Retreat Day 239 – Lockdown 2: An underwhelming sequel

Few things inspire less confidence than rebranding exercises

We’re now a few days into Lockdown 2. So far, Brighton has been very lucky with lockdown weather. Walking along the seafront Friday night, there was almost a summery mood. This afternoon, the undercliff path was packed.

It’s been a weird week personally, and it’s been a little hard to settle. I found myself ignoring emails, which I never normally do, to the point where I hit Inbox-320. Normally, 30 is the most I’ll allow things to rise to, before tidying up. I broke my news-fast to track the US election, waking at 4:30am on Wednesday. Gorging myself on live news didn’t feel particularly good. On top of that, I’ve had a few logistical irritations, which were solved by returning to the office.

Lockdown 2 has not affected my life much, as I was already distancing effectively, and haven’t needed to visit shops much. But the background to this lockdown is unsettling. It’s hard to see how a four-week lockdown is going to have an effect when things are less restricted than in the spring. The stats the government used to justify it were sloppy (not formatting them to display on TV was the icing on that cake); the “moonshot” programme is already a fiasco. The government saw off a rebellion on the measures, but the wheels are falling off a little. We still have no plan other than praying for a successful vaccine to arrive as soon as possible.

The results of the US election feel a little like the world getting back to normal. Things have felt intense since 2016: Brexit, Trump, the nuclear arms tension with North Korea, two UK elections, and then the pandemic. These have been unsettled times.

For me, the highlight of the last few days was a sea swim with Rosy. Yes, it was cold, but far less cold than I expected – and the feeling of invigoration has lingered. I want to go in again!

Personally, it’s been a strange week.

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