As I sit here, we are just entering week 2 of lockdown. Lockdown Life Week 2 seems a funny thing to write about, but I hope to god this is something we never have to experience again! Looking back to when we first heard the now dreaded words ‘Corona Virus’ who would have ever thought this is how things were going to go.
Lockdown Life: Where it all began
For those that will be reading this in years to come COVID 19 is a strain of coronavirus that mutated and jumped from animal to people. Thought to have originated in Wuhan, China, it quickly became a pandemic. Within 3 months multiple countries had closed their borders. Thousands had died and life as most of us knew it ceased to exist. In England we were urged to practice social distancing, meaning we didn’t socialise in large groups, avoided busy areas and kept 2 metres apart. Sadly, guidance alone wasn’t enough for most of the British population and the lure of good weather proved too much. Monday morning, we were inundated of pictures of people having a rather jolly time. Consequently Boris (the prime minister and not the Frenchie I love at work) lost his sh*t with us.
Lockdown Life: And so it got real
We were told, not asked, to blooming well abide by the rules. Pubs, bars, cafes and most shops were told to close. Oddly Off-Licenses were exempt, something I still baffle over! Overnight our Highstreet closed, becoming the ghost town that threatens each time we shop online to save an extra pound. All social activity ceased, and only one walk a day was allowed. This is currently still the rule as I write this and most of us have a new understanding of why our dogs think we are the best thing ever!
Sadly, many people, surprisingly many of the more vulnerable continued to flout the rules. My neighbour had visitors everyday all weekend. Despite us being told not to travel unless it was for food, medicine, to work or to help a vulnerable person. The instructions are crystal clear and yet seem to be falling on deaf ears. There’s an attitude of ‘oh well I’ve lived my life and if I die for a trip to the beach then so be it’ – listen to this radio interview to here for yourself.
Lockdown Life: Vet practice life
For most veterinary practices their entire businesses have to be overhauled. Emergency work only, no weight clinics and no boosters. Contact with the public must be minimised and this has been tricky for the public to grasp. A quick scroll on Facebook gathers a number of posts slating vets and accusing them of money grabbing or neglect. Money grabbing because now they can charge for a restart of vaccination (not my words I might add!) Words that are so hurtful for all the veterinary staff that are continuing to go to work.Essentially putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus.
It’s to recognise that the aim is not that none of us contract the virus, but that we do so in a manageable way that means the most people survive.
Lockdown Life: Its ok to not be ok
For those going to work there is much anxiety, frustration and fear. Sadly, we all know negative thoughts can grow and flourish when exposed to more negative thoughts. This can mean being a large group can be just as damaging as sat home with nothing else but your thoughts. I would urge people who feel like this to take the time to seek help, the BVA and the VDS have a number of webinars designed to support us during this tricky time. Rest assured most of us are on a roller-coaster of emotion.
I’ve shed tears, got angry and not wanted to get up in the morning. I lack motivation and swing between extreme highs and productivity to major lows. Working from home, whilst a luxury that I’m lucky to have, can offer its own challenges. A lack of routine, lack of human interaction and just an overwhelming feeling of Groundhog Day. It’s important to realise that in a time like this it’s normal to have blips and bad days but there is still a lot to be thankful for.
Lockdown Life: It will end
Thankful that we have a home to stay safe in. I am thankful that we can use technology to see our friends and family. Be thankful that we can still go to the shops, that these shops are well stocked. Thankful for the NHS who are putting their lives on the line every day.
There are always positives, sometimes they are just harder to find.
This will end. It will be hard, there will be sacrifices, it will not be fun, but it will end.
May we all remember how we felt and treasure those ‘small’ things that are actually pretty big so much more!