Lockdown 2020: Can I go outside yet?


The lockdown in the UK has been ‘eased’ – basically, that means more shops are opening up, we can meet up with people who aren’t in our household (but we must social distance) and we can do outside activities.

If you’re a normal person, that is. If you’re like me, and you’re in shielding, you’re still stuck indoors for a while.

Boo! This is not making me happy.

The day I write this, I have been in my house or my garden for 58 days straight. The furthest I’ve moved has been to the end of the garden and back again. I’m going slightly stir crazy now, and I can’t wait for June 12th, which is when my shielding officially ends and I can be free.

I’m hoping that I’ll have started working by then. I’ll probably have to work from home for a bit until my shielding is over. And I’m wondering what steps my employer is taking to make sure that the office is safe for us all. We sit in very close quarters, so I’m expecting desks to be moved.

The other thing is… will I ever go back to the office? Meaning not will I have a job, but because I’m high risk, will I be allowed to work in an office again? I’m not looking forward to it – people aren’t the cleanest, and I’m pretty fastidious about washing my hands and being clean and whatnot, so I’m hoping my colleagues will be the same.

I’m in dire need of a haircut, a leg wax, and an eyebrow shape. I just can’t get my eyebrows as nice as Dani, my lovely beautician, does, so when she’s working again I will be on the phone and begging her to sort out the caterpillars that have taken up residence over my eyes. Eeesh. People wonder why I don’t post selfies.

Being stuck inside is really boring me now. All I want to do is wander down to a coffee shop, grab an iced coffee and wander back home again. I’d like to browse in my favourite bookshop. I’d like to go to the library (that’s closed for now). I’d love to meet my friends for a pint in the pub. But no, I can’t. Not yet. I know there’s like phased reopenings of stuff, but it seems like everything will reopen and here I’ll be, still at home.

Mum and me have a plan though. When I’m free from my shielding, I’m going to buy a bike and we’re going to start going outside. She runs, I’ll ride. I’m not allowed to run because it hurts various bits of my body too much, so a bike is my only option. I think realistically I’ll be doing the outside exercise thing first before I go near any shops or my office again.

It’s going to be very odd being able to leave the house, though. I’ve got used to being home. My cat has certainly got used to us being home. When we do eventually get back to normal, I have a feeling he’ll have some serious separation anxiety!

I think a return to normality will benefit everyone’s mental health. Even I’m starting to crack, and I’m quite mentally strong. I’m fed up of these four walls and this garden, lovely as it is.

And I’m also a bit fed up of my family. I thrive in solitude, and being stuck with my family for this long is sending me a bit loopy. The sooner I can book a solo holiday in a luxury hotel in Devon, the better!

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