August 2020 - An Update

 Well its now been a full six months since my last post, a post that was full of hope that the worst couple of months of 2020 were over and that the good times were yet to come, wasn't I the optimistic one! Fast forward to now and those six months feel like a blur, so much has happened that I am not really sure where to begin talking bout it all. Who knew back then that the world as we know it would change so drastically due to COVID-19/Corona virus. I remember seeing stuff on the news about it and talking to my colleagues at work but I don't think anyone expected what followed to actually happen. I honestly never expected to see a day when every Disney theme park in the world was closed down, when major cities around the world would be like ghost towns and when we were only allowed out of our homes for an hour a day, also lets not forget the great panic buying of loo roll, hand soap and pasta! For the first time in my lifetime (or that I remember) travels bans were in place, flights were cancelled and the skies were almost clear of planes. When Lockdown first happened I still naively thought that it would be over in a few weeks, I certainly didn't expect that all this time on we would still be dealing with it and that so many people would have lost their lives, jobs, business etc to a virus. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real and I think its just been a bad dream that I am going to wake up from but in reality I know that's not going to happen.

When Boris Johnson put the UK into Lockdown I was furloughed by my company, when I first got that notification I was actually petrified as I had never in my life heard of it before nor did I have a clue what it meant. Thankfully I soon realized it was the governments way of helping my employer save my job and I relaxed a bit, although as much as I enjoyed being at home I would have much rather been living life normally by being at work. Tom continued to work his regular shift pattern throughout the whole time though, his role was classed as essential and thankfully as a night worker and someone who drives to work he was pretty much safe and was able to keep socially distanced from others. For me lockdown and furlough had its good and bad points, for a while I enjoyed being at home and I used the time to do some long overdue jobs along with lots of housework & sorting out. My new weekly routine involved menu planning and ticking things off my things to do list, I also found a new fascination in watching the buses pass our flat and counting the number of people on them!! However as the weeks turned into months I had moments of dread and despair, when would this end and will we ever return to what we know as normal? On the whole those moments were short lived and infrequent but my mental health definitely took a bit of a battering.

Lockdown gave us a whole new normal, we were told to wash our hands for 20 seconds at a time and to use hand sanitizer wherever possible as well. Going to the supermarket became a one person per household job and we had to queue to get in and then keep 2 meters apart from others as much as possible. We were allowed out of our homes for an hour a day to exercise and get some fresh air, public transport was off limits (some tube stations were even closed) and was meant for essential and key workers only. On a daily basis we watched the government updates on TV, watching and listening in horror at the sheer numbers of people who were contracting the virus and dying of it and at 8pm on a Thursday we all stood on our doorsteps and clapped for the NHS.

For the first few months every day/week merged into one as we stayed at home watching a lot of YouTube and Netflix, binging on shows like Line of Duty, Tiger King and Stranger Things. Like everyone else lots of our plans for 2020 were curtailed, we celebrated Toms birthday at home just the two of us (basically due to it being very early lockdown days we couldn't do anything else). Easter and the May Bank holidays came and went and it was at these times that we realized just how much we missed seeing our families. We had been keeping in contact with them via regular phone and video calls but it wasn't the same as being able to go and see them whenever we wanted. When restrictions started to lift we were absolutely delighted that we could finally go and see my parents and Toms sister even though it still meant keeping a distance and sitting in the garden. Our holiday to Spain was cancelled and is now on hold until its safe for us to go there again although who knows when that will be - we are certainly in no rush to be heading abroad right now, if at all this year. We had plans to go to Florida in May 2021 but we decided that was just a little bit too soon so we opted instead for Nov 21 and have now put a reservation down on a villa. At this point we are holding out a lot of hope that by then the world will be a much healthier and more normal place however we are under no illusions that this may not be the case and if things need to be cancelled or put back again then they will be.

I am finally back at work and in my office so to a certain extent reality has returned although life is still far from what we used to consider normal. Social distancing is still a thing as are face masks when in shops and on public transport. To be honest we are still pretty much staying at home and other then work, the supermarket and seeing our immediate family we don't go anywhere. We are just not yet ready to go to a pub, out for a meal or to hit the shopping malls. It was my birthday a few weeks back and we celebrated that with a day at the seaside on our own and although we enjoyed it we were a little uncomfortable and didn't feel relaxed due to the amount of people and lack of social distancing. In fact we actually changed our plans to eat out and instead we came home early with a take away.

2020 held so much promise and no-one could have ever imagined how it would turn out, its truly been the stuff of a Hollywood film. Covid is still here and hasn't gone away although the numbers of daily deaths in the UK an around the world have decreased there are still many new cases being reported. Hopefully the much debated second wave/spike wont happen but if it does then we will just have to do what is needed to stay safe. As it is lockdown restrictions have been re-applied to certain areas where numbers have spiked and quarantine restrictions have been put into place for people travelling abroad. We are hoping and praying that some kind of vaccine is found soon so that the world can begin to heal and recover and we can begin to rebuild our lives, communities and economies. 

This blog post along with my scrapbook and journals will serve as a reminder in years to come of just how fragile life can be and of how we all once took so very much for granted.

Thanks for reading.



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