How do you feel?
With the whole of the country still being held in lockdown to bring the spread of coronavirus under control, it would be easy to be resentful of the situation.
We can complain about what we are missing out on, and there are plenty of things that a year ago would have been normal but are currently forbidden. Simple things like meeting up with friends, shopping for non-essential items or just going to work in an office with other people working for the same company.
Over the last ten months we have seen huge changes in the way we live and the effects of Covid-19 have been far-reaching. Many families have lost loved ones to the virus, while others have died to different causes but their families were not able to mourn in the way they would have liked to, with restrictions imposed to limit the number of people gathering in one place.
The health of the population has been affected in other ways as well, with some seeking help to cope with mental health issues.
Weddings have been rearranged to later dates, public entertainment events – concerts, theatre, sport – have all been affected by the situation - either postponed or cancelled altogether.
Thousands of people have lost their jobs as the economy has taken a downward turn, with family budgets restricted, which have the knock-on effect to retailers and the hospitality industry.
There is no doubt, it is not a rosy picture and we all need to be able find help to cope with it, if we need to.
Trying to be positive
But there is another side to the situation.
Many have taken the option to exercise once a day, allowed under the lockdown rules, as an opportunity to explore the area they live in.
In some cases, this has led to discovering footpaths that we were totally unaware of before having our movements limited. Those little routes that once might have been a thoroughfare in a bygone age and have been forgotten until an army of walkers set out to rediscover their own locality and have cleared the way.
As a family, we have ventured out on to the byways, come rain or shine. It would be true to say we prefer the shine but in recent weeks, it seems to have been the rain that has been dominant. Of course, it could be that we just notice the rain more as we traipse in, damp around the edges.
There is a saying that ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’ and I have to admit we have been caught out at times but once we are home again, dry and warm, we can reflect on another shared family experience.
Activities at home
And at home, we have done more activities together. Sitting down to watch a family film together has become a regular treat.
We have always been a family to sit around the table for meals but we now share out the cooking duties and more recently we have each taken on a challenge - to cook a three course meal for under £10. It is judged by the other three, with each course given points for presentation and taste.
So far, we have only had one round but the aim is to make it a Saturday evening event that will bring us together to enjoy each other’s company.
We have taken on other challenges, such as the occasional jigsaw. These have involved a concerted effort as a group or individuals just spotting where a piece goes, as they passed by. But it all added to the feeling of satisfaction when the puzzle was complete.
Enjoy what we have
Although lockdown has been difficult in so many ways, and there are those who have really struggled with it, it has given us opportunities to reconnect with aspects of life that had become more invisible in a changing world.
No doubt, everyone will welcome it when the situation allows for the restrictions to be eased, but until then, it is important to enjoy all that we do have, rather than constantly complain about all that we don’t.