Lockdown Deeper and Down

May 6, 2020 3:00pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 24 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy Whining on a Wednesday!

I want to talk about being in lockdown and my journey through the weeks. This situation we find ourselves in has affected people very differently: some actually like being in quarantine while others rail against it in desperation. Many of us fall somewhere in the middle, bouncing from being OK to not. This has been my experience. 

 

 

In the beginning

When we were first told that everything was shutting down in the UK on 23rd March there was a dramatic feel to it: a mixture of trepidation and dare I say, a little excitement. This was me experiencing something major and historical in real-time.  

The Government have closed the country and leaders worldwide are doing the same

When I started to think about the enormity of that I began to get the fear. How bad is this flu-like virus? What aren’t they telling us? I read all the conspiracy theories; I read fake news on how to avoid getting COVID-19 like gargling repeatedly with mouthwash to stop the germs multiplying in the throat.  Even though I believed I’d had this virus pre-lockdown, how did I know for sure and what if I got it again?  Didn’t I read somewhere that it mutates…

Grime is Crime

I turned into a psychotic germaphobe. I wiped everything down after it had been touched – I even wiped my mail and sprayed parcels with disinfectant.  I washed my hands so much they became sore and irritated and looked like they belonged to a pensioner.  

Going to the supermarket became an ordeal and a trip fraught with danger. For a start off, most people don’t seem to know what two metres is and having someone breathing over your shoulder looking at the cottage cheese whilst you search for ricotta breeds a nasty kind of hatred towards your fellow man. You despair of them, judge them, and treat them like lepers. You despise their logic when panic buying toilet rolls and pasta and call them out on social media. In the next breath, you are willing the Great British spirit of the people to come together creatively and we stand outside clapping the health workers every week without fail.

Social interaction has become a difficult relationship

I look outside and analyse the people passing on my street. Do they look related or are they cheating?  Whilst I am behaving against my will are they ruining it all? How many people have suddenly taken up jogging and cycling, for the love of God? And I swear those people never had a dog before. It’s funny, but I’ve started to feel possessive about my area. I live opposite the beautiful greenbelt and it’s usually very quiet. I can walk along the footpath and maybe come across a couple of people all the way through. All of a sudden my walk became littered with moochers and new hikers. I selfishly worry that they will continue to come after lockdown and my local beauty spot will be ruined. Instead, I drive to various woods and country parks around me, picking my times and venues carefully so I don’t get enraged by other people. My walks in nature have been my saviour as I am not a person that likes staying in. 

You can can’t come too – I’m going to the zoo

Some days I feel so trapped and hemmed in I could burst with rage. I snap at anyone near me finding their conversation banal and irritating. Sometimes I cannot even talk to my friends or family on the phone because it feels too much. Even though I miss and love these people I can’t deal with them all at the same time – maybe just one call a day. Has social distancing made me distant?  

I am overwhelmed at my most underwhelmed

What’s that all about? I have to force myself to focus on a task. I can’t do the things I am supposed to be doing because my new, isolated self cannot seem to cope with them. Procrastination has now become my greatest skill. I find myself gravitating towards mundane and repetitive tasks or new and pointless hobbies like drawing monsters and colouring them in. Am I 5 years old again?

Writing this blog post has been one of the hardest things I’ve done of late and I’ve had to really force myself to get back into my groove with writing even though the content of this particular post is therapeutic, I think I’m having trouble concentrating. On anything. 

Time And Again

Because I do a bit of work every morning, I know what the date is but I easily forget and don’t know the time or the day.  Sometimes this is good and I think it is teaching me to let go and just be in the moment because that’s all that time really is. Then there will be days where I cannot stand the bohemian train I seem to be travelling in and need order and structure to stop myself going insane and it feeling like a purgatorial state between Christmas and New Year. 

The Pros 

Because there are some. The world is having a break from us all and there’s something cleansing and calming about that thought. I notice the lack of traffic and the increased birdsong most of all.  I get excited by a delivery from Amazon or a rustic veg box. I’ve always paid attention to nature but now I do it even more so, appreciating the beauty that is starting to grow despite the unseen evil that lurks in the air. I love the creative spirit that people have found; the things they have made and shared. I am proud of the force of this nation and the goodness of some people in a time of crisis. 

The Cons

My God, it’s as boring as hell. Rinse and repeat. Sometimes you have to have a word with yourself about being a big cry-baby. But I am a baby and I will continue to be a big baby. So jog on. I don’t even know what I’m missing exactly because it’s the gentle layers: the shades, the sounds, the subtleties. I don’t miss the coffee in the coffee shop – that’s not really why I go.  I miss the event that it is. I miss my freedom of movement. 

What have I learnt?

I do not have balanced emotions. I am not a steady Eddie.  And I don’t care to be one. I’ve tried and it’s soul-destroying.

“It’s your inner chimp,” someone said.

“Whatever. My inner chimp had twins and that’s what I have to contend with!” 

What about you?

Because of this new world we find ourselves in at the moment, myself and fellow writer, Miss A -from The Essence of a Thing, have decided to delve more into how people are feeling or coping and what are they thinking about the future. Like an extension from The Meaning of Life, how has life’s meaning changed for you?

How do you think this current global situation bodes for human existence in the near and far future?

It is said that we’re in “the new normal” do you think that’s correct and what do you think the new normal means?

What has this lockdown taught you about yourself? 

Please feel free to share your thoughts and stories with us either here, openly, or by mail anonymously.  We also have a  FB page @TMOLProject where past MOL participants are giving their thoughts and feelings on what happens next.

Tell me, what does “next” look like to you? 

 

24 Comments

Leave a reply

Strange times for sure and it has to be trying in the UK. Hillsboro? Not so much. Birds sing, people grill, porchlife continues and all of that. Mind you, everyone’s wearing these ridiculous fashion accessory masks. Nasty. What next?

Murder Hornets!

Very strange indeed, LSP. I can imagine Hillsboro is just carrying on as usual, and to be honest, why not?

Yes – I’m surprised Posh Spice hasn’t fashioned one to match the Range Rover. She should wear one at all times in case one of her random smiles escapes!

Oh, it’s a funny old thing, one day you can find 1000 jobs the next day you can’t get your arse off the settee..is this what retirement will be like??!! And I agree where have all the dog walkers suddenly appeared from..

I know. Lethargy -10 – Grit and persistence -3.

I’m only going to like retirement if I have lots of money, lots of hobbies and lots of freedom. And I live in a mansion. Best start making friends with grit and persistence…

I think people are stealing dogs.

I’m going for a ride on the she-devil (Ducati Diavel) in a few minutes, and let the wind whip through my hair. There are no helmet laws in Arizona and my hair has grown out because the barbers are closed until Thursday. The restaurants are closed until Monday. But there is the Open Road, Jules. Gasoline/petrol is down close to a dollar a gallon, cheap but not free.

Driving back from Phoenix yesterday, I was forced down to 40 mph for the last hour or so of the drive because there were so many elk and deer on the road. Which is cool, and not cool at the same time, because they play chicken with the Raptor.

On the plus side, there are now “nurses” in many businesses. These are all attractive women who dress in near-fetish nurse outfits. I realize that you would be immune to that, but an ugly, wolfish, old man… it works for me. They give you a brief exam before you can go into the business. (read this afternoon’s blog post)

Putting on my fetish doctor’s outfit, (I’ll warm up the stethoscope for you, don’t worry) I prescribe ocean. I know that you’ve been there with Lucifer (not Satan, but clearly capable of serious mischief all the same) but you need to go where the water is clear and warm and you can sink your feet in warm sand and walk, and stop for an umbrella drink (with or without steel drum music). You need a new latitude. And you won’t care about the meaning of life nearly as much. No need for thanks, I’ll send you the bill in the mail.

How was the she-devil, LL? Sounds like a wonderful trip. Going fast on bikes with hair blowing in the wind is such an amazing feeling.
I just filled up the truck, loaded up the wolfit and went on a 2-hour walk into the middle of nowhere. Loved that.

I absolutely need my umbrella drinks, sunshine and sea. I miss that. I NEED to travel.

Thank you, Dr, LL, I’ll buy you a root beer float as payment 😉

I personally haven’t found lockdown difficult because I got stuck at the seaside. Even when we had 7 weeks of not being able to go out I could look at the sea from my balcony and sunbathe reading a book BUT and it is a big BUT once we got the good old BBC and started watching British television I began to despair. It’s relentless they are constantly thrusting Covid news and information out. If you wrap yourself in cotton wool and isolate then you’re not living you’re existing. Turn off the news and listen once a week to hear rules but meantime enjoy the quiet Listen to the birdsongs. Potter in your garden. Read your books. The Earth has taken a deep breathe and nature has reclaimed her territory from pollution and tourism. So we should do the same. Take a deep breath and relax give your body and mind chance to recoup from the manic normal pressure of life. You might not get this chance to relax and enjoy this peaceful short period of containment again It could be when things are back to “normal “ you will miss the birdsongs the lack of traffic and the time given to other pursuits

I certainly agree that I will miss some aspects of the lockdown; the peace in particular. The calm and gentleness. The news is depressing but also addictive.
You are right, of course.

See you at my new place in Texas sweetie.

Aww, thank you, VM! Hope the move went well for you all and you’re settling in well!

My salvation is getting to be with my great grandsons. I am blessed to be here with them five days a week while my granddaughter works and homeschools the oldest Preston. Pierson the middle child has Autism and doesn’t understand why he can’t go anywhere. Parker the youngest is 16 months starting the terrible twos early. They are so love able it makes the time go by faster. Reading on the weekend and resting. I miss you Jules

That’s so lovely, Janet. I’m glad you’re getting quality time with grandsons! Precious moments.
I miss you too. XX

I drank bleach once…nevermind, how are you, mah lovely? currently listening: Madonna’s “Deeper and Deeper”, Trent’s “Even Deeper”

my birthday occurred during the end of the world…

you gotta wear a fullbody hazmat suit and owl mask before you reach Howie Mandel-level. my market had an arrow on the floor pointing to a butcher’s meatslicer…

it all started when they said it was okay to feed ducks bread…it’s not okay to feed ducks bread…

we all know now what it’s like to be in prison for life. just be whelmed, my sweet, like Robin. I’ve tried to maintain my regular routine cos I can’t do bored. I can do busy but I can’t do bored. Time doesn’t exist except on the Soul Train in space…

I miss the coffee only. trust the voice of your inner rhesus macaque, mah dahlin.

1. humanity is doomed, always has been from the start.

2. we’re gonna have to stay six feet apart from each other forever, no more sex ever again.

3. I don’t wanna be a monk! but then what the fuck am I gonna do!!!

*)

Deep is an interesting concept, my sweet.

I drink margarita which is way more cleansing and potent than bleach. This is why I am so explosive in temperament.

You must not feed the quack-quacks bread. They may eat grapes. Bread swells up in their tummies.

I did point out to people that at least in prison you get friends, contraband and somebody else makes your dinner every day…

Good answers! You will have to be Cabana Boy *)

Stand tall, my love. What other choice do we have? Hello from suburban New Jersey.

I shall, M. It is what it is and I have no need to complain. I just get frustrated. Nature of a creative.

Hope all is well your end 🙂

We were told to work from home, a week before the lockdown. So, that’s… some weeks. I don’t know: I’ve lost track. But, depite having to work, being home all the time has given me a bit of a taste of my upcoming retirement and it’s just making me look forward to it even more! I say ‘upcoming’ but it will be a while yet: I’d always planned on retiring ten years early, but circumstances reduced that to five years. But now, with kids and my current trajectory, it looks like I will be retiring just twenty minutes early.
Hang in there, Jules. All this shit WILL end sometime and we WILL get back to normal… whatever that might look like in the future.
Listen to your mum… she has it sussed.

I work from home already so, to be honest, that part didn’t alter for me since everything I do is online. However, not being able to just bugger off out of that situation for a coffee or a mooch around the shop without it being like an obstacle course is making me feel like it’s groundhog day! I need some WILD time!

I should listen to my mum, they’ve been saying that for years…

Hi Jules, I found this in bloody junk mail again! Not on is it. I’m with you on the shopping – nightmare innit, I can’t understand why so many don’t seem to get it. Console yourself with the fact that you were doing your daily walk with the Wolf long before all the muppets with their new bikes and rucksacks were out and you’ll still be doing it long after they have gone back to work.

What is going on here, eh? Junk mail?! Outrageous!

I went to get fuel this morning at Sainsbury’s and there were tons of people queuing up in squares. No. I am NEVER doing that. If that is the future of shopping I’m gonna be a skinny bint.

Yes, this is true. They will fall by the wayside like a New Years gym membership!

I am glad I am not the only one struggling. If you believe social media everyone else is going to come out of this with a side job, perfect abs and speaking a new language! I just keep thinking, “This is what it is like to be old, ” and getting old is my worst fear.

Hey, BW. I think it’s unusual not to – at least sometimes.
Yeah – I’ve seen the same sorts of things – everyone is going to emerge a better version of themselves! Not true. Put it this way, I’ve not seen any gods walking their dogs!

Getting old is better than the alternative.

I feel your pain, Jules. I feel it on a daily basis. Life sucks. It sucks so hard I should at least feel aroused. But I don’t. “What aren’t they telling us?” Well, where to start? I don’t have to tell someone as wicked smart as yourself that fear breeds compliance. And I mean compliance. The more afraid you are, the more willing you are to swallow their shit. And I mean swallow. I little bird told me that someone is playing Chess The Real Game. We are being treated like puppets and the majority of us feel the government is acting in our interest. This whole thing is about money and power. This is our version of 1984. People have already been properly brainwashed. This virus is not a freak of nature. Neither was ebola. Neither was SARS. Somehow people just don’t WANT to connect the dots, because the truth is so painful. This is about money. This is a farce. It’s about control. Oh the virus is real, all right, but we are being fooled at the same time it’s spreading from one person to the next, and this house arrest is an absurd measure. “Want to kill that bug? Here’s a bazooka.” And as for that vaccine, we’re dealing with an RND vaccine, not a DNA vaccine… It’s going to cause so much damage. I’m not going to spell it out for you but here are a couple of words for you: The Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation. The bigger the lie, the more people are going to believe it.

“I do not have balanced emotions. I am not a steady Eddie. And I don’t care to be one. I’ve tried and it’s soul-destroying.” I couldn’t agree more, Jules Dear. Fuck this life. Fuck it. I know I’m not being eloquent but I don’t give a shit when governments treat me like a puppet.

But I still love you. Never change, you hear?

Blue

I love how passionately you write – that’s what it’s all about!

Power. It’s always about power. And they’ve done a great job of instilling the fear. A world on lockdown is rather extreme. How can that not make you worry like hell?

Yeah – fuck it. I’m with you, Blue. Love a plenty with hugs X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published
Required fields are marked (*)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.