Lifestyle: Our lockdown 2020 diary part 2

So we're now in week 5 of lock down ( I think) but we were isolating well before that so I guess it may be more like week 8 for us. It feels both a lifetime ago since we left the house, other than for a quick pop for supplies or our daily exercise, but also minutes since the world turned on its head.

Time is very elastic right now and doesn't have much meaning. Although life for us is not that much different, as I was at home with the babies anyway, we did have our routines in the week, such as playgroups, the Carnivore being at the work and mini adventures on weekends.

The first week the alert was raised to high, people's spirits were generally still good. It was before lockdown was announced and we were told we just had to observe a 2 m distance from others. It was the weekend of mother's day and even though there was not any official advice to meet others, we decided not to see our families. Instead we drove a short distance to Millington Woods, got takeout pie from Huggate Inn and enjoyed a car picnic overlooking rollling hills. All still felt quite normal and manageable if we could still do things like that. Of course, it was not to last and the next day the news we were all waiting for arrived...lockdown was to start that night.
We were told to stay at home at all times apart from essential journeys such as shopping for essentials, or picking up prescriptions, or for a short daily exercise from our own doorsteps. All non-essential car journeys were to be stopped and the police were given powers to fine people for going out. There was still a lot of confusion about what was allowed but of course people were crucified in the media for going to the tourist hot spots.  I guess some will repeatedly flout the rules but it seems the majority are doing what is required and staying home.

About 6/7 weeks ago now the government told everyone who could work from home to do so, and that's what the Carnivore did. We were just working out a new normal and a way to not confuse the kids about daddy being home but still working, when he was put on furlough unexpectedly. Cue worry about future pay on top of an already stressful time.
Then my brother contracted the virus and we were very worried. It's an odd situation not being able to visit someone you love when they are poorly but I face timed him every day to check on him. I felt for my mum who couldn't visit her son, I worried for my brother alone in his house with no-one to care for him, and I was scared for myself about what may happen to my brother. Luckily he has recovered now but it was a very stressful time.

We kept ourselves busy while the Carnivore was on furlough, trying to make it feel like a fun holiday for the kids and to stop ourselves worrying like crazy. The weather was gorgeous - the nicest spring I remember in a long time - so we filled our time with bike rides, long country walks (socially distanced, of course) and picnics. We played in the garden, did Easter egg hunts, celebrated the Carnivores birthday, got the hot tub out and cooked nice food together.

Three weeks later after a few sleepless nights, the Carnivore was called back to work (from home) as his work announced it was partially reopening with new safety measures in place. We breathed a sigh of relief that we knew there was going to be his usual pay check coming in next month instead of the 80% capped government assistance package. Although, it still feels very shaky ground as we possible enter the biggest recession since the great depression.

Any plans I had to return to employment have been halted as we don't know when it will be safe to leave the house, or when childcare settings may reopen. Even if they do reopen in September, will we feel safe sending our precious babies?! So for now I'm back to living each day as it comes and not being able to look to the future or plan. The gig economy has been hit hard by the virus so freelance work is hard to come by.
The kids are missing grandparents, uncles, aunties and friends but we face time them several times a week. They are a bit young to understand the 'big cough' as we have called it but they know for now we are keeping them safe at home. They are remarkably resilient but that doesn't mean it doesn't show itself in other ways through their lack of appetite (or constant demands for snacks), or night wakings, or very loud tantrums occasionally. I don't blame them. I often feel like shouting and wailing with my legs flailing about on the floor, just to get rid of this heaviness sat on my chest.
Spending so much time at home has made us so grateful that we did the work on the house and garden last year, as we have been able to enjoy the space and we, like many others, have been doing bits of DIY at home and planting up the allotment full of seeds, that we may not have had time for before. We've been joining in with online toddler classes and there's so many out there from dance, yoga, to music classes, as well as trying to do Joe Wicks HIIT workout every week morning, just to try to get some semblance of routine going. We've done crafting, baking, painting and gotten more inventive with our play at home.

Being home for all this time has made me realise that I was putting so much pressure on myself to take the babies out to different groups every day and do stuff every weekend, when they're actually having a nice time close to home with us but I'm sure they will get bored of the same stuff eventually. With the Carnivore being back to work, it's been hard some days to get motivated to do stuff and put on my smile for the kids, when it feels a little like groundhog day.
The novelty is wearing off slightly, I miss eating out, visiting the pub occasionally, taking the kids to the beach or a national trust property, going to the gym, wandering round town or just generally being around people. I miss my family and don't know when we will see them. On the other hand I'm in touch more with friends now than I have been for 3 years, as suddenly we're all isolated at home with our kids, struggling with the lack of human contact, sense of identity and a life away from the all encompassing demands of motherhood.
I've seen the very best and worst in human nature through this crisis, but people have rallied around and volunteer their services for the vulnerable and elderly. Perhaps through this we can see more compassion and a return to being a more caring nation, rather than being divisive and self serving. I hope those now having to access welfare through no fault of their own can identify more with the 'benefit scroungers' they had made their minds up about. That perhaps they'll value our emergency services and frankly the bloody amazing job they do for not enough recognition or money, as well as teachers, and those that feed us and deal with our waste. Those jobs and professions that were not highly appreciated before this crisis.
This is a challenging time and I've heard it described that 'we're all in the same storm, but not in the same boat' as we all have different stresses to bear but now is not the time for competition, as we all have to get through this and never before has 'be kind' been so relevant.
When we eventually come out of lockdown, we've got a long way to go to get back any sense of normality and we'll be left with some scars that will be felt for a generation or more. I can't let myself think that far ahead. The next generation were already so in tune with the wrongs that had been inflicted on our planet and I hope this furthers the cause in enabling us to put right what was so badly going wrong in the world. Climate change has improved, the oceans are cleaner, animal species are recovering and people have been given a chance to slow down from the rat race and consider an alternative future, one where having more, more, more is not filling the void within.

It's been speculated that it could be spring / summer 2021 that we might once again be able to visit pubs, or gather in crowds at a festival or gig, but no-one really knows until there's an effective vaccine. It does seem that life as we knew it may be altered for some time yet to come.

Is there anything you have come to realise about yourself or the future you want during this time? I'd love to hear any positive stories in the comments section below.

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