If I didn’t live alone I would have asked someone to pinch me on Monday afternoon. When Boris Johnson revealed England’s roadmap out of lockdown it felt as though – for the first time in so long – we received some much needed good news.
Finally, after almost twelve months of uncertainty and yo-yo-ing over what we can and can’t do which resulted in three national lockdowns where the instruction was simple – stay at home – the light at the end of the tunnel is bigger than it has been throughout the pandemic.
Starting with schools going back on March 8th, the restrictions that are normal to us by now will gradually ease until June 21st where we could potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed.
It’s easy to get carried away with that information, I know I have been, but it is worth remembering that easing of restrictions depends on four conditions being met at the four steps which will see something like a normal version of society restored.
1) Vaccination programme going according to plan.
2) Evidence that vaccines reduce deaths and hospitalisations.
3) Infection rates do not risk a hospitalisation surge.
4) New variants do not change the risk of lifting restrictions.
It’s easy to show scepticism over the roadmap. There have been many times throughout the pandemic where the situations are far from what we were expecting, which is to be expected when a new virus such as COVID-19 is in circulation.
It is getting close to a year since many were told to work from home for two weeks to reduce the spread, during the first lockdown we were sold the dream of holidays by August, then it was sacrifice your summer to save Christmas and the list goes on.
However, due to the success of the vaccine rollout thus far I am truly optimistic that this is well and truly the roadmap out of lockdown. I’m sure there will be hiccups and stalls along the way but for the first time throughout the course of the pandemic, I believe the end is in sight.
That said, I am going to err on the side of caution.
I will always say that the worst part of the pandemic was that month or so before the first lockdown when no one really knew what was the right thing to do.
As the days went by commuter trains had fewer passengers, face masks became a more common piece of attire and the aisles in food shops became barren – it was a scary time filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
However, the blow of having a restricted Christmas cancelled a mere days before was the biggest hammer blow of the COVID world we live in.
With the benefit of hindsight it was somewhat naive to expect the five days of Christmas proposed to us would go ahead given the situation with mutant strains of the virus in circulation, particularly in the South East where I live.
I suppose I was blinded by the excitement that I could have something somewhat close to normality having spent so much of the year alone in my two-bed flat that to have it taken from me less than a week before felt somewhat cruel. Which I know is a feeling many of us experienced when Boris Johnson announced the measures.
Although I’ve since drawn a line under that incident as well as 2020 in general, that feeling is something I am very keen not to experience again.
Meaning I’m avoiding getting too excited for June 21st in case the situation changes due to reasons outside of our control.
Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for limits on social contact to be behind us and I am over the moon that the plan is for that to happen in the summer, but what I’m saying is I’m holding back from booking any holidays or getting involved in things that can easily be taken away like they were in December.
Instead I’m going to focus on my day to day, the things I can control. By focusing on my work, marathon training and other projects I’m working on at the moment the days should go quickly as we reach March 29th when I can meet up to six people from two households outdoors and play a well overdue round of golf.
And shortly after that I can get a haircut, go to the gym and sit in a beer garden with my friends on April 12th.
Just over a month later on May 17th groups of up to thirty can meet outside which is just in time for my 27th birthday on the 31st, with my 26th being one of the many lockdown birthdays. And before we know it we will arrive at the sweet promised land of June 21st when we should finally be able to put this lockdown nightmare behind us.
I do think taking it bit by bit is a good way to avoid any mental setbacks like we experienced in December when Christmas was changed on such short notice.
The rewards of more restrictions being lifted every five weeks is enough to keep me motivated. For now I’m just going to keep counting my blessings and enjoy the little things as I have done throughout the pandemic.
The days are getting longer and warmer, West Ham are in the top four and better days are coming.
I’m running the 2021 Mind
I’m running the 2021 London Marathon for Mind!
If you wish to donate or keep up to date with how my training and fundraising is going you can do so by following the links below.
Fundraising Page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey: @26.2MilesForMind
Mind Website: https://www.mind.org.uk