It’s a wet Sunday afternoon. I can hear the squelch of car tyres on the rain drench street below our flat. The extractor fan from the restaurant downstairs is humming away in the background.
They must be grilling meat, because we can smell it coming up through our floorboards. Our kitchen smells like a Korean BBQ restaurant.
We’ve been in our flat almost a year now. My husband is getting tired of the noise and smell from the restaurant downstairs. I hasn’t got to me yet.
Our son is in his little corner of the living room watching YouTube. He’s lost to the world once he gets his headphones on. In ten minutes he’ll catch up with an old friend from primary school over a video call.
It’s all so ordinary. The day feels like another normal Sunday.
But it’s not.
Last night the Prime Minister announced that we will go into another month long lockdown from Thursday. Now we’re counting down the days to when the restrictions are in place.
I was numb when I heard the news. And then came the feeling of dread. All the memories of supermarket shelves empty of toilet paper and food; of long queues and downcast gazes; of frayed nerves and frustration came flooding back. I am not looking forward to any of it.
I understand why it must be done. And the lockdown is coming whether I’m dreading it or not. I am just grateful the government gave us a few days grace to get used to the idea.
This Thursday is the day all museums, shops and restaurants will close. Mercifully, schools will remain open. Our son will be able to see his school friends and get a normal education free from zoom. It wasn’t good for him to be alone for so long last time.
My husband will be able to go into the city as he is considered an essential worker. And I guess I’ll keep doing my thing for work at home.
Thank goodness for small mercies. I haven’t been so grateful to be employed. It will keep the loneliness and boredom at bay as well as bring in some income to support the family. I know I am lucky. God has been very kind in His provision.
It will be our son’s birthday right in the middle of lockdown. So on Monday we’ll head to a hotpot restaurant near Chinatown to celebrate his first birthday in London. It’s a little earlier than expected. If we can’t get a table, our boy said he’d like to have a Korean BBQ for dinner.
Thursday is still some days away. Enough time to sneak in a few more memories of London before it all shuts down again.
It’ll be ok I tell myself in the late afternoon twilight.
We’ll be able to go through this again.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
I don’t think there are any other reasonable solutions.