In the run-up to Christmas, the isolation and grimness of lockdown seeped into me. I was working in a new office, which was mostly empty, and I felt like a ghost. I had one day where the only people I spoke to were the staff at Small Batch. I missed daylight most days, and came home too tired to make any preparations for Christmas Day. The bad news of the new variant was followed by the cancelling of Christmas regulations, closed borders, and an announcement that Brighton would enter Tier 4 today, with no hope of emerging before Easter 2021, at the start of April.
Back in October, I wrote the following:
What does life look like under a prolonged pandemic? How do I keep my spirits up and my enthusiasms alive if this does go on for years? It’s not that I think I can’t, or that this is likely to go on into 2022. But answering the question ‘What if this lasts forever’ makes it easier to deal with shorter periods of time. How should we enjoy life and thrive with these new limits?
A few days ago, Matt Hancock said that this crisis was likely to continue into 2022, for the United Kingdon at least. The question for me is, how do I set aside empty hopes, and focus on practical steps to have a good year in 2021?
After 9 months of living alone in lockdown, the isolation has become more difficult. The particular shape of my social networks mean I am not in a social bubble at the moment. Sharing food used to be important to me; food eaten alone just doesn’t taste as good, does it? I can have days without significant human interaction.
Christmas Day itself was good. I went for a long walk at dawn. I swam with some friends in the cold, cold sea. The seafront was busy but mostly distanced, and I bumped into some people I’d not seen in months. Kate Shields came over and we cooked a feast, played Soulcalibur and watched movies. It was a pretty good day, despite my lacklustre preparations.
We are now entering the quiet days between Christmas and New Year. During that time, I need to ask myself, what I am excited about in 2021? What makes a good life within a dangerous and ongoing pandemic?If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list