Tomorrow the UK will significantly loosen its lockdown precautions and –boy– it’s been a fun few months hey? Feels as though this year is going to be like one of those days where you wait for everyone to be free, spending time procrastinating and not really doing anything; only to have it all fall through and just end up going to bed, making a note to try again tomorrow.
It shouldn’t have to, though. For someone like me with all the resources (besides time) still very much at my disposal for what I do, it should’ve been an opportunity for me to get on unhindered and somehow maximise on the situation. And what is the situation, exactly?
Yes, given that this is the single biggest change to human behaviour to have happened in my lifetime, I should probably say something about it. Covid-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, crept up on just about everyone. At first it was a foreign news story. Then it was a casually-dismissed threat, laughed off by arrogant politicians. Then it was a real issue, with a creeping wave of precautions. But eventually, it became apparent that containment had failed and we were all going to need to do something drastic.
Far too many ignored the warnings and carried on regardless. In the UK, as in many places, government was eventually forced to bring in a lockdown: no travel except essential, no visitors even family, work from home except if that isn’t possible; in which cases, don’t work at all unless you’re providing essentials for people to live. If you’re reading this today, you probably wonder why I’m bothering to explain it; just about everyone has seen something similar happen where they live; it may not be unprecedented as a pandemic, but as a social change there really has never been anything so sudden, widespread and life-altering. And the crazy thing is, if I’d posted this blog even just the start of this year, it would read like just another weird “what if” science-fiction scenario.
Life Under Coronavirus
A few times in these past months since the lockdown went into effect late March, I’ve meant to lay down a simple account of the strange lifestyle of these times. This aspiration waned as I fought dwindling motivation, brought on by both a constant treadmill of alternating work and childcare with time for little else (due to the absence of any nursery, grandparents or even having friends over to take a break now and then), but also the thought that just about every blog writer in the world is going to be doing it anyway.
That second thought was pernicious. You should never be afraid to undertake a creative pursuit because other people are doing it; so long as you are setting out to do it your own way, it will still be unique. A worthwhile read? Well, who knows. Not for me to worry about.
In any case, the first has sort of been my blocker until fairly recently. I got into 3D art again, made some progress on projects that I’d like to share here (incidentally, I’ve been considering a re-organisation of the site to better display things like that). Not as much productivity as I’d have liked as a result of basically being under house arrest for 3+ months, but hey I’m not a student anymore. I think this lockdown affected people in two very broad ways: you’ve either had lots more time (no kids) or none at all (have kids). But I’ve been lucky; it’s not really been bad for me. Restricting, sure. It feels weird that I’ve gone a month and traveled no more than 2 km, or that I’ve not had to scootch along a bench-seat in a restaurant for over quarter of a year.
The tone of this post makes it sound like this strange time is coming to an end. I’m not under any illusions of that; it’s a loosening and it will allow us the first decent interaction with family outside of the house, but there’s a way to go yet. While the far side of this can’t come soon enough, I will say I’ve enjoyed some aspects that I will undoubtedly miss when everything is back to normal. My daughter and wife are around the house during my working day for much longer than they originally would have been (Alison only recently got to start nursery a few weeks ago, instead of back in March). It was nice to get a little longer to share lunches and see them on my coffee breaks. I was working for home already and will continue to do so, but I imagine this will probably have a strong impact in many other businesses modernising their workflows.
I’m hoping that my adaptation to a strained lifestyle will make it feel like I have lots more free time, once things get back to normal. That being the case, I might be able to get a few more posts up on here, if nothing else.