Lockdown and Me

Longhaired man with roses

Hi, it’s the tail end of August in what has been a very different year. For me, the effect on daily life of the Covid-19 virus has been quite pleasant in some ways, although I was knocked out for a couple of days by what may or may not have been the virus. My character type is INTP so not socialising a lot has been quite good.

At the start of the lockdown in the UK I got into a bit of a routine: leaving home only to go shopping; exercising erratically; preparing meals and eating them in front of the TV; watching a lot of TV; reading books found around the house; doing some language learning online; doing gardening and housework; spending a lot of time on social media; basically just vegging out.

A couple of months in I decided I needed to do more and started to change things. I started doing more regular exercise, tracking my diet, I bought a fitness tracking watch and scales. I stopped watching TV, stopped going on Facebook, switched off notifications on my phone and learnt more things for CPD and my photography and film business. I read a lot of motivational and e-business e-books and cherry picked the useful bits from them (there is a lot of bullshit out there).

Most of the time I have been stuck in Newhaven, a town I left when I was 18 as it was slowly dying. Rigor mortis has now set in. My mum came from here and we settled here after my dad finished his service with the RAF. I have come back a few times: the last time after I decided to quit my last permanent job and move out of Brighton. I have managed to escape a few times during lockdown, to Brighton shopping, to London in June, to Surbiton to spend the weekend with a friend, to Brighton for a date and to Hastings for the weekend. The weekend in Hastings was the first weekend I had been to a pub since March. My next escape will be for work.

What the lockdown also meant was I haven’t worked for someone else since February when my last contract ended. I have two main employments, as an engineering lecturer and as a TEFL teacher. The TEFL contracts that I had lined up were cancelled due to people being unable to travel to the UK and it also I meant that my chance to become part of a centre management team this year as a director of studies was lost. I could have done some remote working but the agencies contacted me whilst I was feeling ill with the virus so I had to let the opportunities go. Luckily, I was able to sign on for Universal Credit. Agencies have started to contact me to see if I am available for work in colleges as the colleges will probably start panicking this week or next when they realise that they don’t have staff to teach. Of course, this pre-supposes that the government won’t come up with another crazy scheme that will put paid to the colleges’ plans.

The major negative impact for me, apart from missing the social aspects of the TEFL teaching, has been the postponement and cancelling of gigs and festivals. They form a large part of my social life, I take photos and film at a lot of them and I was going on holiday in Scandinavia taking in a festival in Norway. Most have been postponed until next year but one was put back from May to November and I hope that one goes ahead.

I’m looking forward, fairly optimistically, hoping things will get better.