Lockdown – Week One

We went into lockdown not quite a week ago. I had already resigned to staying in as much as possible so it doesn’t feel like too much has changed. People are allowed outside once a day for exercise and they can run any essential errands. They can also go to work if they’re not able to work from home, or if certain precautions have been taken by their workplace to allow for social distancing. The husband still goes in for work (he’s preparing for a large project coming up) but he is quite literally the only person on his floor at the moment… possibly one of the only people in the entire building. Unfortunately, we have no way of relocating his stuff back here, but to be fair it’s probably safer not to attempt it even if we could get help getting his stuff back (that would involve close human contact).

I haven’t walked Chewbacca in our local park since the morning after lockdown. When I went to the park that morning, around 7:15 am, there was significantly more people in the park than usual. Almost all the people were joggers, so a bunch of people running by me panting heavily… no thanks. Yesterday morning I took Chewie for about a 30 minute walk around the neighbourhood, avoiding that particular park, and I didn’t pass a single person on the sidewalks, so it looks like that’s what we’ll be doing for our future walks.

This morning the husband and I walked to our nearest Marks & Spencer because I wanted a few things that we can only get there. The one we went to is on Sauchiehall Street (pronounced “Socky-hall Street”) which is usually a popular and bustling street. The street is lined with shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, etc. and it was pretty dead when we walked down it today. It was very surreal. It’s a gorgeous day, so the lack of cars and people made it all the more surreal. More people were on the sidewalks as we left the store, but not nearly the norm. I was a bit disappointed in M&S. Other stores have put down tape to encourage social distancing, set limits for the number of people allowed in the store at a time, and have staff overseeing it all. I didn’t see any of that happening at M&S today. They have signs that say to social distance but it wasn’t really possible to do because they weren’t controlling the number of people entering the store. I had to squeeze past a group of employees who were standing around chatting, blocking the middle of an aisle. In general, it just didn’t feel like anyone there was too concerned about the situation. They’re very clearly wiping down checkstands and trying to maintain cleanliness, but they are failing in comparison to the precautions being taken by other stores. That’s one of my favourite stores but, unfortunately, I might be a bit hesitant to return to it any time soon.

Today was my first outing to a store in a week. There are limits on how much people can buy but we didn’t really feel like that caused any issues for us. We didn’t need more than was allowed, we were able to get everything on our grocery list. The shelves seemed fine, not as full as usual but still reasonably stocked and looking a hell of a lot better compared to when I was in there a week ago. Many people have resorted to purchasing groceries online; however, it’s damn near impossible to get a delivery slot right now. For one delivery service the queue was nearly 30k people at one point. I haven’t tried to book a slot. While I am considered high risk because of asthma I consider myself well and able enough to just get my ass to the store and be one less person pulling away a delivery spot from someone who is much higher risk than I. We did have booze delivered from our local bottle shop. We’re not big drinkers but figured what the heck. Looking at our alcohol stash right now someone would think we’re serious alcoholics. Maybe we will be by the end of all of this. What the hell else are we going to do?! Just kidding… I think.

I just went out to walk the dogs and was surprised by how many people are out and not observing the whole social distancing thing. I’m really missing our old house in the US right now, I miss having a yard… it would’ve been so much easier to avoid people. It’s a bit creepy walking the dogs at night now because the streets are so empty. We live on a busy road and usually the streets are alive at night with drunk people coming and going from the pubs but right now with everything closed the streets at night have fallen silent, dark, still… it’s quiet and uncomfortable. And if you do see someone out at night and they don’t have a dog you are automatically suspicious of them… or maybe I’m the only one that feels this way.

Life is odd when you have no plans. Social plans are all virtual now… we are truly lucky to exist in a time where we can still “hang out” with people without leaving our homes. While technology has its downside, I am still grateful for it. In general, life is just odd now. There’s lots of disinfecting happening in our new world. I wiped down ALL of our groceries today, even the carrier bags. The number of people with COVID-19 in the UK is expected to skyrocket over the next week or two, and I’m trying like hell not to become a statistic. My husband’s close friend got the virus and it was horrible, a truly nasty virus. Fortunately, his friend is on the mend at this point, not fully recovered but the worst of it is over. He knows a few people that caught it but we’re not sure how the others are.

Man… I was so optimistic at the beginning of this year. I’m not the most optimistic person but I really believed this would be a good year. The thought is a bit humorous at this point. I’ll tell you what though, I’m in good spirits considering it all. This all sucks but I’m coping with it and realizing that I’m fortunate to still have work, to have a decent place to live (I don’t mind being stuck here for now), to have enough food, to have a partner that I don’t mind being stuck in the flat with, to have our dogs to cuddle, to have our health, and so on… I’m blessed, I really am.

I plan on trying to put up a new blog post once every week or two, at least until lockdown is lifted, if for no other reason than to memorialise this strange time in history. We’ll see how that works out. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are healthy and I hope you are safe. These are hard times but with each passing day we’re closer to the end of this. Take care.

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