Lockdown Week 9: Planning post lockdown? Where will I go first?

Post-lockdown has been our fantasy and right now we are in that limbo land or should we call it peri-post-lockdown. It’s the gentle warm-up act for the big event. Like every big event in our lives, whether it is Christmas, a wedding or a party, there is a lot of fun to be had in the planning. But planning post-lockdown may be a little bit frightening. When we were in lockdown we were all in the same boat so there were no choices – stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

Since post lockdown is becoming a reality it is slowly sinking in that life may not be the same as it was before Covid-19. Friends are beginning to meet up in gardens at a social distance of course, bringing their own wine and glasses. This is as wild as it can be right now though not quite in line with government guidelines. It’s madness though since cleaners and nannies are allowed to start work again, but how can having someone clean your house for hours, or taking care of the kids, pose less risk of transmitting the virus than having a relative over for a quick coffee in the garden?

Anyway government aside let’s start planning the big post-lockdown which, to all intents and purposes, seems to be 4th July.

Where will you go first? To the hairdresser, to see your grandchildren, to your beautician for a complete overhaul – eyebrows, pedicure, and/or even botox? We probably won’t be able to go to a restaurant, watch a film at the cinema or go to the theatre. Is it going to be a life of entertaining al fresco, picnics, drinks and nibbles in the garden? If the virus returns in the Winter we can expect a run on fire-pits and puffa jackets.

Expect to see pre-invitation questionnaires. Friends will want to know your antibody count, who you have socialised with in the past 2 weeks, will you be wearing masks and medical gloves, and will you bring your own food, drink, crockery and cutlery. If you manage to pass this test you may be invited around. It beats me though as the whole point of going to a friend’s for supper is not having to cook. For the past 9 weeks I have been living the life of a 1950’s housewife and my morning mantra has been, ‘What Pinny shall I wear?’

My Post-Lockdown Life of an endless Queue

This week OH and I have dipped our toes in post-lockdown life. We were just trying it out to see if we liked it. A trip to the garden centre took so long that my plants nearly wilted by the time I had paid for them and got them to the car. Then there was coffee with the ‘Henley Blondes’ in a communal garden, social distancing, all bringing our own coffee. A lady appeared carrying a 6 month baby and we all cooed at this handsome young man BUT, one of the HBs started to approach the baby, she wanted to touch him, squeeze those chubby thighs. In one voice we shouted, ‘No, Jane, too close,” and she retreated.

OH and Youngest Son #wfh

Talking of babies my youngest son (25 yrs) has been home with us as he has had Coronavirus, albeit very mildly, so we feel safe with him. But two of our children live in London and we wonder when we will ever feel safe enough to hug them again. They say they miss us terribly but to be honest I think their love is misplaced and really it is the dogs that they yearn for. I too love our dogs but this lockdown has been too good for them. They are so used to having OH and I around that when I go to put the dustbins out they literally howl at the gate. They are going to need therapy post-lockdown as they will suffer from serious abandonment issues. I may just have to take them with me wherever I go. And where am I going to go first?

Is this the new norm?

I don’t want to sound vain but the sooner I get to the beautician the better. I am starting to get a monobrow and to deal with the rest of my body hair requires me to get into positions more demanding than my Yoga sessions. The hairdresser is booked – a home visit is in the diary though who looks at their diary any more so I have had to set an alarm on my phone. Having my hair cut with both of us wearing a mask, sort of takes the joy out of having your hair cut as, let’s face it, we ladies go to our hairdressers for more than a styling session. It is also a therapy session. My hairdresser knows more about my life than I do.

So if I don’t like the reality of my hairdresser wearing a mask I am also going to put it out there that I hate masks for myself. I know we have to wear one but it has taken the spontaneous smile out of my life. I love to engage with people on my daily walk or whilst waiting in line at the supermarket. However the outside-of-your-own-home-smile is a thing of the past. This is all supposing that we remember to take our mask. What happens if you leave your house without one and get to the train or bus – are you not allowed on? Or can you promise not to sneeze – this could be the post-lockdown holding-in-a-fart-in-a-public-place nightmare scenario.

I simply won’t be able to go out on a high pollen count day as I am prone to sneezing quite a lot and that could clear my town’s market square in minutes. How can I tell everyone that my sneezing is not dangerous though OH says it could come in useful if we want to get to the head of any queue.

Have you heard drive-in movies are part of the new norm? We have a Car Park Karaoke event coming to Henley in early July. We all have to sit in our cars and sing to ourselves. Is this going to be fun or just simply ridiculous? Spilt drinks spring to mind and no doubt we will be finding nibbles in all the nooks and crannies of our cars for months ahead. It could get quite steamy if you have more than two in a car. It all sounds to me like trying to invent a party when there isn’t one to be had.

Apparently some people have been breaking lockdown rules for sex. All I want is some hugs with someone else other than my OH or my dogs. But we are a long way from that. The most I can look forward to is an elbow bump.

I long for the old norm though there are parts of lockdown I want to incorporate into my new norm. The Government’s Stay at Home campaign has worked so well OH and I may never leave ours again. That and non-stop stories of death and suffering on the TV.

However there is no denying that post-lockdown is on its way but right now I am not embarrassed to say that I am clinging on to lockdown for the time being and I promise that I will stay alert but for what I am still unclear.

If you want to read the previous Lockdown Diaries click HERE

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Marion Howells

    I think you have captured my mood completely! I live in Wales and our lockdown is still as strict As it was and I’m sort of comforted by that at the moment . Having ‘lost’ two opportunities to see our Grandson of 3 years who lives in Frankfurt and although missing seeing our Granddaughter of 15 months growing up we are getting used to life at home. It’s a dilemma just what to do when we have the freedom to get out and about and it doesn’t feel safe to me …. yet

    • Annabel

      I agree it is far more difficult now to know what to do. We just have to work it out for ourselves taking into account our circumstances, age, health etc. I have to admit to enjoying lockdown! Stay safe and well, Annabel

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