It's often not what happens in life, but how we deal with
it. Everyone copes differently and lockdown gave us challenges we'd never faced
before. We spoke to Aaron who told us his own story about living alone and
what the last few months have been like.
After Boris announced the lockdown, it was a strange time. It felt like an emergency and we all had our part to play. It was surreal to watch the world you know change so suddenly - it felt like a dream.
I live alone and what hit me hardest was not having as much contact with my son. He lives quite far away and has a heart condition. We were really worried about what might happen if he got the virus. We talked it through and all agreed it was best to restrict contact, but it was a hard pill to swallow.
Work-life changed too. We were still trying to adapt to the changes, which of course had teething troubles, but we worked it out. Initially, it was very lonely and isolating, but we integrated voice and video calls into our daily routine and organised team social activities to help. In a way, our sense of comradery has brought us a little closer together. The video calls gave a window into each other's lives and made me feel less alone. We were all in the same boat, juggling the shift and dealing with our problems together.
My social life changed dramatically. I moved everything online; having video chats with my family over WhatsApp or Discord. We even had movie nights, where I would share my screen and we'd watch, chat and drink together virtually. My friends suddenly became more available online and I set up gaming sessions with my son. We're working on a game where we adventure and build together while we talk about our lives (but still respecting his bedtime)! It makes me feel like we’re together and connected, even though we aren't physically.
With the extra two hours a day saved by not sitting on the bus, I became more active and improved my fitness by jogging or spending time on my 'Ring Fit Adventure' game. I enjoy video games and it made the jogging more fun by downloading a game to my phone. The game took me to a world where I was getting supplies for my town which was ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. My exercise would unlock new stories and build up my virtual town, giving me the motivation to keep it up and not sit around at home.
Spending habits changed for the better too. I was cooking meals at home rather than spending £3.00 a day on a Tesco meal deal. My commuting costs evaporated and I was no longer impulse buying on luxuries like the cinema or a takeaway on the way home (although I’ve still had a sneaky delivery once or twice). I had to consider what I bought as it wasn't easy to just pop to the supermarket for a few bits. On the flip side, I was always at home for deliveries and turned to Amazon for anything non-grocery related, which was a weight off my mind.
The difference was astounding. After the first month, I found myself with an extra £600 in my pocket and after the second month £500. I kept thinking that I wasn't paying for something I should be. Looking forwards, I'm saving the money, so when life starts returning to normal, I'll think about some bigger purchases like a car or putting it towards the mortgage. I’ve even thought about an e-scooter to get to work and be environmentally friendly.
I've adapted and the country has too. I wonder what the future will bring and what the long term social effects of the disease will be, I guess only time will tell.