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Gentle observations on a lockdown walk

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I took it upon myself to document a few things on my government sanctioned walk around Portsmouth today.

It’s was mostly for future me, as it’ll be interesting to look back on, but after I posted this on Facebook a few people commented about how they hadn’t left the house in weeks and it was fascinating to see so I’m sharing it here too.

During my walk I contemplated how much of this has become so normal, so quickly. It’s been 3 weeks since official lockdown now (because of coronavirus, obviously) and well over 3 weeks since I’ve seen anyone in the flesh other than my fiancĂ©. And whilst we’re still incredibly lucky to be able to go outside at all, it’s a strange place to be when you’re out there.

The first week I felt terrified whenever I left the house, the anxiety was real; but now people seem to understand the rules, it feels a lot more relaxed. Cashiers, and people who are doing an amazing thing by going in to work every day just so we can buy our essentials, seem to be keeping high spirits and love to have a chat whilst they stand back to let you pack your shopping.

Today however, a few things struck me as out of the ordinary and I felt the need to make a note:

I passed an elderly couple who were making use of the public ping pong tables in the park, having a nice jolly game whilst wearing face masks.

I noticed all the queues outside the shops, and all the warning signs, that seem so normal now.

A simple smile and a hello to a stranger was a nice interaction – made me wonder if that might be the only interaction that person might have all day.

I smiled at all the lovely signs, drawings and messages in the windows supporting the key workers.

Whilst queuing in my designated spot outside the mini supermarket, a friendly man with a face mask and gloves came round and squirted sanitiser in to everyones hands.

I felt sad at the amount of shops, pubs, restaurants, takeaways, etc that were closed; looking empty and lonely when they would have been bustling on a day like today.

I realised I hadn’t had to press a crossing button once in the past few weeks, because the roads were so clear.

Birds seem louder/clearer now because of the lack of traffic noise.

Walking past my friends houses and not being able to knock and say hello was something that hurt my heart today.

I’m going to do my best to document all the little things I notice on my walks (assuming they will be allowed to continue) and check back in at a later date to see where we’re at.

What a strange time to be alive. Can’t wait for the world to be bustling again Stay safe everyone.


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