As lockdown lifted this week, I found myself ignoring the WhatsApp messages with invites to the pub. It wasn’t that I’d been having such a brilliant time trapped at home – working, eating all three meals, watching TV and doing my washing in the one small room – but the thought of going out on a weeknight, and scuppering my 10pm bedtime, made me recoil in disgust.
Prior to the pandemic, commuting into a newsroom every day of the week, followed by evening social plans (or at the very least having told myself I must exercise), and weekends filled with trips or travel, did not feel a disproportionate burden. Sure I was tired, but isn’t everyone? And tiredness was a meagre price to pay to avoid the ultimate affliction – boredom.
The first lockdown, for all its faults and economy-disrupting impact, did give many people the chance to step off that hamster wheel. It was a momentary pitstop that never felt possible in “real life”. To slow down in sync with other people, to live day-to-day and take joy in smaller things.
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