So here we are living indoors with our dachshunds in lockdown. After many long weeks of living in this semi isolation to avoid Covid-19 it feels like this may be the way of life for ever. Although now with a slight lifting of rules, life slowly returns to the streets. The view from our front window is reverting back to regular buses and sirens and slow moving queues of South London traffic.
Not that Ned and Henry have ever stopped the usual vocal abuse of hapless postmen. So grateful I am that the Royal Mail never failed us. The online deliveries arrived and I found more to order from our milkman and butcher. Even our local wine merchant would drop in a couple of bottles of on tap Cotes du Rhone on his way home. Doorstep life.
The Thursday night appreciation of our NHS workers made us stop to consider what life was like for them on the front line. While the daily news reports showed us the large numbers of staff required to battle for just one life, we cheerily waved to the neighbours we were only vaguely acquainted with earlier. But it was a sincere moment of hope.
We have made the effort to Zoom our friends and family. I had never even heard of Zoom before all this. The WhatsApp groups have made me exchange more chatter with my wider family than I ever achieved at the annual wedding or funeral. We have communicated. We have forwarded more amusing videos videos to each other. Some extremely creative. The birthday video I received from Andy in lieu of a restaurant get together was pure art. I wrote him a bad poem for his birthday the following week. We made our own fun. I can’t admit to doing any baking or bread making but certainly the evening meal was a high spot. The garden is unusually tidier and the remarkable weather made it feel like holiday season.
Having 2 dachshunds in lockdown and a choice of 3 parks within a mile radius of home, the morning dog walk has been my daily excercise and breath of mental space with ease. For the first 6 weeks or so Andy and I strolled the perimiters of Dulwich, Belair and Brockwell Parks. It was a novelty for him as normally he would be out somewhere working. Occasionally I met a friend to walk safely distanced with and compare our notes on lockdown homelife.
But I know we were particularly lucky in our timing. We have a nice home and garden big enough for us to enjoy with our dachshunds in lockdown. Had this been 12 yrs earlier my elderly mother would have been living with us and I would have had the perils of home schooling a young boy. We know that the death toll country wide and worldwide has been truly ghastly by the reported figures. But I feel we have been spared much in our experience of this Coronavirus chapter. I feel so sorely for those who haven’t been so fortunate.
As we slowly ease restrictions it remains to be seen if we will ever recover the true effects on our economy. What will be the outcome of our extreme and seemingly random measures? Will we ever know the number of suicides and bankruptcies which will inevitably follow.
I feel we have learned much about ourselves and our lifestyles. There has been a touching neighbourly solidarity but at such a terrible cost. How will we view these times and the actions we took in all sincerity in order to avoid Covid-19 in years from now?