Back in March, I was furloughed, alongside many people across the country, but when the Furlough scheme changed to add in some flexibility I was back working 3 days per week, furloughed for the other two. I am very fortunate to work for an organisation that has looked after it’s staff whilst taking every step to protect the organisation as a whole. Being someone in the clinically vulnerable category, with a higher chance of getting Covid-19 back, I have worked at home throughout and been supported to stay safe.
Our area, south Yorkshire had already been placed in tier 3 and West Yorkshire was about to join us and the furlough scheme was about to come to an end and be replaced by a different scheme, which wasn’t as generous but still provided some support. I was due to go back to working full time when the rumour mill started on social media that a national lockdown loomed. It is not unusual for these rumours to appear on social media, however there were too many details released to two many papers for it to be completely without merit.
Sure enough Boris Johnson hit our screens on Halloween night to announce that because the R was over 1 and it was starting to spread across the country and because many hospitals were seeing an influx of cases that we were returning to a national lockdown. Boris assured people that it was only for 28 days and that he was confident that we’d be able to come out of it and return to the tiered system and perhaps have some normalcy for Christmas, but you know what. I can’t say I believe him 100%.
So I am on furlough for the next 28 days at least. This lockdown is different,
- Schools/Colleges/Universities remain open
- More shops are open
- Those shops that can’t open as standard have adapted to allow click and collect
- Outdoor exercise and recreation is encouraged (within reasonable distance to your home)
In the first lockdown and first furlough, whilst I always maintained a routine for the kids of getting up, getting dressed, treating the day as normal as possible, I did spent a large portion of it indoors. I won’t lie, having asthma, which worsened last year had made me really over cautious and back then not enough was known about Covid-19 to know what was or wasn’t safe. We did a bit of walking near home, but not as much as we could.
This time I plan to get outside at every conceivable opportunity to get in some fresh air and exercise. I haven’t been to a town or city in months and I never did go to pubs or restaurants even when everything eased, but looking back I didn’t need to be quite as restrictive to myself.
i’ve been on a health kick with Dave this past couple of weeks and we’ve been eating and drinking much better, we were never bad as such, our meals have always been healthy, but we were snacking and we’ve brought that under control. We’ve also committed to getting some exercise in, even if it’s just a walk locally.
There are many things about this pandemic I cannot control,
- Other people’s behaviour
- The governments handling of it
- Having Asthma and being more at risk
But there are many things I can control
- My own behaviour,
- Ensuring I look after my mental health – I do art daily, I have lots of things I can learn (training courses etc.) and reading
- Ensuring I look after my physical health – On the days that the kids are at school and Dave is working I plan to do some walking, build back up to running, maybe some cycling
- Ensure I look after my emotional health – I aim to limit the exposure to news, get a good nights sleep and take time to relax and find things to smile about
I have completely trashed an old site to create this one so I have a place to record everything and I plan to avoid any days where I give in to the feeling of doing nothing. My hope is some form or return to working after this lockdown, but I will see how the situation unfolds, especially with furlough extended to March 2021. What I will do is make sure every day counts and ensure I do something useful with my time.