Covid-19 Stories Blog


These stories have been kindly shared by children, young people and adults in our community, from personal accounts to the experiences of key-workers. People have described their lives at home, work and and school and shared their feelings, challenges and hopes. At Gladrags we wanted to capture local living history and create this resource for teachers and community / youth workers processing the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings.

Our FREE initial collection of 30 stories, written between May and September 2020, is now available in pdf (download copies below) and editable powerpoint verisons (please contact us for a copy).

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - print version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - print version (pdf)

You can take part!

As we continue to live in the age of Coronavirus, we are still inviting people of all ages and all sections of our community to give voice to their experience, so do please share this page freely or download our E-POSTER. For more info and to submit your story please download one of the following forms:

       Worker perspective        Personal perspective        Child Perspective

For detailed questions that help with putting a story together, either your own, or those of people you are working with / interviewing, please download one of the following sheets. They can be edited to suit your specific purpose.

Questions - worker       Questions - adult / young person     Questions - child / young person

 BEACH PHOTO cropped

"As a Primary Deputy Head I am keen to source real accounts of different people’s experiences of life since lockdown due to the coronavirus. It is vital for pupils to hear about these experiences to support their understanding of how others have and are coping and to develop empathy with different people."

Nigel Watson, Coldean Primary School, Brighton 

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Thank you to East Brighton Trust for funding this project.

 Some names and places have been altered to protect identities.

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» Listings for June 2020

  1. My name is Kim, I am a Health Visitor and have been redeployed into the swabbing team. My role as a health visitor stopped abruptly when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. There were approx. 50% of the team that were told they were going to be redeployed to help on the frontline. I was not given much notice about where I was going and expected to be sent to a ward to help out as best I could. I was surprised to have a phonecall from my manager to say I was going to be joining the swabbing team and the (1 hour) training was going to be the next day and I was starting work at the weekend.

    South East Ambulance Service were employed by Public Health England (PHE) to carry out the swabbing and so myself and 15 nurses set up the team to cover Surrey and Sussex to work 7 days a week. There was one nurse working from Tangmere, one from Durrington and two from Brighton daily. The shifts were 8am-8pm.

    Our role began with swabbing Key Workers. We would get our work from PHE in the morning and then set off in the Ambulance with a paramedic. I remember being nervous on my first shift but soon realised that everyone was in the same boat, unprecedented circumstances with no real rule book to refer to. I swabbed nurses, Dr’s, went to Prisons and Police stations, swabbed vicars and bus drivers and everyone who was at the time being told to carry on working to keep the country going.

    Kim photo

    We travelled all over the County, to places I have never been to before, to villages and towns that I did not know existed. Everywhere we went we were waved at and the smiles and appreciation from the general public was tangible. It was hard to go anywhere without being given free coffee and sandwiches by shops and garages and pushed to the front of the queue…something that I am not used to and felt a little uncomfortable about.

    After a few weeks we were told to move into the care homes and start swabbing the residents. This was a sad time. The true horror and anxiety of what Covid could do in the care homes was very real. Very elderly and vulnerable residents who had not left their rooms in weeks, day rooms closed off, no relatives allowed to visit, -solitary confinement at a time in your life when you need human to human contact the most. Can you imagine how an elderly person with dementia felt when someone in a white hazmat suit arrived in their room to perform what is a very unpleasant procedure? We saw many tired and worn out carers who were doing their very best with inadequate PPE and low on basic stocks.

    I worked Bank Holiday VE day. There were flags and well wishers everywhere. When my crew mate and I came out of a care home there was a £10 under the Ambulance wiper with a note of thanks from someone. I am hoping over this whole time that the NHS’s worth is appreciated. We are the luckiest nation in the World to have such a service and I feel it is sometimes taken for granted and often doesn’t get the financial recognition it needs after every Budget. For instance, it is just as important as Defence as needs to be on a par with it.

    Working weekends again and missing my daughter’s birthday as I was out for 14 hours was a challenge. Nevertheless the whole experience has been positive for me, I have felt I was doing some important frontline work and the people I met from all walks of life were appreciative and lovely: standing at St Richards Hospital in a line clapping with staff one warm Thursday evening … a very emotional experience.

    By Kim, June 2020

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  2. My name is Hanna and I live in northern Germany. I came back from a wonderful vacation – a Nile cruise with many visits to Egyptian archaeological sites – to directly enter a quarantine phase at home. No contact with others, besides the absolutely necessary shopping for food. I went from almost constantly being in a group to being all alone.

    We had a fast but not complete lock down in Bremen, where I live alone. I could cope quite well, as I am used to working from home. However, not seeing my friends and family and telling them first-hand about my trip, showing and handing over my souvenirs was sad. I was living in my memories for the first weeks. I was happy reliving the trip, as not much else of interest was going on. I was reading the books I had bought, from hard-core archaeology to fictional stories with Ramses as the hero, from boy- to manhood, i.e. being tested and then becoming pharaoh.

    A friend of mine who returned from her trip in Switzerland slightly later than me had to go into quarantine for 14 days. We were allowed to go around by two persons and without any permit or cap on the duration and as I live close to the river this was my easy way out on sunny evenings. Restrictions were on my job location; all schools and kindergartens were closed, also all other shops, restaurants, cinemas etc.

    Bremen Town musicians

    It took quite a long time until our government agreed on masks, and then only for inside activities. Bremen always has been a liberal city: think of the fairy tale of the Bremen Town Musicians in this picture (Stadtluft macht frei = City air gives you freedom), The animal 'musicians' escaped captivity in the hope of reaching Bremen. So, the controls in our city were not very strict and I heard of warnings but not of any fines. For a while I could not visit the beach, 65 km away and for weeks I could not enter the federal state where my father lives without a very good reason.

    I found it hard to keep up with the fast changing regulations, they were getting overly strict – in my opinion – for a while. Now I think we have found a good compromise, hygiene concepts everywhere, masks indoors and trying to keep our distance, which I like anyway. So I ride my bike without a mask but put it on before I enter any public building, even if it is just for paying at the fuel station or going to the loo in a café (where you will also find many means of disinfecting your hands), though I am having my coffee outside. I wash my hands when I return home and do not hug my friends, mostly. We do meet in twos or threes, and that is fine with me.

    I learned to use WhatsApp much more, to share at least photos of objects which are giving me pleasure, to drop a short note, even to exchange spoken sequences by sending short sound files, as not everybody can receive videos. I practiced flute duets with myself, taping one of the lines and then playing to the tape, quite tricky to get it right.

    Hanna picture Egypt

    I thought I would share this photo I took from a hot air balloon in Egypt: view of the Valley of the Kings and Hatchepsut-Temple! So much space and freedom before much of the world went into lockdown.

    By Hanna, June 2020


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  3. The very word, ‘pandemic’ makes people panic. Even in this small community, the little supermarkets were suddenly barren. Extraordinarily, the fruit stall was almost empty: did people think that fresh fruit would last for weeks? My wife does the shopping, as she is under 70 and only one of us at a time is allowed to enter the shop. I haven’t visited a shop for 14 weeks. We have managed to stay healthy and fortunately we enjoy each other’s company. Life has become slower: we walk and garden, we chat and read and write.  Of course there is always a shadow of fear that the virus could reach us even here and that if it did, I, at least, would probably not survive. But it’s not a constant worry. 

    Chris and Wendy walking dogs

    For many people, lockdown will have been very painful. It must have been very difficult for those who have to live in small apartments, but we can walk out for miles every day if we wish and breathe fresh air. It has really only been the inability to see our children and grandchildren that has been hard. 

    We live in a tiny village of less than 500 people. As soon as lockdown was announced, a village help group was created on ‘What’s App'. A few young people visit the Health Centre, 5 miles away, for example, to collect and deliver prescriptions for those in vulnerable groups, and others will do their shopping.

    A village charity delivers a fresh fruit and veg box to every person over seventy, front line workers and those with underlying health conditions. And because so few villagers are leaving home to go to work, we have met lots of people while walking the dogs who we didn’t even realise lived in the village: so many were never here during daylight hours in the past.

     In some ways, lockdown has reminded me of my early childhood. I was born not long after the Second World War, in a tiny agricultural village. Food was rationed, there were no supermarkets or big food stores, so there was nothing to panic buy. As most people made their own clothes, the closing of the High Street shops would not have worried them. There were only two cars in the village: my father’s and the doctor’s. The village Policeman, the two teachers and the vicar had bicycles but most people just walked everywhere, often for miles. Apart from the cows, sheep and pigs, it was very quiet. But we heard the birds: two of my brothers are still able to identify every British bird from its song!  Our village has always been quiet but in the first days of lockdown, it became silent. And the birds seemed suddenly much louder. It was wonderful. We have a Dunnock, usually a timid little bird that now sits out in the open singing its heart out and goldfinches that vie with each other from the rooftops to see who can sing loudest. The cry of the curlew across the river can be heard for over a mile and the skylarks shrill in the fields.

    Chris + veg boxAs overall panic has subsided, the anger and selfishness of people has been replaced by kindness and there is a real appreciation of those who have continued to work in order to make it possible for others to go on living as comfortably as possible: not just the NHS workers and teachers but the Carers, so poorly paid for doing such a difficult job with so much love; or the bus drivers, the bin men and those in our food shops.

    The quiet, the reduction in pollution and the sense of community, of care and respect for others has grown. The challenge for the future will be to prevent pollution rising again and to go on caring for others, as the panic over the virus fades.

    By Chris and Wendy, June 2020

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  4. A story by John Kirk inspired by Rapunzel and re-imagined as a lock-down experience for a 5 yr old:

    Not so very long ago, although it seemed like forever, a little girl lay on the living room floor drawing a picture. It was her Nana’s birthday next week and the little girl was making her a very special present. It was a picture of a tall tower and sitting in the window was her favourite character, Rapunzel, combing her long hair. School had closed and because her mum and dad didn’t have to go to work anymore there was plenty of time to play games and watch films in their flat at the top of the tall tower block.

    Rapunzel picture

    But it soon became clear to the little girl that really her parents just wanted to watch the news as if they were waiting for something, The little girl wasn’t sure what they were talking about and when she’d asked her mum about the news she’d just smiled and stroked her hair. So she went into her bedroom to play with her toys and read her favourite story about Rapunzel and how she was locked in a tall tower by a wicked witch and waited for a prince to save her. One day the little girl was reading her story by the window when she looked out onto the estate. From the window she could see the playground. Her dad said that she wasn’t allowed in the playground anymore. She wasn’t allowed to see her friends or visit her Nana. Suddenly she saw something. It was another little girl and she was running toward the playground. As she watched, the little girl slipped through the railings past the slide and the trampolines and sat down on one of the swings. The two children’s eyes met. They froze for a moment then the girl on the swing smiled. It was the sweetest warmest smile that you can imagine. The little girl in the flat smiled back.

    The next day the mysterious girl came again. This time the girl in the flat was braver. She stood up on her bed and leaning against the window she shouted “What’s your name?” The girl in the playground could see her and was trying to talk to her but of course she could not hear because of the glass so she gave a puzzled look. This encouraged the girl in the flat to shout louder and bang on the window “Do you want to play?” The door to the bedroom opened “Who are you shouting to?” said her Mum “There’s a girl in the playground. Can I go down and play with her?” the little girl said but by the time Mum reached the window the girl in the playground was gone. Her mother smiled and stroked her daughter’s hair. Day after day the friendship grew. The two children would smile and the girl in the flat would put the palm of her hand against the glass and wait for the day when they could meet.


    One morning her father came to her, would she like to come to the shop and buy a pint of milk? Of course she would, she’d love to come to the shop, she hadn’t been out of the flat in days. As soon as the door to the flat opened the little girl ran down the stairs almost tripping over her own feet with excitement. As the flat block door opened she charged through it across toward the playground; the slide, the trampolines, the swing were all empty, there was no sign of her friend anywhere. When her father caught up with her he put an arm around her and together they walked to the shop. They bought their milk and a packet of sweets but even her favourite sweets could not cheer the little girl up. She had not seen the girl in the playground, the girl whose smile was so warm and sweet.

    But then, just as her father was opening the door to the block of flats she saw her sitting on the swing, staring up at her bedroom window looking for her. Without saying a word she ran toward the playground but already the little girl was up and slipping back through the railings. Breathless and panting the girl called again “Wait! Please wait, I want to speak to you!” This time there was no glass. The little girl heard her and she stopped. “What’s your name, please tell me what’s your name?” ”Hope; my name is Hope”, “Thank you”. The two children exchanged a sweet warm smile then turned and ran back to their flats.

    By John, May 2020

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  5. My name is Roy, I work as a live sound engineer – the man behind the mixing desk at concerts and gigs whose job is to make the performance sound good. All of this work is reliant on an audience being present. When the lockdown happened all shows stopped, and with them all of my work; adapting to the situation whilst still doing the same job is basically not possible.

    Roy at "Trading Boundaries" gigIn many ways what I do is a bit different from most jobs in that it is closely interleaved with what the musicians do. For many musicians, especially those who do what they do out of a love of their art, not being able to play together is like losing a limb. Maybe there is a bit more creativity happening as people try to find ways to record together over the Internet but, for many people, that creativity is a face-to-face interaction which does not work on a screen.

    One other thing that contributes to the problems faced by lesser known acts is that the music business went through a major upheaval in the digital age. Without a physical product (CD / vinyl etc.) there is no control over the distribution of music. You can share a song via MP3 in an email and the artist gets nothing. Streaming services, especially Spotify, pay little back to the artists so many small acts survived by doing live shows and that is precisely the thing that lockdown has finished.

    Encounters are rare these days although I did drive out to a venue to sit in the garden with the owner and the lighting technician I work with to discuss the future. For the venue owner Covid-19 has also been devastating although he is able to access some Government resources to retain some of his staff. In the case of the lighting designer and myself our work is supplied as self-employed contractors on a show by show basis so the Government help did not allow him to pay us. To keep me occupied, I have had to fall back on DIY – I rebuilt our front door and discovered skills I did not think I had.

    Shows do not happen out of the blue. Bands have to plan tours, book hotels, make sure that all the people involved are available, rehearse and generally engage in a big logistical exercise. Cancelling all the shows up to Christmas is a major blow for the bands, the technicians and the venues. The same is true for theatre and anything that involves  performance.

    By Roy, June 2020

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  6. Iain Capie.photographer jpg

    I'm Iain. I live on my own in Tunbridge Wells. I’ve been dealing with mental health problems for 30 years, anxiety for 25 yrs. I’m not worried about the coronavirus for myself but I get a bit down,  a bit unsure sometimes because I don’t want anyone else to get it. Being stuck indoors can be anxiety provoking, I can start to ruminate and wonder if everyone I care about is going to be ok. My anxieties tend to snowball and I can have an anxiety attack. 

    But … I’m challenging it and getting through it. Instead of automatically taking a tablet to calm me I’m filling my time with new things which helps me get through and stops me getting so bored. I have a passion for photography and would normally always have my camera with me, taking street photography. So I have been going down town, to the Pantiles shopping centre and the local park and taking pictures anyway, even if people aren’t about. I’ve learnt new interesting techniques and style from youtube video tutorials. On ‘street photography London’ the guy has a videocam on his body so it feels like I’m actually there going round with him and he’s showing me what he’s doing. It’s a good teaching forum for me in lockdown.

    Pantiles deserted - Iain Capie

    I do miss the shops not being open though, not being able to get my weekly magazines from WH smiths or checking out the music at HMV. I miss the community café downstairs, ‘The Kitchen Table’. I would go in there most days. “Crossways” who run it support people with mental health problems. It’s a good place to socialise, anyone can go there and it’s also a safe place to chat as they have people there who can support you. Damon, a support worker, still supports us who live upstairs, he calls a few times a week so that’s good.

    I do feel cut off sometimes; I don’t have the same support as before, especially visiting mum and dad fortnightly for weekends. I whatsapp my family and seeing their faces, my brother and sisters, especially mum and dad makes a big difference – they are shielding and dad isn’t so well, it’s good to see that he’s ok because I do worry about him sometimes. Actually video calling is a real help and I want to give them a big hug as soon as I can.

    Iain - photographer

    On June 5th I went to Hastings by train. I had a facemask, I took a tablet and the train wasn’t busy so that was all fine. It was great to get away from my flat and have a change of scenery, get photos of things I couldn’t get otherwise. The weather was good for photography, a bit clouded over which reduces the light and gives you definition on your subject against the sky. I got some good photos of boats, buildings and street portraits. I spotted one man with a cool long white beard and hair and asked him “do you mind if I take your pic? You look like Gandalf, you get called that often?”. “Yup” he laughed. It was good to laugh.

    Street portrait by Iain Capie

    Street portrait 'Gandalf' by Iain Capie










    I’ll put some on my website. It’s all new to me but I’m making one to share my best photos over the years, It’s a good project to have just now and I really want it up and running by my birthday, 17th June, so my family and friends can see my photos, it will be a treat from me to them on my Birthday.

    By Iain, June 2020

     Street Art - photo by Iain Capie

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  7. IMG-20200910-WA0003

    I'm Lucy, I work at Tesco’s in the checkout assistance, ‘scan as you shop’. It was really hard in the beginning, back in the middle of March, before the pandemic even hit us, while everything you saw on the news was actually happening at our store: from customers queuing at 5:30 in the morning to panic-buying of toilet rolls and hand sanitiser.

    I saw people become selfish, I saw them in a different light, some even grabbing shopping out of other people’s baskets. Customers became scared that they couldn’t get what they needed; on one day we counted 650 customers in the store at the same time! We’d open the doors and the queue would ram in. I thought “if this is what it’s like here in our small and cosy town, how are people coping in big cities?” My cat lived on very posh cat food for a while as that was all that was left!

    My family life was hard too as I was the only one leaving the house to go to work. I felt scared of the pandemic and very unsure about what was going to happen next. The atmosphere at work with so many angry customers could feel threatening and my family found it very hard seeing me upset when I came home from work, crying. But they always managed to pick me up with a hug and a smile. Thankfully I have a wonderful friendship with my work colleagues and we call each other our second family.

    One day an elderly gentleman came into Tesco for some bananas and paracetamol. He was about to leave with nothing so I went over to him to ask if he was ok and he explained that he couldn’t get his two items. So the following day I started early and managed to get his bananas and gave him some paracetamol that I had at home. I didn’t tell him that they were mine. He was so appreciative, he cried and I welled up, but these were happy tears.

    By April things started to improve, people started to come together. My job changed a lot due to measures that have been put in to place to protect staff and the public. We can be put anywhere from being outside making sure the queue is working and customers are staying a safe distance apart to counting customers in and out as we are only allowed 80 in the store at a time. It used to be a case of ‘the customer is always right, always comes first’. We’ve all had to adapt to being in control of how customers shop here to ensure we can keep social distancing for both them and us while also making sure they have had a good and safe experience while shopping. 


    And now, so much positive has come out of this for us working in Tesco. Most, if not all the customers are lovely. We have had cards, chocolates and gifts and they always say thank you and appreciate what we do which, sadly, previous to the pandemic, was not always the case. A lovely regular customer made us key rings. They are made of wood and shaped like a shopping basket which is engraved with:

    “Thank you for your service, you are heroes too”.

    I feel like suddenly a whole world of people like us, people who are in so-called ‘lower skilled’ jobs are being properly appreciated for what we do!

    By Lucy, May 2020

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  8. The week beginning the 16th March was probably (hopefully) the weirdest of my teaching career. It began with the all students in. As the week progressed the year groups gradually ebbed away, until we ended up saying goodbye to our Year 11s with sweets, photos, speeches and giggles in the main hall.

    They had signed shirts, asked teachers to write messages in their books, clutched exercise and text-books, hugged (any attempt at social distancing was completely futile), and walked around their school for the last time as students. The mood was euphoric and tinged with sadness. 

    HelenesTo add to the surreal nature of proceedings I was celebrating my 50th birthday that day and they all sang happy birthday to a red faced me. A year group robbed of the satisfaction of completing an exam, robbed of a Prom, robbed them of the delight and relief of their last exam. 

    I didn’t return for 8 weeks. Never before have I had such a long break from education as a teacher. When I returned it was to supervise 8 delightful students, children of care workers, GPs and nurses who by then “knew the drill”. They sat at computers and worked on their home learning that had been set by teachers - while I attempted to give assistance and not get within 2 metres of them. Tricky. Mostly they showed just how resilient, good humoured and self-sufficient they had become.

    One day we were left with just two students by 12.30. We decamped to an office where we worked socially distanced at computers. One boy, aged 11, had arrived that morning hood up, in a foul mood. He was now chatting easily with the girl from year 10 but he was bored without his friends or the focus of a proper lesson. I said: “Do you want to go outside and run around a bit?” Watching from the hard-court area where I sat with a cup of tea, I’d see him doing sit ups and planks. It truly was a case of showing initiative and self-coaching. I could almost hear him telling himself “right now, three-minute plank” or “ok, twenty sit ups.” It was a memory I will cherish. 

    Working from home has been very strange. My bread and butter, my normal days, are full of interactions as a drama teacher and form tutor and suddenly it’s me and a laptop, answering e-mails from anxious staff, formulating grades for GCSE, participating in virtual meetings, learning a new language (Zoom, furlough, Teams, socially distancing), planning online work, checking and marking submissions.

    No rehearsals, no drama club, no theatre trips or art exhibitions. But lots of ideas for an online exhibition and sharing some of the fabulous work I’ve been sent, including a skilfully edited duologue by two girls filmed in their separate homes. I’ve been posting a challenge and a #thingstomakeyousmile photo on our arts Instagram post every day since the start of lockdown. I’ve been watching theatre online, reading plays, and longing to see my students face to face again. 

    Whatever else comes out of this for the students, they will have tapped reserves of patience, creativity, and determination unknown to them previously. They will also have experienced boredom, frustration and loneliness. There is absolutely no doubt that this generation, whether they are 2, 12 or 22, are going to need our support, love and care in the years to come. 

    By Helene, May 2020

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  9. Until the lock down I was the busiest woman, everyone always said, if you want some help, ask a busy person. Well, it seems I was one of those. I have two jobs and do a lot of volunteering as well. Too much to do, no time to rest. Now I am resting a lot. The store where I work is shut.

    We are quite a physical group of people at the store and often hug. While we were still open but sanitising all surfaces we touched, I wanted to hug someone. I said to her, can I just give you a backwards hip bump instead? She said yes, and we bumped. Later I found out it was her birthday, so I had given her a birthday bump at least. I miss my colleagues and the fabulous work atmosphere we have. It is inspiring and healthy to see friendly people every day.

    My other job as writer and director of shows also came to a halt. All theatres are closed, no rehearsals are happening, all shows are cancelled. Because I was so worried about the virus to begin with I did not feel creative at all. You’d think this would be the ideal time to write, but for me it was difficult. Then I was inspired to write haiku, which are very short and very precisely timed Japanese poems, and that helped me get started again: 




    One single magpie
    The spring of fear and sorrow
    Alone in the park



    It has been a great challenge for me to concentrate on anything work related. Luckily I read that other people were struggling with similar problems.

    I have been very frightened of this virus because members of my grandparents’ families died from the Spanish Flu in 1918. My grandmother remembered it well, and in my family people did not hug because it was considered contagious to do so. My default setting has been for years that I always have a stash of tins and pasta etc. hidden away in my cupboard. This mania to be provided for any catastrophe comes from my grandmother who had been a refugee at the end of the Second Word War and ended up with nothing but what she and her three kids had been able to carry. No food, no plates, no soap. She had and I always have a good stash of soap.

    What I keep telling myself is that I am one of the lucky ones; so far nobody I love has become ill. I have been spending a lot of time with my family, walking, talking, sharing meals, being kind and lovely to each other.

    In the park walking the dog one day with my daughter who is 19 and lovely, we chatted to a young man. This was about 4 weeks into the lockdown. His name was Jason, he was in his late 20s and a nurse at the Covid Ward in Brighton. He told us that he lived alone and his birthday was coming up, that he had been working long shifts non-stop, that nobody cooked or shopped for him. He told us that he missed his mum who lived further away. I think of him every day and hope he is safe and coping. I look for him in the park each time we go, but have not met him again. He said: “Don’t get it, it’s nasty.”

    By Mary, May 2020

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  10. As retired and “aged” local residents of 80 and 76 we would just like to say a little about our life since the Virus. From the start of lockdown we kept to the Stay Home rule without fail. We both like listening to music of all types and the repeats of comedy on the radio. My husband misses Sport on TV but we are fortunate to have a large garden and so we have been able to work in it as exercise and recreation.

    Jacque and Brian - photo

    The weather has been kind and so there have been only a few days when we did not want to be outside. As we have a pavement outside our fence that leads to the Downs we have been able to chat with people about their ways of dealing with the current situation. Thus, although in isolation, we are fortunate to be in touch with others, social distancing, of course.

    The local people formed groups to offer their help and mobile phone numbers that we can contact for errands and fortunately very early in the crisis I had an email from Waitrose offering me, as a valued and vulnerable person, the opportunity to order my shopping on line. I had not shopped on line before but within minutes I became an “on-line shopper” and have had a delivery every week. This has pleased me as I can feel independent, not dependent on others who are helping so many. When my delivery arrives I am extremely cautious to wash all packaging and remove bags and containers. My shopping habits have been changed forever and I have since obtained other household items onlinefor the home. We also have regular deliveries from the local butchers.

    As we are both from large families we have had lots of phone calls to keep in touch and we make sure we call and check friends and family. We both had our childhood during and just after the war. The problem then was not how to access food but to actually be able to obtain it because of great shortages and indeed rationing. Parents could only get their food allowance using Ration Books. The Toilet roll crisis amuses us as we grew up having squares of newspaper strung onto a skewer as the standard !!!!

    We feel sorry for the school children but feel there have been some good lessons learned for some by being at home and taking part in domestic routines, including our grandchildren. We miss them terribly, no cuddles or hugs, but technology allows us to keep in touch as much as we want to. When we grew up we did not have the joy of having a phone and contact was by letter writing, so conversation and arrangements took quite a while.

    Until 18th May we stayed locked in but then we went for a walk in the field behind us. It was interesting to see how Nature was thriving and had changed since before the Virus. On the 26th of May we took our first steps on the pavements around the streets nearby and observed the changes in other people’s gardens. Life has changed for us but we feel that if we observe the rules weare doing the best we can for all including of course our dedicated NHS.

    By Jacque and Brian, May 2020

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