Coronavirus diary - coming to the end of the lockdown in Wales

Tomorrow we come to the end of the "firebreak" lockdown in Wales, two weeks and two days of further restrictions.  It has not felt like the first lockdown at all and it is interesting to wonder why.  In March it felt as if life had truly gone inside.  The roads were empty.  The skies were blue and silent.  We went nowhere.  But the sun shone and spring came tumbling over itself in its rush to blossom and growth.  We worked in the garden and took advantage of the fact that, living up here, we always have a full freezer and a well stocked pantry.  When Ian went food shopping, as rarely as we could, I waited with bated breath for him to come home.  We saw no one.

This time has been only a shadow of that.  There was still traffic on the roads.  We continued to do some childcare for our locally living daughter.  Yoga and Pilates classes which had only recently restarted were suspended again but Zoom meetings for Welsh and Spanish continued.  Again we have stayed home and exercised from home but it has not felt too different from the life we have been living for months now.  Perhaps we have got used to contact with others online and to the slow pace of life in coronavirus Britain.  Cases of covid 19 had been quite high here in Flintshire but they are beginning to come down now, although still high enough to make us cautious in what we do.  The greatest difference I think has been the absence of shock.  In March it was hard to believe what was happening.  We watched the news constantly, I monitored numbers of deaths daily.  There was a strong sense of the country coming together in an attempt to combat the virus.  Political differences were temporarily laid aside.

Now in November there is no shock, just a weariness and resignation.  Normal political battlelines have been redrawn.  There is a lack of trust in the UK government and divergent views on how the coronavirus crisis should be handled.  Despite that there appears to be a holding up of support for restrictions.  Cases in France and Spain are also high.  It feels as though across Europe ordinary people are simply putting their heads down and getting on with it, doing their best to look after themselves and their families.  Stoicism has replaced shock.

The presidential election in the United States has hogged the headlines for weeks and is still doing so.  Biden seems to have won but Trump continues to cry foul, with no evidence for the fraud which he alleges has taken place.  

And it is November.  I have never been a big fan of November.

But actually November is full of beauty.  Apples, these ones generally left for birds, hang like baubles on the little apple tree in the kitchen garden.

We walk up the hill and run down again.  Here at home, halfway up, many of the trees are only just losing their leaves but higher on the hill the wind has already taken them.  In the morning skeins of mist drift along the valley.

When we walk to Caerwys the woods are unchanged.  It is still and quiet.  The birds don't sing so much now but if you stop and sit for long enough you will become aware of them darting in and out of bushes, quietly going about their business.

I make a Christmas cake.  Who knows how many of us will be able to share it but it will keep if it needs to, or I can send it all over the country in little boxes, like wedding cake!

I decide, in the face of gentle pressure on my waistband, to have a go at time restricted eating, where you leave a longer period between meals so that you eat in a window of eight hours and leave more like sixteen hours when you don't eat, in some of which you are thankfully asleep!  Today is the first day of this attempt.  I thought I would try to eat between 11.00am and 7pm.  I have no idea whether I will keep this up.  I like my breakfast and if I am honest I am doing it partly for something different to do!  I am not a great fan of routine and my life has become very routine in 2020.  This morning I did manage to go to 11.45 before having a breakfast/lunch of eggs.  We will see.  I am regarding it as an experiment!

And this coming week as restrictions lift we are hoping to see our older daughter and her family in South Wales.  Travel outside Wales is discouraged still but they at last are within reach, if we bubble with them which we shall.  I am so looking forward to seeing them!

How are you?  If you are in England what are your plans for lockdown?  And if you are elsewhere are you finding ways to have things to look forward to?  


  1. I'm in England and for me, this lockdown won't change daily life too much. I live alone, had shielded during the first lockdown and had only just started meeting others in public. I will miss the opportunity to have a bit of a social life but I have regular Zoom meetups that will continue. I'm retired so it doesn't impact on my finances, have plenty of food in the house and have plenty of offers of help if I run out of anything.

    I agree with your statement that the thing that makes it different this time is the absence of shock. I was expecting a second lockdown, and know I can cope because I have done it before. I think I am fortunate in that I have plenty of interests and hobbies, am used to being alone, and can happily keep myself busy at home. I also think there will be other lockdowns in the future so will mentally prepare myself for that.

    1. You sound very well prepared both practically and mentally! I think that is half the battle. If you know you can do it because you have done it before it becomes just a matter of planning. I hope you can find plenty to do to keep busy and happy. Sounds to me as if you have it sussed!

  2. It’s interesting that our views on being locked down for the second time coincide.
    It does seem very different this time and I had partly attributed this to the fact that schools remain open here. As we have a comprehensive school located off our street we see ( from inside the house) the arrivals and departures each day and, despite many of the pupils wearing masks, outwardly very little has changed with them. This has engendered a sense of everything being nearly normal.
    The ability to walk out with a person from another household, albeit at a suitable distance, has helped reduce the sense of being cut off from all social contact other than via a screen so that is a welcome concession.
    Life for us since the imposition of lockdown on 5 November has changed hardly at all however as we had lived with significant restrictions having been in tiers 2 and then 3 latterly.
    Infection rates remain high in this neck of the woods though, thankfully, numbers are currently going in the right direction. Let’s hope they continue this trend and that December sees a return to being able to meet outdoors with family. And might there be more reasons for positivity over the coming weeks?......
    Enjoy your release from the firebreak!

    1. Well we have the realistic prospect of a vaccine now, perhaps? So hard to balance my generally optimistic approach to life with a capacity for scepticism. I suspect the outcome will be a modified difference to the way we live. I'm up for a vaccine when it's available. I'm ready to continue to try to assess the risks of what I'm doing and make judgements of my own which makes sense to me. But I also think that's not enough. I suppose I'm a big picture person. I was an accountant. I think we need to have regard to risk and reward on a national and international scale and that needs numbers, statistics, analysis of trends. Is there enough of that? Seems to me that national governments are too busy fretting about national politics. Like environmental issues I suppose. Too big to make national sense.

  3. Here in Spain we are all fed up and tired of this situation with so many changes and uncertainty. Already 8 months ago from the first lockdown. At least a hope for a vaccine seems to be closer and closer. At the moment I´m mentally prepared for anything.
    Only time will tell. I´m living the best I can every single day!

    1. It is the only way to manage : how can I have a good day today? But it's a challenge to combine that with a serious interest in the wider situation. But as you say, maybe the vaccine will be the answer and the coverage I have seen about the Turkish /German scientists behind the first vaccine is uplifting. So we keep on keeping on!


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