Coronavirus: Looking back on a year of lockdowns and restrictions

There seems to be so much to say about coronavirus. I wrote last week about the general madness and frustration of 2020. Today I want to reflect on our experience of the many months of lockdowns and restrictions.

At this point I should say that I am lucky. I appreciate that and I would never claim to be anything other than lucky. All three adults in the household are working. We own our own home with a garden and we have enough space and food to endure lockdown and whatever it can throw at us.

I’m a person that always likes to be doing something. And by ‘doing something’ I mean running or walking. My requirements aren’t any more than that. As long as I can get out in the fresh air, I’m pretty happy.

I was actually surprised with how well I coped with then initial lockdown in March. Which went on until April, then May and into June. About once a week, I would wake up, remember that we were still in lockdown and have a little cry. Bu then I would just get on with things. The weeks went surprisingly quickly, considering how little there was to do. I used to dread the weekends a bit, as there was even less to do. But at the end of the weekend, I would dread the weeks starting again.

If you’d told me at the outset that the initial lockdown would last three months, I wouldn’t have known how I could cope. But I did cope, because it just went from one day to the next, one week to the next.

All five of us were at home, and my son was furloughed for three full months. My husband and I kept working. My son’s GCSEs were cancelled, so he kept himself ‘busy’ with gaming and the internet. My daughter had schoolwork, but for most of the time, she didn’t have much. The school only really got a grip of it and gave a decent amount of work after May half term.

Initially, we were only allowed to exercise once a day, and that was hard for me. I exercise outdoors three times a day, every day. For me, a run first thing in the morning is so important for clearing my head and setting me up for the day. But then it’s a really long day without any more exercise. When we were allowed to exercise more than once a day, that was a game changer. We started going for some long walks near home in the evenings and at weekends. I rediscovered walks I hadn’t done since I was a teenager.

Before we knew it, we were in June and ‘lockdown limbo’. We were neither here nor there. The shops opened on 15th June and people gradually braved going back. I was certainly happy to go to Waterstones again. But the kids’ activities didn’t resume and nor did the things I love – parkrun mainly, plus other running events. We felt a bit left behind.

On 4th July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopened. Life was getting back to normal! Not that we rushed to go to the pub, of course.

July and August were good. The coronavirus cases and deaths were right down. The sun was shining. We visited my friend in Weymouth and I even held her baby grandson (which was breaking the rules, but it felt so good!). We made it to Padstow and it was a bit weird. But we were on holiday and that’s all that mattered.

My kids managed three athletics competitions between them and my son got a new long jump PB. It was another bit of normality.

During August, the daily Covid-19 deaths were around eight to 10. There was a steady flow of new cases of around 1,000 a day. But 1,000 out of a population the size of the UK isn’t much, is it?

We went out for a meal for my mum’s birthday at the end of August with my parents, my sister and her family. It was lovely. If I’d known that was the last nice thing we would do together for a really long time, I think I would have savoured it even more.

The kids went back to school and that was a bit weird too. There were so many new rules to follow. After an initial wobble, the kids took it all in their stride.

But the schools, the universities and the pubs were having an effect on the case numbers. Suddenly the coronavirus infections were going up again and our two lovely months of summer and vague normality were well and truly over.

It was time for more restrictions, with the rule of six and tiers. We were in tier 1, which didn’t mean much other than that we couldn’t get together with more than five other people. Which, to be fair, isn’t that convenient for a family of five, because we couldn’t even see both of my parents at the same time unless one of us was out. And of course nobody was out. Because there was nowhere to go.

My daughter didn’t go back to school immediately after half term as she was in self isolation. Which she wasn’t happy about. She managed two weeks and a day at school before being thrust back into another two weeks of self isolation. Some kids love self isolation, but my daughter isn’t one of them. Like me, she thrives on getting outside in the open air. At least we have a garden!

Just as with the first lockdown, I really didn’t predict the second lockdown, but it came along. Four weeks seemed to drag quite a bit. For me personally, not much changed. But the kids were starved of their activities yet again, which they weren’t happy about.

I’m glad that lockdown actually ended when it was supposed to. So here we are in tier 2. The shops are open again, we could eat a meal in a pub with our immediate family, but what would be the point? The good news is that the kids are back at athletics and ballet, which they are very happy about. The gym has reopened, so my husband and son are bac there. We are waiting to see whether or not there will be indoor athletics competitions early next year. Although as the  venues my son competed at last year are in tier 3, that doesn’t look that likely at the moment.

It’s been a crazy year and I don’t think our restrictions will be over for a bit longer yet.

Mask, Selfie, Gromit, Christmas, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Coronavirus restrictions

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. It really has been a crazy year. I think the first full lockdown was easier than the second. At least the sun was shining then and we had more to do around the house. We’re in tier 3 at the moment and it’s made no difference to our life from tier 2. We’re not going out anywhere apart from the local shop and my fella to work. The kids are only seeing their friends at school and college but we’re all healthy so that’s all I can ask for x

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    • That is definitely all you can ask for! We were so lucky with the weather in the first lockdown, it felt like the sun shone the whole time. As we’re in tier 2 my kids can at least go out and do their athletics and ballet, which is the main thing we were missing. x

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  2. I think the positive to come out of the year is to make us all appreciate the things we do have. For us, our local area has been wonderful. We’ve been out and about exploring on foot and on bikes. I do hope that next year will be a lot more normal, particularly after the first few months of the year are out of the way and vaccines have kicked in but like you, I feel very lucky that we were not too badly impacted.

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    • You are very lucky with where you live! It is perfect for times like these. For people who live in flats without gardens or a long way from the countryside it must have been so much harder.
      I can’t wait for the vaccine to start making a difference and for life to hopefully feel a lot more normal in the spring. X

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  3. It certainly has been a difficult and crazy year. Certainly not what we were expecting last hogmanay. I am glad the kids have got in some bits. We have just been moved from tier 4 to tier 3, not sure the difference other than football matches. My youngest had zoom gymnastics and the boys still had football training, but not allowed matches. It is all a bit strange now. The first lockdown was easier and more followed I think. It is hard. Hugs xx

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    • It definitely isn’t what we were expecting! It must be nice to see a bit of progress from tier 4 to tier 3 for you, even though it doesn’t make that much difference to what you can do.
      Here’s hoping the vaccine starts to make a difference soon and 2021 is a much happier and healthier year for everyone. X

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  4. It’s been a strange year hasn’t it? I quite enjoyed lockdown one, but after that I found it all a bit frustrating as I didn’t think things were being handled right. I’m desperate to get away now for a bit of a break as I haven’t travelled further from home than about 7 miles in 9 months, but can’t see that happening till January at the earliest.

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    • Wow, I can’t believe you haven’t been further from home than seven miles away! We haven’t done much, but we did go to Padstow and I did travel for a couple of athletics competitions. Like you, I quite enjoyed the first lockdown, but the latest round of restrictions is getting a bit draining. I know it’s necessary though and I just wish more people actually followed the rules, so we could get back to normal sooner.

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  5. It has been nuts. We’ve been lucky that tennis has mostly been on apart from the 2 strict lockdowns, even with the club sitting in tier 3, N can still play as there are travel exemptions for kids into tier 3, and coaches. I can’t travel to play though (with the courts under 5 mins drive away) as we’re in tier 2.

    The only thing massively impacted was county tennis that was all cancelled due to it being kids and coaches from all over and indoors. We’ve had an email saying they’ll plan to put sessions on next term but as it’ll be fewer kids numbers, it’ll be a higher age group I don’t think N will get in. What’s frustrating is the one tournament he played this year he was put in a more advanced orange half to compete and lost all his matches (although most v close), his team friend came second in the easier part of the draw. He’s a year behind N with only 1 experience of playing in that age, but has to join N due to a change in the way the age groups. So in theory, they could take his results against everyone N can beat including him, and he could get a county place over N. Will be interesting to see how far back they have to go for accepting people or whether they’ll just opt for the few kids who’ve done the training from the start.

    Hopefully Christmas won’t mean more lockdowns in Jan.

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    • I really hope Christmas won’t mean more lockdowns in January, but it does look likely. It’s good that N has still been able to play tennis even though the courts are in Tier 3.
      That is frustrating about the county tennis. I hope they look into things in a bit more detail before making their decisions. Fingers crossed for N!

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