I’m finding it quite strange that it’s taken me this long to write something about the Coronavirus pandemic that we’re all going through. I didn’t want to write something that people have heard one million times before, and I’m still wondering whether it’s useful to add my voice at all. There are so many people feeling the same way that I am; lost, determined to be productive, guilty about the lack of productivity, deflated, caged, pushing for positivity and so many other conflicting, but complementary emotions.
There are some unexpected benefits to this pandemic though and I understand that this comes from the privileged position of being able to work from home on a full wage (for the time being). I’m a big fan of lists so here we go…
1. Let’s Get Physical
I have never been one to go to the gym or be particularly dedicated to keeping my body in amazing shape. I’m lucky that I am slim, but over the years I’ve started to get a bit wobbly in places I don’t want to be. This was probably because I had been treating my body as if it were a temple for worshipping the Gods and Goddesses of chocolate almost every day. That combined with consistently driving to work every day when it was perfectly achievable to walk or scoot, means that I am not as fit as I should be for my age.
Although I was lucky enough to be able to turn up to the office whenever I wanted, I still felt that I had an obligation to get in before 9.30am. This combined with spending longer and longer in bed meant that I didn’t make time for proper exercise, but always made time for a leisurely breakfast.
Now though, I dedicate time every day to exercising in the flat with the radio blaring (sorry neighbours). For someone who has only one official “sports top” and two very old sports bottoms, I’m allowing myself to be proud of this achievement. I’m currently under the impression that I will look like a less chestier version of Lara Croft whenever this pandemic calms down and whether that happens or not, I’m still proud of myself and loving watching my body get slightly stronger every week.
2. Closing the Chocolate Temple
On the subject of health, I’ve never felt healthier. Although the chocolate cravings are still there in the background, the access to chocolate has been significantly reduced. Popping to the shop at every opportunity is no longer possible unless I want to queue outside Sainsbury’s Local for half an hour for one chocolate bar. It’s just not worth it. That and shopping has gone from an easy chore to a very stressful game of Monopoly and Pandemic combined. Every time I enter a shop, I can’t wait to leave which means that the less my boyfriend and I go to the shop the better.
When we do go to the shop, we buy helathy snacks that might actually be good for us. I’ve been eating more fruit but also been eating less in general, which I know won’t be the case for everyone! I used to be constantly hungry while at work but ever since working from home, I’ve only had the urge to eat three times a day, sometime four.
Sometimes I cave, like how I just made chocolate mug cakes, and also ate half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food last night, but most times I’m content with a piece of fruit or just a glass of water between meals.
3. Increased pennies
Apart from the council tax, car insurance, break down cover and car tax all coming out of my account at the same time on top of bills and rent, I’ve spent way less on food, fuel and random items overall. Yes, I have purchased two new pairs of shoes, a David Attenborough T-shirt (from Science on a Postcard) and my boyfriend’s birthday presents, but after this month, I shan’t be needing to spend money on any of those things. I need to work on resisting the urge to buy every item that Instgram advertises to me despite their powers of persuasion being so strong.
I used to spend over £100 on petrol every month from visiting both mine and my boyfriend’s parents, visiting friends, rural and coastal adventures, driving unnecessarily to work and popping to the shops for unnecessary food. Now that we have to stay at home, I haven’t driven my car for two weeks and won’t need to buy petrol for at least another month!
4. Discovering new realms
Staying at home is an important step to reducing infections and ultimately death from Covid-19. As a person with asthma in the middle of a pandemic involving a virus that affects your breathing, I’m all for social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. The only thing I really ever complain about is our sever lack of a garden or even a balcony, but this has meant that we can explore more of the green spaces in the city we live in on walks. I’d just like to add that we do this safely, we keep moving and keep at least 2 metres between us and other people which makes for an interesting zig-zag style of walking.
We’re so lucky to have a system of five or six parks connected together just 5 minutes away from our flat and we’ve taken the time at least three times a week to explore these spaces while keeping ourselves sane and absorbing some much needed vitamin D. Just recently we decided to explore a new space that we’ve seen on the map a few times but never visited. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was much quieter than the recreation ground we usually walk around, with beautiful tulips sprouting from cultivated beds, multiple bridges over a stream and so many birds. There was even a heron enjoying the trickling stream.
Even though social distancing might go on for many more weeks or months, I’m just so grateful for many things. I’m lucky to have friends who make the effort to host quizzes and watch movies through social media. I’m lucky to have parents that send me Easter chocolate in the post and chat to me whenever they can. I’m lucky to be able to live with my boyfriend who is a saint and should be given an award for putting up with me and being such a fun apocalypse companion.
I’m really sorry for people who aren’t this lucky and that I’m not able to help them; I’m so scared that if I get Covid-19, I won’t be able to do any good things when this all starts to calm down!
Thank you for listening to my ramblings as I try to take everything that’s happening in my stride. I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping vulnerable people who have much worse conditions than asthma safe too!