So, here we are.
Lockdown is easing and I’m dreading it. I’m dreading the total relaxation of rules, dreading society getting back to ‘normal’, whatever that means.
I’ve loved Lockdown. It hasn’t filled me with stress or anxiety, quite the opposite. I’ve loved the peace and tranquillity that it brought. Less traffic, less pollution, quieter streets, less harried and hurried people. I’ve loved it because It took me back to memories of my early years, a time when life was simple, life was uncluttered by things. I didn’t know this at the time- Lockdown has given me a lot to reflect on!
My parents came over to the UK as political refugees when I was but a baby. They didn’t speak the language, had no social groups and virtually no money, so much of my early life was spent doing free things like walking, reading, listening to music, pottering about- no tv because we couldn’t afford one and my parents wouldn’t have known how to go about getting one anyway. We didn’t socialise, didn’t shop, had very little contact with people. It was just us. And my memories of that are blissful, peaceful, happy.
So when Lockdown came and we had to stay indoors, be just with our immediate families, couldn’t go to the shops etc….it was a nice feeling for me, because, unbeknown to me, it harked back to those halcyon days.
I feel that in many ways, Lockdown has brought out the best in people. Communities have come together, people have been taking more notice of each other, respecting each other more. We have greeted, waved, clapped. Nature became important, being in it and appreciating it became necessary. For me, life became more humane. It felt better balanced and harmonious. I spent more time drinking in my children, drinking in the world….and I don’t want to let that go.
My fear, for it is a real deep, pit in the stomach, anxiety riddled fear, is that once all businesses, education establishments, pubs/clubs, parks etc… open, we will return to that rushing, speeding, competitive, consumerist lifestyle that was before Covid-19 (BC19). We will forget about the community spirit, forget that nature needs us to be more careful with it, forget to take time with our children and really listen to what they are saying. Life will be spent getting up, rushing ourselves and our kids out the door, making money, spending money, over consuming (food, drink, gadgets) and buying things we either don’t need, because we are trying to keep up with the Jones’ or because we believe that how we are perceived by the external world is what makes us worthy. Big car, big house, expensive clothes, jewellery, all the gadgets and mod cons = success and happiness.
We will have forgotten how we survived with just the basics. We will have forgotten that life is for living, being in the moment, living each day as it comes, however it comes and adapting to that. We will have forgotten to look after ourselves, each other and the planet. We will have forgotten that a simple life can also a good life.
And the end of Lockdown is also a bittersweet reminder of the end of my childhood as I knew it. Life was simple but life was also tough. The older I got the more aware I became of family struggles, the more I experienced being in survival mode all the time. And thus ended those halcyon days.
My Lockdown has equated to my first 6/7 years of untroubled times. The easing of Lockdown is a reminder of my life after.