11 months, 2 weeks and 4 days and counting ... a love letter to lockdown.
Lockdown 3.0 just seems to be hitting a little differently this time. The 31st January 2021 marks a year since the first recorded case of the Coronavirus in the UK. 11 months, 2 weeks and 4 days ago, the trajectory of the future and that of the rest of the world was pre-determined, although we never knew it at the time. But what else happens in 12 months? It takes the average homeowner a year to build a home from scratch, while the now familiar setting and new lifeline to the world Zoom, grew their user base by 2,000% with an average adult spending four hours online everyday according to an Ofcom survey.
18-24 year olds spent the most time online in lockdown, averaging five hours and four minutes per day.
This stat surprises me as it should be far greater. I can attest that I spend at least 30 of those minutes checking the sound is working, trying to get the attention of the one person in the group who has left their sound on, and the goals of the meeting are missed because Barney the cat has just latched onto his favourite sweet treat 10cms away from Participant 3’s switched on microphone. Or panicking that even though I had turned my camera off, had I actually turned my camera off, or had I just revealed my unshaven, pasty white legs and comfy Bridget pants to an unsuspecting audience in an attempt to shift the carefully poised vase of flowers behind my head, as part of a carefully crafted tableau against my strategically hung bed sheet, to allude to said unsuspecting audience that I was in fact a functioning adult who was still capable of remembering to buy fresh flowers and had a host of cultural and interesting artefacts in my home. All of which plot a step by step walk through of my formative years of travel and art exploration; before settling into my adult life.
It took a year between Donald Trump’s first presidential impeachment on the 16th January 2020 to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and it took 12 months to find myself back at home living with my parents, sat in my bed cocooned in a Melo weighted blanket staring a blank screen thinking, now what? There are many ways you envisage your post-university life. A spot of travelling to remote lands and experiences of cultures far detached from what was the familiar buzz of an urban metropolis. To interning for long hours, on a minimum wage and spending what little money remained out with friends considering the benefits (both financial and health) of a carefully balanced home cooked meal versus the convenience of Uber Eats. To just adopting the ‘YOLO’ approach of seeing what comes next and being ready for anything. But what I hadn’t suspected was this. It is hard to think now of a pre-covid time where standing in crowd of sweaty strangers under psychedelic lights, listening to the tunes of the moment was as mundane as letting Netflix know that, yes I am still watching. I never thought that my most watched programme would become a Coronavirus Daily briefing, my new favourite phrase would be “next slide please” and the highlight of my day, would be knowing that we are one day closer to standing next to that sweaty stranger under those discotheque lights again.
Like most, I understand the imperative importance of lockdown and the necessity to protect the NHS and lives of those who may be more vulnerable than my own, yet I cannot help but thinking my life is not on pause, rather it has stopped. My early twenties are hurtling past me like the Stanstead express and I am on stopping service and we’ve just hit a tree on the track. I have always found my best resource to counter any situation is my ability to keep going to fill the voids in my life with additional activities and opportunities and frankly find the thought of stopping terrifying. The fear of stopping, losing momentum and being unable to regain it. For me the pandemic released this fear, to stop and be okay with stopping and recognise a situation was out of my control and not only that the entire world was being affected by this new mysterious virus. But somehow this didn’t seem to solve the problem of what next?
Before I always knew that ‘next’ was an editorial internship, working towards to the goal of one day becoming a Features editor. I would be in London, I would have a talented, beautiful women by my side and I would be paying my rent through the written word. But now, that editorial internship seems illusive and hard to find, instead of going out on a date for two, I find myself on a night in for three and an episode of Pointless.
I don’t know what the next step is, I just know that we have to keep going. So often the right words can be hard to find to explain the gravitas of a moment. I was reminded of that the other day with the inauguration of President Biden and the poem written and so eloquently spoken by poet Amanda Gorman calling for togetherness and unity and closed with the phrase “there is always light if we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.” Poignant words which seem to fall at a time where people crave clarity and honesty. To be heard and understood. To be seen to be validated and be led by clear and decisive leadership. I find myself at a point of great personal introspection where I am re-evaluating my choices, my relationships and my next steps. So often time passes us by, but when we are given the gift of time and space to just be, to pause and take stock, it can be easy to do the complete opposite. I like so many do not know what is next, I don’t know the answer and I quite frankly I wake up dreading it. But in a year humanity has risen to the fore. We have come together to navigate the sociological effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we have begun to untangle the systemic racism which has entrapped our societies and we all look forward to a better normal, not just a new one.
My aim for this blog is to share my experience as a new graduate taking their first tentative steps into the world of employment and sharing it with you. To provide even the smallest bit of reassurance that this is unknown, scary and we are going through this together. One dodgy zoom call at a time.
One of my great passions is reading and I have created my Morey's Must Reads IGTV series. Here is the latest recommendation for your reading pleasure.