The next changes to lockdown measures have been announced this week, with more businesses allowed to open, and new levels of 'who can gather where'.
So what does it mean for me and those nearest and dearest to me?
- We can gather indoors with one other household at a time - this means we can get at least some of the family together for our son's 14th birthday, and we can spend time indoors with our parents for Sunday lunches and other get-togethers. For me this feels like the most important positive step, just to be able to do something that is totally part of our 'normal' routine from before COVID-19 invaded. It also means that, at some point, my BFF and I may be able to resume our craft evenings in person. (we're not rushing into this one as my friend's parents have medical vulnerabilities)
- Churches are beginning a phased opening, and I will be able to return to Mass. This one is a bit of a double-edged sword, I'm very keen to be back to Mass in person, but (initially at least), congregational singing is banned, so it will be a new kind of experience outside of the choir, and maybe I need to find other responsibilities within the parish whilst we wait to be able to praise in this way again. There will also be a limit on how many are able to attend church at any one time, with social distancing measures being required. And of course we will be unable to gather socially in church like we would have before the pandemic. I've been running a weekly Zoom session with some of the parish and choir so that we still get to worship with song in some way, and I envisage that we will continue to do this until we can sing in our churches again.
- Work (in the medium to long term) won't really change - as hubby and I both work in buildings where too many people were initially working for the size of the space, I estimate that we will be working from home for the rest of 2020 at least. And whilst I'm frustrated at this, I'm learning to make peace with that fact, and to embrace the lack of travelling required, and the ability to spend more time on my hobbies.
- I CAN HAVE A HAIRCUT!!! Feeling more like a shaggy dog every single day at the moment, only 10 days to go till my appointment now. I think the combination of normality at my parents house, and the ability to look more like myself again, will help deal with the remaining anxiety around the items which still have question marks - such as how schools will return in September, and whether there will be another outbreak in the winter, where we have to go through all this over again.
- We still have a bigger 'next' in the offing, as we're hoping to move house to be closer to the office (ironic now that we're not travelling to work at the moment), so over the next weeks and months we will prepare to (hopefully) show off our home to potential buyers and make that sale. I might ramble on more about that in a future post, though.