I count myself lucky that I've suffered less than others in lockdown
- Credit: Ruth Davies
With more of an idea on how we might come out of lockdown, I’m reflecting that as a married mid-lifer with children I’ve definitely had an easier time than most.
Unlike youngsters I don’t spend Friday nights “up the city” on the best of days so lockdown fatigue is not added to by a lack of night life and unlike some elderly folk I’m not lonely, isolated or in desperate fear that my age may contribute to my becoming seriously ill should I get the virus.
Children also suffered more – from missing friends with no mobile phone of their own to keep in touch to lacking in understanding that this won’t go on forever. Their worlds have zapped in size as they miss school, miss life… Just miss out really.
For children, young people and singles as well as pensionable folk who might already be quite lonesome without a pandemic they must be wondering where their lives have disappeared to this last year.
We may have portals, iPads and other screens to keep in touch, all things which might make us gasp in wonder at the advancements in technology, but you can’t hug a screen – human touch in the living and breathing beautiful flesh is priceless and when you need a hand holding onto your own, as we all do at times, it hasn’t quite cut the Colman’s.
But for me, my age group with families at home and partners to kiss goodnight, well perhaps our middle age has gifted us the golden lockdown life point and perhaps I shouldn’t have moaned as much as I did.
Lockdown has very definitely been hard on us all but objectively it has been rather easier for people like me in comparison to others.
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A shared bottle of wine drunk with my husband in my own kitchen with a take-away is probably what we’d choose over queues in bars and taxis home after nights out anyway – being forced to accept a stay at home social life has not been a wrench and working from home, after the first lockdown paved the way getting us all in the groove for it to happen again, has been easier this time too.
In fact, despite home school (which HAS been a marathon) we haven’t had so much to deal with personally at all.
Trying to look at it from all angles and consider everyone, I think the worst off have been those in their late teens and early twenties – not only do they seem to get bashed in the media for behaving badly when they shouldn’t all be tarred with the same brush, but these are the life livers and yet life has been paused in their prime.
My half-sister, a 20-year-old who should be off at university enjoying the frills, freedom and social event of it just as much as the learning, is working from home remotely.
All that wonder of adulting while still young carrot dangled for years then whipped away as quickly as it was offered up.
I don’t think I would have hand on heart been able to say I’d have stuck to the rules at my sister’s age and though she is, I can see why others don’t.
I think the ability to empathise and to see a world outside your own is developmentally not a place we reach until a bit later in life so I get why they balk against, rightly or wrongly, and they do have the most of my sympathy over this dire situation closely followed by the kids.
When I look at my children all needing different elements of their regular life to be more normal (how we are all looking forward to proper school again) my heart has ached for them.
The looking after, feeding, caring, making sure they are safe, that’s the easy part but making sure they have a good emotional and social wellbeing package in their lives too and outside help is required - school is intrinsic to that and I am so grateful my mum has had the vaccine so sending them back will pose less of a threat to her when she sees them.
My mum is lucky as a single adult household and has been in our bubble since we were allowed one – lots of her friends have been worse off and getting the world back to normal is important for them too.
From the smallest of things like getting their hair done (something my mum has done every six weeks without fail by the same hair dresser for the last 45 years – she might miss Philip at John Oliver more than she’d have missed us if I’m honest) to being able to see grandchildren (even meet them when they’re new like our littlest), break bread with other people and simply walk around shops.
I feel guilty for the privilege my age group and family situation has afforded and I feel very much for everyone else. We are all suffering, of that there is no doubt but I have been in the best position possible and for that I am always going to be grateful.
Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk