Thursday, June 18, 2020

Viva la lockdown!

For about half an hour in the middle of April 2020, a dozen editorial staff in The Guardian got excited about a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a greener, brighter, fairer future. Then McDonald's, Primark, car parks and offices opened up again and it was all over.

I already look back on lockdown with a half-forgotten, half-imagined nostalgic fondness as if it happened many years ago. Did I really walk outside and hear birds singing and children playing? Were there really no cars on the roads? Were car parks and offices really shut?

Most people I was in contact with were enjoying lockdown as much as me, appreciating nature, being productive and creative, spending quality time with loved ones – surprisingly, even those who are usually extroverts, who I'd assumed would go stir crazy, relished either some time alone or being with loved ones, usually a bit of both. Aside from being productive and creative, I enjoyed nature more than I have ever before in my life.

So it seems bizarre that, as a whole, the nation seems so keen to return to the moronic 'normal' of before. You know, people driving 100 miles to get to soul-destroying office jobs every day, grabbing a £3 milky bucket of hot liquid apparently called coffee; at the weekend spending it in a soul-destroying shopping centre. The queues for our local drive thru KFC, McDonald's and Costa, and for Primark and Sports Direct, have left me speechless. The morons are back.

Lockdown was a time of hope, reflection, creativity, love, support. We realised who we were and what we valued. We also realised who was worthless – our politicians, our CEOs, our celebrities (not counting Bob Dylan, naturally).

Cars, car parks, offices, jobs, shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms, sport, cinema, planes. Couldn't. Give. A. Damn. About any of it. I had nature on my doorstep; books and art materials at home; a flask for hot drinks; a phone for keeping in touch with family and friends.

I'll be like the Japanese soldiers in the holdouts after the end of World War II, unaware, or unwilling, to believe the war was over and continuing to fight. I will continue my right to fight – for lockdown!

Previously on Barnflakes 
Shakespeare in the time of Coronavirus, a top ten
Kill Bill(ions)
Top ten things to be positive about during the Coronavirus pandemic
Staying at home: a guide to enjoying lockdown
Armchair atlases

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