Grandad, what did you do during the great lockdown?

When I tell people from the U.K. that we, Beijing, where I Live, were only locked down for twelve days, people are amazed.

They presumed that we were locked down for months. Nope. It was twelve days, and it seems like a very long time ago.

So now that there is a small outbreak in China, the authorities are being super cautious as expected. The delta variant is moving fast in China. 

Still, the containment is even faster, so I have no doubt that the Chinese government will get it all under control quickly.

The Chinese do this so well… in the city of Wuhan, where I just left, they tested 11 million people for the virus. They were doing this over a couple of days. When I was leaving, I reflected on the city lockdown that the residents in Wuhan had to go through. Seventy six days.

Currently, for now, though, some travel has been restricted. I have had to cut my travel plans short and get back to Beijing just in case there are further restrictions that would mean I could get stuck outside of Beijing.

So today was the first day of my annual leave where I have been in the apartment, kicking my heels. Well, to be truthful, I have been super busy all day and got loads of stuff done.

Just to be clear here, there are no restrictions to stop me from moving around Beijing or leaving to visit some places that are low risk. Unnecessary travel is, however, advised against. So, I decided to have a day at home today and clear my feet of some stuff.

I did a lot, and I am pleased with the amount I achieved. This had me reflecting on what I achieved in the lockdown the first time around and realised I didn’t accomplish much. I was technically working, and my days were often spent on calls, organising things and paying attention to every detail. Still, I did have some extended spare time, and I think I squandered it by not doing much.

I am good with that. I can not change what has gone in the past, and it was for less than a couple of weeks back then and was at the very start of the pandemic situation. Things were still unfolding back then, and it was a very mysterious and edgy time. It felt different back then because there was a lot of unknowns.

Like I said, though, I can not change the past, but I can sure as hell learn from it. Hence, I have decided to add more stuff to my list that I want to get done later tonight or tomorrow morning before I go out.

However, if I was locked down for an extended period of time, like months, I would be disappointed if I didn’t get something for myself out of that time. 

The following is for context and understanding before I go on with this thread.

I know there are many mental health issues, many families are dealing with the tragedy of losing loved ones. There is still the ongoing situation that keeps everything tense in the developed world and rips, with full horrors, through some underdeveloped nations. This is tragic, and the stresses of the moments will be etched in peoples lives forever. 

Mine included.

But. And this is a personal but for me… but, I would hate to be asked by my grandchildren in years to come…

‘Grandad, what did you do during the pandemic when you were lockdown?’

…and all I have in my answer is, well kids, I watched TV and ate chocolate and crisps.

But, truthfully, that would have to be my answer because that is the truth.

In my defence, though, it was only for twelve days.


Wuhan August 2021

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