Mike's Lockdown Diary
*Mike, a Beneficiary of Opportunity Nottingham, has been keeping a diary throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
He first gives us an insight in to his experience of lockdown, beginning with pre-lockdown:
"Before all of this started I was feeling happy I had been on a course to get my lorry license. But as I had been unemployed for so long after that I went on an Aspire course this not only got me my first aid certificate but also gave me job hunting skills and showed me how to write out my C.V. This also helped me gain in confidence Unfortunately whilst on this course my dog snoopy had to be put to sleep she was old and a little over weight but she was a loyal and faithful companion. But even so I was looking forward to the future I was also a little frightened but in a good way."
On lockdown itself, Mike wrote:
"As the year began though there kept coming on reports of Covid-19 and how China were coping with this and how this town have gone into lockdown. Then we started hearing reports about the same virus in Europe and how countries were going into lock down Italy being the first no one in or out then other across Europe following suit holiday makers either stranded or people having holidays cancelled. In America people are desperately trying to get tickets home before they stop all flights in and out of the country. Then there were the stupid things people going to the shops and panic buying food so there was nothing left on the shelfs for other people. The funniest people panic buying toilet rolls what did they think if they wrapped them self's in it they would be protected. There's even a film on the Internet of two people fighting over the last packet of toilet rolls. Let's not forget about the greedy shop keepers who put up prices on things like hand sanitizer and cleaning products because all of sudden demand sky rocketed. As the number of cases in started to increase in this country there was more talk of a lock down. Then it happened March 23rd lock down everyone had to stay in. Work from home, don't go out unless you need to, people like my mum had to isolate at home. I had one daughter that was due to come and visit with her family from Sussex that has to be cancelled. I have another daughter with autism who was due to go on holiday and rest bite was cancelled as well. Not just that all of her activities."
Talking about how his support had changed, Mike wrote:
"My stuff got cancelled as well I regularly met with a support worker and a therapist, my support gone. But I was relieved this thing is bad and I didn't want it. I did my shopping this wasn't easy because people had picked the shelves clean and there was restrictions on some items. At first everyone did what they were told the streets were empty, driving was fantastic no one else on the road, every day was like Sunday. A lot of people took up jogging as well as walking. People also started taking their kids on bike rides. It was nice to see in such a built up area. People had to home school there kids some realised it was easier said than done. Thousands of people including my daughter in Sheffield got furloughed because they couldn't work at home or go into work.
My daughter Claire didn't take it too well, everything had stopped for her. Even school wanted her to be off to stay safe. Sarah started bringing her round to my house in an attempt to calm her down and stop her having multiple melt downs, and I got a dog. Splodge is about 14 years old mongrel and was being attacked by another dog at Sarah's. She looks like Dobbie out of Harry Potter. We took Splodge and Poppy on long walks.
Sarah would do both of our shopping at Asda due to the fact she is a key worker she could get in early before the masses rushed in and cleared the shelves. We tried for online delivery or click and collect but it was impossible. We started to cook for each other one day I do the cooking and the next Amy cooks. 3 weeks came and went and on 16th April it was announced that lock down would continue for another 3 weeks. In this time people started queuing to get your shopping or to go to the chemist, it reminded me of Communist Russia."
"Also in this time people started a clap for NHS and key worker's every Thursday at 8pm while most people supported these vital members of staff, other people decided to shout abuse at them. People got caught breaking lock down rules some people tried to go to the beach. Another person got caught driving to London saying they were going to get cheap bread, I don't think they were getting bread and nothing in London is cheap. It was good though because the death rate was still going up. By now Claire was going out with two people from rest bite witch helped and she had a birthday I found a cake mix in the cupboard and Sarah made her a cake decorated it with icing and sprinkles. The problem was all the days were rolling into one and I am starting to sleep more during the day. Sarah manages to get Claire back in school 3 mornings. It's relief for both of us because she's very hyper and for someone who's none verbal she is very loud."
Mike's thoughts on the relaxing of Covid-19 rules:
"As the days merged together it is emerged that Dominic Cummings had broken lockdown rules by driving from London to county Durham, with the family and his wife had symptoms. Lockdown rules had been broken by people at the top before but they were told to resign or sacked. Not so for him, he gave a press conference with an explanation for his actions, saying he was going for child care reasons even though there was child care in London and even though his child has autism and the rules are a little laxed not by 200 miles. He then drove a 60 mile round trip to test his eye sight, it created more questions. After this, lockdown rules were relaxed, none essential shops were allowed people queued up for hours just for Primark, even no one had been anywhere and wasn't sure if they were going anywhere. Things are even more relaxed pubs restaurants even though after the first weekend 2 pubs closed because someone who went there tested positive for Covid-19. Hairdressers are now open as well. We can now travel abroad but some places you need to isolate when you get home. Some places that opened up after lockdown are going back into lockdown."
Mike gives his final thoughts:
"The rules may have changed but the virus is still there, everyone that was vulnerable is still vulnerable. For this reason I don't want to go out, not until there is a vaccine. But Sarah and Claire still come round and we still cook for each other, sometimes they spend the night. Claire is still having the odd melt down and if things change again all the meltdowns will start again. Sarah and Claire's holiday to Spain got cancelled so now we are all going to Cornwall so we can say we did something in 2020. As for me this lockdown has made my anxiety and depression worse, I will be a lorry driver one day but not just yet."
*Names have been changed