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Lockdown 3.0 has arrived, pulled up a chair by the fire and made itself at home.  We’re not sure how long it’s staying but we’re pretty sure it’s not a short visit. 

Lockdown 1.0 was tough, we’d never known anything like it before, we had gone from being able to jump on a plane and literally travel to anywhere we chose (visas and vaccinations were sometimes a pre-requisite) to not being able to leave our County.  But we got through it, the weather was great so we all embraced gardening, long walks and virtual pubs.  We gradually made it out the other side and thought it was onwards and upwards back to normality.

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Then came the tiered system and Worcestershire fared quite well with this, we were still able to go to the pub, shops, restaurants and gym, albeit with certain stipulations. Lockdown 2.0 came along and it was a shock but didn’t seem as bad as Lockdown 1.0, schools remained open and there were no restrictions to our movements, just who we could meet with.  Pubs, gyms, restaurants and shops were shut but we had a timescale of a month, so that seemed doable.  After a month, we went back to the tiered system and again Worcestershire fared pretty well, albeit we had to embrace the outdoors if we wanted to meet with friends and family. 

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So now we’re in Lockdown 3.0 and this one seems really tough again, as it’s in January, a time when we’re normally looking ahead, booking holidays, going to the gym, getting healthier.  Instead we’re staying at home, the schools, gyms, shops, restaurants are all shut again and it’s Winter.  But we’ve been here before, we now have a vaccine that is being rolled out at speed and Spring isn’t too far away.  Hopefully, that will give us hope and help us get through this latest restrictive period.  I’ve put together some positives about this time, that I hope might make your Monday (and the coming weeks) not quite as blue:

Exercise: Without other distractions, we can really embrace exercise.  We’re still allowed out once a day, so can enjoy a walk, run, cycle or outside PT session.  There are thousands of free online exercise classes, so we can try different ones and decide which we like best and get into a routine.  I’m currently running 5 days a week, walking 2 and doing a few online classes and feel fit and healthy but not as exhausted as I normally would if I was marathon training.

Video meetings: Whether it’s work related or for fun, there are lots of options to meet up with people virtually and a lot are free.  I learnt through Lockdown 1.0 that too much zooming wasn’t a good thing but now I think I’ve got the balance right, just one virtual pub a week, virtual networking every fortnight and a few weekly meetings seems to work well and keep me connected.

Green spaces: I know I am lucky living in such a rural County but I’m sure everyone can find somewhere green to explore and the birds are so visible and noisy at the moment.  It really is inspiring being surrounded by trees and nature.

Taking stock: We’ve all been through so much in the last 10 months.  Front line workers have done an amazing job and experienced so much.  Decision makers have been fire-fighting every day, the sick and their families have had a tough time, hospitality, travel, arts, live music….. have all suffered.  But none of us have escaped unscathed.  We’ve all been affected by this pandemic and battled on, hoping for better times ahead and that has built resilience in all of us.

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So let’s hope there are no more Lockdown sequels.  That we take what we’ve learnt from these testing times and never take our freedom for granted again and embrace every opportunity and experience that presents itself when this is all over.

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