What Has Ten Weeks of Lockdown Taught Me?

Tigger and elephant 200420

Some producing some unexpected results, as in the case of Broad Haven…

As we pass into day seventy-one of lockdown in Wales with severe restrictions still in place and with the deaths of 1347 people (as at 1 June 20), what has changed?

1 We spend an awful lot of money on being entertained and travelling to be entertained: theatres, cinemas, restaurants, pubs and holidays.

2 A daily walk is an excellent exercise and unbeatable mental stimulation. When everyone else can only walk as well, we can talk to one another. We have made many new acquaintances as everyone has a little more time and we are not rushing past each other in cars.

3 With television offering only yesterday’s reheated fare and no live sport, homemade entertainments are great fun. The demand for music lessons, sewing patterns and materials, watercolour and oil paints has soared as have the composition of quizzes for small groups of disparate friends using Zoom.

4 Towns and people are waking up to the values of cycling. Electric bike sales must have surged. Town and city councils must now provide more safe routes for cyclists.

5 Local communities do pull together and help each other out. Some producing some unexpected results, as in the case of Broad Haven.

6 Politicians still refuse to give straight answers and prefer to list inane qualities and projects irrelevant to a person’s question. In Covid-19 testing terms, capacity and execution have become the same thing and opticians will be dismayed to learn that driving is the best way of testing one’s eyesight.

7 Reading is a great solace. Long books (over 500 pages) are worth ploughing through especially the Russian authors. Time now for Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ or Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables.

8 Necessity is the Mother of Invention. We will do much more work from home, making office space redundant and reducing peak hour travel.

9 The internet and click and collect services has given an additional boost to the jet-propelled shopping revolution. It will accelerate the changing face of the high street and we will have fewer shops especially in bigger cities. These soon to be empty shops could perhaps offer a solution to homelessness by converting them into residences. Instead of sleeping in the shop front, rough sleepers could sleep safely inside a converted shop and young first-time buyers could purchase a centrally located shop conversion.

10 Human touch is so important to our well being. I want to hug my children and grandchildren, but I can’t. At least I can hug my wife.


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