The Lockdown Diaries: Week Two

The UK is now entering it’s second week of official lockdown. More measures have been put in place, supermarkets are now enforcing a ‘one person, one trolley’ policy and have placed tape on the floor to enforce the two metre’s apart social distancing rule.

There are rumours and speculation that the lockdown will be extended but at the moment nothing has been confirmed. The NHS are still working tirelessly to tackle this virus, the death toll continues to rise and shows no sign of stopping.

All image credit: Drew Diamond

Day Eight: Sunday 29th March

A complete lazy day for everyone in my house. My parents left the house to go to the supermarket and get more food for us. They were warned not to come in a pair next time and that only one person would be allowed to enter the shop. It looked as though the panic buying of supplies such as pasta and toilet roll had calmed down slightly. My parents said there were less empty shelves and shops seemed well stocked. A sign of the moral panic ending, or a sign that we’re actually just getting used to this surreal life?

We spoke over Facetime with my grandparents as well, they are safe and well in isolation together. We talked about what we do once all this is over. That seem’s like a long way away at the moment, almost like a dream. A pipe dream.

Boredom has set in completely in my house, the house is quieter and we’re running out of activities. The news is reporting nothing but coronavirus, confirmed cases, rising death toll, vulnerable people struggling through. This is a lot of negativity to receive in such a short space of time so we’re starting to pay less and less attention. The bad news is overwhelming and only means we end the day in bad moods.

Day Nine: Monday 30th March

Weather is awful today, nothing but rain for most of the day. I filled most of my morning with activities, I read a bit of my book, cleaned my room but nothing seemed to lift my mood. My boyfriend suggested a short walk to the supermarket, I agreed because I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. The streets are so quiet and peaceful enough that it’s easy to forget we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Taking walks at the moment are very bittersweet, I appreciate the outside and the fresh air even more than usual since the lockdown but I know the streets are only quiet because of the lockdown.

I hadn’t been to any supermarkets since stricter measures had been put in place so I mentally prepared myself. I went to my nearest Tesco, my boyfriend waited outside so I went in alone. There was railing and barricades placed in the middle of the entrance so that either side were separated. Every shop other than Tesco was shut and covered with signs explaining that they’re closed because of coronavirus. Black and yellow tape is stuck down to the floor, all of them two metres apart so that people queue safely.

The Swan Shopping, Centre Yardley, Birmingham

The shop seemed eerie and quiet, staff wore gloves and the shopping baskets were being sanitised and disinfected every time they were touched. Security guards seemed to lurk everywhere, making sure people weren’t buying in bulk.

It’s the closest I’ve been to people outside of my household and to say I was panicking was an understatement. I was very aware that whilst in the supermarket, I was at my most vulnerable with the virus. I was touching products that other people may have touched, standing only inches from other people and I was scared to do both of these things. In any other normal society, I wouldn’t even think twice about it but right now it’s those things that put me most at risk.

My day ended on a personal high, my boyfriend and I finally completed our 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and we were both extremely proud of ourselves. Now to find something else to do…

Day Ten: Tuesday 1st April

I woke up to a new month but still another day of lockdown. We were all very aware that we faced the entire month potentially in lockdown. Although our three weeks of quarantine is due to end this month, we’re all expecting the lockdown to be extended into May. This means that the UK faces spending Easter and St. George’s Day in lockdown. Both of these holidays are bound to be one of the quietest that the country has ever seen.

My boyfriend had booked an appointment to give blood (we had been told it was safe to do so) in Birmingham City centre. He travelled alone and attended his appointment. I questioned him on his experience, it was the only time so far that someone within my household had ventured somewhere that wasn’t a supermarket.

“The streets were bare, no people, no litter, no noise. The only people out and about wore masks and avoided each other like the plague. Police were very present, in the short time I was in the town centre itself I saw at least 15 people. The donor centre had a different feel to it, usually it’s a happy-go-lucky environment, everyone there to do something positive. This time you had to wash your hands to get through the door, then you were isolated into a room and asked a series of questions about your health. Once you pass that stage you were allowed into the main facility and it was business as usual”.

The quote speaks volumes of how our daily life has changed in every way. I was grateful he was back with us safe and secure in our home. I felt comforted knowing that those I hold dear are all safe and sound and I couldn’t help but think of all the people who have lost or are losing someone to this awful illness. One day we will overcome this.

Day Eleven: Wednesday 2nd April

Wednesday was one of my personal worst days. I’d woken up in a sad mood, I was missing my grandparents, missing other members of my family and missing my friends. I try to stay in regular contact with everyone but I can’t help but wonder when I’ll actually be able to see them again. Weeks, months, only time will tell.

My boyfriend and I had bought two cake kits yesterday so that we could occupy ourselves with some baking. One was cherry bakewell and the other was a classic chocolate cake kit. We opted to do the cherry bakewell first and it turned out to be the highlight of our day and we were pleased with the results, it finally made us feel productive.

We then received some news. My boyfriend had booked us a holiday to celebrate my 21st birthday, today we’d received an email to explain that the holiday was unlikely to happen. We have been given the option to reschedule or get a refund. Although holidays are the last thing on my mind right now, I couldn’t help but get upset. Like many other people in the world, I was facing the possibly of having my 21st birthday, a big milestone in my life, during a pandemic.

Day Twelve: Thursday 3rd April

I woke up feeling extremely lazy, more lazy than usual. I decided to spend my day exercising and being more productive. I quickly dressed and proceeded to make myself lunch, I’ve realised that through laziness my diet has been gradually getting worse. This is something I’ve been trying to change during my time in quarantine.

Luckily for me, my boyfriend was a semi professional kick boxer so today was the day I had my first ever kick boxing session. I’d never ever done it before and I felt refreshed at learning and doing something new. I knew my muscles would ache and my arms would hurt but I didn’t mind at all. I felt more motivated than I’ve felt this entire time.

Today was also the second time during the outbreak that the UK took a moment to once again stand on our doorsteps or open our windows wide and clap for our NHS and all their hard work. It was just as poignant as last weeks clap, if anything there seemed to be more people joining in this time as the seriousness of this pandemic begins to impact everyone more.

I was still feeling motivated from my mini kick boxing workout so decided to go for a small run on the treadmill we have at home. I made sure to stretch before and after to give my muscles the best possible chance at not being too strained the next day. It’s the first time I slept feeling like I’d made the most of my day.

Day Thirteen: Friday 4th April

I woke up and gave myself a long lie in, let’s be honest I’ve got absolutely nothing to get up for right now so I might as well take advantage of the extra sleep. I spent most of my morning lounging around watching films, reading a bit and spent most of my day wrapped up in my duvet.

The news is still filled with nothing but coronavirus, the rising death toll and the increasing number of confirmed cases. Any other program that isn’t coronavirus related is plagued with adverts reminding us to stay at home and protect the NHS.

We ordered a takeaway tonight and we had to ask the deliverer to leave our food on the doorstep so we could limit contact with him. This is something we would never have had to do a few weeks ago. The madness that coronavirus has created in the world continues to shock me, life as we know it will never be the same. People will be talking about the global pandemic of 2020 for years after this is over.

Our day ended the same as most of our Friday’s end, sat at the dinner table, drinking and doing our best to be normal while the abnormal happens around us. I introduced my parents to Cards Against Humanity, a popular but controversial card game which provided us with lots of fun and laughs. It was the perfect way to end our second week of lockdown.

Day Fourteen: Saturday 4th April

My mum and I decided to spend our Saturday cleaning the house. We vacuumed, polished, scrubbed and washed all day. My dad and my boyfriend helped us and the house was clean and feeling fresh. The least we can do make sure the environment we’re currently quarantined in is clean and tidy.

My boyfriend and I went for a short walk to a park a few minutes from my house, we enforced the social distancing rules that the government have introduced and stayed away from everyone who crossed our path. The park we visited had a farm and although the farm was shut, we could still see some of the animals. A small field was full of cows and a small pony.

The farm was peaceful, away from all the media and all the noise. It was just quiet and peaceful. The animals happily grazed the grass, completely unaware of everything that is currently going on in the world. We made sure not to touch anything or any of the animals, despite them coming towards us. A lot of animals are probably wondering why people have stopped visiting and touching them.

The walk to the farm a helped me to clear my mind and get a sense of clarity. In the future, we’ll be able to visit farms and touch animals again. This entire situation is temporary and although life is weird and unnatural at the moment, things will eventually go back to normal.

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