pool or the theatre.

Cheltenham half marathon (on 20th September) has been called off and there’s still no parkrun.

We can’t stay overnight in a hotel and it’s not yet clear whether we will be able to go to Padstow in August (even though we’re self-catering). But, believe me, if we are allowed to go, we most definitely will be going! Even if there isn’t much open, we will still enjoy it. If we can cope with weeks at home in lockdown with nothing open, we can certainly cope with a week in our favourite place without much open.

So has lockdown ended? Even though increasing numbers of people are now at work and more things are opening, I think we are still just about in lockdown. At some point in the near future, I think we will be able to say that we’re out of lockdown, just with a few things still closed. When that will be, I’m not quite sure.

What do you think? Are we still in lockdown?

Lockdown, Has lockdown ended

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Sarah,

    Using the word “lockdown” was meant to give us the impression that the authorities were well on top of the situation. I don’t know that it was ever precisely defined. Britain is an island, so we could have isolated ourselves quite rigorously, but we didn’t — airports remained open.
    If we still have to maintain “social distancing” (or “physical distancing” as I prefer to call it), I don’t see how restaurants, theatres and various other businesses will be able to make a living. Nor do I understand how schools, especially primary schools, can get back to normal. (In September, a new cohort of four-year-olds is supposed to arrive in Reception, all of them pretty much oblivious to the dangers of the virus.)
    I’m looking forward to a partly-liquid lunch at my favourite pub. I’m also looking forward to meeting my cousin Naomi face-to-face, and our usual hello and goodbye kisses — but as she’s 70+ and asthmatic, I suspect we’ll have to wait some time yet.
    For the foreseeable future, I don’t plan to go anywhere other than on foot or in my car.

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    • We definitely could have had a stricter lockdown. It is still a huge step up before pubs, restaurants and theatres can open. I do hope it happens eventually. I think secondary schools will have a challenging time too because kids have to keep moving round for their lessons and a lot of the classes are with different groups. The corridors are always so tight and crowded!
      I really hope you get to see your cousin soon.

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  2. Oh I loved reading that about your teenage son, how wonderful that he really does know everything and is so sensible. Teenagers get too much of a bad press, it’s always great to read the opposite! And I agree with him too, it’s not really over at all. But I can’t help but wonder how long it will really be before things are ‘normal’. I think we’re a long way off yet, even if we can buy knickers.

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    • Thanks very much. My son is brilliant. I am very grateful for him because the other two argue a lot. I’m starting to wonder if it will be the end of the year before anything is ‘normal’ again. I must admit I’m quite worried about whether panto will be able to go ahead! x

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  3. It is confusing about whether we’re in lockdown or not. I agree with your son, we are still on lock down. He is a very sensible lad. There is changes happening but life is not back to anything close to normal and I think it will be next year or even longer until it is.

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    • I think you’re right that it will probably be next year before we are back to ‘normal’. Things have definitely eased a bit, and it will feel different again when the shops open, but there is still so much stuff that we can’t do.

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  4. As you rightly said lockdown is far from over for us shielding, though in the past week I can see a very small light at the end of the tunnel. I think that is down to the small changes that have begun happening, but as a family we are very much still in lockdown. I think I will see it as being over when the husband goes back into work instead of working for 8 hours each day in the playroom, and when Katie can meet up with her friends again. That will certainly be a good day for her x

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    • Glad to hear you are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It must still feel like a very long road back to normality for you. I hope Katie can meet up with her friends again very soon. x

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  5. I agree our 16 year old is very knowledgeable and someone to listen to. I don’t believe we were ever truly in lockdown and am concerned that I don’t know what has actually changed in terms of the virus to change the behaviour of so many people. I went into our Sainsbury’s and apart from the actual in and out and tills it was a nightmare – people everywhere, acting as if there wasn’t a virus!

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    • It’s good to hear that other people have sensible and knowledgeable 16 year olds too. The death rate and the infection rate have come down a long way in recent weeks, but the risk is definitely still there – including the risk of a second peak.

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  6. Still in lockdown as far as I’m concerned. Once I was allowed I drove to see my Dad for a “socially distanced” walk in his local park, wearing my running buff over my face throughout, as an extra precaution just in case I had the virus without realising. But it is a long round-trip when you’re not even allowed to go indoors to the bathroom. And has been very hard all this length of time as my Mum died early this year, but I’ve been phoning him every day. Lockdown will end in my book, when I can see him properly without him being scared of the risk.

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    • That must be really hard for all of you. So sorry to hear about your mum. I thought the guidance said you are allowed into someone’s house just to use the toilet, then you have to thoroughly clean up afterwards. Sadly I think it will be a while before we allowed to see people properly without being scared of the risk.

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  7. As far as I’m concerned we’re still in lockdown, although things are easing. We still can’t go to work (and probably won’t til Sept), won’t be going camping (no point as we’re due to go in a group and chances are we might not be able to use the luxury facilities we’ve booked – there’s only so much slumming it I can take on holiday, and N isn’t back at school, limited tennis is available. They’re also still saying keep working from home if you can, and going shopping is meant to be lone shopping not family/couples, but you know that’s not going to happen. I think it’s being eased too fast, but I guess we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

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    • It’s definitely more lockdown than not at the moment, but things have definitely moved on a lot in the last few weeks. The infection and death rates are certainly heading in the right direction, so let’s hope lockdown is being eased at the right rate and there won’t be any more spikes.

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  8. To be fair, we were never technically under ‘lockdown’ and I think the restrictions should have started sooner and been much stricter. Hundreds of people are dying every day, thousands are being diagnosed every day. Every. Day. The government is less than useless and the general public even worse. We can’t be trusted to follow rules let alone make our own interpretations of what we can do. I’m an NHS keyworker and have had to work throughout. I wish I had the luxury of being able to stay at home and keep my family safe. It’s not a lot to ask is it?

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    • So sorry to hear you have had to go through this on the frontline. It must be so hard. We definitely should have gone into lockdown earlier and our restrictions certainly weren’t as strict as some countries. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for people in countries who were totally unable to go out for exercise and their kids didn’t even go outside for six weeks. No doubt it really helped keep the numbers down though.
      People’s interpretations of the current rules certainly do vary a lot and there are plenty of people not obeying them.

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