I guess March 2020 will forever be remembered in history as the month the lockdown came and the year 2020 went down the pan. Like really not worth mentioning in the calendar at all. Only then we didn’t know that this would eventually apply for the entire year by the looks of it. March itself started off not too badly as it stands. I went home at the beginning of the month and had another date with a guy I met a month earlier (I will address this date in another post) and it turned out to be reasonably decent. But then I am surprisingly low maintenance when I like someone so it’s not like the dude had a challenge on his hands. Before you give him too much credit for nothing.
When I got back, COVID-19 was rearing its ugly head, becoming more and more prominent in the news by the minute. Rather strange times were beginning. No one really knew what was happening or going to happen but a general panic was setting in and people decided to prepare for the end of the world or the next world war or both in one with some zombies for sprinkles. Most did so by clearing the supermarket shelves of toilet paper, flour and pasta. Oh and tinned tomatoes. God knows why. I don’t think I ever expected to go to work and reprimand people for stealing the oh so coveted toilet rolls out of another person’s shopping trolley.
I had only come back to work properly by mid March. As you might remember from my previous blog posts, I suffer on and off from anxiety and depression and over the last few months it had gradually taken hold until it completely took over in late February and I was just not able to function properly anymore. I hate being off sick, especially when a lot of people can’t grasp what is ‘wrong’ with me, but my anxiety had reached a level that would have me waking up numerous times in the middle of the night in an absolute state of terror. Not a nice thing to deal with and really not what you need trying to work, look after your kids and run the house. I was exhausted, permanently run down, cranky and teary and in general in pretty bad shape.
The break I got was very much need for my mental health and it did improve considerably – and I’m not ashamed to say with the help of some prescription drugs thrown in as well – but then I stepped back into this pandemic madness and to say I was extremely worried about how I would be able to deal with it would have been the understatement of the year. Not wanting to get big-headed here, but I am quite proud of myself for taking it in my stride and actually coping quite well.
I had planned another trip home in late March, but talking to my parents and friends it had become obvious that imposing a travel ban and compulsory quarantine was imminent so I decided not to go in the end. It was a really hard decision but the day I would have come back was the day all those restrictions came into place in Europe, so I would probably have just about made it back, but I was not willing to take the risk and travel in this uncertainty. If I would have known how long it would be after this until I get a chance again to go home and see my family and friends, maybe I would have chanced it. Maybe not. I really can’t say.
So the lockdown started, the schools closed and the weirdest year of all our lives began. I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember Tchernobyl and I don’t know if it was similar in the UK to Germany in regards to the measures they took back then, but I do remember not being allowed outside to play that summer and the terror the grown-ups instilled in us youngsters of ‘the radioactive cloud’. I remember not being allowed to pick mushrooms or wild blueberries that year and a few thereafter and even after the immediate danger was seemingly over our playtime outside was limited. That is the only thing I can compare the lockdown to. Of course, shops were still open, you could go to the hair dressers and bars and restaurants and in general I don’t think it was anywhere near as restrictive as these times are now but then this happened over 30 years so so my memory is a little clouded. Pardon the pun.
With all the schools closed, it became a little challenging to work as I was not being furloughed like a lot of people but all of a sudden became a key worker. Funny that. I hope you lot remember that when you get all arsey with me and my colleagues at Christmas time. Our au pair did stay in the beginning, but being quite young and with her family far away, her parents wanted her to come back home. Which is perfectly understandable, especially when it became quite clear that this whole Corona thing would not be over anytime soon. It wasn’t easy for her to go, and we really miss her, but once traveling is easing up we are planning to meet up in Northern Germany with her.
Getting her home was quite a challenge and – coming from the Hamburg region – she ended up flying into Berlin where her dad and brother picked her up. Her stay with us was only short but we were really sad she had to go because we grew so fond of her in such a short time. So here is to adjusting to these new times. I hope you are all keeping well.
Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.