OPINION: 8 ways our lives have changed in the first six months of lockdown
PUBLISHED: 20:00 24 September 2020
Copyright (C) Andrey Popov
Back in February we never would have predicted we’d be fighting over toilet paper, and socialising over Zoom in the months to come.
New lockdown measures are due to come in this week exactly six months after the phrase first really entered our lives. Over the spring and summer we’ve made astonishing life changes and many things that seemed odd at first have quickly been absorbed as normal part of daily life. Here are eight things that may have changed in your life.
1) The home haircut
Did you go for the lockdown buzz cut? Did the children have hair like old fuzzy tennis balls or did you just let it all hang out until barbers opened again in June? As demand for haircuts grew, sales of hair clippers and trimmers soared as Britain adopted a DIY approach to hairdressing with hair dye kits selling fast in supermarkets. People said it was like living during the Three Day Week in the early 1970s, which is apt as there were many fringes on show that resembled Slade guitarist Dave Hill.
2) The pasta pillowcase
It’s always pasta isn’t it? Before lockdown had been announced it was already tough to get hold of as we started raiding the supermarkets for store cupboard stocks. And this week there have been empty shelves in Norfolk supermarkets which is just one step too farfalle for those of us who enjoy this food staple. Did you buy a massive bag of pasta that you thought would get you through lockdown? Chances are you’ve still not finished it...
3) Who’s that behind the mask?
Wear a facemask in public? Really? While we were slow to adopt the facemask policy in shops (it only came in to force at the end of July) an amazing number of us soon realised that disposable masks were incredibly uncomfortable and itchy after a while and so a boom began in fashionable masks. Did you fork out £10 for a design that you thought might make you stand out from the crowd? And exactly how many times have you worn it?
4) Summer is cancelled
Do you have a calendar on your wall? Flick back through May, June and July and it’s likely to resemble the markings on a bad school exam paper. Events fell, plans were wiped out and rearranged dates were finally cancelled. ‘We’ll just have to do it bigger and better next year,’ said the nation as one while weddings, birthdays and anniversary celebrations were given a cold, hard trim in both numbers and merriment. Measures announced yesterday could last until March so don’t bank on 2021 being an all-out party just yet.
5) You holidayed at home
Hands up who should have been in Florida, Faliraki or Florence this summer and ended up in Fakenham, Felbrigg or Felixstowe? It soon became clear that leaving one coronavirus hotbed for another just wasn’t a sensible option and that was before lengthy and confusing quarantine laws came in. On the plus side, we had some sizzling weather in August and your decision to stay local has certainly helped a tourism industry find someway to recover after a disastrous early summer.
6) One up, one down
John Lewis reported this week that sales of bunk beds are booming as we reshape our abodes in order to work from home. Our bedrooms have been reimagined with one now a home office while the children are having to share their sleeping space with each other. While it may have first been thought of us a temporary solution to ease the family through the summer months, Michael Gove this week insisted we must now work from home for longer if possible, so the kids may have to get used to bunking up together.
7) You staged your backdrop
You thought you knew your colleagues before March – now you know what they look like minus the makeup after they’ve wolfed down some toast and appeared at their kitchen table for a morning chat via one of many online video call websites. Some of us didn’t care what we looked like, some did and staged their backdrop. Some opted for a nice vase of fresh flowers or shelves of intellectual tomes behind them, while others just made a home office for themselves wherever their wi-fi router gave off the strongest signal.
8) Slots of fun
Surely ‘slot’ has been one of the most used daily words in 2020. It used to just be something you played on the Golden Mile at Great Yarmouth. This year we’ve had to use slots to get shopping delivered, slots when we could go shopping, slots when we could drop the kids off at school and slots when we could get tested. We even had a daily slot when the nation could unite and join Joe Wicks in his daily morning workout. No, I didn’t do it either.
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