March 2020 was when the country shut down and so we are officially a year on from Coronavirus first causing major disruption to our lives. March 23rd was the day Boris Johnson sat down and told us all that we were entering lockdown, and that life as we knew it was to change probably for ever. Here we are now then, a year on and only now properly coming out of lockdown. I know we came out of one in the summer in England but then a few weeks later were back in again and it feels like we have been doing the Hokey Cokey ever since. Some, like the people in Leicester, never came out at all in that year. And whilst I feel we came out too soon in the summer ( I think it should have been a shut down until the schools went back in September) and that opening everything at once was madness, I am ready for things to get back to (a new) normal.
So where are we at now? Well last week what is deemed “non essential retail” was able to open, on April 12th. How on earth The Range got away with being open but the local independent selling pretty much the same stuff wasn’t is beyond me. You can buy clothes in Tesco and M&S but you can’t in New Look. Work that one out. Restaurants and cafes are allowed to open up if they have outside space, and hairdressers are able to welcome people inside again.
If you want to watch a film though you have to spend 12 hours on a flight to LA, you can’t go to the local multiplex and sit for two hours, oh no, that is still banned. Like I said, work that one out.
I am nervous about being outside, around people I dont know, I am not going to lie. I always knew I was a “home bird” and the past year has really cemented that for me, I have felt safe at home and haven’t really been in a huge rush to get out and about again. We have no plans for entertaining friends in the garden (also permitted as long as there is a maximum of 6, or two households) and dont have a list of reservations for pub gardens either. We are taking it slowly for now, with a nervousness, a reticence that I think that will stay for a while.
The world feels weird. Yes, people are still wearing face masks, and if reports are to be believed we could be for years to come, but apart from that you really wouldn’t know that we are still living in the midst of a pandemic. Around 30 people a day are still dying from it in England, though those figures are at their lowest for months it is still a figure that I don’t really want to be a part of.
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that we often went out at the weekends, to the beach to take photos, to a pub garden, hell we even went to France for the day on a whim, and even though we are allowed to go out now we still aren’t. The stay home message has been changed, and whilst we are now asked to only really travel when essential that seems to be interpreted very differently by different people. Certainly photos on the local news show people at beaches, filling parks, gathering for picnics in fields etc. Even though some days the temperature barely gets into double digits. Hell the first night the pubs opened people were shivering in pub gardens just because it meant they could have an al fresco pint. I admire their spirit, but it isnt something we could do just yet!
Our weekends are still spent at home where we feel safest, and as much as we might want to go out and explore, we aren’t doing that yet.
Haircuts and nails though? Oh you better believe I was in those doors on Monday morning and have my next three appointments booked.
Image of April 12th, courtesy of Shutterstock