Lockdown 2 – the sequel no one wanted!

As the UK enters its second period of lockdown due to a disturbing rise in numbers of cases of Covid-19, I’ve found that there’s a hell of a lot to think about. And rather than throw myself into a world of sleepless nights, I thought I’d write about the current situation.

I spent the first lockdown isolating because of a couple of underlying health conditions which marked me out as vulnerable. This wasn’t something I was particularly comfortable with, but I had to swallow my pride and live with it. I’ve always thought of myself as fit, healthy and strong so the label ‘vulnerable’ doesn’t sit well with me. They’ll be labelling me as ‘not altogether that butch after all’ next! Anyway, in the end I was away from work – as a teacher – for 6 months.

This time around lockdown seems distinctly different and it makes me feel more than a little scared. The one major difference, for me personally, is that I will be spending this period of lockdown at work. This alone is responsible for a great deal of lockdown stress! Schools aren’t closing and whatever our views on that, it makes me anxious about coming in to work, where before Covid I looked forward to almost every day and almost very minute spent in the building.

Since September though, I’ve felt safe and largely looked after at work. My employer – being a school – had done their homework, so to speak. A risk assessment was prepared for myself and any other vulnerable members of staff who would be returning to work, so I was familiar with the way things would be before I had even entered the building. And I’d had a couple of ‘how are you’ type catch up calls and Teams meetings too.

We’re actively guarding against the virus. We wear masks, we wipe surfaces down before and after use, we have hand sanitiser readily available, we are socially distant where possible, we keep the kids in year group bubbles and a common sense approach has been employed across the board. I’ve felt safe. And you’d think that’d be the case across the board with schools, but I’ve heard tales of places where such protocols are simply not followed.

Things are different now though. It feels far more like the situation we encountered in March with rising positive cases, rising death rates and a general sense of confusion that is frankly quite frightening once again. And let’s face it, we shouldn’t still be confused about something that’s been around for such a long time. It’s not the fault of my place of work, but now, every day it’s a case of gritting my teeth and getting on with it in the face of quite a bit of trepidation. It’s practically the only place where I mix with people and although in theory we’re safe, it’s beginning to feel like keeping schools open might not be such a great idea.

Away from work though, it feels like a general sense of boredom and, dare I say it, a sense of entitlement is beginning to rule people’s thinking. You could feel it towards the end of the first lockdown. People had had enough of the same four walls and unfortunately it started to manifest itself in a lot of stupid behaviour.

Despite the one way systems in shops, the obvious need to wear a mask and the constant knowledge of what social distancing was, people decided that there was no need for any of it anymore. In the town where we live, as bars began to open again people began to congregate in ridiculous numbers both inside and outside of the premises. The message seemed to be ‘sod the virus, I haven’t been tanked up in a public place in far too long’. And while I’m no prude, it all just seems incredibly selfish. Is an afternoon drinking really worth it? The ignorance of people that can recognise what two metres looks like for only a certain amount of time is quite something. And they’re attitude to the one metre+ rule is just staggering. Rather than stand a decent distance away from someone or maybe just refrain from going out for ten pints, it just seems to have become easier to blame semantics and say that you can’t imagine what one metre+ looks like because it’s not an actual measurement.

As we settle into Lockdown 2 I fear that the attitude will continue. I wonder if people will reject the lockdown for the simple fact that it has an end date. I mean, what’s the point for four weeks, right? If you listen carefully you could probably hear someone saying it right now. I can imagine people doing four weeks very much on their own terms; like only locking down properly until the boredom sets in.

Then there’s the approach of the festive season – which isn’t actually that close at all. I feel certain that there will be a raft of people who decide that their pre-Christmas socialising is far too important to give up, even though we should be out of lockdown in time for it to commence at the right time anyway. Any excuse for a barbecue in the garden with your friends though, especially when your precious human rights have been infringed for so long! And anyway, you’re outside so it’s all OK!

It’s the thinking of simpletons and it worries me that I could be even more vulnerable to the virus because of this type of selfishness.

The second spike of the virus means that things that are dear to us all will continue to be out of reach too. Gigs, football, theatre to name but a few; they’re all out of reach. Then there’s loved ones. I haven’t seen my parents (or my sister for that matter) since December of last year. I don’t feel that I can visit as they’re both extremely vulnerable and with three of us in my immediate family mixing with lots of people in schools every week, going to see them would be utter stupidity. It hurts not seeing them and it hurts them too. But my parents are sensible enough to say that we shouldn’t visit, even just to stand in the garden and I’ll be respecting their wishes. But at the back of my mind, as things continue to get worse, I do genuinely wonder if I’ll ever see them again. They live over 100 miles away, so even going round to stand in the garden is a bit of a trek. It’s a thought too horrible to dwell on, but it’s the kind of thing that makes me even more angry at those who are determined to just carry on as normal and either deny that this thing exists or make excuses about the number of deaths.

Recent reports of a new strain of the virus make things worse and yet there are still people – and there in fairly large numbers – who happily deny its existence. There’s not a lot I can say about that that’s probably not already been said or that would be original, but it’s a frightening thought. During the first lockdown I overheard a conversation between two neighbours in their gardens blaming Bill Gates – apparently as it was his fault he “needed stabbing” – and was just astonished. These people are real! At one point they even blamed Brexit and even though I heard the explanation I couldn’t really work out what they meant. I imagine the idea of a second lockdown is being swiftly rejected by them and in fact a couple of days into it they were in their garden, mixing with another member of the family not in their bubble, letting off fireworks!

The long and short of this story is that Coronavirus isn’t going away. We’re not controlling it, we’re not coping with it and in fact, some people seem to be totally ignoring it. At the start of it all I laughed out loud at people panic buying toilet rolls, before being left without a smile when I was sent home from work as I was too vulnerable to be there and was subsequently away for 6 months. Now, as we get back to lockdown, there’s nothing about this virus that can make me smile.

Author: middleagefanclub

Man, husband, dad, teacher, coach, Geordie. Former street dancing champion of Tyne and Wear, guinea pig whisperer, developer of the best-selling fragrance, Pizzazz and alleged liar. Ex male model and a devilish raconteur. No challenge should be faced without a little charm and a lot of style.

14 thoughts on “Lockdown 2 – the sequel no one wanted!”

  1. Oh…I totally agree with everything you have said. We’re going in the same direction here in Canada unfortunately.

    It is just so frustrating that people aren’t taking this seriously. Today, on Remembrance Day, I think of all the veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Then, I look at the selfishness of people who think it’s their “right” to hang out in large groups at bars and parties.

    Our schools are open here too. My daughter is in a high school of about 1,200 students. So far, they have had only one case. There have been very few outbreaks in schools in our area which is good.

    Stay safe and here’s hoping and praying this will all be behind us soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Firstly, I think the title of this post is great – made me laugh.

    Secondly, it’s a really tough time with the adjustments in the workplace, it sounds like your employer is doing okay with this, though other places aren’t as good and seem to be making it up as they go along!

    I’ve been working at home since March and although I have the option to go in via a booking system to stop over crowding I don’t like the setup of the offices and it offers no benefits over working from home.

    It’s a shame things have got like this again, I know I gritted my teeth with neighbours who were having someone different around 1, 2, 3 times a day and having reoccuring weekend parties, I like to think if people had given it a better go in the first place we wouldn’t be having to repeat a lockdown, but oh well, I just view it as out of my control.

    Hope things start getting better so you can see your parents soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A well-written post.. Here in Western Canada our story mimics yours. My hubby is high risk and we’ve been laying low since the pandemic started. My sister works in our schools and the level of anxiety is the same. The second wave has our numbers climbing and keeping our schools open has produced mixed reactions. As a recently retired Public Health nurse, I feel guilty for not returning to work which would put my husband at risk. I had been visiting my elderly parents on their patio, but now we are in a lockdown that I can’t even do that. My Dad required hospitalization for 5 nights for a non-COVID issue and I was a ball of anxiety not being able to be there for him. These are indeed difficult times. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. God…this is like a mirror experience to what our city’s facing right now. Local government just announced that we might be facing a second wave of isolated lockdown due to the spike in new cases. And the people…..it’s like we never learned.

    I’m not a teacher, but I got to stay months at home for work, too so legit relatable.

    Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Although the second lockdown is a sequel no one wanted, it was one most of us predicted as people were just too care free about following the guidelines so we could avoid it. Plus the government has mismanaged the whole thing from top to bottom

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yep! Pretty much headed for another lockdown here in Ohio, USA as people are not taking mask wearing and social distancing seriously. In my local area, serious outbreaks were found to be caused by 5 family/social parties and gatherings. It is a constant worry that this is spreading because of the shameful way the outgoing administration failed to handle the situation. Best of luck to everyone trying to do the right thing — stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t believe we are going through another round of lockdown. Though, for me, it feels like we never even left the lockdown. Still lots of restrictions that many people don’t really abide to. It is great that you’ve been doing what you can to stay safe. Hope you and your students stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have similar in the UK. It seems the northern counties are getting things very wrong and had more restrictions placed upon them than anywhere else until finally we went back into full lockdown. Not a lot seems to have changed though, sadly.

      Like

  8. It’s other people that make me nervous, either they aren’t wearing masks properly (or not at all) or they don’t believe it exists so are reckless.
    I have hope that it will all end soon though, it may be naive but I have to think like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s telling that those with exposed faces in shops and on public transport usually look like they’re lacking brain cells. The selfishness is astounding! Must be really tough working in a school & not being able to see your family as a result. I feel nervous just getting the train from London to my Mum’s in Kent. Hoping with the good news about the vaccine it’ll be over sooner rather than later. It was great hearing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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