Lifetime Stories in Lockdown.
By definition, a routine is something we take for granted; where life doesn’t seem to change.
When one day moves into the next it is difficult to register it as noteworthy.
When our life makes a dramatic shift it is easier to see and articulate a particular time or a day as a significant point in our lives
A lifetime comprises of many different life events (birth, graduation, moving house, emigration) interspersed by planned events ( holidays, family celebrations) and social/work/calendar events ( Christmas, Bank holidays, school year)
We spend time at work time and time with everyday needs – childcare, housework, cooking, shopping, paying bills. There are also significant random chunks of time spent caring for relatives… volunteering… leisure.. alongside fixed timeslots for sports and hobbies.
Bereavement.. news of a serious illness… a lottery win or the arrival of triplets are pivotal and life changing events.
In the bigger scheme of things we can see how our experience of this might be something other people could relate to – now, or in the future.
In 2020/21 right across the globe Covid-19 is (still) wreaking havoc.
‘Normal life’ – as we know it – is disrupted.
We are all living in a new way, with reduced personal/ social contact. We have limited (or no) access to the spaces and places of everyday life – such as shops, hairdressers, school, day centres and churches.
Right now, we cannot visit other countries… other people’s home… gigs… pubs.. sport centres.. and restaurants. Significant life events – such as weddings and funerals are necessarily limited to immediate family only.
We are living in extraordinary times – and yet, every day seems much the same.
Although we share this experience we are not all in the same boat. This is our own personal journey of the pandemic: our lived experience.
With normal life on hold and our life experiences compromised what is the story of this pandemic?
Beautifully presented and highly accessible, it concludes with clear insights and pertinent observations. To uncover what people ‘think’ it digs deep to discover what people want to consider how their values change and how that may affect what happens next.
Highlights – in short:
- The absence of change” –the fact that people cannot move forward.
People feel stuck because they cannot plan ahead. But…is this a state of enforced inertia or an awakening to slower and more sustainable living?
- People feel more insular, and less like a citizen of the world
The curtailment of travel means less exposure to other countries and cultures. Our focus now is on what we need (locally) to survive and emerge from this.
- We are somewhat pessimistic about the future
Thwarted ambitions and a perceived suppression of opportunities (through social engagement) has deadened our joie de vivre. We are fearful that the pandemic is here to stay and our good health compromised.
- Concerned for our families we are reaching out to them. We have the technology, we have the time, and appreciate our families more – for now.
Empty social diaries give us more time to spend on (and think about) our nearest and dearest. We are stepping up, and are more giving and caring.
- When this is over we expect to spend less on going out and making big purchases.
After a year of not ‘going out’ we are re-evaluating how we spend our money and realising we can live more cheaply.
- Positives: We have had more time to think, and to consider our values in relation to community, our time, and what we spend our money on.
With longstanding brands disappearing and ‘shopping’ mainly concerned with essentials the retail world is changing – and we are part of that change.
- There is massive support and appreciation for the NHS
We are forever indebted to the sheer professionalism and effort of all the individuals who make up the NHS
- Clear recognition that the elderly and students have been affected the most by the pandemic
Lost generations missing out on the precious, quality life experiences
- A Covid-free future? Concerns about flying and Covid safety in other countries. Staycations are here to stay.
There remains a lingering nervousness of people, places, events (until we know otherwise).
A return to ‘normal’ life is not going to happen overnight.
Which means that Covid is going to take an on-going emotional and physical toll on all of us.
We know, right now, there the pandemic is generating a a lot of health-related data. But, beyond the statistics and science-based evidence it is absolutely vital that wider insights are gathered and analysed so we can look back on and learn from this experience.
The Museum of the Home’s Stories of Home Life Under Lockdown features ordinary people talking about their own home-based experiences of lockdown.
It explores at how life is for them, what they are thinking about and how they spend their time – at home. This will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable archive; it a valuable insight into what people are currently going through.
People’s well-being lies at the heart of our community and society. It therefore makes sense that we should document and be sensitive to their lifetime experiences (past and future).
While each government and country deals with the pandemic in its own way, ultimately it is primarily a very personal experience.
Living through this period of our lives affects not only our mood, aspirations, ambitions and opportunities but also longterm development – especially for children.
Every story featured in Anyone at Home, represents not just a personal lifestage but also a place in time. The Covid pandemic is just one part of their lifetime of experiences. However, because it is affecting what people can do now – that may well affect what they can do next.
- Young professionals are finding they at a point where they cannot move forward. On hold: their wanderlust, their jobs and their plans for the future.
- Reduction and delays in support for carers puts greater pressure on family members – who are already dealing with a difficult situation.
- New immigrants forging a new life in a new country are struggling to build their businesses and interact with the community
- With everything suddenly going online teachers have had to make radical, intrusive adjustments to their personal space.
- People working from home find they are working longer hours and greatly miss the social aspect of work.
- Bereavement brings a sudden adjustment to a new life stage when people are cut off from social contact.
Experiences today – and what matters most – will shift and change. What people say today may be very different tomorrow – even if their life (outwardly) has not changed.
There will be life post-Covid….. and people’s lives will move on,
There may be things that they/we will remember – and a lot that they/we will forget.