All information about the roadmap was gathered from this source.
On the 22nd of February, the government introduced the roadmap for the UK. This four-step roadmap showcases the road back to ‘normality’ and starts with the reopening of schools.
This news got me thinking about what will happen when Lockdown actually ends. In true ‘me’ fashion, I began to overthink the entire process.
This blog post does not delve into whether I think the roadmap is right or wrong, just about what I am nervous about when Lockdown does eventually end.
- What is normality?
- Working from home
- Anxious about socialising
- Dressing up
- The first weekend will be bedlam
- Scheduling everything
- Making time for me
- Key takeaways
Everyone has had different experiences with Lockdown. Some people experienced tremendous losses, had difficulties with their mental health, and some went through losing their job, loneliness and grief. Others had positive experiences with Lockdown. Some found they had time for themselves; some had a steady income and kept connected with loved ones.
This blog post shares my experience with Lockdown and why I am nervous about it ending. While I am happy overall that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t help but feel anxious about the next step. Overall, I hope this brings comfort to others who might be feeling nervous about what the future holds. I just wanted a place to explore and share my thoughts and offer a funny take about some concerns.
What is normality?
Will masks become a common fashion accessory? Are elbow taps the new handshake? Will people still keep their distance in public? Will restaurants keep in-house ordering apps operating?
So many new things got introduced during Lockdown and during the times when restrictions lifted slightly. When we return to ‘normal’, will everything disappear and become a relic of the past? Or will we infuse some Lockdown lifestyle changes into ‘normality’?
Personally, I like some of the implementations that are in place. I like the thought of masks being worn on public transport, especially when you are in close proximity to other people. Remember peak times on the train, when everyone gets sandwiched in together. I can’t imagine experiencing that without a mask on now. Plus, my nose does not have to suffer from the cold.
It isn’t just about masks, though; I like the in-house apps that restaurants/bars introduced. You ordered on the app, and the staff bring your food/drink to the table to reduce contact and customers moving around. Not only can a digital menu be updated, depending on if the restaurant/bar runs out of the selection, but you also don’t have to shout over the music to order if you are at a bar. You also don’t have to leave anyone alone at the table while you order. While this opinion is from a customer perspective, we’d also have to consider how restaurant/bar staff would respond to an in-house app. It’s more walking around but less interaction with customers.
Overall, I am nervous about what this ‘new normal’ will be and if we will change at all. I hope we can implement the positives, especially respecting the personal space of others. I am not looking forward to my bubble being breached. I hope we can learn from this experience and continue with safety implementation even after Lockdown ceases.
Working from home
I worked from home way before the general population did it out of safety for employees. Some people held this idea that working from home was a lot easier than going into an office. The number of people that would say, ‘well you just sit at home, so you have time’, or tried to make out I didn’t understand ‘hard work’ because I worked from home, was unbelievable.
Now, because the general population has had a taste of working from home, there is a sense of understanding. The location doesn’t matter; it is the amount of effort that you put in that counts.
I hope working from home also sticks for the people who preferred it. I’ve seen so many people online and had conversations with friends about how they save so much in communicating time that it feels like they have their evening back. Having that extra time to unwind makes them happier, more productive and motivated for work the next day.
I’m not saying working from home is for everyone, as many people prefer being in their workspace, such as an office. Still, now we have proof that it is a viable option. Maybe a balance of both.
I am nervous that we will go back to normal; however, and working from home will be something that just happened ‘during the pandemic’.
Anxious about socialising
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am a very quiet person, and I’m an introvert. So, while I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family again (especially that first hug with mum), I’m nervous about interacting with people in general.
I’ve not seen anyone properly in a year. I already struggled with talking to people, so after a year, mainly being alone with my partner doesn’t give me hope for a normal conversation. I also want to make sure we are all being safe.
For the past year, I’ve lived in PJ’s, leggings, baggy jumpers and sports bras, if a bra at all. Now I’m expected to dress like a human again and go out. Who even knows if my clothes still fit. I’ve not worn jeans in so long that they have probably ventured into Narnia to take down the White Witch.
I’m nervous about dressing appropriately again.
The first weekend will be bedlam
I am not looking forward to the ‘first weekend‘ that pubs open. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ll be going out. All I can imagine is pubs and restaurants being like a club on Halloween in a student town. You know, where the club has a line half a mile long, and when you get inside, you can’t move.
I am nervous about missing out on the first ‘big night out’ after Lockdown, but, at the same time, I don’t want the stress. Obviously, with how cautious I am, this probably won’t happen until a while after Lockdown ‘ends’.
In the past year, Lockdown took travelling, socialising, and spur of the moment adventures out of the equation. While that freed up so much time, it meant that new activities were introduced. For me, I started a blog and revived an old hobby.
When Lockdown ends, we’ll have a lot more to schedule in, and I’m nervous that something will get left out. What if I can’t do it all?
Luckily, we all have time to plan, and it is a slow progression. While you might not be able to schedule everything you do during Lockdown, make sure you continue doing what you love.
Making time for me
This relates to the last point, as it is valid. I struggled with Lockdown as an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and isolation captured me in its grasp; however, it did encourage me to focus on myself. It is when I started blogging, and I saw that the community, at the time, was writing about self-care. I started making time for myself and doing things that I enjoyed once again. I did something I liked, not because someone else wanted me to do it.
I am nervous that once Lockdown ends, the fast-paced world of ‘normality’ will put self-care to an end. Then I realised the importance of saying no. When the time comes, and we can go out-out again, it doesn’t mean I have to say yes to every activity. I can still make time for myself and do what I love. I can take myself on solo dates and continue doing what I love while making time for family and friends. It is all about finding the perfect balance.
- Take things at your own pace
- Keep things small
- Communicate with friends and family about how you are feeling
- There is time to get everything sorted
- We handled Lockdown, now we can handle it ending
- Finding the perfect balance is key
- Stay safe
- Be cautious; the virus won’t just disappear on a set date
While I am nervous about the optimistic news that there is a light at the end of the Lockdown tunnel, I am happy that the end is in sight. I am even more thankful that I am here to write this, and my family and friends are safe; not everyone has had that fortune.
The end wouldn’t be possible without the amazing dedication of our essential workers – our doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, sanitation workers, delivery services, warehouse operatives and more. I had the luxury of working from home, others did not, and I am unbelievably grateful for my fortune situation.
I hope you take this blog post in a light-hearted manner, and it brings comfort to those that are nervous about the return to a new form of normality. Everyone will have their own feelings towards the eventual end of Lockdown; some will be cautious, fearful, nervous, excited, ecstatic, thrilled or relieved, or a combination of all of them.
I hope we all take the next step safely and cautiously while respecting the feelings of others.
Name one thing you are looking forward to when Lockdown ends and one thing you are nervous about.