Pieces on what it was like to be stuck inside for the foreseeable
“The walls of my home closing closer and closer ”
Stay Indoors by Wendy
First thought was why? What is going on?
Then as an outreach hub worker, I was called into the main office, again first thought, why? What have I done?
Then came the bombshell, hub is closed, you are not to see clients face to face and you must work on a rota from our clinical building in town. Thought – what about the allotment, what about our greenhouse, and then very selfishly thinking, I can’t possibly be stuck in an unfamiliar office 9 – 5pm. Still not knowing the depth and size of what became a pandemic, I thought ahh it will be OK, I will manage, but then came the lockdown, stay indoors do not go out unless for work, food or exercise, blimey I was filed with questions, emotions and then ahh what about my family, what about my brothers, nieces, nephews, what about my work?
I got into the swing of things just like everyone else, juggling, emotions, anger frustrations and work, delivering scripts, medicine, home visit’s on the doorsteps, doing welfare checks, delivering food when we had it on a Friday and then developing online groups.
Putting a weekly programme together, trying to address need, but realising people needed some light hearted connection too, it’s not all about the work we do, it’s about people being people, being human, needing connection, interaction and a friendly face, even though it’s through a screen.
Lockdown two – not much different to lockdown one, got things in place, managed to see family as much as I can when we were allowed bubbles, outside meet ups, what was hard and still is, is trying to explain to little ones that we aren’t allowed to cuddle or give a kiss, so we learnt how to blow kisses, make hearts with our hands, and make sure we video call every weekend.
Missing special birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas was so difficult, it’s a time that we will never get back, so recording our videos meet-ups will raise a smile in time to come, when we look back and reflect on what the hell happened and how did we all cope.
Lockdown three – OMG can we all really go through this again, we get it, it’s dangerous, but there is so much confusion, so many mixed messages, what do we all do, work has not changed much from lockdown 1, so that’s easy to manage, I am used to it now, I take it as the norm, but the news reports really anger me, why oh why do some people think they are above the law, to do what they please when they please, really, driving with your wife and child to check you can see, what fools do these people think we really are, what a joke, what a slap in the face for the rest of us who don’t get to see our loved ones, apart from if you’re lucky through a window or a video screen and even the windows were stopped.
Now we have fines in place, people are being named and shamed for flouting the lockdown rules. We have no end in sight, just alarming, dreadful statistics daily, I am tired of graphs and comparisons, what don’t this government get, they claim to be following the science, that’s crap, how many times have we heard that the scientists working on this are advising the government but they are not listening, and when they do it too late, is that why we are now in lockdown three? , we are told on the one hand the vaccine will put an end to this, but when, we are not being given what the manufactures suggested was the recommended course of treatment, that raises more questions, and why can’t any government official just give a straight answer to straight questions, they skirt the issue, talk about something completely out of context to the question then praise themselves for the progress they are making in this pandemic. My goodness, I won’t swear I won’t allow myself too, but hey over 100,000 dead the highest fatality figures in the whole of Europe, and fifth in the entire world. We are an island with a population of about 66.5 million 100,000 plus of them are now dead. Mothers, fathers, grandads, grandmas, friends, brothers, sisters, nieces nephews, cousins, and neighbours all lives lost, families devastated.
They are not numbers they are individuals, who loved, lived, and laughed with us, they were part of families, they were valued, they were looked up to, and they were loved.
Now they are mourned, remembered with love and passion, they are gone from our lives and we must all remember them, if we personally knew or not, they were individuals with a life, a family, a heart and soul, but they are gone.
So later today when we see, hear or read the news and they give us yet more deaths, let’s stop a while, take a moment and think of the person, the individual who won’t be celebrating any more birthdays, won’t be putting their Christmas tree up, won’t be sending cards to friends and neighbours, won’t be coming into work, giving you a hug when you need it, words of wisdom when we are struggling, they won’t be putting their shoes on to go for a walk or to come and visit you, bringing joy, love, peace and calm.
So let’s keep them alive in all our hearts, light a candle, take some time, some personal time to remember and most of all lets never forget them.
Stay Indoors by Christine Logan
Stay indoors even though you are desperate to feel the sun and a breeze on your face.
Stay indoors even though the bus sails by your door, and your pass cajoles …’come use me’.
Stay indoors even though you will go almost senile, forget what day it is, what year it is, and what shoes feel like on your feet.
Stay indoors even though you yearn to put your arms around your grandchildren.
Stay indoors even though your friend is fighting for her life, and you’ll not see her again.
Stay indoors even though you have a purse full of old £20 notes, that will be going out of circulation soon.
Stay indoors even though you will put on a least a stone in weight as the kettle and biscuit tin beckon to you.
Stay indoors even though the handle has broken off the loo door.
Stray indoors even though your hair is almost a Mohican, a chunk missing here and an odd clump there.
Stay indoors. Do it right. Stay safe.
Occasionally by Barbara Douglas
Play the piano
Grow plants on the window sill
Watch TV and films
Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp for work and fun
Listen to the radio, but not the news
And, poke your nose outdoors.
Listen and Obey by Barbara Bone
I had fallen as I climbed down from the tree, so I headed indoors for some sympathy . “Mum I’ve hurt my knee.” Mum was busy baking , rubbed her hands on her pinny and came to take a look. “Go upstairs , put some water in the hand basin and a little tcp , use a flannel and clean your knee “ were her instructions. Afterwards I found an Elastoplast and pulled up my trousers . With my anorak back on and the basin cleared of water I skipped downstairs. I was heading back out the back door and Mum’s voice shouted, “stay indoors.”Oh bother I thought and I headed down the hallway and quietly let myself out the front door, then went around to open the gate into the back garden. I was out again in the fresh air.
Years later I finished work and made my way down Northumberland St. Due to the snow there were very few buses crossing the river Tyne so I set out to walk home. The snow was compact and high and as I was just two streets from home, I fell. I went down on my right knee, it was painful, I hobbled home. The doctor called round , prescribed some painkillers, several days off work and bed rest for the knee. His parting words were “ the roads are icy, stay indoors”.
Since 2020 I have received five letters from my Consultant and from our illustrious Government officials. They’ve classed me as clinically extremely vulnerable and advised me to stay at home as much as possible. I wash my hands often during the day with warm soap and water. No Elastoplast is needed but good hygiene keeps the virus at bay. Stay at home is now the new stay indoors. Thank heavens we have a yard for sunny days and a daily walk allowed only if you stay local. Stay indoors is the new norm. So I await the new spring flowers bursting forth in the yard.
If Only by Pat Stott
What do you say to a six year old when his 3 year old brother is still going to nursery school and he isn’t allowed to attend his school. He knows about the nasty germs outside but why will they get him and not Tom. His mother can’t begin to explain as she doesn’t know either. The solution would be to keep them both at home but that wouldn’t be fair on Tom who is too young to understand. And how would she work with both of them competing for her attention.
She has to work. Ben cries when they walk to the nursery and watch Tom run happily to join his friends. He is no longer the loving big brother and has started being unkind to Tom, nipping and taking toys away and in other little ways. She is frightened that he has stopped growing up and is regressing, as if to show that he is still a toddler too, so he can join his friends. There is only so much she can take as once again she hears a cry from the boys bedroom and runs in to sort them out.
She loves them both more than life itself and knows they miss their father but it was because he had no choice about staying at home that he died. He had a good job as a medical rep. She had tried so hard to stop him returning to nursing on a covid ward, where he had caught the virus and lost his life. Totally selfless and she had loved him for it but could not help the anger. Some day she will try to explain it all to her boys and hopes they will understand. So she obeys the ever changing rules and tries to make sense of it all.
Restricted Refuge by Liz Gregson
Staying indoors was a choice
In the time before.
Catch up, relax, rejoice
Now, not any more.
As Covid rampages
The winter storm rages
Used to meet friends before
Enjoyable, a different place.
Socialising, not any more
Remember, a friendly face.
Visitors can’t enter the room.
We connect with others virtually.
Some of us meet on Zoom
Is this our new reality?
Staying in, not going out
Respite, or confining.
Some content, others shout
Limited horizons, declining.
Too easy to stagnate
We may find new ways.
Read, write, create
These indoors days.
Trying to avoid infection
We seek sanctuary, at home.
Staying indoors for protection
Together, or alone.
Shielding 2020 by Mary Pickin
I eat sausages and chocolate and talk to angels. Next door my friend and her eighty year old mam have COVID and they are very poorly. The mam in between tears and sleep asks for orange juice, beetroot slices and Viennetta ice cream; the daughter, McVitie’s digestives. I drink tea and more tea. A friend admits to slipping back into alcoholism having drunk four small Baileys, two cans of barley wine and half a bottle of vodka yesterday. I send him a text hoping he doesn’t continue to slip. He texts back thanking me for my cheery words. I ask the Temperance angel to give him a jolly kick up the backside. I ask the COVID archangel to protect next door and me. I eat more sausages and chocolate and cream and I try to get in the mood to tidy up for the ambulance people when they arrive. I keep a locked front door but I make sure the keys are out of the lock in case I can’t move and they have to ask for next door’s key. And I watch Jessica Fletcher on TV sort out all the troubles of the world with nothing more than a matronly raised eyebrow.
Staying indoors by Paul
Stay indoors I hear them on TV
Save lives and our NHS
Stay indoors Breackfirst News 6am
Do not travel unless absolutely esentul
Only shopping or a short walk for exercise.
The walls of my home closing closer and closer
The defining screams in silence of the unspoken frustration
The unrelenting echo
Stay in doors
I hear them say its for your own good and the good of the country
It can be any work day
My mornings of calm and relative quiet are vandalised with the grinding
scream of an industrial drill and the not quit rithmick sound of a hammer
pounding an incoprehensable code of morse on my wall, floor and ceiling, as
the morning news with the humble MP with open handed jestures appealing to
the people, stay in doors as I can see my stability and sanity half way out the
door as the passing of each long and lonely day amidst the crushing enclosure
of my home I can still hear the dolset tones of…
Stay Indoors by Tony Huzzard