In many ways I can’t believe we’ve been in lockdown for almost a year and in other ways it’s absolutely flown over. And lets be honest, bar the slight reprieve we had last summer (how long ago does eat out to help out feel?!) we’ve pretty much been in lockdown the whole year.
I was going to do a ‘one year on post’ for 23rd March and started looking through all the pictures of us sunbathing in the garden and eating take aways and all the Tik Tok videos we’ve done in the last year but in all honesty, it looked like we were having too much fun! Which solidified my point that you only ever take pictures of the good stuff. There’s no tik tok videos of me sobbing on the sofa because I’d gotten so wound up over minor work issue that 8 months of not seeing my friends and family poured out of me uncontrollably for almost 2 hours on saturday morning.
Any way. Last Monday came probably one of the biggest government announcements since this whole shebang kicked off with the roadmap to recovery and despite the Dawson’s Creek style meltdowns I’ve had over the last year, that announcement has left me with nothing but anxiety. But not at the actual announcement itself. I’m desperate to have a BBQ at my mum and dad’s house, go to Bongo’s Bingo or have Ang, Janine and Steph over to drink wine and eat frazzles in the conservatory a much as the next person and I know we need to start coming out of this eventually. No, it’s the fact that after the announcement having only been made 10 minutes prior, my social media feeds were full of ‘right lasses, what we wearing on 21st June’ and ‘this summer is gonna ne epiiiiic’ and restaurants immediately opening their booking systems again and it just made me think ‘can everyone just calm the F down?!’
I am not feeling excited about the roadmap and here’s why. I can’t help but feel we’ve been and I’m not sure I’m ready to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t just another train. Sure ‘data before dates’ makes a good government strapline, but are they really sticking to that? If Christmas has taught us anything, it’s that u-turns will be made if people don’t stick to the rules, new variants come into the country or there are more spikes.
Yes we have the vaccine which is great and the rate people are getting vaccinated is impressive. but the promise of having every adult in the UK offered a vaccine by the end of July is just that, it’s an offer, that doesn’t mean every adult in the UK accepts a vaccine. In the current plan, by 21st June nightclubs could be open. Nightclubs! The grossest, sweatiest hotbeds of grime and bacteria could be open on 21st June and the age range of people most likely to go to a nightclub may not have been vaccinated.
Lastly, and this is the biggie. In many ways, I feel like I’ve lost a little bit of myself in lockdown. Not in any catastrophic way, and nothing I’m not confident I can get back. But much as this whole pandemic has brought out the best in some people; we’ve rallied together to support the NHS, colleagues have become friends because we’ve bonded over the bonkersness of it all, it’s sadly brought out the worst in others.
People who selfishly don’t think the rules apply to them, people who have let the enormity of what’s happening in the world get the better of them and have turned into nasty malicious bullies on the internet. Politics and race relations and vaccinations and now even the Backstreet Boys has polarised people. Add that cooped up feeling we’ve all had for over a year, the fact that we’re all out of practice in the art of the pub debate, and a shit tonne of alcohol into the mix, you think the first weekend of June when everything is open again is going to go well?
I honestly, honestly don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble and these are of course just my opinions. I hope that come the summer we are all able see the back of lockdown once and for all and get back to some kind of normal life. For now though, I think I’m just going to dip my toe back into the social world first rather than jumping in full force. Perhaps I’ll just start with that BBQ at my mum and dads and see what happens from there.