Lockdown – The weekly shop is now the epicentre of my universe, lockdown lethargy and how my mother became a twitchy curtain person

Three months ago, returning from the grocery shop, I’d come into the house with bags in hand. My husband would say, “oh you’re back.” He had zero curiosity about my shopping experience and honestly, it would have been a bit weird and “control freak” of him if he did.




Ha ha ha

Now the weekly shop is the most exciting expedition of the week. It is serious stuff. It doesn’t matter whether it’s my husband or I who carries it out, the other is waiting to hear all about it. When I return from the shop, my husband is out of the home office, in the kitchen, ready to hear all about it.

  • How long was the queue into the supermarket? – How many people? How long did it take? And which security guard – the good one who keeps it moving or the bad one who makes it take three times longer than what we deem necessary?
  • Did you get booze?
  • How many people were wearing masks? Like roughly – could you estimate as a percentage?
  • Were people wearing gloves?
  • How much booze did you get?
  • What had sold out? Was there any flour?
  • Will we ever see a bottle of Dettol again?
  • What treats did you buy? 
  • Did people socially distance? Did anyone break it to move into your space? Did you break it?
  • Seriously, do you think that’s enough booze?
  • Did you buy crisps? Is that enough crisps?
  • Is the deli counter open yet so we can buy the nice fresh pizzas?

My world has narrowed until it’s teeeeny tiny, and I think so has my mind. A few months ago, if I heard a lawn mowing running on a sunny afternoon, I wouldn’t pay it any mind. Now I actually think to myself, “I wonder who that is.” Who cares who it is?” I retort back to myself.

Every couple of days I receive an update from my mother about her neighbour’s habits. They are not essential workers. She was never a twitchy curtain person but now she is in uproar because seemingly they are sending the kids to somebody else’s house very day, and also, there were a suspicious number of cars in front of their house last Sunday. She concluded with “Well obviously I’m not going to report them, but I really don’t think they are locking down properly”. I wonder how many more months before she will report them.

I’ve also noticed that I appear to be having the exact same conversation with everyone I meet. The subjects are mostly limited to –

  • A quick how are you and your loved ones
  • Sure I can’t shake your hand because of the social distancing
  • Covid -19 & the following governments’ responses to the problem – US, UK, Sweden, Ireland, Croatia/Austria and New Zealand. A couple of other countries pop up from time to time.
  • A lot more on Trump & Johnson with a few “an absolute disgrace”s thrown in.  
  • More on the loved ones (how are your folks managing, are the kids driving you mad etc)
  • Minor topics include:
    • The roads – how quiet they are
    • The supermarkets
    • What do you make of The Last Dance/Tiger King?
    • Do you believe those Chinese numbers?
    • Isn’t technology great?
  • And we conclude with how much everyone is drinking. Or rather some guilty surprising tones as we confess that we’re drinking a lot more, and the other person chimes in relieved they’re not the only one.

My last noticed lockdown phenomenon is that everything is taking me at least one million, if not one trillion, times longer to start, process and complete. Ok, I am much more distracted, and it’s not helped by my recent adoption of twitter. However even if my phone isn’t on me, I have no get-up-and-go, no spice. I dawdle and stare out the window.

At the start of the lockdown, I ensured the kids were up and dressed by 9ish. Now, I’m lucky if it’s 10am, ok 10.30am. It’s like my body believes I am on some sort of warped holiday. My mind some days refuses to work, and I’ve been working from home for a few years now and never had this problem before. Take for example the simple task of going for a run.

Before lockdown:

  • Think about going for run.
  • Decide if I really, really want to go for run
  • Get dressed
  • Go for run
  • Later that evening say to husband, “Oh I went for a run today”.
  • Husband absentmindedly says, “That’s great”.

During lockdown:

  • Think about going for a run
  • Ask husband what he thinks.
  • Should he go for a run?
  • Debate and decide who goes for run and when and in what order
  • Go to get dressed
  • Look at phone and get distracted
  • Go to get dressed
  • Get distracted some more
  • Finally get dressed
  • Have a chat to husband again about the run, which route I’ll take etc
  • Go for run (maximum 23 minutes)
  • Return like victorious conqueror
  • Discuss who I saw on run, how long run took, what the path was like, how many breaks I took and a lot more…
  • Husband then repeats process above.

Somehow what should take us maybe 45 minutes in total, now can take 90 minutes easily. What is this lockdown lethargy? Answers on a postcard please…

Published by gillsheeran

Former CFO/COO who quit my job to emotionally support my family at the start of the pandemic.

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