Yesterday afternoon I saw that Boris Johnson and an emergency announcement started to trend on Twitter. Before the 4 pm announcement it had been leaked that we were looking to move into a Tier 4 Lockdown. If I had any sense I would have probably grabbed my bag then to make the journey to see my mother, but I stayed to gather around the TV with my housemates, like so many of the times we had done previously this year.
Boris made the rather unpopular announcement that London and other regions were to move into Tier 4 at midnight. So it became illegal to travel home for Christmas! I mean nothing should ever surprise us given that it is 2020, but it did come as a shock to millions of people in London and other areas in the UK, who were gearing up to go home Christmas week.
Many people messaged me to ask if I was going to jump on a train to visit my mother before the midnight lockdown deadline. I already had my bag packed, but had been unable to leave sooner due to having to self-isolate. My mother and I both happen to be in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable group’, so as much as I wanted to see her. I also didn’t want to put her at risk. I also thought that if I had that idea, I knew thousands of other people would have had the same.
Having witnessed scenes on Twitter, as thousands fled London before the clock struck midnight. I felt relieved that I didn’t take the risk. Even though I am going to miss my mother on Christmas Day, and especially in light of her recent diagnosis.
Self-isolating due to the ‘Test and Trace’ app
I received an alert a week ago to say that I had to self-isolate on the Track and Trace app, which delayed my journey home. Even more frustrating now!
If you go into the app, click on ‘About this app’, ‘Manage my data”, then you can see the ‘Exposure Notification’ within the app itself which will tell you the date.
My housemate also received one, simply from checking in to a bar and sitting outside with friends all evening. I wonder how many other people have received one in London in recent weeks.
I have been having to live out of my bedroom once again for 10 days. If I have been in communal areas, I have been wearing a face mask and have been eating in my bedroom once again. The solitary life for me! I have spent quite a lot of time by myself this year. For someone who likes to be around other people, I have spent quite a lot of time by myself. Apart from working, writing in my blog and speaking to people has been my lifeline.
We read to know we’re not alone
I watched Shadowlands again today, featuring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, and directed by Richard Attenborough. This quote really resonated with me. I have been chatting to people on Twitter, in a response to the Tier 4 lockdown. We read other people’s comments to feel that we are not alone. We talk to people to feel that we are not alone. Connection is more important than ever, even if we physically can’t be together. Keep talking to people.
The COVID situation is forever changing. We can’t control the virus, but we can control our reaction to it. I was gutted that I couldn’t have travelled home sooner. Thankfully after seeing the stampede at the London stations, I didn’t! I am not judging anyone. I did what I thought was right for myself and my mother’s health at the time. The world and COVID situation is changing daily. Embrace, don’t fight change.
2. CREATE A COVID CHRISTMAS
OK, so I wasn’t planning to be in London for Christmas, therefore I didn’t have much food or bubbles in. However, I am home with 3 other housemates. I’m not alone. We have all decided to pool together to make this a really nice lockdown Christmas experience for each other. I have had such an amazing response from all of my friends on Social Media. Let’s look out for one another this Covid Christmas.
3. GO FOR A DAILY WALK
I fully appreciate that this might sound an obvious Top Tip for Lockdown. However, try and go outside. Sitting indoors wondering when Tier 4 will ever come to an end – or wherever you are in the world right now – will not do your mental and physical health any good. So even if it is just to walk around the block, try and get out over Christmas. Get outside for a daily walk.