10 April 2020 - Firsts and Lasts with Covid-19

28 February: The last time I felt normal and free to live my life when I went on holiday to Finland to go ice driving. 

7 March: The last time I was surrounded by a group of people who were not my close family and gave them hugs at a leaving party in a London pub.

10 March: The first time I felt really paranoid about a slightest cough or sneeze by a fellow commuter.

14 March: The last time I went to a pub for a drink and then to a restaurant for dinner out.

15 March: The first time the battery in one of the cars died as we hadn't driven for a few weeks and needing help from our neighbours to jump start it.

16 March: The last time I put on a dress, commuted on a train and tube and spent the day in an office working.

17 March: The first time the neighbourly WhatsApp group shared pictures of empty shelves in the local supermarket as people panic purchased items. All talk on the group was where people could get provisions.

20 March: The last time I travelled into central London to deliver London's Calling. That night the pubs and restaurants were mandated to close.

21 March: The first time we hosted a virtual street party on Zoom with our neighbours.

22 March: The last time I wore makeup. The last time I travelled to a shopping mall to grab some groceries and medical supplies. Most of the other shops were closed. The mall was like a ghost town. 

24 March: The first full day of being grounded by the Government. Stay home, save lives.

26 March: The first time I stood on my doorstep and clapped my gratitude for those in the NHS alongside my neighbours. Very emotional.

29 March: The first time I felt a bit anxious about popping to a shop to get provisions.

30 March: The first time delivering a London Admins Community Group night virtually.

2 April: The first time I watched a theatre performance from the comfort of my home via YouTube.

3 April: The last day I worked, having my contract cancelled due to budget issues brought on due to Covid-19.

4 April: The first time I went on a bike ride along the Thames Path (riverside path) since the lockdown and surrounded by quite a lot of people who also had the same idea.

5 April: The first time in a long time the Queen delivered a speech to her public outside of her usual Christmas message.

6 April: The first time I did a morning exercise class online with Joe Wicks. The first time I went food shopping and patiently queued to be let into the supermarket.

7 April: The first time I signed up to volunteer with my local Borough, Greenwich, to help with tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

10 April: The first Easter weekend staying home.

I know there will be more firsts and lasts. We are living in a time where we just don't know what will happen next. Our basic freedoms are restricted. This is to save ourselves, others and reduce the impact to our health service. Its a small sacrifice. 

I am grateful to be living in a considerate neighbourhood. Technology has brought us closer together and we are looking out for each other. Small acts of kindness; book sharing, giving out seeds, putting up pictures and teddy bears in windows for children to find and singing happy birthday outside the houses of children who can't have their friends over for parties.

While we cannot visit family or friends we can still reach out to them and check in. Video chat is the saving grace. Seeing their faces helps to know that they are OK, coping.

Small treats will keep us going; alcohol, the occasional posh meal time and chocolate will help maintain the spirits. Exercise to prolong core strength and wellbeing. Best not roll out of this lockdown as raging alcoholics with type 2 diabetes now. 

Build a routine to keep hearts, minds and bodies stable through these strange times. It's OK to have a wobble. Don't feel alone. We're in this together. 


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