How to survive lockdown (again)
Feeling the Covid 2 blues? Here are six silver linings to the latest restrictions that just might change your mind (and no, cheeky, they're not all gin brands)
So… Lockdown: Never Say Never Again. How’s it going for you? A month-long (minimum) period of introspection, self-development and unmitigated snack-eating.
Of course, it’s a bit different this time in that schools, colleges and nurseries are being kept open, so us adults can actually function as valid members of a stuttering economy as opposed to delusional would-be polymaths who have a crack at everything and achieve precisely zero. All the while, the kids percolate in an educational Covid soup. So, at least that’s something.
And there are other plus points, should you choose to ferret them out of the current bleak landscape. “Are there?” you say. Yes, there are. And just to be nice, I’ve listed them out for you.
The National Trust is staying open: a win for the weekends. Household recycling centres are still operating, so this time around you don’t have to live with the discarded tat you’ve unearthed in your cupboards.1
You no longer have to take the kids anywhere apart from school. “Hey, can you take me to netball/swimming/skate park/cinema/Pizza Express?” Enjoy your answer. “I’m sorry darling I can’t, because it’s illegal and the police will come and take me away if I do.” Cue quietly traumatised children and the return of free evenings.2
The Netflix rabbithole. You can unabashedly go down it AND WHO KNOWS WHERE YOU’LL END UP? (NB. other streaming sites are available) There is just so much archived material to choose from; documentaries, films, boxsets, a red panda singing death metal on karaoke. When there’s nothing left to do but mine the depths of a decade’s worth of content, then you might as well embrace it with abandon. Watch all 236 episodes of Friends. Yes, really. What’s stopping you?3
You can start Christmas a month early. OK so usually you snarl at festive early birds, but this year is different. Maybe you’re already secretly stockpiling turkey flavoured pretzels and considering a Frozen colour scheme this year. Just own it! Don’t feel ashamed, because, quite honestly, what else do we have to work towards? So decorate the house. Do a taste-test of every new seasonal gin. Get those farm shop orders in, stock up the wine, and consider making eggnog for the first time ever. And if you do little else but eat loads and roll around your elaborately overlit house while blowing November’s fuel budget you can blame Covid for all your shortfalls.4
Mental wellbeing and physical exercise. It sounds boring when you put it like that but think about it – when else other than lockdown will you have the freedom to go for a walk by yourself for three hours with no one pestering you? Even that overly chatty woman from the school gates has to give you a wide berth now – IT’S THE LAW. So what if you’re passing each other on the bridle path? Briefly wave, cut eye contact, say something breezy to the dog and swerve. And all those Christmas drink parties hosted by loose acquaintances you normally get strong armed to attend? All those desperate December afternoons in your cousin’s living room talking about dying relatives over a sherry? Not this year, sister.5
Lockdown is the latent introvert’s dream. Anti-social is the new normal. The run-up to Christmas is going to be an uncomplicated, unpopulated, domestic affair. It could actually, in a very bah-humbug way be (whisper it) bliss.6