So we are three weeks into lockdown 3. How is treating us? And how is it treating you?
The third national lockdown wasn’t entirely unexpected. Anyone who was taken by surprise by it clearly wasn’t watching the news. With Covid-19 infections and deaths soaring during December, and hospitals and NHS staff being pushed to their limits, it felt pretty much inevitable.
I’ve heard of a lot of people finding lockdown 3 harder than the first lockdown in March and April last year. I can certainly understand that. For one thing, it’s winter. The weather is cold and the days are dark. We were very lucky with the weather during the first lockdown. It also had a certain novelty about it, that whole ‘we’re in this together’ spirit. There was lots of people doing amazing things to support their communities, while others were entertaining us with their videos of silly things like making tunes with their washing machines and putting tea bags into cups with golf clubs.
But the novelty has really worn off now, hasn’t it?
It seems that there is far less of the fun stuff and far less people giving their time to support their communities.
It’s just same old-same old as we approach a year of living under coronavirus restrictions.
For me personally, I’m not finding it that hard. I think we’ve grown so used to living under these restrictions – whether lockdowns or tiers (although wasn’t lockdown 2 really tame in comparison?!) that it doesn’t even feel that different any more.
Of course I’m lucky that I don’t have to home school my kids. Yes, I have two kids at home, but they do their online lessons without any supervision or input from me. I really don’t think my input on A Level biology or GCSE maths would be much help!
I’m also lucky that my own work hasn’t dried up, so I am able to keep working at home, as I’ve done for the last seven years. My husband and son are both going out to work, so we haven’t even got a whole house full of people getting on each others’ nerves.
I think it will be a miracle if the kids go back to school before Easter, but I do really hope they go back to school afterwards. My kids are coping remarkably well with lockdown 3. They go for their walks every day, they do their online lessons, my son practises sprints in the road and they do indoor fitness routines too. They are happy in each others’ company too, which really helps us all.
But I am aware that covid has robbed them of a year of their lives at a really important time for them developmentally and socially. They will never get this year back – or the months of restrictions which I fear are still to come. My son has missed more than anyone – his GCSEs, his prom, his rugby tour and countless athletics competitions – including the chance to compete at nationals. He’s missed the rite of passage of year 12 parties. He will never know if he could have passed his driving test as quickly as his brother did.
Instead, he’s got endless countryside walks with his sister, crime dramas with his parents and a lot of gaming.
As a family, we are trying to embrace TV a bit more. I know that sounds strange, but we’re not big TV watchers. My husband and eldest would watch football all day – sometimes they do. My younger son and I very rarely watch TV. But there are some great crime dramas out there, not to mention the sheer joy of Junior Bake Off. TV takes our minds off the restrictions and kills a bit of time too.
I suspect this lockdown in its current form will go on until at least the middle of March and probably well into April. I know that restrictions will be eased slowly. There won’t be any Eat Out to Help Out this time round. There’s going to be a lot more cancellations this year before we get back to anything resembling normal.
But in our house at least, we are doing OK.
It certainly helps that I really KNOW the reason for lockdown. Not just know through watching TV, but know through the fear, sadness and anger of having a family member seriously ill in hospital with Covid. My dad’s illness was probably the worst time of my life and I’m so grateful that he pulled through and is getting better every day. I’m also grateful that he was in hospital when he was and not even two or three weeks later. If the hospital had been under as much pressure as they are now when my dad was in, would he even be here any more?
And that’s why I’m OK with lockdown 3 and will follow the rules for as long as it takes.