If my calculation is correct today – 8th July 2020 – marks 108 days of lockdown. That’s 9 days in March, 30 days in April, 31 in May, 30 in June and 8 in July. So, what have I done with the time?
Initially I planned to be productive within lockdown constrictions. I never imagined we would have over 108 lockdown days. Admittedly there has been an easing over the last week and everything is beginning to open up. At first I saw lockdown as an opportunity to make a list of tasks undone.
Finish that course I started a year ago. Catch up with friends and relatives. Read all the books piling up by the side of the bed. Try out that new vegan recipe. Practise more challenging yoga postures.
I would write a book. Start a new hobby. Go on a diet. Get rid of all the things that don’t bring me joy. Clear out loft and cellar. Blog … for goodness sake get on with the blog.
Never make to-do lists in a crisis.
Days went by. The list of things-to-do settled under a pile of papers. Few items ticked off. The first two weeks were spent glued to screens broadcasting coronavirus updates only punctuated by meals, cups of tea and bedtime.
Time slowed down. Life got simple. To do lists became uncool.
Quiet warped Eden
The world went very quiet. Time warped both disturbingly and deliciously depending on mood.
No cars, no buses, no planes, no trains. Just shanks’s pony for transport. But hey, no pollution for goodness sake! Nowhere to go except food shopping and an hour of outside exercise. All in the clean air and under blue skies. What a revelation!
Blue skies abounded and the sun beamed. The daily weather forecast was light relief after the grim Covid statistics. April and May were unseasonably hot with a a couple of record-breaking days. In the garden we found a new Eden where the grim reaper didn’t stalk. We could grow veggies. Get back to the Good Life. Seeds, seedlings, rain and sunshine became our new vocabulary. More immediate practical dilemmas became our raison d’être. Should we order non-essential seed packets and compost? Should we be buying seed trays, vermiculite and seaweed fertiliser or more toilet roll? After much soul-searching we decided it was ok. Self-sufficiency was ok. Growing veggies was ok. Growing toilet rolls not ok – alas.
A ZOOMING good time
If I was to teach or participate in a group social event during lockdown then to ZOOM or not was the big question. To my dismay I discovered many of my students are technophobes. So my creative plans for my business bombed. Obviously I had targeted the wrong generation. Despite this disappointment I became friends with ZOOM for my own social sanity. For instance I ZOOMED into people’s living rooms and sheds all around the globe dancing with tiny gyrating figures in rectangles. Well, it was weird especially when dancing face-to-face in a breakout room to break the ice! In order to get social solace I joined a ZOOM workshop about online yoga. Yet again not much social interaction just a few terse conversations in the chat box! Further to this experience I ZOOMED-out in an online yoga retreat. Result! All in all a zooming good time!
Lockdown neighbours – friend and foe
We became more neighbourly. Skills were swapped – yoga lesson for a recipe; garden advice for home-made wine. We raised glasses to drown our sorrows and … boredom. Hopes and fears and Covid news stories shared. Thursday evening we jointly applauded the nation’s heroes. However, it was the rats – our common enemy – that made us really pull together with wartime gusto. Rallying together our first attack was with peppermint oil and chopped onions. As a result a calm descended. No more rats’ tails in broad daylight. But the daring foe was hungry and regrouping. Our second assault with rat cages proved more effective. But alas, the pests persisted. Trips to the local wood to release ratty became our daily exercise and numbers were ratcheting up [sic]. Time for the professionals. The war cabinet took time to agree strategy. By the time a decision happened the rats were back at the re-opened restaurant bins.
It’s all in the response
Despite all the frustrations resulting from lockdown, there are many positives that have come out of restriction. Perhaps the most important plus is what happens within you. In other words how you respond to the situation emotionally and how that brings about change.
For an introvert this period of social restriction has probably been a gift. On the other hand for an extrovert lockdown may have proved to be hell. However hard or easy 108 days of lockdown has been what is most certain is that the majority of people will have found themselves reflecting on their individual lives. What’s more, people will almost certainly be thinking how normal life might change.
Indeed, we have already seen ‘new normals’ created. But are these changes those we welcome? If not, then we have a responsibility to ensure that in the future we have more of a say in what becomes normal.
The status quo is crumbling. Crisis often creates opportunity to build a better world. Look within at your responses during these 108 days. What changes would you like to be a reality in the future? Certainly a rat-free one!