The Low Downs On Lock Downs
Updated: Jan 22, 2021
Well, this is the 8th day of the New Year and we are on day 3 or day 4 into another lockdown here in the UK. Lockdown 3.0! So that basically means so far half of this year already sucks. Well, I did try and warn of the dangers of heading into 2021 with way too much enthusiasm. Not to sound like a pessimist, because I'm far from being a Debbie Downer. So far from being a DD once on a peer to peer evaluation I was criticized for smiling and laughing too much. I didn't know that was a bad thing but considering the person I think wrote the evaluation I'll take it as a lifetime achievement. They were a miserable person. Anyway, me being a Virgo I naturally look at things as they are and try to work on finding the positives. I was positive we were entering 2021 with the same issues, and I'm positive with new guidance we will end 2021 in a much better situation. It was my assumption we wouldn't start seeing the light until six months into the new year. But I didn't think on day 8 we would be in total lockdown. Now the good news is we've done this before and I think we have all gotten better at it. We are no longer terrified of running out of paper products or flour. We now know the grocer is still open and we can still walk to get the things we need which are food and exercise. Anything beyond food and exercise we also know are not permitted. So so far 2021 is seeming like a bust.
But I'm not here to talk about the New Year. I've already written that story. What we are going to talk about today are lockdowns. Before the pandemic the only time I would hear the word lockdown was when watching a prison movie and upon discovering someone escaped they would yell "lock it down!" Or in a movie when they "lockdown" the crime scene. Maybe occasionally you would hear the word lockdown when someone was referring to someone's partner i.e..." you better lock that down!" If you are unfamiliar with this saying let's just say if someone whispers that to your partner it means they think you are hot. It also signals that maybe if it doesn't work out you've got a potential standing right there. But that's not really just the word lockdown. So I guess I can't really remember ever using the pure word lockdown in reference to anything in daily life. Now it's on the list of most frequently used words of 2020.
Now we are familiar with the word and the reality of lockdowns. We've kinda become pros on lockdowns. The first lockdown came with a warning several days ahead for people to prepare. Well, that was sort of a disaster and maybe a bad idea. People panicked and went and bought every paper product they could get their hands on from several different stores. Purchased enough bleach to clean an entire hospital - and that would be the purchased quantity for just one household. Then everyone must have Googled "What do I do to kill time during a pandemic lockdown" and Google must have replied "Bake bread." Sourdough to be specific. Once you've mastered the sourdough move on to some sort of lemon loaf. Which resulted in all the flour, sugar and every other baking required item being completely cleaned off the shelves. What I do not understand is why, during a pandemic when one of the precautions is to wash your hands, were the shelves literally overstocked with soap items. I still find that perplexing. But don't worry, the soap industry didn't suffer, much. I took up the slack and I still have enough Dove soap to see me well into 2021. So the first lockdown we stocked up on every item we could think of only to realise the stores didn't close (no one ever said they would.) We could still go out of the house daily to buy groceries and go for walks. We soon discovered "lockdown" pretty much looked like a snow day. Well, a snow day that lasted over four months - in the summer.
So going into lockdown 2.0 with the lessons learned from 1.0 there were still a couple of lessons to learn. Lockdown 2.0 limited the amount of time we were given a heads up warning as to what may be coming down the pike. But nevertheless, we did receive a few days warning. So of course that gave us just enough time to make some last-minute beauty salon and nail salon appointments. I made the rounds to a few favorite dining-out places. Last-minute dinner parties planned and of course, this being the U.K. crowded pubs taking advantage of those last moments before closing. It's kind of funny listening to all the buzz. You hear neighbors doors opening to greet their last-minute dinner guests. You hear people walking home after leaving the pub they enjoyed down to the last second of closing. It's an interesting sound. The sounds of a neighborhood preparing for lockdown. At first, it's very lively and bright. All WELCOME and HELLO!!!! Laughter "Come in!!" From the gardens you can hear the sounds of glasses clinking. 80's music in the background and the ramblings of many conversations going on at the same time. As the hours creep by and midnight draws nearer bit by bit the sounds dissipate until all you hear are the sounds of cleaning up wine bottles and glasses, doors opening and shutting letting the last of the party guests out unto the streets where you then hear the car doors and the start of engines. Or you hear just the clicking of heels on the pavement as they walk away. Then just before it goes completely silent, drunken laughter wanders down the quiet neighborhood streets coming home from one of the local pubs. And if you listen hard enough you can just about hear the tears drop from English men's faces mourning their last nights out in the pub on the long walk home. The familiarity of the sounds from 1.0 and then 2.0 taught me the approach of lockdown definitely has a sound. It's own unique sounds of people rushing to gather, enjoy and imbibe.
So now here we are! 3.0 and only a few days in. This one was a little different. Because you see this lockdown came with only a few hours of warning. First, we went into tier 4 with very little warning. No time to crowd the nail salons and beauty shops at the last minute. No time to crowd the pubs. I think the officials learned their lessons. Which is, you can't give people too much time to plan. Even with only a few hours warning, I think some people ran to the salons and pubs because they were chocked full. But many of us now recognize the approach of a lockdown. We can smell it a mile away. We start hearing about case numbers and meetings. We know what's possibly coming. I think after being put into tier 4 pretty much most of us had locked ourselves away anyway. So the move from tier 4 to total lockdown we sort of just shrugged our shoulders. Well not all of us. The people with kids began looking at their adorable ones with tears in their eyes as they were listening to the Prime Minister go over the list. Hearing those words they thought they were free from where once again uttered. Home Schooling! Parents all over the country shuddered. Once again you could hear teardrops and cries from parents hiding in cupboards under stairs trying to console each other with wine. Then the thoughts of singletons. Those thoughts accompanied with uncontrollable laughter as they remember all the uncomfortable conversations about "why don't you have children?" and "children are a blessing you know." Those awful thoughts to pop over and check in on their neighbors to make sure they are ok and to say "Aren't you blessed to be able to spend so much time with the blessings?" and then the punch line "Gotta go, Can't believe I need another nap today. I slept in so late." Ahhhhhhh!!!! Well, you hated their dinner parties anyway so you're ok with not ever being invited again.
Lockdown 3.0 is a bit different for me. The previous lockdown I was in Georgia which didn't feel like a lockdown at all. I mean salons, gyms etc...shut, but one could still get in the car and drive around. I think as long as you have the freedom to wander it almost doesn't feel like a lockdown. Wait...sorry because I don't think I said that correctly. IT does feel like a lockdown but a lot better than a quarantine. I did the 14-day quarantine and trust me being able to go outside makes a huge difference. Unless you've quarantined I don't think you appreciate the freedom of just being able to step outside your front door. The freedom to walk to the grocer. As long as I can walk I can just about handle this. I think. Let me see. This is day 3 or 4 with at least another 60+ to go. Well of course I can handle this. I've got this. We've all got it. The truth, if you really want to know, one day we'll look back on this time and think about things we should have done. We will look back and appreciate everything time has given us. Look back on all the naps we should have taken. Appreciate the naps we did take. The long walks in the middle of the day during the weekday. Being able to sit with our children and learn while they are learning. Because one day, which we will realize came quicker than we thought, all this will be in the past. One day we will be back to running from here to there. Having one meeting and then another. Sitting in traffic. Our lives will return to a normal, even if that normal is slightly altered. So during the lockdown, if you can embrace a little bit of that feeling of freedom for yourself. I spent the first lockdown waking up early doing this and doing that. This lockdown I'm going to sleep as late as I want. Take long walks. Stay up late binge-watching - which I rarely do. I'm just going to enjoy being still. I may even learn what the fascination with sourdough is all about. Especially since flour is back on the shelves again. Thank you raiders for not raiding!!!