1st of July 2020.
The past 100 days have been interesting to say the least a mixture of LOW LOWS and some highs.
It started off with the cancellation of two holidays (Puerto Rico/ New York and Barbados) as the realisation that plans made in 2019 would not be materialise. Thankfully, I got my Afro Nation ticket and hotel money back. However, all my flight money is still sitting with the airlines. I can’t even articulate about the forthcoming holiday that we all know won’t be happening but they won’t give us back the money and have said we can go in 2021 or 2022 – blocking my future blessings.
Based on the reports re the patient profile, I thought the disease would pass me and my peers over. This wasn’t true. However, the amount of RIPs I have had to say/ write about people I know has been immense. At one point every week I got news that someone else I knew had died (not all from Covid) or was in hospital. I remember breaking down on a Teams call as more bad news was received. My colleagues could empathise, but as the majority don’t live in London couldn’t relate as Covid was more of a working from home/ home school inconvenience than a really personal story to them
Clapping for Carers really meant something as I don’t live too far from Northwick Park, and it was a nice time to see my neighbours. Living in such close proximity, sirens from all of the emergency services whizzing past my flat are a regular occurrence. Learning that my borough had the highest amount of Covid deaths made me agoraphobic, as the thought of a trip to Wembley High Rd was enough to give me anxiety. From March 12 to the beginning of June I had left my house 6 times. Each time more difficult than the previous time.
This is why going on the Black Lives Matter demonstration was a big deal. Going into Central London, amongst all those people was a challenge, but I was compelled to go. The images that came out from the USA George Floyd) as well as learning that the man who spit (assault) on Belly Mujinga would not be prosecuted despite her dying from the disease meant I had to go. I am glad the world is waking up to the fact Black Lives Matter and I hope that systemic changes are made globally to ensure racism and its sibling ‘unconscious bias’ (aka racism for people who can’t say they are racist) are rooted out.
I’ve had a lot of time to self reflect as being in isolation for most of the lockdown has been beyond uncomfortable. The disrupted sleep, the inability to concentrate on reading, soaps being rationed has lead to me blitzing through Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as podcasts – but nothing too taxing. I am lucky that unlike the masses I have been able to get supermarket deliveries throughout, and the immense joy I got when Sainsbury said Chop Chop meant I could get essentials like Haagen Daz and Barefoot Wine. But I have also discovered other places to get my food which has been enlightening and I am not sure if I will return to wasting my time in a supermarket again. I have baked loads. Unlike the masses I always have flour in my house, so I have made bread if it is not economical to get a delivery or made cakes just cos. I’m also eating better than if I was living that 9-5 commuter life as I am making sure I eat more than my 5 a day as my fruit and veg intake has gone through the roof, and I try to get my Vitamin D top ups from the balcony. My fitness levels have diminished though, as I can’t really dance to a full song. I can however do my eye make up well.
The lockdown birthday (thank you Simone for the picnic on Horsenden Hill as well as being Simone) which was unexpected and greatly appreciated as on the day as I was down – I was supposed to have been doing June in my usual way. Leona a massive thank you for letting me piggy back on your celebrations on Sunday as I rediscovered Queens and Roundwood Parks (despite how the media paints my borough we have some beautiful parks here. During lockdown I have been to King Eddies, Barham and Northwick as well as the Sudbury Court Open Space).
I’ve done couch potato, as well as walked. And who knew I was competitive as Big Business HQ put on the fortnightly quizzes and I get in the top 10 more times than not. This competitiveness has been further satisfied by Mark‘s weekly quizzes.
Football went and came back and well you know the rest.
I have made new friends, who I cannot believe I didn’t know existed before lockdown (Caricom Chris and Shazann, as well Amarah).
Shout out to those who were there before who have kept my head up during this pandemic (Osberta, Tyrone, Fatima, Rae, Sophie, Sabrina, Neffy, Desmond, ‘Dorothy, Essay, Duvaldo, Charlene, Avril, Sampson, Emma, Sham, Natalie and Tate). The Alexa dropins, phone calls, HouseParty chats, the Zoom parties, the balcony visits. I appreciate you all.
I do wonder what my lockdown would have been like without my phones or the internet as these have been my connection to the outside world.
As I embark on the next 6 months of the year I do hope they are better than the first 6 socially, as this human needs physical touch (I didn’t even realise this was my love language but the anticipation of a hug from my niece can keep me smiling for days)
Pinch punch first of the month, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.