I don’t know about any of you but having, all through lockdown, longed to get out and socialise, I am now feeling slightly overwhelmed by the thought of lockdown lifting and thus organising a social diary. I have got too used to being at home, in the garden, with supermarket deliveries, occasional dog walks with friends, and now that my children can visit, I am content. What more do I need or even want? Before I go on, I freely admit that I have been lucky, and I fully appreciate all that I have and that so many others have lost loved ones and jobs and do not live in a conducive environment for their mental wellbeing. However, we are now being encouraged to start picking up the pieces in an attempt to return to normal life. But what is normal going to be, and why am I not convinced about returning to this lifestyle?
Is it my confidence to venture out that has taken a knock? I would be considered, by my friends, as quite a gregarious person. However, my party spirit has evaporated – the occasional coffee or glass of wine with close friends seems to suffice my socialising needs right now. I have enjoyed waking up and not having to look in my diary to see what I have got planned. I have hardly worn my watch throughout lockdown and have been governed by my stomach and the sun or an enquiring but patient husband as to the time of the next meal.
Maybe it is the constant ‘Be wary’ messages from the government or perhaps the very varied messages coming from so-called experts on whether the vaccine works against all these new variants. Only today, I read that we are predicted to have another wave of Covid in late July/August. Is this stopping me from returning to my pre-pandemic lifestyle? We have been scared into this isolation, and our only conversation has been Covid. We don’t even have the Trump Twitter feed to rant and/or laugh about now. Our friends have stopped forwarding those endless brilliant and humorous videos. I wonder when we will return to normal conversation, not having to ask if someone is happy to be hugged, or worry about whether they are anti-vaxxers and so not mention my second vaccination date (it’s becoming as divisive as Brexit.)
I am not a natural hermit, and I have not succumbed to the completely ‘go natural’ look during the lockdown. I have been seen by the supermarket delivery man and fellow dog-walkers wearing a touch of make-up. I haven’t put on pandemic pounds as I have walked and done Yoga fairly obsessively. Nor have I gone for the baggy, slouchy look in my daily dressing. I do like to look in the mirror and see a semi-decent face smiling back. I have had more time to indulge in my skincare; taking daily collagen doses is my new thing, but I have not slapped on the makeup. A tinted moisturiser, a brush of blusher and a quick swipe of mascara has been my make-up regime in lockdown, and most days, it is just my OH that has benefitted from my small attempt at making an effort.
Amongst my friends, there also seems to be a slight fear of lockdown lifting and the same reluctance to party, book a theatre trip or go out for a day’s shopping. That suits me. Of course, I miss holidays abroad but maybe because we are all in the same boat, not going anywhere where there are sandy beaches and hot sun, I feel content in my current lifestyle. Yes, I am fulfilled with my husband, 2 devoted dogs, a good book, the radio and Netflix. I am happy to book the occasional outdoor dinner with family and friends when it gets warmer. Perhaps I will dig out a more glamorous outfit and slap on full make-up. I keep reminding myself that whilst my dogs don’t answer me back and give me unconditional love human company is essential.
In the meantime I have come to the conclusion that my first steps out of lockdown will be joyful if a little tentative but I would love to hear how you are all approaching the lifting of lockdown.