End of lockdown…week 1

This week saw the beginning of a return to probably pretty much the new normal when it comes to day-to-day life in England. We have adjusted to having a mask with us everywhere we go and wearing it pretty much all of the time when out and about. I remember when shops opened for the first time after the first lockdown I daren’t touch anything unless I was buying it but how can you sift through clothes without touching them? Now we use more hand gel than you can imagine regardless of if we have touched anything or not!

I have to admit I quite like having to book to eat out or to go to the cinema or indoor play etc as it makes me feel reassured regarding how many people will be there. Not just because of Covid but also because I have never really been one for crowds. It is a much nicer atmosphere and far more relaxing to be somewhere that isn’t rammed and incredibly noisy.

I know some parents were counting down the days until they could go back to soft play, but I was never a fan anyway let alone now, I mean everyone knows all the toys particularly the ball pools are a hub for every bug going! It’s like taking your children to a chicken pox party! How on earth soft play centres can make sure everything is clean I do not know.

As soon as cinemas announced they would be reopening I have to admit that I booked tickets for myself and my eldest daughter as she has been wanting to see Peter Rabbit 2 since it was first meant to be released last year. It was good though as you booked online, selected your seats which showed the seats around you that would be blocked off and there was no waiting around.

I also ventured into a bar for the first time since last year – aren’t I a rebel?!

I think there is still a lot of confusion around what we can and cannot do and trepidation with the Indian variant taking off in England. I know it was part of the plan for restrictions to be eased this week, but it does feel odd how last week we could only eat or drink outside yet this week we can be inside and not always sat 2 metres away from others. It’s also odd that in college we have had to wear masks all the time yet this week we didn’t. The main thing that boggles my mind about this is that colleges are predominantly filled of 16–21-year-olds who haven’t had either vaccine yet and cases are increasing again but the rules regarding masks and social distancing no longer exist. When I was in college this week 17 adults were sat in an average sized classroom with no ventilation, no masks, and no social distancing for 4 hours, I find it bizarre that that’s now ok. I suppose people at work are there for longer and with more people, but I don’t understand the change of rules when we’re not out of the woods yet.

As I have said before I believe that people should do what feels right for them. Just because we are now allowed to do more does not mean we have to. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask at all times, that’s ok. If you feel safer being sat outside even though we can sit inside, that’s fine. If you would rather still do shopping online, go for it. If you would rather wait until you’ve had both vaccines before you dish out hugs, fair enough.

I have noticed a lot of people have been saying how tired they are feeling lately, and I read an article about how people may feel fatigued as life returns to ‘normal’. This makes perfect sense to me as the majority of us have had a more subdued life for months, we’ve not been going out socialising or dashing around as we’ve not been allowed. Suddenly people are generally doing more (even if it’s on their own) and this will make you tired, just being in a busy environment may affect us as this isn’t what we’ve been used to.

However, you are feeling after this week I’d just like to remind you to be kind to yourself and not pressure yourself to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with.

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I received an email this week from Concern Worldwide that said I have raised more than £75 and earned salt for the duration of Ration Challenge week. Even more importantly, £75 is enough to provide medical referrals for six refugees. Because of you, refugees will have access to life-saving treatment. We cannot thank you enough.

This made me very happy, to be making a difference however small it may be.

I also received my ration pack and although I have read what would be included, when I opened the box, I was shocked at how little there was and worked out that under normal circumstances the ingredients would probably make no more than around 5 meals yet these rations (+ a bag of flour and an extra bag of rice) have to make 21 meals!

It is going to be tough, but I know I only have to do it for 7 days unlike refugees.

I have decided to start the challenge tomorrow (24th May), instead of 13th June as it feels as though it’s hanging over me, with the anticipation building up. So, rather than worry how I’ll manage, I thought I’d just go for it!! Wish me luck!!

Thank you to those who have sponsored me so far, if anyone wishes to donate (there is no minimum amount) I would be incredibly grateful.

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Lockdown part 3…. Week 19

I can’t quite believe that tomorrow marks the end of most of the restrictions in England and that life will return to as normal as it has been for a long time and what may be the new normal for some time to come.

Not a lot will change for me on a day-to-day basis, but I imagine some people will be desperate to go to restaurants, bars, the cinema, indoor attractions etc.

Whatever your plans are moving forward, I hope you will be kind to yourself and only do what you feel comfortable doing. Some people will feel cautious or uncomfortable and others may feel completely relaxed but the main thing is to consider how you feel and not to feel pressured by anyone. We have spent more than a year living with varying degrees of restrictions, some of us have been working remotely, some may not have left their house, ventured into shops or been anywhere crowded (in some large towns and cities social distancing seems to have already gone out the window!).

Some people may feel excited about having more freedom and others may be anxious, I hope that people will be kind to one another as there is no right or wrong. We don’t know what people are feeling or what their personal circumstances are. Yes, there are lots of people who have now had either one or both vaccinations but there are also lots of people who have had neither and of course there is the unknown about how the Indian variation may affect things. I am hopeful that vaccinations will still protect us at least enough to prevent anyone from being hospitalised.

I read an interesting article based on the virus experts’ opinions about the next stage of lockdown easing and the general consensus was cautiousness particularly in the next couple of weeks until we see what impact the easing has had on the number of cases etc. Like the experts I will still feel more comfortable sitting outside at cafes or restaurants or at least somewhere where there are limited numbers and 2 metres between tables. I found it interesting to read that all indoor exercise classes can resume but that high intensity classes pose more of a risk than say yoga as people expel more air when doing such classes. Fortunately, I wasn’t planning on attending any indoor exercise classes!!

There is still a feeling of limbo or that the government are hoping for the best but taking a stab in the dark when it comes to making decisions (yes, I know they say all decisions are based on data but it is obvious that a lot has to do with the economy, and we know the UK government has made mistakes otherwise we wouldn’t have the 5th highest number of Covid deaths).

Wales has advised people not to travel abroad until next year whereas England is allowing foreign travel to resume from next week. However, I am not sure how many countries will want us due to the increasing number of cases linked with the Indian variant. People won’t find out if they can go on holiday until the government updates the traffic light list which could mean you may not find out until the day before you are due to go. Although I had hoped to be able to take my girls abroad before my eldest starts school in September, I am relieved that I didn’t book anything and instead have planned a couple of staycations!

I got another chance to drive to York this week for my second Covid vaccine and I am now one of 15 million people in the UK to be fully vaccinated. I was a little anxious about having my 2nd vaccine as I had the Astra Zeneca and not long ago it was announced that all under 40’s would be offered a different vaccine because of a small number of people getting blood clots. However, I found it interesting that you are more likely to get a blood clot from taking the pill than from having the Astra Zeneca vaccine, yet a lot of people take the pill without batting an eyelid.

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As tomorrow marks the end of lockdown as we know it, this will be my last lockdown blog, but I will still write about life after lockdown!

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I am excited that my blog now has 100 followers from all over the world! I cannot tell you how much it means, and I want to thank everyone for reading my blog. My blog has now been read by people from the UK, USA, Malaysia, India, China, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Romania, Ecuador, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Albania, Slovakia, France, and Israel!

So, thank you, thanks, terima kasih, dhanyavad, xiè xiè, arigatou, dankie, mulțumesc, gracias, Спасибо, shukraan, Go raibh maith agat, merci vielmal, Dziękuję, bedankt, tack, faleminderit, Ďakujem, merci, todah!