As the UK slowly eases its way out of lockdown, I wanted to share my experience of the situation, and how my family and I have coped throughout the pandemic.
My father is in the 'high-vulnerability' group of individuals which meant he had to shield for the 12 weeks. At the time my sister and I were still working at Sainsbury's getting up at 12:45 am 5 mornings (nights?) a week. After a couple of weeks, this not only started to affect me mentally due to the relentless and increasing pace of the job but the added worry of Dad who should be protected. This led to us also shielding away from Sainsbury's.
We've had our fair share of family sorrows during the lockdown, we lost our Great Auntie (Dad's side) and my Granny (Mum's mother) in the space of 24 hours. The saddest part about losing both of them was A) we couldn't go and visit them and B) we couldn't go to the funerals, although my great aunties funeral was live-streamed. Fortunately, we did get the chance to go to the hospital to see Granny just before she passed. Neither were COVID related.
As a family, we pull together and support each other, so we started doing things to manage what had happened and what is currently going on.
I'm someone who likes to be busy, very busy, for if I am alone with my thoughts I start to suffer significantly from overthinking and with all this free time on our hands, we, as a family unit needed to keep busy. I'm also a severe hypochondriac, and people passing is a trigger for it become worse.
So when we stopped at Sainsbury's, we decided to have a family meeting over a morning cup of tea to arrange some things.
The first issue we had to resolve was the kitchen, with four of us now at home, cooking lunch would become a bit of a nightmare, so we put in place taking it in turns to all cook each other lunch, every day a different family member would cook the lunch.
It makes the experience of cooking exciting, interesting and rewarding, not to mention refreshing having something different every day.
As with every family, someone had to take the plunge and do the baking because this seemed to be the most popular task during lockdown, although I'm pleased to say we didn't succumb to the Banana Bread challenge.
It was Dad who decided that he wanted to obsess over his baking and made bread and pizza bases. Some have been absolutely wonderful, while others, lacked any form of moisture at all.
We nailed the cooking arrangements in the house, and as we all now work from home, we decided to have some escapism in the afternoon. With this, we launched our 5pm Family Film Club, upon which every 7 days a family member reveals their choice of films for the next 7 days.
The highlights have been; High Society, The Big Sleep, The Boat That Rocked, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone and many more!
So! If you need some things to try at home:
Film Club - People choose 7 films of their choice for the next 7 days and then rotate for a bit of escapism in the afternoon.
Lunch Club - Rotate the duty of cooking in the household, if you live alone, choose a menu for yourself and stick to it for the next few days.
Netflix Party - A couple of months ago Netflix launched Netflix Party, whereupon if you have a Netflix subscription, you can simultaneously watch the same programme of film virtually with people. Que Facetime!
Zoom Quiz - You've probably done them, they seem to be the way forward! Gather friends and family and pop them all in a Zoom call for a quiz. Use PowerPoint or PDF and scroll through quiz questions as you would normally at a pub, each do a set of questions on anything, make it exciting by adding in some riddles and a picture round.
Club Zoom - Club Zoom is always open, 24/7. Invite your friends to attend Club Zoom, get the music on and enjoy chatting with drinks, take your laptop outside and enjoy the sun, whilst in Club Zoom! The possibilities of virtual clubbing are endless.
Try Scriblio - After the Zoom Quiz has finished and you're all still buzzing from the excitement, head over to Scriblio for an online multiplayer drawing guessing game. You won't be disappointed and here you will be tested on your drawing and guessing skills. Find it here
Stay in touch - One of the most important things is to stay in touch. Use Facetime or Zoom, or WhatsApp. Forget Houseparty, because let's face it, who wants a random person joining the room, or getting endless notifications of people being 'in the house'. No thank you!
What have you been up to at home? Share your stories below.