I haven’t written in a long time and it looks like it’s taken a big event, like a pandemic, to get me into wrting again.
I’m going to write this post in the form of a diary entry. These are very unusual times and I want to look back one day in the future and glimpse into the nightmare that’s been this lockdown.
Lets start with that.
We’ve been in lockdown since March 2020.
It’s been a strange experience at best. When China had already gone into lockdown and multiple European nations already had established Covid-19 transmission chains, Boris Johnson (the current PM) was publicly on TV telling people that he’d gone around in a hospital shaking hands with potentially Covid-19 infected patients.
It was then unsurprising that despite me raising this issue with my direct line management at the time, and asking to delay the move to London that I was supposed to be undergoing, that this situation was massively downplayed. I was told that as a senior software engineer I shouldn’t be causing panic and that the virus situation wasn’t so bad, etc. Well, I was panicking. Through my wife we’d kept up with news from China very closely and the situation looked VERY dire. China, more specifically initially Wuhan, went into full lockdown and later other regions of China did the same. I didn’t need science to know that when the one nation that’s gone through a very serious respiratory disease starts locking down, things are very serious.
But not in the UK.
The government downplayed it. And as such, the companies downplayed it.
I stood my ground. Before the company adopted a wide work from home policy in the UK (mind, other offices in other countries were already at different degrees of WFH - specifically Barcelona was already in full WFH), I told my manager I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the office given the number of cases in the UK and started working from home. We had to somehow make it sound like it was because of “special circumstances” as to not cause panic.
A few days later, the UK offices go into a full WFH policy. People are told to take their equipment home, including, if necessary, chairs, monitors, etc.
At this stage, I was in a secondment to join a London office but this situation was very worrying to me. As I looked into the future I knew I didn’t want to be going to London any time soon, so after approaching my line managers and feeling that the situation had been fairly neglected from the beginning, and feeling somewhat misunderstood and that my worries were somehow being downplayed, I decided to stop my secondment prematurely.
Work-wise I entered a much better and stabler situation. I rejoined a team I had left, where I had a number of familiar faces, people I enjoy working with and a relatively uncomplicated software that I could sink my teeth into with much more ease.
Right now we’re 3 months into the lockdown. Life is hard. We’ve cancelled our oldest child nursery enrollment right at the beginning, before nurseries were even told to shutdown, and we’ve never looked back. I know he’s incredibly bored at times and misses his friends, but it’s for the best. We try hard to keep him entertained with puzzles, with different games, and with learning as well to make sure he’s on track to start school. But it’s hard. On everyone.
Better days will come, but not having anything in particular to look forward to (planned holidays, etc) is something that’s had a bit of an impact on mental health.