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When Lockdown Ends

Author: Val Mckeeman
Year: Future

When lockdown ends, I am going to be a bit disappointed. The last few weeks have been completely stress free. I say that a bit tongue in cheek, as the days have also been filled with anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic. Fear that I might contract it through people close by who have not adhered to the rules of self-isolation and visiting their loved ones here at the sheltered housing scheme. I am incensed that families are visiting their elderly relatives with flowers and shopping straight off the street. They might be young and fit themselves but certainly their relative is in the high-risk category.

Anyway, after that gripe, I must imagine that I will be fit and well when it is all over. Will my life change? Probably not that much, as being retired I do not have the usual hectic days that I had when working. I get up when I want and go to bed when I want. If I do not get a full night’s sleep then I nap during the day. I will still take the dog for his little walk, not that he worries whether his walks are short or long, but I can only take him for short walks these days. So, no change there!

I will return to my two writing groups and will look forward to the banter that forms a major part of the group activities. As for the writing, I think I have worked just as hard completing stories which have been set by my fellow writers to keep us busy and in contact during these abnormal times. So, not much change there!

I think I would like to petition the supermarkets to still consider the 9-10am shopping for pensioners and the vulnerable, together with the 6 feet distancing rule. This would make shopping so much more of a pleasure, especially at busy holiday times. The store is peaceful and no children screaming in the aisles; other shoppers not pushing their trolleys into your legs and then not even apologising for the collision. Having completed your shopping, going directly through the till without queuing behind women with their family shop which is brimming over with groceries that take several minutes to place on the conveyor belt and even more time to pack. I very rarely get behind just one family trolley and there could always be at least two more. Therefore, going through the checkout could take as much as 30 minutes at busy times. So, change is needed there, I think!

I have promised my grandson that when I am able to travel again I will go down to London where all the family will congregate to celebrate his 18th birthday properly rather than staring into a computer screen and trying to look like one is enjoying one’s self. The group video party did last 4 hours! We were drinking and eating in our respective homes but it was not like us all being together in the flesh. So, there will be change there!

As for things in general, we have spent the last few weeks not going anywhere, not spending money and I am sure that many pensioners bank balances are looking healthier since the lockdown. I can say that mine is! I have survived not going to the shops and I can say that I have not really missed it. I have been to the supermarket once a week and anything else that was necessary has been purchased online. So, my plan is to reduce any of my debts and live within my means in future. I will also ensure that purchases are made on the local high street if possible as I think they are all going to need our support to survive. I know the big companies will also struggle at first and many will go into liquidation as some already have, but our local small shops will need us more. So, change is needed there!

It is good to see families spending their leisure time together. Walking with the children along the path and having a conversation with them. It takes me back to the days when I was a child. We did go on outings as a family and played in the park or at the beach. We sat on the ground and had picnics and Mum and Dad joined in with our make-believe games. What will happen when the lockdown comes to an end? Mum and Dad back at work, children back at school, and ‘never the twain shall meet’. Children back on their video games and parents on their phones. Extraordinarily little conversation to be heard. I hope parents come to realise that it is fun being a family again and that they continue to relate with each other in the future. So, change is needed there!

These past few weeks have made me realise how vulnerable we are in this world. At one time we believed that the earth was a huge planet and getting from one side of it to the other took days or even months, but now we are finding that the earth is getting smaller and in a few hours we are on the other side of the world. The coronavirus has now brought us even closer when we talk to friends and families halfway across the world in built up and remote areas. We find that they are doing the same as we are here in the United Kingdom: self-isolation or working in a dangerous occupation. We have all suffered at the same time, which should make us realise that we are all God’s children and should try and live in harmony with each other. So, change is needed there!