Another lockdown was recently announced in my part of the world. It’s the kind of news I’m used to now, but honestly, this time, it hit me harder than usual.
I have been in one hell of a funk the last few weeks, and so, it seems, has nearly everyone around me. Every month that ticks by since the pandemic took significant hold in my country, it’s hard to believe that this has been going on for so long – harder to believe that it’s going to keep going, too. Normally, around this time of year, I would be planning for my birthday, and then for Christmas with my family – in 2020, given that so many of the people I love live so far away from me, it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll get a chance to see many of them in person for a while yet.
And I know that I’ve had a relatively easy lockdown compared to a lot of people. My job continued as normal, as did my relationship, and my terrible little cat. I haven’t had to fear for my livelihood or my home, nor have the majority of the people that I really care about. Most of the time, that positive view of it helps me, but sometimes, and especially as the darker nights and colder days start to set in, I can feel the weight of those lockdown blues starting to hang over my head.
I just miss life, you know? I’m not the most social person at the best of times, but I am lucky to have a small group of friends and family who I love ferociously and who I miss even more. I bought my very first house last month, and it feels wrong, in some ways, that none of them have stepped foot inside of it yet. That I haven’t been able to make memories with them in this new home.
One of the hardest and sweetest parts of lockdown, for me, has been realizing just how much of the people I love I carry with me all the time. My best friend went through a phase of eating a lot of halloumi one summer, and now, whenever I see a pack of it in the shops, I think of her; I tend my little indoor garden and think of my mum doing the same when we lived in the house I grew up in together. I line the postcards that my friends have sent me from all over the world on their many travels, old and new, and every time I walk past them to make a cup of tea, I am reminded of all the adventure that lives in them. It’s a bittersweet thing, because I would much rather be able to see those parts of them again in person, but I have no idea how long it will be before I can safely and responsibly do so.
Digital contact has been an absolute godsend in a time when I can’t see the majority of the people I love in person, but, as we can probably all attest to by now, it’s just not the same as being able to smell their hair or hold their hand or share a piece of cake with them. I want to get back to sharing my real-time, non-screen life with the people who matter most to me, and it feels awfully selfish to even think about trying right now.
Another lockdown is not something that I’m opposed to – if this is what we need to do to keep people safe, long may it continue – but I am suffering from some of the lockdown blues right now, and I just needed to talk with you about it. Thanks for listening. I hope wherever you are, you’re staying as safe as you can, and that you’re taking care of yourself in this hard-ass time.
If you can, join me in donating to the Trussel Trust to support people having trouble accessing food in this difficult time.