In today’s post, we hear what it’s been like for one of our bloggers Evie Hooper on what life’s been like in lockdown in London, and the lessons she has learnt along the way. COVID-19 has thrown us many challenges, but for some of us, it’s also felt good to have to slow down and take stock of our impact on the world and look at how our daily actions add up.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT FROM PHYSICAL DISTANCING BY EVIE HOOPER
The UK and Ireland are gripped by country wide Covid-19 lockdown, with millions of us searching for coping mechanisms to keep our spirits up as well as our immune system. As an EBD blogger, I thought it relevant to share with you my individual takeaways from the lockdown with the hope you can relate.
As I write this in my rented flat in London where I live with three close friends, I am surrounded by varying work circumstances. Half of the household are still home working full time, with one furloughed and one of us laid-off, but all equally supportive of each other and together struggling to make sense of the last five weeks. We are the lucky ones who can find solace in our inner worlds.
The relief of pressing pause on modern life is as exhilarating as it is daunting. With no commute to make and all social events cancelled, we now have no choice but to focus on our basic needs: eat and sleep. So often have I skipped a meal or choose wine as a tempting substitute. Now though cooking is the most time-consuming part of the day picking recipes from a book entitled ‘Slow’. This trend continues throughout the UK for those able to treat this time as leisure, even on limited incomes. There are news stories about UK mills producing double the amount of flour versus last year as more of us bake and take time to enjoy our meals.
Modern life is filled with burnouts and self-guilt almost wired into our DNA. The endless to-do lists on my iPhone is a reflection of the desire to keep up this momentum (inclusive of a £2000 online course which I [thankfully] did not end up paying for). Really taking time to slow down and fill the day with what I want to do rather than what I should do reduces the anxiety for now, with the hope I can transfer these learnings into the new normal. Whether that be connecting with a loved one, volunteering within the community or taking a long walk; we do not need to fill this time away from work with an alternative demanding schedule.
Noticing which all-encompassing lifestyle choices are actually temporary has sparked an urge to take back control of what I can. The dreary London commute, the nights out we had to go on, or the big meeting we were dreading. These are all things which we chose to do on a daily basis, and it is refreshing to know we do have the power to change by surrounding ourselves with people we love or taking this opportunity to restock our careers.
The changing dynamic of my household’s relationship is entertaining. I know that five weeks is a long time with the same people, but for us Zoom quizzes and snap were out the window weeks ago and we have found ourselves having more open and honest conversations than ever before. I can honestly say this is the closest my household has ever been after listening to family calls on loudspeaker or asking personal questions for the sake of it taking us down an unexpected path where honesty is the only policy.
Lastly, the importance of community is overwhelming during this global pandemic. I am wealthy enough not to rely on foodbanks, healthy enough to leave the house and lucky enough to have a fantastic support network. However, charities are a lifeline to the most vulnerable during lockdown, with London foodbanks experiencing a 700% rise in demand YOY in some areas, and 750,000 people in the UK volunteering through the GoodSAM to support the NHS, not to mention the millions of pounds raised through various charities for our healthcare system. Let us push to give the right establishments the recognition and support after the pandemic.
There is an unmistakable feeling that we cannot go back to how we were living before Coronavirus. President Macron outlined this brewing shift in behaviours perfectly last week when he said ‘’This is not a time for falling back on comfortable ideology. We do need to get off the beaten track, reinvent ourselves, find new ways of living.”
Whether that be pushing the climate change agenda forward or shopping more locally, I hope something positive can come out of this tragedy for future generations.
Evie is going through an ethical evolution and has decided to share her diary and experience with us as she evolves and learns more.
Every few months she will update us on new and exciting discoveries – and give us a sneak peek into her everyday life.