These last few months have taught me a lot of new things, and a new appreciation (or distain!) for the old…
A – Amazon literally deliver whatever you want, maybe even before you know you want it? A global pandemic wont stop them. The amount of random crap I have bought is insane – I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t buy things just becuase Amazon can deliver them in the next 4 hrs! I have no idea what to do with the 10 rows of LEDs attached to corks (for the empty booze bottles!), the balance board, press up bars, or the multiple types of watering can…. The ‘socially distant’ delivery gives them even more of an excuse to leave things in bushes!
B – Boris, Love him or hate him, cannot have expected this after he ‘got brexit done’… I don’t think anyone could have the top job at this time without being annihilated in the press. He has made mistakes for sure, but I don’t think he is purposely doing things just to get people killed?!?!?! You couldnt have made it up when he got CV19 himself! Have I learnt anything from him? Lockdown hair affects everyone!
C – Coronavirus (Or Covid-19) cannot ‘not’ be included. I mean, who has ever heard of it before? I wish I would never hear of it again, but somehow I dont think I will be so lucky….
D – Dominic? Dating? I couldn’t decide which to choose for D… Dominic Cummings taught me not to test your eyesight whilst driving to tourist hotspots; and also that lots of people dont have any common sense. Apparently, people broke the rules, declaring lockdown over, just becuase Cummings did – Lemmings come to mind? Would you jump off a cliff just because he did?
I also learnt that I’m just as shit at dating during a global pandemic as I am in normal times. Maybe D should be for ‘D#*heads’ – there’s a few of them on dating apps!
E – Elasticated Waistbands are our friend. I have a new found love of ‘lounge wear’. Slouching around the house in clothes that shouldn’t be seen outside is liberating! Joggers, PJs, whatever I can find – and yes I did buy more from Amazon! Who knew skinny jeans were not the only available garment in my wardrobe?!?! The ‘corona-stone’ is less noticeable in an elasticated waistband too. Only issue is now we are allowed out more, I keep forgetting to put proper clothes on!
F – Football is back! After 100days, we were treated with the Aston Villa V Sheffield United game, with a little goal line controversy to boot! It’s very odd without fans though – I know the broadcasters are adding sound but it doesn’t match the moment, just weird. As a Liverpool fan, I couldn’t wait for it to be back and fingers crossed we don’t blow it. Who would have thought Liverpool would be smashing the league with a 25 point gap in March – and then there would be a global pandemic? I’ve learnt that no matter how much of a sure thing something is, you never know what could be around the corner!
G – Gin – simple, Gin can get you through the toughest of times.
H – Hairdressers really are a critical service. The removal of such a service causes pain and anxiety that should never be inflicted again! I would never predict how much I would miss the salon. The greys taking over my head are embarrassing, I’m scared to colour it myself and I’ll never take them for granted again! This goes for beauticians too – how many people have had waxing disasters in the last few months? I’ve got hair and beauty appointments in July – Boris confirmed the hairdressers is opening so now it’s fingers crossed the beauticians are allowed soon too!!!
I – Isolation – Isolation for me has meant solitary confinement, you know, that punishment reserved for murderers. I dont think many people, including myself, could have realised how being told to isolate, alone, would effect them. Good and bad, its a time ill never forget, and I time I hope to never repeat. Please let there be no second wave 😦
J – Jobs. The level of support and investment from the government for the Job Retention scheme, the ability to furlough, has been phenomenal. As someone who works in HR, I’ve seen first hand the impact it’s had. The Job market across the board has been impacted hugely and for those in hospitality and entertainment it must be bloody scary, not forgetting those who lost jobs before and the opportunity to find a new one all but disappeared. There have been new jobs though, especially those in farming and parts of retail – I personally fancy the fruit picking, being outside in the sun instead of my spare room in front of the computer sounds good! I’ve been lucky to continue working but it makes you realise how fragile our lifestyles are. I know lots of people furloughed who think it’s a holiday and they don’t want to go back to work!!
K – Key workers.… legends… simply legends!
L – lockdown is a strange word, at first it made me feel like I was in a Bruce Willis movie!! It became clear that not everything is equal – yes we are all in it together but lockdown in a big house with huge garden and family around you is very different to sharing a one bed flat on the 10th floor of a high rise. People are alone, or sharing, with different states of relationships and different physical environment – not everyone was in the same place when the music stopped. It’s made (I hope) people realise how others live their lives and how even your nearest and dearest are not all in the same position.
M – Media. I work for a media organisation, and that gives me a broader awareness, but my god, the level of manipulation and sensationalism is huge. Yes, hold people to account, yes even have an opinion, but no, don’t use your platform to incite anger and hatred, dont ignore the truth for a headline, and dont treat the public as though they are all morons! I literally do not believe anything now unless it’s on a mainstream TV news bulletin, and even then I question it. The examples of stuff sent around on social media are extraordinary – I still don’t understand why people make this stuff up? What benefit do they get? Everyone knows a friend of a friend who works in the government so it must be true.
N – New Normal is such an overused phrase! Something isn’t normal when it’s new – what is normal is feeling strange and unclear about the future and not knowing what normal will be. There are some bits of normal I want back, desperately, but lots I can happily leave behind. What’s clear is that we will be changed forever by this, but what’s unclear is when our ‘new normal’ will come to be.
O – Outside space would can be such a luxury. Whether it’s a garden or a local park, having somewhere to go during your one hour exercise slot had an amazing effect. I never unusually go for walks but it became a daily occurrence – helping split the day from work life to home life. The weather helped, could you imagine if this was happening in the depths of winter! I used to think my garden was just an irritating plot of ground that I had to keep tidy in case the neighbours saw! Now it gets mowed (outsourced!), I tend to flowers and even bought a little table and chairs for an socially distant guests!
P – Physical Contact. I never realised a lack of physical contact would be so hard. I’m not a ‘hugger’ at the best of times but I guess it’s different when you don’t have choice. We are social animals, and regardless of how much you love living alone, the contact with others is important. You want what you can have! Even my dad, the person who openly states he doesn’t like other people, is feeling down about not seeing people. Just a touch of the arm, a handshake or a full blown cuddle, I never realised I would miss it! Maybe not the close vicinity to an armpit on the tube though!
Q – Queen – Seriously, how much better did you feel when she spoke to the nation. We will meet again – I believed her.
R – R Rate is important and I understand what it means, but how are they calculating it? Surely if you know everyone getting it and you know how many they spread too, then you can isolate them all and end this? I know… I’m being too simplistic. I’m listening to the news about a spike in the rate in Germany, and its causing concerns of a second wave which is worrying. Let’s hope it stays down in the UK.
S – Support Bubbles. I was surprised when they said they were letting us sad and lonely old boots out! I have my own ‘support bubble’ which means i’m allowed to join another household and not have to socially distance or stand outside waving through a window. My brother had no choice – I keep wondering now if I should have asked him before rocking up with the assumption his family wanted to be in my bubble! Hey, I’m an Aunty now and they needed sleep!
T – TV is worth more than gold! Sky, Netflix, Amazon – I have them all! I still run out of things to watch though? and god help power cuts or losing wifi! I have realised how crap terrestrial TV is now they show repeats and I nearly cried when Eastenders ran out of episodes! Lets get new shows back into production soon.
U – U-turn. Apparently, if someone changes their mind on something, it’s a massive, embarrassing U-turn (see my comments on media!). Learning through this crisis and changing approaches has been common, but surely that shows they are taking heed of new science? I much prefer a government that listens to public opinion and responds – is that not a good thing?
V – Vaccine – Hurry up already!!! We need it now!
W – Working from Home No words needed, just don’t let yourself go!
X – sorry, I didn’t learn the xylophone.
Y – Yoga, Right at the start I decided I would do lots of yoga – to keep sane and healthy. I started with YouTube videos and found ‘30 days of Yoga with Adrienne’. I thought I would do it every day and be a svelt yogi when this is over. My dad informed it was 94 days since he last went to the pub – I’m on day 7 of the 30 day plan. I think I need to try harder!!!!!
Z – Zoom – who would think that within minutes of lockdown starting, every man and their dog would start using a video calling app called Zoom. We used it at work already so I was accustomed, but as well as using it for every work meeting, it was used with friends and families too – I became a zoom queen! But please please please let me never see Zoom again! Ive learnt to say no to video calls – the old fashioned phone can be just as good!
NB: With thanks from P and K for their expert alphabetical advice…