Yesterday we rejoined the real world as we are finally coming out of self-isolation. I have to be honest, I was rather apprehensive about the whole thing. What would ‘normal’ look like? So much of what we’ve all taken for granted has disappeared over the last two weeks, what would we be faced with.
As much as my son and I have loved spending time in our garden last week, we’ve both struggled with the confinement of a small house and a postage-stamp-sized garden. I know that there are many people struggling in apartments with no private outside space. I know we are lucky to have what we’ve got. But that doesn’t stop us missing the great outdoors, the joy of time spent walking in the countryside for hours on end. We’ve both found it hard to be stuck at home.
But even being so desperate to get outside again, I was still worried about it. What’s going on in the world right now is hard enough for a fifty-something to understand, for a child, it’s incomprehensible on so many levels.
Coming out of self-isolation our first task was to get some food. The last time I’d been to the supermarket panic buying had been taking hold and I’d stood in the middle of Tesco looking at empty aisles, talking to a complete stranger about how the world had gone completely mad. I’d found it disorientating and it scared me, to be frank. Not the lack of food really, but more how society had responded to events. The grab anything mentality and sod everyone else. That’s not the way I was brought up and certainly not the world I want my son to be a part of. what would it all look like two weeks later?
I’d been warned about the social distancing that had been brought in and prepared my son that we might have to queue to get into the supermarket. That’s fine with me if it controls the grab and go mentality and leaves the shelves with something for the rest of us. We wore our coats as the storm clouds were threatening, put gloves on, found a trolley and joined the queue.
The queue moved quickly and we really didn’t have to wait too long until it was our turn to enter the store. I’d heard people say that children were no longer allowed in supermarkets and I was praying we wouldn’t have an issue. The OH is classed as a key worker, leaves home as the supermarkets are opening and isn’t back until they’ve nearly closed. I can’t ask him to then queue up to go shopping!
Anyway, we weren’t questioned and my son knew he had to stick to me like glue. There were a few times we had to play tango with other shoppers to all be able to get what we needed along the aisles, but everyone was good-natured and it was all very calm. Which was exactly what we needed. We found everything on my list except the holy grail of flour and spaghetti. Again, the queue to pay was orderly and well organised. We didn’t have to wait long to get to a till and were soon on our way. We’d survived our first shopping trip under the new restrictions and it was far easier than I’d envisaged.
Although it was great to get some shopping done for myself, we were both really craving fresh air and a long walk. So once I’d unpacked the shopping, we decided to brave the weather and go for a walk around the estate. We had a card to post and my son wanted to walk past his best friend’s house so he could wave to him from the road as we passed.
There’s a nature reserve on the next estate so we walked over to have a look around. it was so strange to see all the pathways so deserted.
Unsurprisingly the nature reserve was a bit busier, but we managed to avoid people as best we could, smiling as we passed, and found some tranquillity.
We found a couple of sticks to play pooh sticks with, laughed, chatted and held hands as we walked along. Simple pleasures which just meant so much on our first day of ‘freedom’.
I feel constantly sad about all the things we can’t do, about Easter holidays that won’t include catching up with friends and going on adventures. Let’s face it, this situation looks likely to go on until way past the summer ‘holidays’. But I pray we get to keep this exercise time in the weeks and months ahead. To get outdoors, even if only for an hour, even if it’s only walking around our estate, it makes so much difference. We both felt so much happier when we got home again yesterday.
Today the sun appears to be back, although it feels rather chilly. So once work and schoolwork are done we’ll be stepping out and taking a different direction for our exercise time.
What have you been doing for your exercise hour?