I have to admit to a bit of a meltdown at the beginning of Lockdown Week 7. I kept giving myself a bit of a telling off as who am I to complain? But a bit of an itch did creep in and I was relieved to find that many of my girlfriends felt the same way.
Was it the teaser from Boris that lockdown may be lifted in the not so distant future? Did I feel a little nervous of being let out? I haven’t enjoyed the continuous threat of this virus but I have loved lockdown. There I have said it. The elephant in the room is out and shaking its trunk.
Don’t get me wrong I am desperate to see my family and friends in flesh and blood, rather than on Zoom, I want to get drunk, eat cake (made with eggs and no bananas), dance and sing and celebrate the end of this virus. I am fed up with handwashing until my skin is raw, making sure our diet is super-healthy, taking so many supplements that I feel like a pharmacist every breakfast time dispensing my own little virus-fighters to OH and myself, and, finally, keeping 2 metres from any person that dares to enter our personal space and disinfecting every inanimate object that makes it across our boundary.
I have spent 7 weeks worrying that every sniff or cough is it, the dreaded Covid-19. I have spent 7 weeks worrying that my kids are going to have jobs at the end of this. Yes all of this is very bad and has at times kept me awake.
On the other hand I have loved not worrying about the time, or even what day it is. The peace, the nature, the general enjoyment of being in our home and spending uninterrupted time with my OH.
Then suddenly the lack of being able to enter the outside world hit us last Saturday when we should have been at our goddaughter’s wedding. Her father is my OHs oldest friend, and is sadly very ill. My OH suddenly wondered when and if he would be able to see him again. So we got dressed up and we ‘Zoomed’ our friends and talked about how we would all be together again, soon, knowing that this was probably a little white lie. The wedding has been delayed but will OH’s best friend manage to hang in there? This is the price we are all paying, losing loved ones whilst this virus rages and not being able to comfort them and their family.
There are those that have paid little heed to the lockdown rules. However here in Henley, where many of us are a certain age, we have been governed by our children. In the beginning my kids were stalking me on ‘Find my Friends’ – a precursor to the government’s Track and Trace – and probably more effective. If they found I was out and about they would video call and demand to see a panoramic shot of where I was in order to see if there were any foreign invaders. I am proposing my daughters for a job with the government. They could be the government ‘eyes on the nation’. It would mean that I could get some time out.
Professor Niall Ferguson was caught out by an over-zealous neighbour who felt duty-bound to report his lockdown law-breaking. If he had joined his Neighbourhood Watch Whatsapp group as we all have he would have found out who his neighbours were now watching. Long ago they stopped looking for burglars and concentrated on reporting those who get more than one supermarket delivery a week, or in his case a bit of R&R with a lady who lives in another house. Then he might have realised in time that there were some vigilantes amongst his neighbours intent on keeping their neighbourhood clean and safe.
Next week OH and I should have been heading to Corfu for two weeks – our sanctuary and the place that we can fully re-charge our batteries. If we can keep the sunshine here, that, together with my little stash of Laziridis Rosé, from Drama in Greece, will mean that OH and I can create our own little bit of Corfiot heaven in our garden. It won’t be the same – the river Thames is not quite as aqua in colour as the Ionian Sea – but for the time being it will do very nicely.
We end the Lockdown week 7 with some watered down VE Day celebrations, a day that was meant to be full of street parties, bunting, balloons and lots of cream teas whilst singing We’ll Meet Again. 75 yrs after the end of WWII with the Nazis we are going to be singing that song at the top of our voices from balconies and front doorsteps, as we long to meet everyone again. However this 8th May 2020 we are not ready yet to say that our enemy has been defeated.
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