Okay, so maybe we’re assuming the worst here, but with talk of a new tier 4 potentially putting an end to the last sliver of social life we had left, we thought it sensible to consider what we want full lockdown life to look like this time.
We’re well practised at this quarantine lark, having filled our quarantine bingo cards in April and May. But we also know what we *don’t* want to be doing.
Here, HuffPost UK writers share the mistakes they made during those first #stayathome days – so they have it on record they can’t make the same boo boos again in lockdown 2.0 – if indeed it is lurking around the corner.
I’ll bake without having a total meltdown
Rachel Moss, life reporter: “I became a total lockdown cliche, mastering the art of sourdough baking during the first lockdown. In an attempt to perfect my new craft, I googled how to get the ideal crust and found a recipe that told me to open the oven door during the final 10 minutes of cooking to let out any excess moisture. My bread was delightful – but my oven was not. The heat that escaped melted the temperature dials on the front of my oven, until they resembled a Dali painting. The process also wrecked an internal component. I had to find a tradesman willing to come round in deepest lockdown and he charged £80 to fix my disaster. One very expensive, if delicious, loaf.”
I’ll wee before every lockdown walk
Brogan Driscoll, life editor: “The biggest lesson I learned – the uncomfortable way – is always to go for that extra emergency wee before leaving the house on a walk. No matter how confident you feel that you’ve got it all out, you WILL need to go. And while you’re mid-walk, miles from home, frantically weighing up whether it’s OK to do a nature wee (and simultaneously undoing any zen of the walk), you’ll wish you’d just visited the loo one final time.”
I won’t jump on Zoom every other second
Natasha Hinde, life reporter: “Zoom fatigue was alive and real last time as pretty much my entire social life moved onto the platform. And it was intense –especially after long days working at a laptop. Not great for giving the old eyes a break. This time I’ll be balancing out FaceTiming individual family members and friends – so we can have better, more in-depth chats – with thinking of more creative ways to spend my free time. When it comes to hobbies, I’m yet to find The One. All suggestions welcome.”
I’ll resist drunken impulse purchases
John Johnston, senior video producer: “I love football. During lockdown one, I missed football. Instead of talking football, our friends took to sharing the new kit reveals – a tiny thread of life to cling to as we all sat at home. This, mixed with boozy zoom calls, ever-less-enjoyable pub quizzes and the festering realisation that loungewear was my look for the remainder of 2020 saw me treat myself to some “because you deserve happiness” football shirts. Not Premier League, mind, but European ones. Chic. Cosmopolitan. Refined. Doesn’t matter that I’ve never actually watched a Bundesliga game. Or Serie A, since the glory days of Football Italia. Now, here I am in lockdown two with a plethora of football shirts bought in a drunken haze that I’d never wear outside as a 35-year-old male who tries to foster the idea he’s not a man child. And why did I think getting Müller emblazoned on one of them was a classy move?”
I’ll try and be loads more creative
Amy Packham, life editor: “I have a bullet journal and for three years before lockdown, I religiously drew/wrote/doodled in it every single week. I marked out big plans and things that had happened in my life so I could look back and remember. But when lockdown hit, I lost all my creativity and have struggled to get it back. I didn’t write about anything – not even the small bits of joy we found each day – and left my journal to one side with all my colourful pencils. I think it would’ve been nice to look back on how I felt, however weird that time was, so I’m determined to find some creativity and pick it up again soon!”
The closest I’ll get to cake is Bake Off
Ashley Percival, entertainment editor: “In a bid to jazz up the standard banana bread loaves we were all baking during Lockdown 1.0, I had the idea to put some rings of tinned pineapple on the top. However, this actually sparked some sort of chemical reaction and sent the contents of the tin spilling out into the oven, so I’ve sworn off baking altogether this time around.”
I’ll embrace my longer locks
Ramzy Alwakeel, head of news: “I’m not saying I’ll never get a haircut again, but I was so excited about the opening of barber’s shops on July 4 after months of being In Between Hair Lengths that I completely forgot I hate myself with short hair and got way more taken off than I wanted. Lockdown was the excuse I’d not had in years to properly grow it out and then the second I was able I went out and had it all chopped off again. Spent about a month genuinely distraught.”
I’ll acknowledge the lockdown locals I see
Adam Bloodworth, features writer: “Every day, there’s a gentle-looking man in his sixties who wears a green overcoat and marches around the field behind my house, doing laps as I run. I saw him in lockdown 1.0 pretty much every night. He has a big nose and a warm smile, and looks like the IRL manifestation of a Quentin Blake illustration. I saw him everyday when my house was empty of housemates in April and May. When they fled back to stay with family, he was my daily company. But we never speak. If I end up running around that field again every day for my sanity, I’d like – from a safe distance – to say hello.”
I’ll aim (at the very least) to leave my flat
Nancy Groves, head of life: “Given I was lucky enough not to have to shield (all props to my pregnant, asthmatic or older friends who did), it’s a small madness how many weeks I realised I’d not actually left the house for three days straight. A combination of solo living and working from home tied me to the same chair and table that housed my laptop, my lunch – and most of my life. But those days when I did log off in time to walk to the top of the park opposite my flat and see the whole of London below me – my friends, my family, even our office all out there somewhere – did me the world of good, giving me both fresh air and perspective. If I want to get any daylight, that walk now needs to be in the morning before work. But I reckon it’s worth setting my alarm for.”