Lockdown or your life?

I’m writing this on what I think is day 39 of lockdown here in the UK. It’s late Friday afternoon and I’ve finished my work for the day. I’m glad I still have work, not just for the obvious financial reasons but also because I have something meaningful that exercises my brain for large parts of the day. I write for a living, and doing a piece of content that needs hours of research and then putting together as an article, gives me a real sense of satisfaction. I’m glad I have that. I’m lucky that I have that, too. I’m aware of that and grateful.

As the weekend arrives, there’s the;

‘Ah, it’s the weekend’,

feeling, if only for a few fleeting moments. The feeling that you’ve earned a break.

Then realisation hits. The weekend’s days are the same as any other day in this new world we are living in. Every day is in fact, Sunday. Or Monday. Or Friday. Take your pick.

There can’t be many out there now who still think that lockdown is a bit of an adventure.

To be honest, I normally quite like living in a bit of isolation. I work in my study on my own and I value that. As a recovering alcoholic, I live a simpler, less complicated life than I did in years gone by.

However, the difference is, that in normal times, I can choose when I’m going to be a loner or conversely when I want to be part of a 55,000 crowd at a football match, or go to a coffee shop with my wife or one of my sons, or take a trip into London to see a West End show. I am the agent of my own decisions.

At the moment I am not. That for me is what is now starting to play with my head a little. I have times when like Roger Daltrey, in the rock musical, ‘Tommy’, I want to run shirtless through fields of wheat (not with Theresa May, though) and do cartwheels along Brighton beach, whilst singing, ‘I’m Free.’

I can’t do that though. The reason? In a nutshell – I’m scared. The prospect of getting Coronavirus scares the crap out of me. I’m glad it does. Fear, where this novel coronavirus is concerned, is healthy. That’s why I’ve respected and welcomed being locked down, It has kept my family and me, safe. So, far.

Now, however, on day 39 or whatever it is since we became confined, I’m concerned. Although I go out only rarely other than to walk the dogs or to go for a run, I get the sense from others that the roads and streets are getting busier with both traffic and pedestrians. Talk of starting the football season again and of some cricket leagues starting in July, of more shops opening than just the essential supply types, and of people being told that they have to start going back into their places of work imminently, is worrying.

There is a sense from reading the press and on social media, that we are, as a nation, starting to relax – all this despite the fact that another 700 plus deaths were announced in today’s early evening government briefing. It feels like the flood gates of lockdown are being ever so slightly opened. We all know what tends to happen when flood gates are slightly opened – first there’s just a trickle and then before you know it, a torrent is bursting through the gap in the gates.

I can’t help but fear that if that happened, it would signal a second coronavirus wave and more new cases. That there’d be a rising death toll again and ever more pressure on the NHS and its wonderful people on the front line.

Whether this drive to get the country unlocked is coming from the business community, from those amongst us that have had enough of being at home, from those that want to get back to work or to look for new jobs, or simply from people who’s desire is to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible then the answer has to be the same. It’s too soon. We are being impatient if we think otherwise. That’s my view, anyway. Give it time. In the scheme of most lifetimes, if we have to stay locked down for as long as we already have, again or longer, then so be it. If we take a long term view, it isn’t a long time. not with what is at stake.

I understand people’s frustrations and economic fears. We are being told by some commentators that we are heading for an economic catastrophe if we don’t open the country up soon. However, that ignores the alternative – that if we get this wrong, many, many thousands more are going to die. I can only speak for myself – I don’t want to die from Covid19. I especially don’t want to die as a result of the nation relaxing too soon. The same goes for my family.

I don’t know about you, but if it really has to come down to a choice, I’d choose a bit longer in lockdown and all its downsides over giving up my life to this virus. Anytime.