Five weeks in and I feel like I have finally become used to this ‘new normal’ of life in lockdown in the UK. My routine has adjusted and my mental health is a lot better than I thought it would be. I am working from home alongside homeschooling the children, and I am taking care of my health and fitness more than I was before. I know we are very fortunate, compared to other families who have been affected by covid-19 directly, whether to their health or by working on the frontline, but for us lockdown life is not too bad right now. In fact, there have been a few ‘silver linings’ from being quarantined, which have brought a smile to my face over the past month, one of these being how close I feel to my family, despite not being able to see them in person.
I have always had a close bond with my family. I consider my mum to be one of my best friends, and I usually see her a few times every week. We also regularly had games nights with extended family before lockdown began, and this was one of the things I was sure I would miss after it began. Instead, like many families across the world, we simply adapted and turned to video messaging platforms such as Zoom to keep in contact with weekly quiz and murder mystery nights.
We have taken it in turns to ‘host’ each weekend, and it is really nice to be able to see everyone, if only through a computer screen. In fact, it has been really lovely to be able to include family who live further afield in these online games nights. My brother and his family are in County Durham, my sister and her boyfriend are currently in Oxford, and we also have family in Scotland and Kent, who have been able to join in, when they wouldn’t have been able to for our physical gatherings before lockdown.
We have also been making more of an effort to talk to each other over phone, video call and text recently. I hate talking on the phone usually, but now that it is the only way to keep in touch with family I haven’t been able to see in person, it has become a real lifeline. I usually speak to my mum when I am out for my daily walk, and it is nice to feel connected, even though we are apart.
My mum has been amazing at keeping family connected and distracted during lockdown. She has been creating additional quizzes for Facebook each week incorporating photos and memories of extended family, to make them personal and something everybody can get involved with, even those who don’t want to join in with the video calls. We have family who live abroad, who have been able to join in with these from Canada, America, Mexico and Spain, which is so lovely, and again has helped us to all feel connected even across all those miles.
These are such scary times for people across the world right now, but throughout the uncertainty, it has been so lovely to feel even closer to my family than beforehand, and I hope that we will continue with some of these new traditions after things begin to resemble some form of normality again.